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12 Best Notebooks for Writing in 2019 – 2020

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 Notebooks for Writing on the Market Today:

1. Moonster Leather Journal Writing Notebook

Leather Journal Writing Notebook - Antique Handmade Leather Bound Daily Notepad for Men + Women Unlined Paper 7 x 5 Inches, Perfect Gift for Art Sketchbook, Travel Diary and Notebooks to Write in

 

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 are 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. Leather Journal Writing Notebook - Antique Handmade Leather Bound Daily Notepad for Men + Women Unlined Paper 7 x 5 Inches, Perfect Gift for Art Sketchbook, Travel Diary and Notebooks to Write in

Things to Love
  • Genuine leather cover
  • 125 gsm paper
  • Beautiful workmanship
Things to Consider
  • 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

Thick Classic Notebook with Pen Loop - Lemome A5 Wide Ruled Hardcover Writing Notebook with Pocket + Page Dividers Gifts, Banded, Large, 180 Pages, 8.4 x 5.7 in

 

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 an 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. Thick Classic Notebook with Pen Loop - Lemome A5 Wide Ruled Hardcover Writing Notebook with Pocket + Page Dividers Gifts, Banded, Large, 180 Pages, 8.4 x 5.7 in

Things to Love
  • Thick, high-quality paper
  • Includes expandable pocket
  • Lovely color choices for the cover
Things to Consider
  • 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

Ruled Notebook/Journal - Premium Thick Paper Faux Leather Classic Writing Notebook, Black, Hard Cover, Lined (5.4 x 8.3)

 

The Ruled Classic Notebook from BooQool features a hard, faux leather cover with dimensions measuring 5.4″ by 8.3″. Priced at less than seven dollars, 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 sheets 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. Ruled Notebook/Journal - Premium Thick Paper Faux Leather Classic Writing Notebook, Black, Hard Cover, Lined (5.4 x 8.3)

Things to Love
  • Thick, off-white paper
  • Lay-flat binding
  • High-quality faux leather cover
Things to Consider
  • 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

Moleskine Classic Notebook, Hard Cover, Large (5" x 8.25") Ruled/Lined, Black

 

Called the best writing notebook for college, this product 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 were thicker than 70 gsm and that this journal included a pen loop. Moleskine Classic Notebook, Hard Cover, Large (5" x 8.25") Ruled/Lined, Black

Things to Love
  • Beautiful covers
  • Ivory-colored paper
  • Ribbon bookmark
Things to Consider
  • 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

Clever Fox Dotted Notebook - Dot Grid Bullet Numbered Pages Hard Cover Notebook Journal With Thick 120g Paper and Pen Loop, Stickers, 3 Bookmarks, Smooth Faux Leather, 5.12'' x 8.27'' - Deep Purple

 

Priced at less than nine dollars, 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. Clever Fox Dotted Notebook - Dot Grid Bullet Numbered Pages Hard Cover Notebook Journal With Thick 120g Paper and Pen Loop, Stickers, 3 Bookmarks, Smooth Faux Leather, 5.12'' x 8.27'' - Deep Purple

Things to Love
  • 120 gsm paper
  • Pages of stickers
  • Three ribbon bookmarks
Things to Consider
  • 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

Leather Writing Journal Notebook, MALEDEN Classic Spiral Bound Notebook Refillable Diary Sketchbook Gifts with Unlined Travel Journals to Write in for Girls and Boys (Sky Blue)

 

This refillable, three-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. Leather Writing Journal Notebook, MALEDEN Classic Spiral Bound Notebook Refillable Diary Sketchbook Gifts with Unlined Travel Journals to Write in for Girls and Boys (Sky Blue)

Things to Love
  • Refillable binder
  • Beautiful faux leather cover
  • Comes with two cute charms
Things to Consider
  • Some users would prefer whiter paper

This beautiful faux leather, refillable journal is perfect for people who like to add and remove pages.

7. SohoSpark Tree Writing Journal

Tree Journal, Writing Journal, Personal Diary, A5 Lined Journal, Writers Notebook, Personal Journal, Faux Leather Journal, Refillable, Gift for Writers and Travelers, Men or Women, Fountain Pen Safe

 

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. Tree Journal, Writing Journal, Personal Diary, A5 Lined Journal, Writers Notebook, Personal Journal, Faux Leather Journal, Refillable, Gift for Writers and Travelers, Men or Women, Fountain Pen Safe

Things to Love
  • Beautiful embossed design on the cover
  • Refillable
  • Numbered pages
Things to Consider
  • 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

Field Notes Memo Book - Plain (Pack of 3)

 

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 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 durable 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.

Things to Love
  • An elegant, understated design
  • Perfectly portable
  • Available with a variety of plain, grid or ruled paper
Things to Consider
  • The paper may be too thin for some pens

Field Notes Memo Books are a classic choice that fits into pockets and are surprisingly durable.

9. Rhodia Meeting Paper Book

Rhodia Meeting Paper Book 80g Paper - Lined 80 sheets - 6 1/2 x 8 1/4 - Black Cover

 

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″ by 6″ dimensions. Rhodia Meeting Paper Book 80g Paper - Lined 80 sheets - 6 1/2 x 8 1/4 - Black Cover

Things to Love
  • Uses beautiful Rhodia paper
  • Minimalist cover design
  • Labeled sections for meetings
Things to Consider
  • 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

Notebooks and Journals, A5 Ruled Journal, Writing Journal with Pen loop, Thick Paper Journal, Hard Cover Notebook with Paper Pocket , 8.5x 5.8In,Wood Color, Premium Thick 192 Pages for School Season

 

This product is named a best note taking journal 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. Notebooks and Journals, A5 Ruled Journal, Writing Journal with Pen loop, Thick Paper Journal, Hard Cover Notebook with Paper Pocket , 8.5x 5.8In,Wood Color, Premium Thick 192 Pages for School Season

Things to Love
  • Beautiful cork cover
  • Thick, 100-gsm paper
  • Two ribbon bookmarks
Things to Consider
  • 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 WritingMuji Recycle Paper Double-ring Dot Grid Notebook - A5, 70 sheets, with rubber strip

 

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. Muji Recycle Paper Double-ring Dot Grid Notebook - A5, 70 sheets, with rubber strip

Things to Love
  • Beautifully simple cover
  • Double spiral binding
  • Dot-grid pages
Things to Consider
  • 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 PoeA Novel Journal: Edgar Allan Poe (Compact) (Novel Journals)

 

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 endpapers, 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. A Novel Journal: Edgar Allan Poe (Compact) (Novel Journals)

Things to Love
  • Clever, creative design
  • Get inspired by your favorite author
  • Includes a ribbon bookmark and elastic closure
Things to Consider
  • 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.