Mini Review: Leuchtturm Pocket Notebook, Dots, 3.5 x 6 Inch

30 05 2011

Poor quality lighting brought to you by a deceptively bright coffee shop.

The Leuchtturm 1917 pocket notebook is the notebook that the Moleskine thinks it is. Or it’s the notebook I think the Moleskine should be. When you think “I want a small, black, affordable notebook with decent paper from a company with a relatively long history,” you should be thinking of the Leuchtturm 1917. The company was founded in 1917 (hence the numbers in the name), and puts out an inexpensive yet satisfactory product.

The specs: 3.5 x 6 inches, 185 numbered pages (last 8 sheets are perforated) featuring 70 gsm dot grid paper. Also includes 3 page table of contents, and stickers for archiving the notebook.

Before we get to the extras, let’s do a rundown of the standard features. Paper:

What's this? Fountain pen writing doesn't look like an unmitigated disaster??

Now, this is no Clairefontaine paper, but it can handle a decent range of fountain pens without making a mess. There is some feathering, but no fuzzing as far as I can tell.

Feathering! Small feathering. Like a wee chick, peeping and pecking around the page? Also, an unrelated smudge of fountain pen ink on the bottom.

The paper itself is fairly smooth, but thin. Bleedthrough wasn’t a problem except for the heaviest, wettest pens (like the Pelikan Griffix, the Stabilo, and the A. G. Spalding with the Rotring Turquoise ink). What might be a problem for some of you is the shadowing—with paper this thin, it’s inevitable.

Not perfect, but still usable!

As long as the ink doesn’t bleed through, I don’t have a problem with it, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Page of writing using Kaweco Sport with aubergine ink on both sides

The bonuses to this notebook (aside from having usable paper AND being available in dot grid): numbered pages (useful but subtle), archival stickers (two for the spine, in case you mess one up, and two for the cover, one lined and one blank), and a table of contents.

Features additional languages at no extra charge!

The table of contents is a fantastic addition. I have a lot of notebooks full of various ideas, bits of story, details, what have you, and NO idea where those things are written down; at best, I might know which of the dozens of notebooks it might be written in. Provided I make use of the table of contents, this will make my life a lot easier.

I got my first Leuchtturm1917 notebook from Amazon because I’m lazy, they have free shipping, and the notebook is currently on sale for $9.62. However, if anyone knows of any cool stationery/pen sellers/distributors who carry the Leuchtturm, let me know and I’ll link to them too. I’d much prefer to support the cool people.




5 responses

30 05 2011
Matthew Watson

In Colorado, you can get them at the Tattered Cover.

26 06 2012
Sean Moriarty

6 04 2014
Mythology A5 Black Hard Cover Notebook | No Pen Intended

[…] use this to write out random lists, thoughts, etc. I’ll put my grocery list down in my daily Leuchtturm1917 but not in the […]

28 08 2016
Gfeller Casemakers Leather Cover / Clairefontaine My.essential Notebook | No Pen Intended

[…] design, the My.essential notebook is very similar to my beloved Leuchtturm 1917. The My.essential is a soft cover with camel-colored leatherlike cardboard pattern, quarter pockets […]

29 10 2016
Galen Leather Goods – Leather Pocket Moleskine Journal Cover – Purple | No Pen Intended

[…] fit, but just seem a little too thick. Moleskine notebooks are perfect, but the paper is awful. The Leuchtturm1917 is a bit tall–it fits, but I worry it may create a strain on the elastic over time. The back […]

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