Trying a new hardcover dot grid notebook with excellent paper
As I was coming to the end of my last Moleskine notebook - which I used for planning and organization at work, I began looking for a replacement notebook. Not content to pick one of the many blank journals I have on my shelf, I found myself browsing Amazon one day and came across this new-to-me notebook manufacturer - Scribbles That Matter.
Even though I had never heard of the brand, this A5 sized notebook checked off many of the items that are important to me - hardcover, elastic closure, dot grid, thick paper. I was attracted to the wild selection of colours, with complimentary coloured elastic closure and a built-in pen loop. As Amazon was having a sale on these at the time ( just $21.99), I decided to take a chance and order one. This notebook is the “pro version.”
Mint Green Notebooks
I choose a notebook outside of my typical colour choice - seafoam green with pink accents (including a pink elastic enclosure, pen loop and fabric bookmark). You may consider that I am a shaven-headed, bearded, tattooed, Harley-Davidson riding biker to understand how far out of my usual style this colour combination is - but it looked like a fun way to liven up my desk at work, and was pretty. I wasn’t wrong - this journal is BRIGHT! The official colour is called Mint.
It arrived quickly from Amazon Prime, and I was very impressed in opening the oversized Amazon box - the notebook was enclosed in a fitted, clear plastic box - protecting the corners from the typical bumps and bruises that sometimes occur with Amazon’s lack of packing support. A pink banner wrapped the book listing the key features. Opening the plastic box, and I found a journal that resembled a Rhodia Webnotebook; the hardcover had a soft, cushioned feel and was as wonderfully bright as I had hoped. The front cover is plain, and there are branding and textured design elements on the bottom of the rear cover. The elastic closure fits securely but does tend to leave small indents at the top and bottom of the covers, very similar to the Rhodia. The pen loop is ideal for regular pens up to a Retro 51, but because of the position of the loop - 2/3 of the page high, a fountain pen with a standard cap - such as a Pilot Custom 74 or Platinum 3776 sticks out above the top of the journal.
The thick 100gsm paper is very nice. The book contains 201 numbered pages, 3 pages of index formatted sheets and sheet to list the bullets and colours used. An excellent addition to the back of the book was a sheet of paper labelled “Pen Test.” This blank sheet is perfect for testing the paper with a variety of pens and pencils to see how it reacts. The paper has a slight ivory colour but is still whiter than the Rhodia pages. The dots are darker than Leuchtturm dot gridded journals but still lighter than the Rhodia. These dots are not distracting, even though I do prefer the slightly lighter Leuchtturm dot grid pattern. The paper is very smooth - which does result in somewhat higher ink dry times and more smudged pencil marks, though I do not think this would be problematic for the average user (unless you are a leftie that writes with wet ink). Bleedthrough was minimal with such thick, high-quality paper. The pages easily fold flat to write.
There are only two fabric bookmarks, which was a little disappointing - I actively use the three contained in the Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal, but it is not a deal breaker for me. The back cover also includes a Moleskine style inner pocket.
It is evident that Scribbles That Matter designed this journal for the creative bullet journal crowd. The company website directs customers to it’s Facebook page, and the online BUJO community has well received these books. The design originates from England and seems heavily inspired by the quality Rhodia Webnotebook and the Leuchtturm Bullet Journal. Scribbles That Matter have produced an excellent notebook, especially at the very competitive price point. I haven’t seen these journals in any stores, but they are easily available on Amazon in a selection of exciting colours. I do recommend Scribbles That Matter, especially if you are looking for fun colours to brighten up your writing life.