… and why I’m making the switch.

If you’ve heard of a bullet journal, chances are you’ve heard of a Leuchtturm as well. It’s that notebook with the name nobody can pronounce but everybody loves (except if you’re a Moleskine-loving German, in which case: “Hallo, wie geht’s?”). The Official Bullet Journal itself is made by Leuchtturm1917 (let’s just call it LT), which can make you wonder what all the buzz is about, right? Well let me tell you, when us-stationery-fanatics set our eyes on something, we’ll make any excuses to ourselves to get it! All those who can relate say “I want that notebook and I want it now!“.

Leuchtturm1917 vs NUUNA

Anyways, of course I was intrigued myself and of course I had to get it, and I’ve been using it as my BuJo for a while now. Fast-forward to a few months later when I was wandering aimlessly testing every-single-pen in the stationery shop, when I heard this voice behind me: “Hey, hey you, come check me out! Come touch me, feel my smooth pages, gaze upon my covers!“. Seriously, I’m telling you, that’s exactly how it went down. Who was that voice you ask? None other than NUUNA notebooks, of which I had never heard about or seen before. So I got closer and opened one of these lovely notebooks, and the thoughts that went through my head were: “if E=mc2 and the water freezes at -273,15K, then THIS NOTEBOOK CHANGES EVERYTHING OMG WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN WHAT IS THIS?

Breakdown

So let me break it down for you in this table, and then I’ll get back with the reason why I started throwing my money at it and taking it home.

 Price  $19.50**  $33.37**
Leuchtturm1917 NUUNA (‘Graphic L’)
Dimensions 145 x 210 mm (A5) / 5.7 x 8.3 in (A5) 165 x 220 mm / 6.5 x 8.7 in
Cover material Hardcover Smooth bonded leather
Cover designs Solid colors Limited-edition prints
Number of pages  249  256
Lays flat when opened
Elastic closure
Paper weight  80 g/sqm  120 g/sqm
Paper color Ivory/Champagne White
Numbered pages  ✓
Dot grid size 5 mm 3.5 mm
Ghosting Yes* Minimal*
Bleed-through Yes* Minimal*
Index  ✓  ✗
 Bookmarks  ✓  ✗
 Pocket in the back  ✓  ✗
Archival stickers  ✓  ✗

* Ghosting and bleed-through greatly depend on the pens you’re using. Check here to see my supplies, or continue reading to see a pen test of all of them.

** Prices taken from official websites, though they vary on others.


So, why am I switching?

If you quickly scan through the table you’re probably thinkning “this girl’s crazy, the LT obviously checks more boxes!”. And you’d be right, I am crazy. But lemme explain myself.

Ghosting

So, the LT is known for how “details make all the difference“, and I’ll surely give it to them, they got their details down alright! I mean, they’ve got the Index, they’ve got the numbered pages, bookmarks, basically the perfect recipe for a BuJo-suitable notebook. It’s the reason why so many people love it and why I will continue to use mine (repurposed). However, throughout the months, I have to admit that the ghosting and occasional bleed-throughs started to bug me. Which was surprising to me because I don’t even use a ruler in my BuJo so that’s as non-perfectionist as I can get, but I just could.not.get.over.the.ghosting. So much so that if I happened to write a lot on a page I had to glue the next 2 pages together because the ghosting was just bugging me, you know? (Take a shot for every time I wrote the word “ghosting”).

Pen Test: Leuchtturm1917 (left), NUUNA (right)
Pen Test: Leuchtturm1917 (left), NUUNA (right)
Leuchtturm1917 (left), NUUNA (right)
Leuchtturm1917 (left), NUUNA (right)

Paper color

Next, let’s talk about the paper color: I’m a pure-white paper kind’a’gal. Like, the Rhodia Dot Pads have my dream-paper: smooth, white, thick (I’m still describing the paper here). So when I saw that the NUUNA had the same qualities, except EVEN THICKER, right then and there I was sold. Because I’m gonna be going through 256 pages in this notebook, I better damn well like the paper!

Leuchtturm1917 (bottom), NUUNA (top)

The Dot Grid

Ahh, yes… The dot grid. Best invention since the bullet journal itself. Subtle enough that you can barely notice them, yet really helpful for writing in a straight line or drawing tables, banners and things like that. Leuchtturm’s dots are 5mm apart, while NUUNA’s 3.5mm. For me, the smaller distance between the dots = more squares = more flexibility for me to draw banners, tables, etc. Also, it leaves more space in between the lines if you want to write or journal (which I do very often in my BuJo).

Leuchtturm1917-vs-NUUNA_Dot-Grid-Comparison

In both cases above, I used the same pen (Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen in size S), and same handwriting size.

If you’re unsure of whether or not this smaller sized dot grid would work for you, you could print out a 3,5mm dot grid on a piece of paper and see how you get along with it. (Got this awesome idea from a lovely fellow BuJo-er over on Facebook). Or you could just use a ruler, draw a 3,5mm dot grid and test away!


My thoughts on…

Index: The 3 Index pages in the LT were a bit limiting for me so I had to stop indexing the weeklies. I will make my own index pages at the beginning of my NUUNA, allowing as many as I feel like I need. Maybe even categorize the Index a little bit? I’ve got some ideas but who knows, I’ll keep you posted on that!

Numbered pages: The numbered pages on the LT is definitely one of its strong points. However, for the NUUNA I was thinking of numbering them as I go, and also create a color-coding system – I’ll keep you posted once I’ve figured it out.

Bookmarks: I like that the LT comes with 2 bookmarks, but I personally wasn’t using them as much I would’ve thought. I prefer sticky tabs, washi on the side of the paper, color coding on the edge of the paper or magnetic bookmarks. But you can always add bookmarks to any notebook.

Dimensions: NUUNA is slightly larger than A5 – more space to write about shenanigans, mmhm!

Cover Patterns: I mean, come on… I couldn’t get over them! And the edge coloring of the pages? YES, love!

Cover materials: The LT’s covers are made to last use and abuse, so if you plan on taking it everywhere and getting it in/out of your bags, then the hardcover is a solid choice. My BuJo stays at home at all times (I carry a smaller notebook for on-the-go, more about that soon), so the leather covers of the NUUNA are great as well. They feel very smooth and soft, but they are still sturdy enough to last through the notebook’s lifetime.

Pocket in the back: Again, I wasn’t using the pocket in the back, but it’s a really nice feature to have if you store your receipts or any loose paper.

Prices: For me, investing a bit more money in a notebook that I love is worth it, since I’m gonna be using them for a long period of time. Both notebooks are great and I believe both deserve their price tag.


Conclusions?

So which would I personally recommend? (And here’s where I’ll make your decision super-difficult, I’m sorry) Both. They’re both awesome, and I will continue to use, love and demolish them both.

But to recap and just put it simply: if you don’t mind ghosting and you want to use the notebook as a BuJo, then the Leuchtturm is definitely more convenient, due to all the added details. If however, paper quality is top priority to you, then Nuuna will definitely fill those needs.

So if LT and Nuuna ever had a baby, it would be the perfect notebook. Until then, we just have to make do.

What I WOULD recommend is going through the comparison table and seeing which of them checks more boxes for YOU and YOUR preferences. Either way, you do not have to invest in either of these, because all you really need is a notebook and a pen.

Anyways, I’d love to hear you guys’ experiences. Which notebooks do YOU use/prefer and why? *grabs popcorn*

Let me know what notebooks you want to see compared next! ♥