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160 Gsm Paper

The journaling community has lost its ever-loving mind over notebooks with 160gsm paper!

First, it was 100gsm paper, then it was 120gsm paper… and now everyone is going nuts over 160gsm paper. There are only a couple of the well-known brands who carry a notebook or journal with dotted 160gsm paper and those companies have gotten a LOT of coverage in the blogosphere.

Archer & Olive and Scribbles That Matter are the two notebooks getting all the attention these days. Mostly A&O, right?!

We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the evangelism of these new thick-paper journals – followers are very vocal in their loyalty. Message boards and Facebook groups are filled with recommendations for Archer & Olive – even going to so far as to recommend that brand new baby journalers should dive headfirst into the most expensive journal on the market today as their very first purchase.

But you know me… I’m just a nerdy skeptic at heart. If too many people are all talking about the same brand of notebook, I tend to get very suspicious. Well, technically I first get annoyed, then I move into seriously pissed off… but then it usually settles down into suspicion. I’m a pretty even-tempered person but when I reach the end of my patience and I get fed up with the obsessive evangelizing, it usually results in a massive research project to uncover the truth.

Can you guess which stage of rage in at right now?

One day I stumbled across a Facebook group question from an uber newbie (literally it was the first journal purchase of her entire life). That question had close to 40 replies by the time I came across it and more than 80% of the replies were telling the original poster to buy an Archer & Olive notebook. The very first purchase of a journal to see if you even like journaling should NOT be a journal that costs $35!!! What are people even thinking?

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was finally ready to find out if Archer & Olive was everything the interwebs were saying it was … or if there were some other notebook brands that could knock it out of the ivory tower it was in.

Anger + Shopping = “Shopping Rage” – similar to Road Rage, but without cars, and involves credit cards, retail outlets, and excessive nerdy research.

Within 20 minutes I had spent close to $150 on journals (many 120gsm journals jumped into my shopping cart too – those reviews will be coming soon)!

How many 160gsm paper notebooks are there anyway?

Comparing 160gsm notebooks

Based on all the chatter, you’d think there were only two notebooks in the whole wide world that have 160gsm dotted paper designed specifically for bullet journal enthusiasts. Those two would be Archer & Olive and Scribbles That Matter. But I was convinced that there had to be more than just those two. You know … brands without a massive marketing budget.

My research revealed that there were, in fact, many other notebook brands with 160gsm paper in a journal designed for the bullet journaling or art journaling community.

I skipped the notebooks that were designed for artists since 160gsm paper is very common in sketchbooks and various forms of mixed media notebooks. Those types of notebooks have blank pages and won’t work well for bullet journaling.

My hunt revealed SIX notebook brands that fit the bill (if you know of any others, please let me know and I’ll look into them too). The brand I’ve purchased, tested, reviewed and compared here include (in alphabetical order):

  • Archer & Olive
  • Buke Notebooks
  • Eclectic Scribbles
  • QiHeng
  • Scribbles That Matter
  • Tekukor

You probably haven’t heard of half the names on this list. Yeah, me either. But now you know them and I’m about to tell you every single detail about each one so you can decide which notebook you want to buy. Hint – it’s not the one you’ve heard about a million times before.