I’m trying to get better at breaking tasks down into smaller, more bite-sized action items, and for that, I need more room to write. So I’ve been on the hunt for B5 notebooks lately and there actually aren’t that many around – certainly nowhere near the options available for A5 page size. One I have come across and which I’m reviewing today, is the ZenArt dotted journal.
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- Size: 7″ wide x 10″ high (17.8cm x 25.4cm) – almost B5 page size
- Flexible softcover
- Cover colors available: turquoise (what I chose), orange, hot pink, lavender blue
- 4 Pre-ruled index pages
- Sewn binding
- 120GSM paper
- Black dots, 5mm dot grid
- Ivory paper
Price: $29.95 USD + shipping on Amazon
B5 page size is 18.2cm wide x 25.7cm high and this notebook comes very close to those dimensions.
Let’s take a closer look!
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The cover I chose was the turquoise version although to me it looks more like in between turquoise and teal. Either way, I love this color!
Approx. 0.5″ thick
Love this pattern on the edges of the pages, I haven’t see another dot grid notebook do this.
If you have a small workspace and often fold the pages back you could with this notebook. While you probably shouldn’t as the stitching won’t hold up as well, if you really wanted to, you could turn the pages back on themselves.
There are 4 pre-ruled index pages which is very convenient and saves time not having to rule them up yourself.
The dot grid is 5mm. The dots are small but black, they should blend once you start drawing up a spread. I find it quite annoying if the dots are too feint of a shade of grey that they’re hard to see, but I also don’t want them too ‘bold’ black either that they don’t ‘fade’ into the background once you draw up a spread. It’s a fine line and I think this notebook got it right.
Unfortunately, the page numbers sit within the dot grid, rather than below it.
There are 2 ribbon bookmarks and they’re different colors so you could use one to mark your monthly calendar, another for your weekly spread. Or one for your day to day planning and one for your to do lists etc.
There’s a roomy pocket folder in the back, and some blank stickers you could use for marking sections in your notebook.
The paper is 120GSM which isn’t very thick.
I tried the usual ballpoint, gel, fine tip and marker tip pens, as well as stamps and highlighters.
The results… were not good.
There was a lot of show through. If I use this notebook, I probably wouldn’t use the back side of the page because of all the show through. There are 152 pages which is a generous amount, so you could use every second page and not feel ‘bad’ about wasting pages.
Pros of the Notebook
- Page size is hard to find
- Numbered pages
- Multiple cover colors to choose from
- The dot grid is black, but they’re not ‘bold’ black dots
- Pocket folder
- 5mm dot grid
- 2 ribbon bookmarks (and different colors)
- Readily available on Amazon
- Pre-printed index pages
- Pages lay flat on their own
Cons of the Notebook
- The page numbers sit within the dot grid, rather than below it
- The softcover is easily indented if something is placed on top of the notebook
- All of the pens, stamps and highlighters I tested had show through, and some bled through the page
- Ivory paper (I prefer bright white)
Would I use this notebook?
It’s hard to find dot grid notebooks that are larger than A5 page size so I’m less picky. Yes, I would use this notebook but if more B5 dot grid notebooks become available (that also don’t charge exorbitant shipping to Australia), this one would move down the list as I prefer thicker, bright white paper.
More bullet journal notebook reviews:
- Bullet Journal notebooks with the best paper (my top 7)
- 10 Cheap bullet journal notebooks (that cost less than $15 USD or less)
- Notebook Therapy Tsuki ‘Dolphin Days’ (160 GSM paper)
- How to make printable graph paper in Photoshop (perfect for habit tracking and bullet journalling!)
- How to color code bill paying in your planner (7 different ways)
- 7 Quick & Easy Ways to Personalise Your Planner
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