When I tried the Scribbles that Matter notebook, I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. The cover was nice, but the paper wasn’t very good quality. So now that there’s a Scribbles That Matter Pro version of the notebook with 160 GSM paper (the same thickness as Archer and Olive, and the same price), it was time to give the brand another chance.
Read more: Scribbles That Matter Notebook Review
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- Size: A5
- Multiple cover colors to choose from (mint, sky blue, white, grey, purple, green and dark grey)
- Sewn binding
- 160GSM (thick), bright white paper
- 153 pages
- 5mm dot grid
- Key & color key page
- 3 lined index pages
- Pocket folder
- Built in pen loop (the notebook comes with a fineliner pen too)
- 2 ribbon bookmarks
- 39 dots vertical x 27 dots horizontal
Price: $26.97 USD on Amazon
Let’s take a closer look!
To enlarge the screen of the video, click the square icon in the bottom right hand corner of the video (it will say ‘full screen’ when you hover your mouse over the icon).
Mentioned in the video
- Archer and olive notebook (same price)
- Review of the original (‘iconic’) version
- Notebook comes with a 20% off coupon code if you purchase another one (directly via their website)
- Scribbles That Matter Fineliner Pen Set (the full set that matches the black one that comes with the notebook) is on Amazon
- My list of dot grid notebooks with the best paper
I chose the sky blue version. The cover looks like every other hardcover notebook and feels like the same material.
I’m very disappointed they didn’t put the same or similar images indented onto the cover like they did in their original version – that’s what made their notebook so well known in the first place. Instead they decorated the storage box that comes with the planner.
The notebook is just under 1” thick
At the front is a key where you can do both color coding and symbols. E.g. to track the progress of a task I do:
- / to signify the task is started
- x to signify the task is complete
At the front are 3 index pages
After those pages, it’s dot grid pages all the way to the back of the notebook
The page numbers sit below the dot grid and there is enough space between the last row and column of dots and the edges of the pages, that you don’t have to worry about the ruler slipping.
The pages have a unique element I haven’t seen. If you look closely in the photo below there’s a small cross and marks in the middle of the grid and also the centre of the grid to save time counting the dots.
After counting these I know there are 20 dots between the top of the page the middle dots, and the 14th dot is the centre of the page, so now the math when creating spreads and finding that middle dot is so much quicker. Something so simple and useful!
Pages lay mostly flat on their own (just need to break the spine first).
The notebook has a built in pen loop and comes with this fineliner pen (you can buy a set of these pens in different colors on Amazon). No issue with ink skipping and the triangular shape of the pen makes it easy to write with.
At the back of the notebook is a pen test page and a pocket folder
I wish this design was printed on the front cover:
The paper is smooth to write on, bright white and…
… No show through at all except a bit for a tiny bit on the MAMBI stamps!
Pens tested in this notebook
- Papermate InkJoy ballpoint
- Papermate InkJoy gel
- Papermate flair UF
- MUJI gel 0.5
- Zebra Sarasa Clip 0.5
- Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 0.3
- Uni Pi’s dual tip
- Staedtler Topliner 967
- Uniball Signo 0.7 Gel
- Sakura Ballsign 0.5
- Pilot pop’lol 0.7
- Marvy Japan Le Pen
- MUJI Hexa Pen
- Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic
- PURE COLOR-F C-Land
- Sharpie Art Pen
- Pilot Frixion erasable
- Zebra Mildliner highlighters
- Staedtler Textsurfer highlighters
- Stabilo Boss highlighters
- Monami 601 highlighter
Pros of the Notebook
- Portable size
- Multiple cover colors
- There was a card inside the notebook with a 20% discount coupon to use at their online store
- The colors of the cover, ribbon bookmarks and pen loop coordinate
- Bright white paper
- Paper had no ghosting or bleed through for pens and highlighters
- Generous page count (153 dot grid pages)
- 3 lined index pages
- Key and color code page
- Pocket folder
- Pre-printed marks on the pages to help quickly rule up spreads
- Price is comparable to other 160 GSM dot grid notebooks
- Comes with a fineliner pen
Cons of the Notebook
- The cover is plain and boring
Would I use this notebook?
Yes. The notebook has all the usual inclusions (pocket folder, ribbon bookmarks, numbered pages, contents etc.), the paper quality is great, the page count is generous and it has a little something extras that make it stand out from the rest with the guides printed on the dot grid to help you rule up spreads.
Differences between the Scribbles That Matter Iconic and Pro versions:
- Larger key and color code section in the iconic version than the Pro
- Similar cover colors
- Pro version comes with a free pen
- The Iconic version has thinner paper (100 GSM), the Pro version has 160 GSM pages
- There are 201 pages in the Iconic version, 153 pages in the Pro version
- The Pro version comes with a hard storage case, the Iconic version doesn’t come with a case
- The Iconic version has a decorative cover, the Pro version’s cover is plain
- Iconic version has 38 dots vertically x 27 horizontally. The Pro version has 39 dots vertical x 27 dots horizontally
The Pro version is 1″ thick, the iconic version is just over 0.75″ thick. You can see the difference in paper color in the photo below:
Pen test comparison
The yellow paper was another reason I wasn’t too impressed with the Iconic version. Much prefer the bright white of the pro:
You can see the difference in the paper quality – this is why you should always check the GSM (paper weight)!
Similar results for the brush pen test
*** If you want to use your brush pens for hand lettering, don’t use them on bullet journal notebooks unless you’re ok with the tips going blunt. I cannot do hand lettering so use brush pens like highlighters instead.
- Both have 3 index pages (7mm line spacing in the Pro, Iconic = just under 8mm line spacing)
- Page number sit below the dot grid
- Pages lay flat (once you break the spine of the notebook)
- Pocket folder
- 5mm dot grid
- 2 Ribbon bookmarks
- Pen loop
Index is the same layout in both notebooks, just different fonts
Pages lay flat in both notebooks.
The pro version has much brighter white paper. The dots in both versions aren’t too close to the edges of the notebook so it’s easy to rule up spreads without the ruler slipping off the page.
Both have numbered pages and the numbers sit below the dot grid. There is a bit more space between the edge of the dot grid and the edge of the page in the original (Iconic) version.
Which version is better: Scribbles That Matter Iconic or Pro version?
I prefer the Pro version – I need the thicker paper. If Scribbles That Matter could make their Pro version with a less boring cover i.e. apply the same decorative design from the Iconic version, then that would be the perfect notebook!
Update: It looks like Scribbles That Matter have released a 160 GSM version with the graphics indented into the cover.
I hope you found this post helpful. Leave a comment below if there’s any other dot grid notebook or planner comparisons you’d like to see.
More dot grid notebook reviews:
- Testing Buke Stationery’s 180 GSM thick paper with a Highlighter Heavy Weekly Spread
- Esc Goods notebook review (160 GSM paper)
- Vivid Scribbles Dot Grid Notebook (bleedproof 140GSM paper!)
- 7 Planner supplies that aren’t worth the hype
- Tombow Brush Pen Testing in 8 Different Bullet Journals
- Favorite color coding planner supplies for less than $5
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