If you’ve read our blog you know we are a big fan of journaling. Journaling is a great and healthy habit and there are different ways to journal. You can write, draw or doodle. You can write down every thought you have or just three things you are grateful for. There are no rules for journaling.

Best high-quality notebooks for journaling

The same goes for the notebooks you use to journal. There is no one notebook that is the best for journaling. Gwen and I are both notebook addicts and throughout the years we bought a lot of them! To help you pick a notebook you’ll love, we wrote this post highlighting our absolute favorites!

Happy journaling!

What to look for when buying a high-quality notebook

Paper quality

The most important quality a good notebook should have is high-quality paper. There is nothing worse than paper that is too thin or too thick (except for drawing). What you find the best paperweight is personal. I like my notebook paper to be a bit heavier.

Binding

Notebooks all have a different binding. Find out what you think fits you best.

  • Staple binding: you often see this type of binding in thin notebooks
  • Glue binding: glue bound notebooks don’t lay completely flat. If you write at a desk or table, this might not be the best notebook for you.
  • Thread and glue binding: this combined binding is great because it makes the notebook very sturdy and able to lay flat. Popular thread and glue bound notebooks are Moleskine and Leuchtturm1917 notebooks.
  • Ring binding: if you are looking for a super sturdy notebook that can lay completely flat than a ring bound notebook is the best choice for you. Make sure you pick a notebook that has double rings for extra sturdiness. They might look sleek than thread/glue bound notebooks.

Bookmarks

When picking a notebook for journaling, check if the notebook has bookmarks. It’s not mandatory, but it’s a very handy feature and saves you time looking for the next empty page.

High-quality notebooks
Leuchtturm1917 notebooks have two bookmarks

Sheet styles

Another important feature of a notebook is its sheet style. Maybe you never gave it much thought, but there are lots of different page styles available.

  • Blank sheets: great for writing and drawing. Blank pages give you a lot of freedom to express yourself.
  • Lined sheets: this style is great for writing
  • Graph paper: not great for journaling, except if you like to use graphs or diagrams. 🤓
  • Dotted grid: a great option between blank and lined sheets. The dots give you some guidance but are not intrusive.
High Quality Notebooks
Dotted grid

Cover material

When I look for a notebook, the cover material and color trigger me the most. I love beautiful looking notebooks and I must admit I’ve bought lots of notebooks primarily because of the cover. Though we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the cover material is important. Not only because of its looks, but also because of its durability.

Do you take your journal with you? Look for a notebook with a sturdy cover like leather or hard cardboard. Most high-quality notebooks are made of hard cardboard. Moleskine notebooks are also available in leather.

Our favorite high-quality notebooks

high quality notebooks
A part of my notebook collection

Moleskine

This (originally) Italian company wanted to bring back the legendary notebooks used by Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, and Pablo Picasso. Moleskine notebooks are very popular all around the world. I’ve owned several Moleskine notebooks and diaries and I absolutely love them.

The simple look, high-quality paper, and sharp price make Moleskine notebooks great for journaling. Another advantage is all the different sizes and sheet styles (blank, ruled and dotted pages) you can choose from. And don’t forget the handy storage pocket in the back of the notebook.

It doesn’t matter how you want to use your Moleskine: you’ll find one that fits your needs. Fun fact: they regularly release special edition notebooks. That’s great (and dangerous) for us notebook addicts!

Leuchtturm 1917

Leuchtturm1917 notebooks look a lot like Moleskine notebooks. If you are into bullet journaling, you might have come across this brand of notebooks. My first notebooks where Moleskine, but after getting myself a Leuchtturm1917 notebook, I must say I love it! I like the paper the wide and numbered pages. Just like Moleskine notebooks Leuchtturm notebooks have a back storage pocket. The only downside to this notebook is the ghosting. You can see everything you write on the other side of the page.

Leuchtturm notebooks have a great extra which is especially great for journaling: they’ve added some archiving stickers in the back storage pocket. This is great if you journal a lot and want to keep your notebooks. My Leuchtturm1917 notebook came with six archiving stickers.

Leuchtturm1917 notebooks are a bit more expensive than Moleskine notebooks.

Rhodia

This French brand delivers high-quality, very popular notebooks. As a designer, I’ve seen them around. They sell some great looking notebooks, but I must warn you: you have to really like the color orange. They have a great line of wire-bound notebooks, but I went for a ‘webnotebook’ with a sturdy black cover.

The first thing that caught my eye, was the color of the paper. If you are used to the white color of Leuchtturm or Moleskine paper, you might find the Rhodia webnotebook paper a bit yellowish. You can see it in this photo:

Best notebooks for journaling
My Rhodia Notebook is on the bottom of the pile

I must admit that I really like the feel and look of this notebook. It looks a bit more luxurious than my other notebooks. One problem though: the cover seems to scratch easily. The paper is quite nice and I was positively surprised by the results when I tested a few pens and markers: there was hardly any bleeding.

Moleskine vs. Leuchtturm1917 vs. Rhodia

Three high-quality brands with lovely notebooks. But how do they compare? We’ve collected all the available data. This way you can easily pick what’s best for you.

 Moleskine Classic PlainLeuchtturm 1917Rhodia Webnotebook
Pages240290190
Paper weight70g80g90g
Sheet styleBlankDottedRuled
BindingThread boundThread boundThread bound
Back pocketYesYesYes
Bookmarks121
Elastic closureYesYesYes
Numbered pagesNoYesNo
GhostingGoodBadGood
Cool other features-This notebook has 8 perforated pages-
Check priceCheck price on AmazonCheck price on AmazonCheck price on Amazon

What’s your favorite notebook? Share it in the comments. 

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