People in the USA are spoilt with all the pretty notebooks, stationery and how many of these brands offer free shipping! It’s very hard to find 160 GSM dot grid notebooks in Australia, so when the creator of the Slow Journal contacted me about doing a review of one of their notebooks… I said yes! No need to pay for expensive shipping and wait weeks for the notebook to arrive.
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- Size: A5
- Hardcover (linen cover)
- Sewn binding
- 160 GSM thick paper
- 5mm dot grid
- 192 pages
- Numbered pages
- 1 Key page
- 2 Index pages
- Pocket folder
- 2 black ribbon bookmarks
- Pen loop
- Elastic band
- Comes in a storage box / gift box
Price: $42.95 AUD from the Slow Journal website. Get 10% off using the code RACHAEL10SJ at the checkout.
Shipping $5.95 to Australia, or free for orders over $80.
Due to Australia Post shipping issues due to COVID, they currently only ship to Australia & New Zealand.
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).
The notebook arrived nicely presented wrapped in tissue paper and twine so you could purchase and ship the notebook directly to a friend’s address for gifting.
I went for the black cover. If you follow me you’ll know I normally avoid black covers but I made an exception in this instance as I liked the graphic. Plus black and gold always look great together.
I will say that I would’ve preferred not to have a linen cover as the material is a magnet for lint.
Just under 1″ thick
The notebook is heavier than others that have thinner paper but for me it’s worth it (you’ll see when we get to the pen test…)
Whenever I get a dot grid notebook I always count the number of dots vertically and horizontally so I can refer back to it later. It makes it quicker when ruling up spreads.
At the front is 1 key page and 1 double sided index page. These are the only unnumbered pages.
The bright white pages have a 5mm dot grid which is the standard spacing for dot grid notebooks.
The light grey shade and size of the dots are just right – not too big and not too dark.
I prefer when page numbers sit below the dot grid so I can still read the numbers after drawing up a spread, but at least the pages are numbered.
The pages lay flat on their own.
I noticed when flicking through the notebook that the placement of the dots on the edges of the pages differed slightly.
See the difference in the placement of the dots on the edge of the page between the photo above and the photo below?
There is a roomy pocket folder at the back, as well as a pen loop.
I tried all my usual ballpoint, gel, fine tip and marker tip pens. The paper is smooth to write on and held up well with only some very feint ghosting for the dot markers and marker pens.
See what I mean?
You could definitely use highlighters and even brush pens on both sides of the pages.
Related post: Best highlighters for bullet journaling
Pros of the Notebook
- Bright white paper
- 160 GSM
- Very minor ghosting for dot markers and marker pens, no bleed through
- 4 cover designs to choose from
- Generous 192 pages
- Pocket folder
- 2 Ribbon bookmarks
- Key page
- 2 Index pages
- 5mm dot grid (the size compatible with most bullet journal stencils)
- Cost of the notebook is comparable to other 160 GSM dot grid notebooks
- Cheap shipping cost if you live in Australia & New Zealand
- Portion of purchase price is donated to planting a tree and FOUR PAWS Australia animal welfare charity
- Comes wrapped and in a storage box / gift box (I like to use these shallow boxes for storing pens)
Cons of the Notebook
- Bookmarks are the same color
- The linen cover attracts lint
- Page numbers are embedded in the dot grid, instead of sitting below the dot grid
- Placement of the dot grid on the edges of the pages varies throughout the notebook
Would I use this notebook?
If you don’t want to wait or pay ridiculous international shipping charges buying a 160 GSM notebook from the USA, then yes I recommend this notebook. The paper quality is great if you want to use highlighters, brush pens and / or marker pens, and the paper is smooth to write on.
The price is on par with the converted to AUD price of similar 160 GSM dot grid notebooks, and has a much cheaper shipping cost (and quicker).
I hope they come out with more cover styles and colors in the future!
More bullet journal notebook reviews:
- Dingbats* Notebook for Bullet Journaling Review (super smooth paper!)
- Amanda Rach Lee (160 GSM paper)
- Scribbles that Matter Pro versus Iconic: which version is better?
- How to resize any printable for any size bullet journal
- Minimalist Planner Decorating: Title Ideas for your Bullet Journal
- How to make your own DIY discbound bullet journal, notebook or planner
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