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paper + pen test nbr 2 - Leuchtturm 1917 dot grid notebook

paper test #2

Here we are with the second test of "which pen to use on which paper?".

My first test was on the lovely paper of the Inkwell Press hard cover notebook with graph paper.

Today I would like to show you my test results with the famous notebook which a lot of bullet journal fans will know for sure: Leuchtturm 1917

Leuchtturm is a german company, founded in 1917. They have always created high quality paper products and now have a variety of different notebooks. They are available in various sizes (A6, A5, A4 etc), in lined, dotted, blank or with graph paper. They come in various colors as well, with a hard cover or soft cover. The notebooks can be bought on their own webpage where you can choose your country of residency.

Oh, and by the way: "Leuchtturm" means in english "light house". So take the journal as a beacon to guide you in your quest for a better organized day!!

The bullet journal system was actually created by Ryder Carrorll, on his webpage you can read about this great system which helps to organize your days.

Ryder Carroll and Leuchtturm have worked together to create the "original bullet journal notebook", which includes information about the bullet journal system. It is available in black and emerald and with dot grid paper (249 pages, about A5 size). It can be bought via the shop of Ryder Carroll on

Actually any notebook can be used for bullet journaling, being it a bound book, ring-bound or disc-bound, wire-bound or whatever is out there. The cheapest or the most expensive ones, it does not matter. You have to like it, it must work for you and nobody else. And you are the one that needs to be happy with it, so go ahead and use whatever you like! That is the beauty of this system!

For my test I used an A5 Leuchtturm notebook with dotted paper. It is a hard cover book in the color of "berry."It has 249 pages of 80gsm paper, one book mark, numbered pages, a gusseted pocket in the back and an elastic closure band.

The paper is not a bright white paper, like the notebook for Inkwell Press for example. It has more of a yellow paper, comparable to the Moleskine paper. I would call it "off-white". Here is a picture where you can see the difference between a normal white paper copy paper and the Leuchtturm paper:

The paper is very smooth, lovely to write on. The dots are very muted, so they give you a good guidance, but they do not stand out too much.

Here are now the pictures of my pen tests:

with fountain pens, front side:

with fountain pens, back side:

with other pens, front side:

with other pens, back side:

The result:

the good:

it is a great paper to write on, no matter what pen you use. With ink there is no feathering at all, every ink stands out very crisp on this paper. The drying time of even the wettest ink was normal, within 5 secs you can turn the page and go on writing

The same with all the other pens, nice writing, the colors show off nicely on this off-white paper.

the bad:

with fountain pens there is a lot of bleeding! Not just shadowing, but really bleeding! Especially with the dark inks and the broad nibs, but even the normally very well behaving Edelstein Topaz ink bled through the paper.

There is no bleeding with all the other pens, even the Sharpie Pen can be used without bleeding.

But with this paper you see a lot of shadowing.

Even with the Frixion Pens you will see your writing on the back side. The darker your writing, the more shadowing!

==> if you use fountain pens with a very fine nib with a light ink then it works out. If you use broad nibs and like the really pigmented inks, then I would suggest to stay away from this notebook. The bleeding is just too much.

==> If you don`t mind shadowing and it actually gives you this "used-feeling" of your notebook, then go ahead. Stay away from alcohol-based pens, as these will bleed through for sure, but I would say that with most pens you are on the safe side and this notebook is perfect for you.

If you still want to use this notebook with fountain pens, there is always the possibibility to only use the front side of a page and leave the back side empty.

My personal opinion:

I will not use it anymore despite the nice smooth feeling of the paper. I use a lot of fountain pens with different inks and I do not like bleeding and shadowing at all! And for me to use only one side of a page is actually a waste of paper, so that would not be an option for me.

Stay tuned for my next tests; Filofax, Baron Fig and more are in the queue.


Fountain pens, inks and other pens used:

- TWSBI fountain pens with F and M nib

- Rotring Artpens with B nib

- Pelikan Edelstein inks in Topaz, Sapphire, Mandarin and Ruby

- Rohrer and Klingner inks in Königsblau (blue), Magenta and Solferino (violett)

- Levenger ink in grey

- Stabilo pens 68

- Stabilo point pens 88

- Staedtler triplus fineliners

- Staedtler non permanent lumocolor

- Faber Castell Broadpens 1554

- Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens B

- Tombows- Frixion Pens and Frixion Colors

- Uniball Pigment Ink Roller Ball- Schneider slider edge ballpoint pen

- Pigma Micron 0.5 fineliner

- Pilot V Sign Pen with liquid ink

- Sharpie pen fine

(All the notebooks, inks and pens are bought on my own expenses, I have absolutely no connections with all of these companies and I`m stating my own opinions, I do not get paid to write about this.)

If you like to receive an email with the follow-up blog posts of this mini serie about pen+paper do not hesitate to sign up for my newsletter!

Thank you very much for reading and (planner) peace for everyone!



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