Bullet Journal Edition 2 Review (2021)
The release of the Leuchtturm Bullet Journal Edition 2 notebook was massively anticipated by everyone in the bullet journaling community including us! The Bullet Journal has come a long way and the new edition brings with it many useful and delightful features that the Edition 1 did not have.
ABOUT BULLET JOURNAL
The Bullet Journal was first envisioned by Ryder Carroll. Backed on Kickstarter, the Bullet Journal has become an icon of productivity and creativity. Edition 1 was a huge success and paved the way for Edition 2.
The second edition brings back a collaboration between Ryder Carroll and German brand Leuchtturm (who is renowned for their high quality notebooks) and the Bullet Journal community! Edition 2 retains all the qualities you loved about Edition 1 and includes highly requested features made by the community.
BULLET JOURNAL EDITION 1 VERSUS 2
You might be wondering: ‘What’s the difference between the Edition 1 and Edition 2?’ At a glance, these are some of the additional benefits you can expect from the new bullet journal!
Whilst both bullet journals might feature similar details like a bullet journal guide or a gusseted pocket, they have evolved slightly too. Let’s take a closer look at these new features!
The page dividers are a simple yet handy addition to the Edition 2. If you take a closer look at your pages, you’ll notice that the bottom of the page next to the page number includes a few dots.
This helpful indicator allows you to gauge measurements easily and find the centre of the page. If you’re one who hates misalignments, this is a god sent.
Dividing your page into fields, sections and columns has never been easier till now!
This comprehensive guide is everything you need to know about the bullet journaling method in one compact size. The guide includes a poem about the intertwined relations between time and bullet journaling as well as insights into common bullet journal spreads.
A stark difference between the pocket guide and its predecessor is the ability to remove the guide from the notebook. This gives seasoned bullet journalists a choice to leave this home and more space to write. (the previous version had it printed on pages).
The sticker set is another great addition to Edition 2. For those familiar with Ryder Carroll’s way of journaling and whom practise it, you’ll find this very helpful.
The sticker set includes days, months, numbers, bullet points and the bullet journal logo, a lightning (to signify getting things done in a flash!). For those who find it tiring to manually write each day and number, this sticker set certainly provides a means of convenience. Plus it looks really pretty too! The metallic imprints are gorgeous and will certainly stand out on your pages.
THE GRID GUIDE
This new addition is another useful tool and is a game changer for all journalers. If you can relate to the pain of having to count dots individually to draw up shapes for spreads, you’ll love this.
The Grid Guide pairs nicely with the Page Divider as it provides measurements of a quarter, one sixth and one eighth. Having all your rows and columns measured for you along with the page divider indicator will definitely give you a better time whilst you’re creating your daily logs, future logs, trackers and more.
Besides these incredible new features, you’ll notice some minor changes too including:
- The gusseted pockets’ interior now matches the cover
- A new ‘Intentions Page’
- An embossed logo instead of a previously de-bossed one
- The dots on the dotted layout are more subtle
- Wider margins on pages
- 204 pages instead of 240 pages
Did we miss anything? Let us know!
120GSM PAPER: IS IT WORTH IT?
The 40GSM increase might not seem like much so does it really make a difference? In our self-proclaimed ‘torture test’, we’ll be giving the paper a thorough wash with a variety of inks.
THE 'TORTURE' TEST
The Drehgriffel Ballpoint Pen is delightful to write with. If you haven’t seen our review, check it out here! As it writes perfectly even with the previous 80GSM notebooks and bullet journals, we weren’t expecting too much of a change. True to fact, there was no bleed or ghosting!
Gel Pens differ in that they’re water-based in contrast to the oil-based ballpoint pens. They also tend to dry a little slower. For our Gel Pen test, we once again decided to go with Leuchtturm’s very own. The result was similar to the Drehgriffel Ballpoint Pen and there was no bleed or ghosting issue whatsoever.
STABILO TRIPLUS FINELINER
Many might remember carrying these in school and they remain popular even till now! Since we had some lying around, we decided to put the Stabilo Triplus Fineliner to the test too. The flip side of the paper showed no bleeding and there was no ghosting either.
Stationery lovers will be familiar with this pen. Seeing that they worked well on the 80GSM papers, we were expecting the results to be the same on the 120GSM paper too and we weren’t disappointed. The paper didn’t have bleeding even when we dragged the tip slowly across too!
Fountain pens are quintessential writing tools that many now use to journal or draw. While there were no bleeding issues found, we realised that certain inks like Monteverde Inks do ghost a little. Some wetter inks like 3 Oysters also take a longer time to dry so watch your fingers!
The Sakura Micron Pigmas are a mainstay in most journalers, painters and urban sketchers’ stationery stash. To ensure that the paper would be able to take both thin and thick tipliners, we tested our 0.1mm and 2mm tips. There were no bleeding and ghosting seen even with a thicker tip.
Brush letterers will be glad to know that the Pentel Brush Pen also passes the no bleed and ghosting test for the 120GSM paper. Brush pens have become the norm in stationery stashes as more people take up calligraphy so it’s always good to have a notebook that can take the typically wetter inks that these brush pens have.
The Tombow Dual Brush Pens are another extremely popular medium used by journalers so of course we had to include it in our test. We tried the brush pen tip first and the paper held it well. No bleeds or ghosting! Unsurprisingly, the paper was also able to take the marker tip well with no issues.
As beautiful as the colours were, it didn’t quite work with the 80GSM paper. The 120GSM takes all the previous issues with bleeding and ghosting away. The brushmarkers work well with the now thicker paper and if you’ve been hesitant to use Karin Brushmarkers, you can now use them in the Bullet Journal Edition 2 worry-free!
Watercolours are one the ‘harsher’ mediums to be used on journals yet they remain a favourite for painting and urban sketching. As we laid down the first washes of paint, we were glad to find that the paper was holding the paint well. A flip to the other side also showed that there were no bleed throughs. Yay!
While this is a definite win to all journalers who love to paint, you do have to remember that the paper is not made for watercolour. After a few washes, you’ll start to notice the paper crinkling. Certain paints might also not react the same way just as colours might not be as vibrant in contrast to using watercolour paper. Do be more forgiving with your paper when you paint and it’ll be alright!
The Bullet Journal is worth every cent (and the slight price increase from the Edition 1!) The newly added features like the Page Dividers, Pocket Guide, Sticker set and Grid Guide allow both old and new users to benefit. If you loved the old Bullet Journal, you’ll certainly love Edition 2 for all its amazing additions.
Let’s not forget the new 120GSM paper too which in my opinion, is the crème de la crème addition to Leuchtturm’s notebook collection. The fact that it’s able to withstand even the juiciest of brushmarkers is certainly worth the price of the notebook alone.
For fans of Leuchtturm’s other fantastic colour selection, don’t fret! They’ll be slowly introducing the 120GSM paper into the rest of their notebooks very soon so look out for that! If you’re not a fan of either Black or Blush, Leuchtturm is also in the midst of shortlisting colours for the Bullet Journal Edition 2. Make sure to leave a comment for your favourite colour!
Have you bought your own copy of the Bullet Journal Edition 2? Or are you waiting to finish your first edition? Let us know!
Catch our full review and detailed ‘Torture Test’ on YouTube:
The Bullet Journal Edition 2 retails for $52 and is available in both Black and Blush.