First a quick note on how amazing Adriana’s posts have been, especially her tips about starting out with more expensive fountain pens. More on that in a comment on her post.
So, something that surprised me when I started reading about stationery online were the negative comments directed at Leuchtturm journals. I’m a big Leuchtturm1917 user. I go through three A4 ones a year (one for each semester) for bullet journaling and another one or two a year for my research journals. I love them — for me, they’re perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing.
This made me start looking at my Leuchtturms and thinking about why people had problems with them and consider why I didn’t.
As a bullet journaler, I’m not a marker user. I mean, I use very light TomBow brush pens as header highlighters, and decorate each day with a strip of washi tape, but other than that, the only pens I use are fountain pens. I use a flex or italic nib pen for headers and then whatever pen I feel like writing with for the text. I’m not bothered by ghosting — I don’t even notice it — and since I generally use fine or extra-fine nibs, I’ve never had any bleed through problems. This takes care of most of the complaints people have with using Leuchtturm — the fact their paper absorbs more ink.
But it goes further than that. I write a lot. I choose Leuchtturm over journals made with paper that’s agreed to be better for fountain pens, like, say, Rhodia, because Leuchtturm absorbs the perfect amount of ink. That is, not so much that it bleeds through and makes the other side of the page unusable, but enough so that when I turn the page, the ink doesn’t smear. I tried using a Rhodia journal because of how nice it makes ink look, only to find my pages looked like inkblot art. The only way I can use my Rhodia journal is to carry blotting paper and remember to blot the bottom part of the page before I flip it. So I guess that’s a long way of saying I like the fast dry time.
I like the index and numbered pages. I bullet journal in a pretty conventional way and use the index a lot to keep track of meeting notes and running areas of research. Sure, I could number pages myself and make an index each time I start a new one, but not having to is great. Once Ryder Carroll started selling ones specifically set up for bullet journaling, using a pre-created future log was also a nice timesaver. Since I do it three times a year, I like being able to get my new bullet journals set up in under an hour. My only complaint about the official bullet journal Leuchtturms is they don’t have the perforated pages in the back — I miss those and may go back to the regular ones because of it. What they do have are plenty of pages — I never have more than ten pages left when I finish each semester — in fact last semester I had to use a notebook to bridge for a couple of days before it was time to start the new one. While it’s fun setting up a new bullet journal, it’s not something I want to have to do mid-semester if I can help it.
Some other reasons I love them: They’re sturdy. I take my bullet journal with me everywhere and it gets bashed around. I’ve never had pages come loose. The covers stay solid. I like the little pocket in the back where I can keep a ruler. And I like the archiving stickers they include which makes my bookcase of them look tidy. They also come in great colors, letting me change pretty often. And the bullet journal version has three ribbons, which is kind of perfect.
Anyway, I wrote this because I felt like the Leuchtturms weren’t getting enough love. Maybe something better will come along someday. But I doubt it.