What is the best paper type for a bullet journal?
That question has been asked by many people over the years, and in many cases, the answer is debatable. There are different features and abilities for each type of paper, and the right one for you will depend on your personal needs.
Continue reading on to learn about the different types of paper used in a bullet journal as well as which one is best for you!
Types of Bullet Journal Paper
Different notebooks and journals come with different types of paper. Here are the 4 most common types used for bullet journaling:
1. Dot Grid Paper
This is an essential feature for bullet journaling as it’s what makes the system unique and gives you flexibility when planning your days, weeks, months, and years. The dotted lines give you a guide to staying organized without limiting creativity or imposing too many restrictions on yourself. Many premade bullet journals have this type of paper due to its effectiveness.
The dots in this journal are usually spaced .02mm to .7mm apart. This makes it possible for you to draw lines and write straight across the page without worrying about the dots disrupting your design or layout.
The dot grid paper is an excellent choice if you want maximum flexibility in planning, designing, and tracking your goals. It’s the original bullet journal layout as it was created by Ryder Carroll.
2. Lined or Ruled Paper
Lined and ruled paper is the traditional notebook or journal layout. It’s great for those who like to write straight across the page, but not ideal if you plan on drawing any lines or design elements.
The line spacing can be between .05mm and .45mm wide. This makes it suitable for writing and hand lettering.
The lines on your paper may be dark black lines, faint blue lines, or faint pink lines. Specialty ruled journals are created in all colors, shapes, and sizes.
A lined or ruled paper is the best choice for you if you plan on doing a lot of writing, list-making, and journaling in your bullet journal. Certain spreads work especially well for ruled paper, including to-do lists, tracker spreads, weekly planner layouts, and monthly layouts.
You can read our complete guide to bullet journaling on lined paper to answer all the questions you might have.
3. Blank Paper
Blank paper is a common type of bullet journal paper because it gives you maximum flexibility in designing your spreads.
There are no lines and dots on this type of paper, which means you can doodle, draw, and create freely. It’s the perfect choice if you want to add in some creative flair or incorporate design elements into your bullet journal. It also looks cleaner than the other types of journals because it isn’t cluttered with lines and dots.
Blank paper is suitable for everyone, but it’s especially great if you’re just starting out in bullet journaling or don’t plan on doing too many types of spreads. You can always add in your own lines later when you want to start planning more specific things.
A blank paper journal is also a good choice for those looking to make a minimalist bullet journal. A minimalist bullet journal is mainly focused on lists and tracking that is more organic and often only contains one element per page.
4. Grid Paper
Grid paper is similar to a dot grid, but the dots are connected with lines in this variant. This type of journaling layout is ideal for those who want to have a structure in their bullet journals that can help them to create lists, bar graphs, simple graphic elements, and beautifully handwritten text.
The spacing between the grid pattern can vary greatly depending on what you prefer or need. There is also a difference in the color and darkness of the grid paper. The darker the grid, the more it will show up on your page and be a distraction to you when writing or drawing.
A lighter-colored grid will look cleaner and less cluttered, but it will be harder to make out the lines, especially in poor lighting.
What Is GSM Paper?
GSM stands for grams per square meter, and it is a measurement of the thickness of the paper. In general, as GSM gets higher, so does the quality and heaviness of the paper.
In bullet journaling terms, low GSM papers (35 GSM to 100 GSM) are often referred to as light or mid-weight papers because they have less resistance when writing on them with a pen or pencil. Low GSM paper is not suitable for markers or paints since there will be so a large amount of bleeding and warping of the sheet.
High GSM papers (200 GSM to 450 GSM) are often referred to as heavy-weight papers because they have more resistance when writing on them with a pen or pencil, making it harder for the ink to bleed through.
Middle GSM papers (100 GSM to 200 GSM) are good for a wide variety of uses, making them ideal for a bullet journal. These pages will be able to handle pencils, pens, markers, adhesives, and even lighter applications of paints.
What Is the Best Paper Size for a Bullet Journal?
The original bullet journal, the Leuchtturm1917, was sized to be an A5 notebook. If you’re not familiar with this sizing system, let’s take a quick tour around the most common journal sizes:
- A6 – 105 by 148 mm, or 4.13 by 5.83 in
- A5 – 148 by 210 mm, or 5.73 by 8.25
- A4 – 210 by 297 mm, or 8.27 by 11.69 in
- A2 – 420 by 594 mm, or 16.54 by 23.39 in
- B0 – 1000 by 1414 mm, or 39.37 by 55.67 in
- B2 – 500 by 707 mm, or 19.69 by 27.83 in
- B4 – 250 by 353 mm, or 9.84 by 13.90 in
These standard paper sizes were designed to be easily convertible from one size to another. For example, you can fold a piece of A-series paper in half twice and have it the same as an A-series sheet. This makes them easy for printing purposes since they require less cutting when being printed by a printer or copy machine.
What Is the Best Paper Type for a Bullet Journal?
The answer to that question will depend on your needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all type of paper! Instead, you need to consider all of the features and capabilities of each type and determine which one is best for you.
If you’re looking for a paper that can guide you easily and you are mostly going to use pens in your bullet journal, dotted or grid paper is probably the best choice.
If you want the freedom to create anything you want and want to be able to use a wide range of mediums in your bullet journal, a blank notebook will be best for you.
Try to purchase a bullet journal with paper weighing between 120 – 200 GSM so that it will be able to hold up well under the different types of media you plan on using without any bleeding, warping, or ghosting.
Each type of paper has different benefits, so you need to find the best one for your needs. It’s also worth noting that some brands have different types of paper for their journals, which you can tell by looking at the packaging. If you have heard good reviews of a specific journal and others have tested it with pens, markers, and paint, then you can rest assured that it will work well as your bullet journal.
If you’re unsure about what type is best for your bullet journal, try out a few different kinds and see how they work! The right one will have little to no bleeding or ghosting when writing on it with pens or pencils while still being able to erase well.