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Friday, June 18, 2010

Leuchtturm notebooks

Here are two notebooks from Leuchtturm 1917, a German company who very generously sent me several of their products to review.  I've already reviewed their medium size weekly planners.  In future posts I will review their Master size weekly planners in two different formats and their Pocket size daily planner.

But first, these awesome notebooks!  The black-covered notebook has blank pages, and was sent to me as a sample from Leuchtturm 1917.  The purple-covered one, which I adore, has dotted pages and was VERY generously sent to me from Lady Dandelion after I won it on a giveaway contest on her blog!  Thanks Lady Dandelion!  I love it!!

Before I dive right into the cool features of these notebooks (and there are some very cool features so hang on a sec), let me tell you about Leuchtturm 1917 (and you can also read more about the company here).  Founded in (you guessed it) 1917, Leuchtturm (which means "lighthouse" in German) makes high-quality, archival stationery products including diaries, notebooks, binders, photo albums, boxes and more. Their products are very popular with collectors of stamps and coins because they know their collections will be safely preserved.

Now, on to these notebooks.  I am very impressed.  Go get a cup of your favorite beverage and settle in.  I'll wait.

Ready?  Here we go:

At first glance these look similar to many notebooks available today with the hard cover, elastic strap and back pocket.  But right away you start to notice differences that indicate a step or two up in quality from the usual notebook.  As the brand motto says, "details make all the difference."  The notebooks have a color-matched ribbon placemarker which is actually ribbon, not cotton, adding to the luxurious feel of the book.  The creamy paper is smooth, and again gives a feeling of luxury.

The first few pages in the notebooks have a Table of Contents, to record topics on each page:

And, every page is faintly numbered!  HOORAY!!!

This makes it very easy to index your pages and keep track of what you wrote and where in your notebook.  This makes Leuchtturm notebooks especially useful not only for art and writing but also as lab notebooks and to record research.  I wish I'd had some of these in grad school!

Each of these notebooks has a page of stickers you can use to label the cover and spine of your notebooks.

Additionally, the blank notebook has a page-size card that is lined on one side and quadruled on the reverse, so you can be tidy about your writing and drawing while still having unruled pages.

The dots in the dotted notebook are faint and unobtrusive, making them easy on the eyes (click to enlarge):

The dots have 5 mm spacing and are great for writing, drawing, creating charts and tables.  This is a great alternative to quadruled pages.

The last several pages of each notebook are perforated for easy removal.  The paper is acid-free and archival, and the book is thread-bound for durability.

These notebooks are the Medium size, measuring 145 mm wide by 210 mm tall (almost 6 inches wide by just over 8 inches tall).

Leuchtturm notebooks come in a wide variety of sizes including Master (slightly larger than A4 so you can carry A4 papers easily inside):

Leuchtturm Master Notebook, Ruled, 9 x 12.5 Inch (LBM11)Leuchtturm Master Notebook, Ruled, 9 x 12.5 Inch (LBM11)

Medium (sized so a two-page spread photocopies onto an A4 page):

Leuchtturm Medium Notebook, Ruled, 5.75 x 8.25 inches (LBL11)Leuchtturm Medium Notebook, Ruled, 5.75 x 8.25 inches (LBL11)

Leuchtturm Medium Notebook, Dots, 5.75 x 8.25 Inch (LBL14)Leuchtturm Medium Notebook, Dots, 5.75 x 8.25 Inch (LBL14)

Pocket, and  Reporter (both sized to fit into your pocket), in lined, plain, quadruled or the new dotted pages.

You can order the newest Leuchtturm catalog by mail or by email by filling out their online form.

Leuchtturm notebooks can be purchased online at Journaling Arts (for fantastic prices).

Thanks again to Leuchtturm and Lady Dandelion for these excellent notebooks!


  1. There is a subtle difference between the units you have reviewed and older stock which contain paper that is not ink-friendly; fountain pens are especially icky. Just look for the little pen on the cover to make sure you're getting the newer paper stock.

    The numbered pages, table of contents, and slick labels are features that clearly set a higher bar. Molie, Piccy, and Webbie could all learn a thing or two about the form factor the Germans have perfected.

    david boise ID

  2. david, thank you for the clarification about the improved paper in the newer versions of these notebooks!

  3. Do these notebooks have the cover paper/pamplet glued to the inside of the notebook?

    Mine came like this with no plastic on it. Do they really glue the outside cover paper onto the inside of the notebooks?

  4. No, all the Leuchtturm notebooks I've bought did not have the belly band paper glued inside, and were plastic-covered. I wonder if you got a resold one? Did your order directly from a retailer, or from somewhere else?


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