When you love to write, the notebook that you use makes a difference. If it has the wrong cover or inferior paper, you won’t want to use it. While deciding on the best notebooks for writing largely comes down to personal preference, it also is possible to weigh which features are the most likely to suit your needs.
In the following list of the best journals for writing, we’ve compiled 12 tried-and-true writing notebooks that have passed our tests for durability and quality. You’ll find notebooks with extra-thick paper to prevent bleed-through and refillable covers that you can use again.
12 Best Writing Notebooks:
1. Moonster Leather Journal Writing Notebook
This gorgeous leather book is one of the best creative writing journals because of its handmade detailing. Filled with 7″ by 5″ unlined paper, this notebook is ideal for sketching, watercolors, journaling, and more.
An antique leather strap keeps the book securely closed. Within the covers are 120 sheets of 125 gsm paper.
Leather writing journals are among the most popular because of their timeless aesthetic. This one is made from buffalo leather. The paper in these beautiful writing journals is manufactured from recycled cotton. This ensures a product that is acid-free, and the off-white color of the paper is easy on the eyes.
Thanks to the thickness of each sheet, there is no danger of bleed through. Users praise the quality of the materials used and the rustic charm of the item overall. The earthy smell of the leather and its rich feel also is admired.
If there is one drawback that people mention it is that this notebook is not refillable, a factor that some people expect from a genuine leather cover.
- Genuine leather cover
- 125 gsm paper
- Beautiful workmanship
- The leather cover is not refillable
With its flexible leather cover and thick paper, this notebook is suitable for any project.
2. Lemome Thick Classic Writing Notebook with Pen Loop
Lemome is a well-known name in the journaling world, so it comes as little surprise that their Thick Classic Notebook should be named among the best notebooks for writing notes. This particular model is A5 size and features wide-ruled sheets.
At 180 pages, this journal is the perfect size for carrying around to class or wherever you need a notebook. This durable hardcover journal is available in colors like brown, gray, blue and mint.
An elastic pen loop ensures that your favorite writing instrument is always handy while another elastic loop keeps the journal securely closed. Like other good quality paper notebooks, this one is designed to lay flat during use. An expandable pocket, ribbon bookmark, and 120 gsm paper ensure that this is one high-quality journal.
People who have tried this notebook love the quality of the paper, saying that it’s thick enough to guarantee no bleed through. The cover feels wonderful, and they appreciate that this book lays flat. Nonetheless, some users note that the ribbon bookmark seems to detach from the binding too easily.
- The thick, high-quality paper
- Includes expandable pocket
- Lovely color choices for the cover
- The ribbon bookmark may not last as long as the rest of the notebook
This Lemome journal may be an ideal choice for the scholar, artist, or journalist.
3. BooQool Ruled Notebook/Journal for Writing
The Ruled Classic Notebook from BooQool features a hard, faux leather cover with dimensions measuring 5.4″ by 8.3″. Affordably priced, this item is unquestionably a bargain.
This is the best notebook for journal writing thanks to its ribbon bookmark, expandable pocket, and lay-flat binding. These high-quality writing journals have 128 college-ruled pages so that they are most suitable for people with smaller handwriting.
The thick paper is ideal for use with all sorts of pens. However, the absence of a pen loop means that you’ll have to store your writing instrument separately. Many people are satisfied with this journal, writing that it is made from quality materials and that their ink doesn’t bleed through from one side of the page to the next. The pen loop is severely missed.
- Thick, off-white paper
- Lay-flat binding
- High-quality faux leather cover
- No pen loop
Despite the absence of a pen loop, this remains a highly recommended choice for a journal.
4. Moleskine Classic Writing Notebook, Hardcover
Called the best writing notebook for college, these products from Moleskine also will serve you in the professional world. This large-size journal measures 5″ by 8.25″ so you can take it everywhere you go.
This particular item makes it onto this list because it’s available in so many different versions. You can choose that your paper is dotted, plain, ruled, or squared for your convenience. Moreover, you select from numerous cover colors like black, brown, sapphire, coral orange, pink daisy, and more.
These good quality notebooks are made with durable covers and elastic enclosures. The thick, ivory-colored pages help you to avoid eye strain and prevent most ink from bleeding through. A single ribbon bookmark helps you to keep your place and an expandable pocket helps you to control small items.
Consistent quality and durability make this Moleskine notebook a hit with many people. However, some wish that the paper was thicker than 70 gsm and that this journal included a pen loop.
- Beautiful covers
- Ivory-colored paper
- Ribbon bookmark
- No pen loop
- 70 gsm paper may be too thin for some
Moleskine manufactures a lovely product for people who want to make a bullet journal or other project.
5. Clever Fox Dotted Notebook for Writing
The Clever Fox Dotted Notebook is the best notebook for fountain pen writing thanks to its 120 gsm paper. That’s thick enough to allow writers to use their favorite pen, even if it’s a marker.
This also is among the most popular writing journals for women because it is available in beautiful cover colors like purple and pink. More sedate options also are available. In addition to having some of the thickest paper for journals around, the Clever Fox boasts some fantastic extras like three ribbon bookmarks, pages of stickers, and a pen loop.
Choose from between ruled and dot grid pages in a lay-flat binding that allows for easy writing. Elastic closure keeps everything secure, and the numbered pages make this notebook a natural choice for bullet journaling.
People have fallen in love with the Clever Fox notebook thanks to the thick, ivory-colored paper and the numbered pages. Nonetheless, some people wish that the ribbon bookmarks didn’t fray at the ends.
- 120 gsm paper
- Pages of stickers
- Three ribbon bookmarks
- The ribbon bookmarks can fray
The Clever Fox notebook is an ideal choice for bullet journalists and people who are looking for a high-quality notebook at an outstanding price.
6. Maleden Leather Writing Journal Notebook
This refillable, ring binder journal is one of the best types of notebooks for writing. The leather cover is soft yet durable, and the ring binding is perfect for laying the book out flat on the surface of a table.
With blank paper, it’s possible to use this journal however you wish. Some writing notebook brands are made to use just once, but this one has the advantage of being refillable. This makes it possible to add or remove pages whenever necessary.
The faux leather cover is engraved with a compass design, and two pendants dangle from it. A leather string keeps the 80-sheet notebook securely closed. People love the pendants and the feel of the cover. The cover colors also are praised as well as the portable size of the journal.
Critics say that they wish that the paper that is included in the binder were whiter as the brown color isn’t attractive.
- Refillable binder
- Beautiful faux leather cover
- Comes with two cute charms
- Some users would prefer whiter paper
This beautiful faux-leather, the refillable journal is perfect for people who like to add and remove pages.
7. SohoSpark Tree Writing Journal
This is the best notebook for journal writing because of the A5 size and the lined pages. It features a faux leather cover with your choice of beautiful engraved designs. The tree etching is a particular favorite in these pretty writing journals.
Other favorites include the dragon and the Celtic cross. This journal is refillable. Paper refills are available in blank, dot-grid, or lined versions. With a sewn binding, this journal lays flat when opened and a ribbon bookmark to keep your spot.
The pages are numbered, making this a good choice for bullet journaling. Fans of this product have high praise for the quality of the cover. The stitching and the embossing on the front cover are almost universally admired. However, some people do say that the journal would benefit from using higher-quality, thicker paper.
- Beautiful embossed design on the cover
- Numbered pages
- The paper is not particularly thick
With beautiful design and workmanship, this SohoSpark journal is an excellent value good price.
8. Field Notes Memo Book Plain – Pack of Three
This is the perfect choice for someone who is looking for a no-frills, straightforward notebook. Among cheap writing notebooks, this also is a favorite choice as a pack of three may be purchased for a good price.
Customers are free to choose blank pages in all three books, grid pages in all three books, or a combination of the grid, ruled, and plain paper. At a size of 3.5″ by 5.5″ inches, these men’s writing journals are easy to slip into a pocket.
They are made in the USA and bound with three staples. An understated, buff-colored cover keeps things simple, and each book contains 48 pages. Many people comment that they are surprised by how lasting these little notebooks are, especially considering that the covers are essentially just heavy paper.
A printed ruler on the inside back cover is especially appreciated. While most people don’t have a problem with the paper, others say that it is a bit thin for use with the fountain pen or markers of their choice.
- An elegant, understated design
- Perfectly portable
- Available with a variety of plain, grid or ruled paper
- The paper may be too thin for some pens
Field Notes Memo Books are a classic choice that fits into pockets and is surprisingly durable.
9. Rhodia Meeting Paper Book
A double spiral binding makes this one of the best notepads for writing because it is durable and designed not to snag on anything. Moreover, you can rest assured that this journal will always lay flat when opened. Each of the 90-gsm pages is micro-perforated for easy removal.
Made in France, this product contains well-known Rhodia paper, which is extra-white, pH neutral, and acid-free. A black, minimalist cover means that these are cute journals to write in. If you favor spiral bound writing journals, then you also may appreciate the lined pages.
Each one is labeled with sections for the date, notes, and actions to be taken. Although it was designed to help make meetings more efficient, this format is flexible enough to use any way you wish.
People love to use these Rhodia journals with their fountain pens, and the quality of the paper is universally praised. Remarks indicate that some people were less-than-pleased with the smaller 8.25″ x 6.25″ dimensions.
- Uses beautiful Rhodia paper
- Minimalist cover design
- Labeled sections for meetings
- The format may be too small for some note-takers.
Rhodia is a trusted name in notebooks and journals, making this product a safe bet.
10. Keegood Writing Journal with Pen Loop
This product is one of the best note-taking journals because of its colorful cork cover. Students and professionals alike will love using these beautiful notebooks for writers with their 8.5″ by 5.8″ dimensions and 192 pages.
Inside the notebook are included tabs and a ruler to make it even easier to use. Two ribbon bookmarks, an elastic strap closure, a pen loop, and a pocket inside the back cover make this item a winner.
The ruled paper is just waiting to be used in these lined writing journals. With 100-gsm paper, it is possible to use almost any ink, and the lay-flat binding is convenient. Fans adore that this journal price range is great for such high quality.
The cover is routinely described as “gorgeous,” and the page tabs are extremely useful. Remarks that the pen loop needs to be a bit bigger are fairly common.
- Beautiful cork cover
- Thick, 100-gsm paper
- Two ribbon bookmarks
- The pen loop is a bit narrow
With its eye-catching cover and quality paper, this may be your favorite new notebook.
11. Muji Recycled Paper Double-Ring Dot Grid Notebook for Writing
The ultimate minimalist notebook to write in, this journal has a perfectly plain cover, making it the ideal choice for people who hate to see anything on the cover of their notebook.
This product features a buff-colored cover with a black elastic strap closure. It’s bound with a double spiral and is A5 size for convenient portability. Inside are 70 dot-grid sheets.
Many people love the clean, smart design of this notebook. They appreciate the plain cover either because that is what they prefer or because they want to decorate it themselves.
With many users saying that this is their favorite choice, you also may be happy with this journal’s performance. However, critics do note that the paper could be a bit thicker to prevent more bleed-through.
- Beautifully simple cover
- Double spiral binding
- Dot-grid pages
- The paper could stand to be a bit thicker
Overall, the Muji Recycled Paper notebook is an excellent value.
12. A Novel Journal: Edgar Allan Poe
This is one of the best notebooks for writing novels. The work of Edgar Allan Poe is designed into every page in the form of small text that also serves as lines for the owner of the notebook.
With foil stamping on the cover, colored edges, and specially designed end papers, this is a novel-writing notebook with plenty of fascinating differences. For the price, this compact journal is sized to take everywhere with you.
If Edgar Allan Poe isn’t your cup of tea, then consider some of the other versions such as Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. With a ribbon bookmark and elastic strap closure, this also is a convenient notebook.
Users love the clever design of this product, and many of them remark that this journal inspires their own creative writing. Nonetheless, some people do complain that this journal does not have a lay-flat binding, which can make writing across the whole page very tricky.
- Clever, creative design
- Get inspired by your favorite author
- Includes a ribbon bookmark and elastic closure
- This journal doesn’t have a lay-flat binding
Called creative and fun, this journal will inspire you to new heights of creativity.
Making the Decision
Determining the best writing notebooks must weigh many factors. These include the quality and durability of the cover as well as the thickness of the paper.
The format also makes a difference. While some people prefer a blank page that they can use however they wish, others feel more organized when they have ruled, dot-grid, or graph paper.
The options listed here range from highly affordable to relatively expensive, but each one features quality materials and craftsmanship to afford you a rewarding experience.