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Wow, has it been way too long since I’ve posted here! The second half of this year just got crazy. My s/o and I took the big step of moving in together, but in order to do that, we had to pack, clean, and move both houses (!), in addition to getting our “together home” painted, repaired, and ready, an effort that took literally the entire summer. A week after we moved in, we were traveling to see our nephew graduate from Marine Corps Boot Camp; work for both of us got really busy and chaotic; and of course, there was still the matter of unpacking, getting rid of more stuff, acquiring new stuff, and generally setting about making a house into a home. Then came the holiday season. So, long story short, time for personal activities and, unfortunately, maintaining Renaissance Magpie, was non-existent for several months.
That said, we are, finally settled in and I am finally able to reinvigorate Renaissance Magpie. As you may have noticed from the paragraph above, a LOT of changes happened this year and among them was the way I bullet journal. When last we spoke about systems, I was working with the Leuchtturm 1917, official Bullet Journal notebook, in a Traveler’s Notebook system. By the end of September though, I’d come to the end of my latest LT 1917, and was looking for a bigger journal. I had a lot of layout ideas that just needed more room, and I had to admit to myself that the Traveler’s Notebook system as I’d envisioned it at the beginning of 2018 was just not working out the way I’d hoped or wanted any longer.
At the same time I was trying to find a bigger solution, I was also noticing that the LT 1917 I’d loved for so long wasn’t just not working out size wise, but also in paper quality. After perusing the Bullet Journal communities I’m a part of on social media, I noticed that I wasn’t the only one with this complaint. The LT 1917 pages were thinner than I recalled, and they were ghosting like crazy. They also didn’t come in a larger size, but I kept seeing people rave about Scribbles That Matter.
After learning that the Leuchtturm 1917 paper weight was 80gsm to Scribbles That Matter’s 100gsm, and Scribbles That Matter came in larger sizes, I decided to take a deep breath and take the plunge. I bought a Scribbles That Matter, size B5. And I love it.
To begin with, the paper is much, much nicer. It’s a pure white compared to the LT ivory (which means my white out doesn’t show as much!). The paper weight is 100gsm, doesn’t bleed, and the ghosting is absolutely minimal with heavier lines and colours no matter what I’ve thrown at it. In fact, I’ve thrown Ranger Archival Ink in black, distress ink, Tombows, Prismacolour Premier Illustration Markers, Staedtler Triplus Fine Liners, and of course, the Faber Castell PITT artist pens at it – and been thrilled.
I also love that it’s set up somewhat creatively. The cover page offers space for your contact information (in the horrific event that you lose or misplace it). Then there’s a key page that allows you to record your own symbols and colours. There are 3 index pages after that, and page numbering begins immediately thereafter on page 1 (and goes to 201). At the back of the book, there is a pen test page, and finally, on the last page, a Mindfulness space that encourages you to flip through your completed journal and reflect on what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown in the space of time that you filled it up.
The journal has an elastic closure band, two page marker ribbons, a pocket sleeve on the inside back cover, and bonus! It has a pen loop.
The only real cons I’ve found in using this journal thus far are that I miss the additional 3rd page marker ribbon the official LT 1917 Bullet Journal has, and the B5 journal only comes in black, whereas the A5 version comes in a huge variety of colours. There are sleeves you can buy from STM to add colour to your life, but even those currently only come in navy, burgundy, and beige, so I’ve stuck with black.
All in all, this is a journal I’d recommend above the rest – a hard YEA from me – if you want to spend a bit of money for a quality book. That noted, I want to reiterate that all you need to have a bullet journal is a pen and notebook, any type, style, quality. Whatever works for you and your budget. Remember, as I’ve said in the past, bullet journaling isn’t about who can be most creative with their layouts – it’s about how YOU use it and how you make it work for you.
So tell me, have you tried STM or is there another book you prefer above the rest? Leave a comment and let us know! And stay tuned next week, when I talk about (and show you) the many layout experiments this new size and journal led to!