These days there’s multiple dot grid notebooks with 160 GSM paper (thick paper that isn’t prone to ghosting or bleed through). Two notebooks with this paper that really stand out are Archer and Olive and Notebook Therapy. So which notebook is better?
Read my reviews of each notebook by clicking the links below
- Archer and Olive Dot Grid Notebook (Is the 160 GSM Paper Worth the Hype?)
- Notebook Therapy Tsuki ‘Dolphin Days’ (160 GSM paper)
Page Sizes to choose from
Archer and Olive is offered in these sizes:
- 8 x 8 ” (square)
- Traveller’s Notebook
Notebook Therapy is offered in these sizes:
- Original 135mm x 195mm
- A5 (this is the version I have and the one I’ll be using for this comparison)
- B5 size
Winner: Archer & Olive, as there are more page sizes to choose from
Both the Archer and Olive and Notebook Therapy are hardcover notebooks. The Archer and Olive are linen, and Notebook Therapy’s depends on which of their range you choose. If you get the Tsuki edition like I did, that cover is velvet.
Archer and Olive used to lean towards darker cover colors (like red, dark green and navy blue), but has since added lighter colors (pastel pink, aqua, turquoise and mint). The majority of the covers feature a gold or silver foil design with a previous focus of stars and moon themes, but now also adding animals, florals and other random graphics like coffee.
Notebook Therapy also feature gold or silver foil designs with a focus on animals graphics on the cover.
Winner: Tie, they both have various cover colors and designs for the cover to choose
Winner: Tie, they both have bright white 160 GSM dot grid paper
Since this is probably one of the main reasons you clicked on this post, let’s address it early on.
Both notebooks have 160 GSM thick paper which is basically the best paper you can get for a bullet journal. By ‘best’ I mean there shouldn’t be any ghosting or bleed through for any type of pen (ballpoint, gel, fine tip etc.) or pen brand, nor highlighters or stamps either.
Here is the result of the pen swatches page (Notebook Therapy is on the left, Archer & Olive on the right).
And here is the result of the highlighters and stamp swatches page (Archer and Olive is on the left, Notebook Therapy on the right).
Winner: Tie, both have some minor ghosting for the stamps and dot markers
I like to count the dots to help me quickly draw up spreads and because I rarely do more than 3 columns or top 3 priority boxes, I like to have an even number of dots (makes it easier to divide up the page).
Both notebooks have the exact same number of dots – 27 horizontally and 39 vertically.
While neither have an even number of dots horizontally or vertically, at least both of them don’t print the dots too close to the edges of the page or the inner page margins.
Number of Pages
The number of pages varies for each brand, depending on what page size you choose.
The A5 Archer and Olive has 192 pages, the A5 Notebook Therapy journal has 176 pages.
Winner: Archer and Olive
Each company offers different journal sizes at different price points. I have the A5 sizes which is what the below prices are for:
Archer and Olive = $35 USD + shipping (for the A5 page size)
Notebook Therapy = $32 USD or $36 USD for holographic foil edges (for the A5 page size)
The product photos on the Archer and Olive website for their latest notebooks, are not clear whether they still do the foil edged pages. That could be a reason for the price difference. Notebook Therapy do offer foiled edges for some of their notebooks.
Winner: Tie, the prices are almost the same and it depends if you prefer foil edged pages or not
Each notebooks has 2 ribbon bookmarks in a color that coordinates with the cover color.
Lay Flat binding
Both notebooks lay flat on their own, without having to awkwardly hold the pages down with one hand while you write with the other.
Winner: Tie. If you prefer a decorative inside cover of the notebook, then Archer and Olive
Archer and Olive ships from the USA, Notebook Therapy ships from Japan.
Notebook Therapy offers free worldwide tracked shipping (to over 200 countries!) on all orders over $40. This is a really good deal if you live outside of the USA like I do, as the cost to ship anything from the USA (where most planner companies are based) is crazy expensive.
With a notebook costing around $32 USD, you can grab some accessories basically for free (as you’d probably be spending $10+ for shipping anyway). I also purchased their stencils to increase the cart value. See how I used them in this post! Bujo spread using notebook therapy stencils
Winner: Notebook Therapy (but I am a bit bias due to being in Australia)
Both brands offer the ‘essential’ bullet journal accessories such as highlighters, pens and stencils.
Notebook Therapy does have a much wider range of accessories, but many of them are not unique or made by them (they resell a lot of planner accessories you can find elsewhere)
Winner: Notebook Therapy
Which notebook is better?
As you can see from the pattern throughout this post, the notebooks have similar characteristics and really the only difference is the price point and free versus paid shipping. I personally prefer the style of the Notebook Therapy journals – the cover colors are more my preference (brighter colors), and the designs on the covers are more to my personal preference too.
More bullet journal notebook reviews
- Agendio versus Golden Coil: Which custom personalised planner is best?
- Day Designer for Blue Sky Planners versus the original Day Designer Planner: Which is better?
- Maggie Holmes versus the Happy Planner
Bullet journaling tips
- 7 tips for storing planner supplies
- The best tools for habit tracking in your planner or bullet journal (my top 10)
- 12 Planner Layout Ideas for Monthly Habit Tracking in Your Bullet Journal
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