Finding the best bullet journal notebook to start with can be a huge task when starting out. There are a lot of different brands to choose from. Scribbles That Matter notebooks are a popular choice and this is my honest review.
My first bullet journal notebook was a Leuchtturn1917. While I enjoyed this notebook, I found the pages to be a bit more on the off-white side than I like. I wanted to try a bullet journal notebook with whiter pages and chose to try the Scribbles That Matter notebook.
If you are new to bullet journaling, I have a post on how to start a bullet journal for you to read here.
I’ve tried a few different versions of the Scribbles That Matter notebooks and will share my impressions in this review.
This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase through a link on my site, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.
A Dotted Bullet Journal from Scribbles That Matter
I purchased my first Scribbles That Matter Iconic Journal on Amazon using Amazon Prime so I could get two day shipping. What can I say, I was excited to get it and I’m not known for being a patient person 🙂
I chose the purple Iconic version of the journal because of the cute doodles on the cover and I was not disappointed.
The journal arrived protected in a plastic cover. It was a light purple color with darker doodles engraved on the cover. The doodles included a hedgehog, a guitar, a camera, a banana and a bunch of other random things. Super cute. I love it!
The journal has a darker purple elastic enclosure and pen loop that I think make the journal look really pretty.
I opened up the journal and was happy to see the pages were white and had a good weight to them. This was exactly what I was looking for. I like to use fountain pens and am always looking for nice paper to write on.
I adore white paper and this notebook did not disappoint. The dots were grey in color, meaning they would not distract from what I chose to put on the page.
Have you ever used a dotted bullet journal page with dark black dots? I find that to be a terrible experience, so I was pretty happy with the dots on the Scribbles That Matter pages. As you can see, the pages are also numbered.
I find it necessary to have a notebook with numbered pages for my bullet journal. Otherwise I have to number them myself and it always looks kinda messy, especially because of my problem with patience since I tend to turn the pages too quick when numbering and the ink smears. As an aside, in order to combat this in my notebooks I bought this blotter.
Look at the cute rounded corners as well. It is the little details that make this journal shine:
Bullet Journals For Sale by Scribbles That Matter
Scribbles That Matter notebooks come in a bunch of great colors and even some different sizes. The iconic version is known for its cute planner covers with doodles, while the pro version limits these doodles to a small section on the back. Here is an example of the Scribbles That Matter Pro version:
As you can see, the Scribbles That Matter Pro still has a contrasting elastic and pen loop and I love that look. I think the pro version is probably a little more acceptable in professional settings, but I say get what you want.
(Says the girl who brings a binder with bow charms attached to it to professional meetings ALL.THE.TIME).
What Bullet Journal Sizes Are Available?
Scribbles That Matter notebooks come in a ton of different sizes, which I think is pretty cool. Although you’ll mostly see journals in a A5 size, STM has several other sizes to choose from.
Oh man! As of the new update of this post, Scribbles That Matter seems to no longer make my favorite size which was the B6. I’m so sad. They also seem to have discontinued the dotted A4 size.
Here is what is currently available:
Scribbles That Matter Bullet Planner B5 Size Undated Daily, Weekly, Monthly Planner (see below for more on this planner since it is a premade planner rather than just a dotted notebook)
Dotted Journal in B5 Size OOH, look at how pretty this charcoal one is:
A5 Bullet Planner – another done for you notebook. You can see my review on this one here. In a few words, it is good!
Bullet Journal Size Comparisons
A5 is the typical bullet journal size. An A5 journal is about size of a half piece of paper.
B5 is 10 inches by 7.1 inches
A6-ish (this makes me laugh) is 5.8 inches by 4.3 inches according to Amazon. A6 is typically 4.1 by 5.8 so it is close!
Which one should you get?
I think it depends on your needs. Personally, I find the B5 to be too big for my needs but I could see wanting to use it if you do a lot of art or drawing. My favorite size was the B6 but they stopped making that.
A lot of people like the A6. While I think it is really cute, it is a bit small for my needs. It goes well in a traveler’s notebook with a Hobonichi A6 planner though, so that might be something you’re interested in.
The A5 is a pretty standard size so you will be able to find lots of covers and such for that if you like to decorate your notebooks.
Here is one of my favorites:
Scribbles That Matter Dotted Notebooks: My Honest Review of the Features
I have each size of the Scribbles that Matter dotted journals and each one has the same features as the other.
Keep in mind there are two other versions of the journal called the bullet planner, which are pre-made bullet journals, meaning they already have pages drawn out for you. I will discuss the B5 version later in this post. Scroll down if you’re interested since I also included a video flip through!
The Scribbles That Matter Iconic Notebook, B5 Notebook, and Pro Notebook are all very similar to each other so I will discuss them together. The main differences are:
- The Scribbles that Matter Pro Version cover does not have doodles on the cover. The Iconic Version does.
- The B5 version is larger than the A5 versions. The B5 Scribbles That Matter Notebook only comes in black. It also has a stretchy pen loop on the spine of the journal. These are neat because they accommodate a variety of pen sizes.
- The A6 version is smaller than the others.
I’m going to start with the best part! The Scribbles That Matter Journals have 100 gsm paper that is ivory (white!) in color. What does this mean? It means the paper is thicker (and whiter!) than many other popular notebooks. This leads to less ghosting or bleeding of ink on your pages.
- Bleeding: When the ink leaks through the page and shows on the next page.
- Ghosting: When you can see through the page. It hasn’t gone through the page but you can see it.
The Scribbles That Matters journals have a cool feature called the Pen Test Page. Here are some pictures of my pen test so you can see that there is some ghosting and one of my favorite fountain pens did bleed through a bit. This fountain pen is VERY wet though, so I am not that surprised.
I should mention I’ve used that fountain pen with the same ink (so pretty) in other sections of my journal without problems.
The pens I used on my page are as follows:
- Pilot Falcon Fountain Pen, Medium Nib
- Tombow Mono Drawing Pens
- Tombow Dual Brush Pens – these are the best brush pens for bullet journals
- Pelikan M400 Fountain Pen Fine Nib
- Noodler’s X Feather Ink -this is a super black ink that rarely feathers
- Pigma Microns
- Papermate Flair Medium Point
- Sparkly Highlighters (I cannot call these by their full name because to me they will always be either sparkly highlighters or glitter highlighters. I love them so much haha).
My favorite part of the paper in these notebooks is that it is whiter than other popular bullet journal notebooks. I prefer white paper. Also, the print of the dots is a light grey color. This means the dots are not intrusive. You can see them no problem, but they don’t distract from your journal. I love this.
The Scribbles That Matter notebooks have 201 numbered pages. I love that the pages are numbered for you because it makes it so easy to do your bullet journal index page!
Bullet Journal Index Page
In the front of the notebook, there is an index page and a key page. A bullet journal index is an important part of a bullet journal because it helps you keep track of where certain bullet journal spreads are within your notebook. See my post on how to start a bullet journal for more information. I also wrote about a handy trick for organizing your bullet journal pages here.
There is also a page for your key and color coding. This is a great place for you to keep track of what your dots and stars mean through your bullet journal. Some people use different colors for different parts of their life. This page allows you to keep track of all of your methods of organization.
The back cover of the notebooks have a nice pocket built in. You can pull it out a bit to easily fit things in there. I have put sticker sheets in mine from time to time.
A Pen Loop is Built Right In To The Journal
I love the pen loop on the Scribbles That Matter journals.
Have you ever purchased pen loops and found that they are all too dang small for your pens? That is so annoying.
(If you’re looking for some decent pen loops for your journal, I recently bought these and they seem a little more accommodating of all my pens).
I wish all pen loops were made like the ones on the STM journals. They are secure and SUPER stretchy. It looks like it is actually the same material as the elastic around the journal.
I can fit my biggest fountain pens in the pen loop. I love these pen loops.
Would I buy this just for the pen loop? Why yes, I probably would…well, and the white paper.
My Thoughts On The Scribbles That Matter Notebooks
I’m a paper and pen snob, as you may have noticed with the variety of pens I chose. (There are SO MANY more where that came from).
That said, I love my Scribbles That Matter Notebooks. My favorite is the Iconic Version since I love a cute planner cover! These journals are well made with sewn bindings. The details are nice including the light colored print, thick white paper, ribbon bookmarks, and pen loop. I’m a huge fan.
- Thick white paper
- Minimal ghosting
- Light grayish dots that are perfectly spaced
- Back pocket
- Attached pen loop – STRETCHY!
- Pen test page included
- Cute planner cover and doodles on the iconic version
- Large variety in colors and sizes
- The customer service of this company is amazing. I once received a notebook with a slight defect. I messaged them on Facebook as a head’s up and they immediately sent me out a new notebook. They also listen to customer feedback and make adjustments.
- A bit pricey, but in line with other notebooks of similar quality.
- One of my pens bled through the paper and had some feathering
- This also means that unfortunately this paper will not hold watercolors well if you use lots of water. This may not be the best journal for those of you who use lots of watercolors.
I highly recommend trying the A5 Scribbles That Matter journal.
Where To Buy Scribbles That Matter?
Before going further, check out my post on the NEW version of the bullet planner! It is in A5 size and has beautiful details. I think you’ll love it!
The next part of this post is going to review the older version, which is still available. (Botton line, I like the newer one way better)
One thing Scribbles That Matter offers that I haven’t seen from other brands is a Bullet Planner. This is a done for you bullet journal where the layouts are already drawn out.
I created a video for you so you can see how this journal is laid out. When I purchased it there weren’t pictures of the pages anywhere. I figured this would help you in your decision about whether to purchase.
The Bullet Planner is similar to the other Scribbles That Matter journals in that it has a key, dotted pages, a pen test page, ribbon bookmarks (3), and a folder pocket on the back. It also has the same thick paper (100 gsm according to Amazon) as the other notebooks. It is missing an index and page numbers, which I find disappointing!
Bullet Planner Pages
Bullet Planner Year At A Glance
I will share some pictures of the pages here.
In the beginning of the journal, there are pages showing a year at a glance including all the little month calendars. As you can see, there is some space around this area where you could take notes. For instance, you could color code certain dates and label them down the side of the page. I like to circle special dates in color (for example, important birthdays in pink).
Annual Progress Tracker
The next page has an annual progress tracker. On this page you would track certain goals, likely by plotting them on the graphs. The graphs are labeled by weeks, so you could track your progress on something week by week. I personally cannot see myself using these pages.
Next in the journal is four pages of dotted pages that are labeled “Planning Space.”
The next section includes monthly planning pages. There are twelve sets of these pages. The monthly page comes as two pages. On the first page there is a section for notes and then a monthly overview (or monthly log) listing the dates in a vertical column. There is space on both the right and left side of the page so you could potentially track future appointment for work and personal reasons. I like to track ideas for blog posts and social media in my planner and could see doing this on these monthly logs.
The second monthly page includes a habit tracker drawn out for you. This is nice since habit trackers can be tedious to draw. (If you like habit trackers, check out this new book that just came out from one of my friends).
Also on the page is a section for “goals to accomplish,” “this month’s tasks,” and “end of month review.”
I like that there is some personal reflection built into these monthly pages. Reviewing your goals is important to reaching them!
Next are your weekly pages. Each week, you will have a weekly page including a planner page with a time grid to mark down appointments. Underneath the time grid is a box area that is approximately the size of an Erin Condren box. There is also space around the calendar where you could take notes or do some lettering.
After each weekly page is your daily pages. The daily pages are drawn over two pages and include boxes labeled Monday through Friday and another long unlabelled box either for the weekend or other needs. This allows you some flexibility in how you track and decorate day to day.
At the end of the Bullet Planner there are pages to keep your user IDs and passwords, a mindfulness page encouraging you to review your year, and a pen test.
My Thoughts On The Scribbles That Matter Bullet Planner
I purchased this but never used it. The reason I changed to a bullet journal is because I like the freedom it provides me. However, I find the Scribbles That Matter Bullet Planner is too structured for my needs.
There are some positives about it and as I go through the pages I can imagine using the pages creatively at times. In fact, each time I look at the journal, I feel more attracted to using it. Good thing it’s undated so when I finally get the urge to use it, it’s ready!
Over a year later, and I still haven’t used it. 🙂 I have used the newer version though, which I like much better.
If you are looking for some more structure and would like something done for you, I think these are great!
The Bullet Planner is a well made notebook with some nice features. If you’re time crunched, it is a good option that would allow you more flexibility and space for notes than a regular planner.
Here are my pros and cons broken down for the Scribbles That Matter Bullet Planner:
- White, thick paper
- Done for you bullet journal spreads
- Has some room for customization
- The pen holder holds a variety of different pen sizes
- I find it a little too structured for my needs
- No page numbers/index
- Limited number of pages for things like running lists
At the end of the video I showed you some other bullet journal setups I’ve been trying. The first was a coiled notebook by Erin Condren. I love this one because the size of the pages leaves a lot of room for creativity and lists. The colors are pretty, the paper is thick, and it lies flat. I used this for my work to do list this week and I really enjoyed it.
Next I showed you some bullet journal pages in my Leuchtturm. I showed you how I used a circle stencil to create circles for my gratitude spread and how using stickers, stencils, and nice pens can help anyone make a pretty bullet journal spread.
Items shown in the video include the following:
- Bullet Planner by Scribbles That Matter
- Pelikan M405
- Staedtler Pens (The thin pen I stuck in the pen loop)
- Erin Condren Coiled Notebook
- Circle Stencil
- Printable Sticker Sheet – note, in the video I stated I wasn’t as interested in the other stickers in the shop. I want to clarify that it is nothing against her stickers, it is just that this is my favorite sticker sheet/set of ALL the sticker sheets and I would love if all the others in that shop could be my favorites too. 🙂
- Monkey Fist Book Marks
What Do You Think?
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Marlena is the blogger behind apenandapurpose.com, where she writes about using journaling for self improvement and reaching goals in life and business. Using her experience as a Licensed Psychologist with a Master’s in Business, she teaches people how to break through negative thoughts and fear to do what matters. For more about me read my about page.