Bullet Journal Battle

Posted by Stuart Lennon on

What is Bullet Journaling?

Seriously? Where have you been? #bujo? #bulletjournal? Bulletjournal.com?

No? OK then. I will try to briefly summarise.

Bullet Journaling is an analogue system designed to be simple, forgiving and organised. It can be a diary, a journal, a task manager, a sketch book or a combination of all of them. It can be made very simple or very complicated. Its originator, Ryder Carroll has done some excellent videos on the website.

LT1917 Bullet Journal Inside Cover

An appealing element of the system is that it can be done in any notebook. That said, there is a co-branded, specific notebook for the system. The Bullet Journal is produced by Leuchtturm1917, in two colours. Black and a fetching Emerald.

Essentially, the journal comes with some instructions on the system and some pre-formatted pages. There are also three different page-markers. The pages are dotted.

All of a sudden, Rhodia came up with the Goal Book. Goal Book is close enough to the format to be a direct competitor, but different enough to prevent legal action. There are no instructions, but anyone wishing to bullet journal will find some pre-formatted pages that fit very well with the system.

Contents Pages Rhodia GoalBook

I use elements of #bujo in my analogue life, so wanted to compare the two. I’m not going to deep dive into every single similarity and every single difference, that would be a very long post! However, if you do have a question, however deep in the weeds, fire away. I’ll be happy to respond.

The Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal (LT) versus the Rhodia Goal Book (GB)

Seconds Away...Round 1.

Aesthetics.

The LT is a hardcover and comes in an Emerald colour or Black. The cover has ‘Bullet Journal’ embossed upon it, and a gusseted pocket on the inside of the back cover. It comes with the customary LT archiving stickers.

Inside Back Cover LT1917 Bullet Journal

The GB has the textured soft cover of the Rhodiarama and comes in a dizzying array of colours. There is some embossing too, ‘Rhodia’ and ‘Goalbook’, in this case. There is also a gusseted pocket.

Rhodia GoalBook in purple

This is a matter of personal taste. Each to their own and all that. On account of the greater choice, I’ll give the GB the edge here.

Paper Quality

Both these firms have reputations for good paper. This will be very important to you, if, like me, you are a fountain pen user. Rhodia paper is gorgeous. It’s coated and therefore silky smooth. There is a tiny bit of show-through from my Kaweco BB nib, but it really is tiny. This paper is glorious for fountain pens, if you like smooth paper. The GB comes in a choice of graph or dot.

Rhodia Show-through

The LT paper is not coated, nor as heavy. It has a little tooth, which I can feel through the nib. The BB nib lays down a lot of ink, and as the LT is a little lighter than the GB, the show-through is more pronounced. The show-through would not prevent me from using the reverse of the page, but it might nudge me towards using a drier ink/nib combination. Paper is dot, or ...dot.

LT1917 Showthrough

Logic would give the GB the edge here too. However, to my own surprise, I really enjoyed the feedback from the LT paper. Perhaps my taste is evolving? Who knows? In any event, I would call this round a dead heat.

Pre-formats

The GB has a calendar (without days, so valid for any year) which I find handy. The LT has the ‘approved’ Bullet Journal format and the useful key to the symbols. Both are therefore great, but LT wins, simply because it’s ‘the original’.

Value for money

Both books are extremely high quality, and while they are not cheap, they are chunky. Each has the best part of 250 usable pages. You’re unlikely to whizz through one of these in a week. The GB is £19 and the LT £20. They are both superb value for money.

Rhodia Goalbook

LT1917 Bullet Journal Inside

The Verdict

To be honest, I started this review certain that I prefer the GB. I love those colourful tactile, soft covers. I’m a huge fan of Rhodia paper.

So, it has come as a bit of a shock to find that I am drawn to the LT. Perhaps I associate organisation more with Germany than France?

These are both fantastic notebooks, ideal for bullet journaling.

If you are looking to add a little structure to your planning and note taking, give #bujo a look. You may not want to take it on wholesale, but there will be bits that you might find really useful.

Oh, and if you need a book...we can help you with that. 😉

Buy the Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal.

Buy the Rhodia Goalbook.


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