When it comes to bullet journal supplies, there are a lot of awesome options! Often, picking the notebook is the hardest part. The two most common notebooks recommended in the bullet journal community are the Scribbles that Matter notebook and the Leuchtturm1917 notebook. That said, which one is better? Scribbles that Matter or Leuchtturm1917?
The bullet journal communities on Facebook and Instagram are abuzz with opinions, questions, and preferences over which is better. But… beyond preference and opinion, how does a new bullet journalist ultimately make the best notebook decision with so many awesome choices?
When it comes to the Scribbles that Matter or Leuchtturm1917 dotted, A5, hardcover notebook, they are the same price. Both have positive reviews. They are both well-recommended. Plus, they both offer some amazing features!
Now you’re on Amazon buying your first bullet journal supplies. You have both the Leuchtturm1917 and the Scribbles that Matter in your cart. You can only purchase one and you have no idea which is better suited for you. You’re going back and forth on reviews trying to make the last minute decision… which one do you pick?!?! Scribbles that Matter or Leuchtturm1917?
Now, this post answers all your questions when you’re stuck in that scenario of which to buy. Get the pros and cons of each, the most common concerns and questions asked by new bullet journal artists, and ultimately… help to determine the best notebook: Scribbles that Matter or Leuchtturm1917.
This comparison post focuses on the A5 Dotted Hardcover notebooks. “LT” may be used interchangeably for Leuchtturm1917, as well as “STM” for Scribbles that Matter.
What the LT Does Best
The Leuchtturm1917 notebook was my first bullet journal. It was my second as well.
There are definitely a lot of solid reasons this is the most recommended bullet journal notebook option. In fact, you may not know this, but Ryder Carroll (the creator of bullet journals) has used them for many years. Leuchtturm1917 even made an ‘official’ bullet journal notebook!
Here is what I think Leuchtturm1917 does best.
Artist Grade Paper
While both the Leuchtturm1917 and Scribbles That Matter notebooks contain excellent paper, the LT notebooks are definitely more “artist friendly”.
These notebooks can handle many different types of writing utensils with ease.
For instance, I can blend multiple Tombow Dual Brush Pen colors together with the colorless brush pen, and I get a nice effect as seen here.
The paper is a bit thinner and more ivory and white; however, it definitely seems to be a favorite for those who use other art mediums as well. It’s very popular for those who paint or use watercolors in their bullet journals.
Comparing both Leuchtturm1917 and Scribbles that Matter, both have excellent paper. However, Scribbles that Matter paper doesn’t seem to be as “artist friendly”. What this means is that higher quality materials and art mediums beyond standard writing materials may not sit as nicely on the notebook paper.
Large Variety of Products
Leuchtturm1917 has been around for over 100 years, and they’ve perfected their products! They offer a lot more than just A5 Dotted Notebooks!!!
Not a fan of the hardcover? They’ve got you covered with the softcover.
Want a planner instead? They have that too.
Want the ‘Official Bullet Journal’ Notebook? Leuchtturm1917 has you covered.
The benefit of a company that’s been present as long as Leuchtturm1917 is that you have a lot of product options to suit multiple styles and needs.
Comparing Leuchtturm1917 and Scribbles that Matter… both offer multiple products! Scribbles that Matter is a much newer company, however, and you will not find the vast quantities of options that Leuchtturm1917 has to offer.
Common Frustrations People have with LT
No notebook is perfect. People should have the right to know that upon purchase. It is up to each consumer to decide which negative aspects of each notebook they can tolerate versus which they do not want whatsoever.
Here is some input I’ve found people react negatively to toward the Leuchtturm1917.
Prime example of ghosting in the Leuchtturm1917 notebook
This is probably the biggest complaint I see about the Leuchtturm1917.
First, if you don’t know what ghosting is, let me give you the scoop.
When a page “ghosts” that means if you write on it, flip the paper and look at the back you will find that you see the shadow of the marks on the back side.
(Bleeding, on the other hand, means the ink completely bleeds to the other side instead of appearing as a “shadow”)
The Leuchtturm1917 has a paperweight of 80gsm, and by normal standards, this is a desirable paperweight. However, the majority of art mediums will cause some level of ghosting on paper.
When I first started my Leuchtturm1917 I knew ghosting was common, thus it never bothered me much. But there are people who have completely abandoned their notebooks because it bothers them so significantly.
Comparing the Scribbles that Matter to the Leuchtturm1917, you’re going to find that the Scribbles that Matter doesn’t ghost anywhere near the same extent.
Who Would like the LT Better
In clear, if you are an artist, you may prefer the Leuchtturm1917 better. I think many of the Leuchtturm1917 products tailor to the high-end, artsy type, and the company does an amazing job of satisfying their needs.
Additionally, if you prefer more variety with your notebooks (ex. colors, sizes, and page formats), you’ll definitely have more options to choose from using Leuchtturm products.
What the STM Does Best
Scribbles that Matter came into my life as my third bullet journal notebook.
While I continue to love and admire the Leuchtturm1917, as an expert in the bullet journal field I found it wise to try other options recommended by readers and fans.
I heard great things about Scribbles that Matter. While they are a relatively new company on the notebook scene, they aim to please. They are constantly working toward creating products to benefit their fans and desire to provide a positive notebook experience for their users.
Here’s what I love best about Scribbles that Matter.
I’ve been in customer service for almost half of my life. It’s very important for any company to keep their customers in mind and do what they can do to keep them happy.
The Scribbles That Matter team is no different. Though they are newer to the scene, you’d never guess with how amazing their notebooks are.
They are incredibly responsive and proactive toward their consumers and strive to make products that will fit their needs. The team frequently engages with their fans on social media (currently they do not have a website). I’ve always been impressed with their ability to fix a problem, right a wrong, or give a fan exactly what they’ve always wanted.
We live in a world where the quality and capability of a person or product is no longer the sole focus. We shop carefully online and scour reviews to find the best of the best. And we also tend to look at how companies treat other people.
Comparing Leuchtturm1917 and Scribbles that Matter, STM treats their customers right. While Leuchtturm1917 is a larger company with a bigger fan base, to this day I have never seen the customer service response Scribbles that Matter provides from any other popular bullet journal company.
Thick, White Paper
When you open up a Scribbles that Matter notebook for the first time, it’s as if angels sing. The paper is beautiful, white, and thick.
Strangely enough, a lot of new people to the bullet journal communities prefer their paper white; ivory tends to skew colors a bit and makes pages look more yellow in pictures.
The paper is even thicker at 100gsm (more on paperweight here…)
For the average artist and bullet journal user, this notebook can pretty much handle any product with ease (with one exception, please continue reading).
Crayola Supertip markers handle brilliantly.
Colored pencils color beautifully… additionally, it handles pencils and erasing easily.
For somebody who isn’t traditionally an experienced artist, this is the paper you’d come to expect when you spend twenty dollars for a notebook.
Common Frustrations People Have with STM
Honestly, I’ve heard much fewer frustrations with Scribbles that Matter notebooks. But there is one thing I’ve come across that has been bothersome for me, and I’d find it important to share.
(Thankfully there’s a solution, so keep reading!)
Trouble with Watercolors and Water-Based Writing Utensils
This is why you use the pen test page to see how your materials handle!
I am a HUGE fan of Tombow Dual Brush Pens. I mean, I’ve already talked about them once… now I’m doing it again. In a notebook comparison review.
That said, the first big disappointment I had with my Scribbles that Matter notebook was that my brush pens didn’t blend. The colorless blender didn’t pick up and move the color beyond a small amount.
When I tried to do a color gradient (coloring an area from dark to light or light to dark), I found that it didn’t take multiple passes over the same spot to cause bleeding.
(Remember, that’s when the ink goes through to the other side).
Now, that said, I’m no expert with art.
I experienced bleeding only three times, thus it is SO important to take FULL advantage of the pen test page STM has to offer in their notebooks. This allows you to get a feel for how your writing utensils fare in your notebook.
You can still use water-based writing utensils and watercolors in your STM as well. My recommendations to be successful would be to keep your hand light, avoid going over the same spots multiple times, and being patient as you learn to figure out how to use them optimally in your bullet journal.
Who Would Like the STM Better
- You consider yourself to have perfectionist tendencies.
- You’re a novice artist.
- You are vegan or dislike using leather products
- You want the most for your money
Common Ground for Both Brands
There are a lot of amazing qualities that both brands of bullet journal notebooks have in common. If you look at the Scribbles that Matter or Leuchtturm1917, both offer these awesome qualities:
- Both brands offer different sizes and paper layouts.
- Both offer other product options besides a notebook.
- Each type of notebook offers numbered pages and an index.
- Both notebooks have a pocket in the back.
- Each has high-quality products that hold for long, continued use.
Either the Scribbles that Matter or Leuchtturm1917 are stellar options for bullet journals and each individual is likely going to find their own personal pros and cons for each notebook. That said…
So… Scribbles that Matter or Leuchtturm1917?
For a brand new bullet journalist, my recommendation would be…
Now that you’ve been able to see all of the pros and cons of each option, here is my recommendation for somebody who is brand new to using a bullet journal.
Ultimately, here’s my opinion: A brand new bullet journalist is likely going to find more joy out of the “Scribbles that Matter” notebook.
Both Scribbles that Matter or Leuchtturm1917 notebooks are solid options and I’ve enjoyed using them!!! However, I’d be willing to venture that (more likely than not) the average new bullet journalist isn’t anything beyond a novice artist. This tells me a few things:
- They are less likely to use water-based products
- Ghosting will likely be more irritating
- They want the most for their money
- If you are dissatisfied, they offer a full refund
Now if you are new to bullet journals and are more well-versed in art or use water-based writing utensils… I believe you’re going to have to make the choice on what you want. Make sure to reach the points carefully and consider your own paper preferences.
LT Left, STM Right
Also, don’t forget that beyond Scribbles that Matter or Leuchtturm1917, there are other brands of notebooks to consider! Other well-loved notebooks in the bullet journal community include:
If you’ve tried one or both notebooks, what do you like about the Scribbles that Matter or Leuchtturm1917 notebooks? Or… maybe you have a lesser known brand that you think is perfect and want to share! Tell me in the comments.
Don’t forget, if there are other notebooks or other bullet journal supplies you’d like me to review, let me know and I’ll be happy to explore them!
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