Leuchtturm1917 Details make all the difference.

5 Reasons To Use A Leuchtturm1917 Notebook

Leuchtturm1917 Details make all the difference.

Notebooks are all the same... aren't they? Well, details make all the difference.

Leuchtturm1917 hit the nail on the head with their motto. The details do make all the difference, especially when you’re choosing which notebook to make part of your everyday life. It’s something that will be your partner for a good amount of time, which is why these 5 small tweaks and additions in these Leuchtturm books make them a good candidate.

1. Colours

When it comes to choosing a colour, the Germans have made this a most difficult decision. They have a number of bright, vivid colours that makes it hard to choose just one. My personal favourite is the Berry, looks delicious enough to eat! I did have to give in and get my other close favourites – Emerald and Anthracite Grey.

It also really helps to keep my notes organised, I know which one to take to work, which one I use at home and, most importantly, where to I keep my doodles 🙂

2. Numbered Pages

It’s surprising to look at another notebook after using a Leuchtturm for so long, you realise that many notebooks these days don’t bother with page numbers. It seems like such an incredibly obvious and useful feature you wonder how you could go back to living without them.

3. Indexing

Hand in hand with the numbered pages comes the master key to all of the knowledge within… the index page. Located in the first few pages of the book it lets you note down specific page numbers and a heading, very handy to help look things up in your own books.

Personally it’s helpful to track down certain pages where I have written down some important information or something I need fairly quick access to like a favourite recipe or long boring (but important) processes at work I need to remember.

4. Twin Bookmarks

At first you might think one bookmark ribbon is plenty useful iteself, I wouldn’t disagree with you, but now throw in a second and I find myself using it just as much as the other.

Leuchtturm even went to the trouble of colouring the second marker with a striped pattern to not only look pretty but has the practical function of differentiating between them.

5. Paper

There’s nothing more important in a notebook than the paper. This is the meat of the book, the reason you got it in the first place to store your valuable thoughts and ideas. The Leuchtturm notebook paper works a real treat with my loadout. Not much ghosting or feathering with my largest everyday pen which is a Broad Italic Franklin Christoph.

Diamine Earl Grey Review - Leuchtturm
Diamine Earl Grey

Those are some of the top reasons why I love my Leuchtturm1917 notebooks. If you’re unsure about which notebook you’d like to go for then we’ve put two favourites head to head – Leuchtturm vs Rhodiarama.

Just remember to keep writing and don’t let your notes sit idle. The most important part to enjoy is the time spent creating them 🙂

head to head - leuchtturm vs rhodiarama

Leuchtturm1917 vs Rhodiarama

head to head review - rhodiarama vs leuchtturm

Head to Head Dot Notebook Review: Leuchtturm1917 vs Rhodiarama


This review has an extra personal edge because I was an avid fan of my Leuchtturm dot notebook, to the point of questioning why I would want to switch to another book, but when we got the Rhodiarama books in recently I was tempted – after all, they now came with dot-grid paper (a must for me) and also in that nice extra-large size meaning it was small enough to carry round but gave more page space to work. The only way to find out would be to switch books and test the new one out. It was then helped by my wife spilling wine on my Leuchtturm book, so the appeal of a nice clean book won me over.

I have been using the Rhodiarama for about a month now, having used the Leuchtturm for about four months prior to that.


Both look quite similar – they both come in a range of colours making it hard to choose which one. The Rhodiarama edges it slightly with a nicer colour choice and I like the orange strap (part of the Rhodia branding) but others may prefer the Leuchtturm colour-coordinated look. The orange theme continues with the Rhodiarama to the inside-cover pages which adds a nice touch of quality though. Really not much to put between them here though.

Scores. Leuchtturm: 8/10. Rhodia: 9/10

head to head - leuchtturm vs rhodiarama


This is where in my opinion the Leuchtturm really wins out. It has those features that can really make the difference. The big features it gives you are:

  • numbered pages
  • an index at the front, which makes it so easy to note down any page you want to refer to (important notes etc)
  • sticky labels (so you can archive the book afterwards)
  • two page-marker ribbons (on most books, not guaranteed)

Of course you can make your own index and page numbers but that’s just a hassle when it could be in the book already.

What both books do offer in common is:

  • at least one page-marker ribbon
  • ivory paper
  • 5x5mm dot-grid matrix pages
  • an inside pocket at the back.

The Leuchtturm is a hardback book, the Rhodiarama a soft-cover so this really comes down to what you prefer. The Rhodiarama is also a bigger book at 19x25cm so gives you more space (nb: it also comes in the same A5-ish size but I went for the larger one to compare). Finally, both are known for having good quality paper but the Rhodia book has the paper quality almost as its USP – regularly cited as the best quality paper and a must for fountain pen users.

Scores. Leuchtturm: 9/10. Rhodia: 7/10


There is no question that the Rhodia book has the nicer paper – just run your hand over it and you can feel how much smoother it is. There is no bleed or feathering, and although the Leuchtturm is still handles ink well it doesn’t do as well as the Rhodia. That said, if you’re not using a fountain pen this really isn’t that important. The Rhodia paper is still nicer to use but matters less with a ballpoint pen say. Where the Leuchtturm wins back points is with those features which make the book so much more practical to use.

Depending on whether you intend to work on the go or not, cover choice might be important here as well. The soft cover is nice and less of a bulky object to have on you, and it means the bigger Rhodia book isn’t any more of an issue to carry around in my bag, but the lack of a hard cover is an issue when trying to write on your lap for example.

Scores. Leuchtturm: 8/10. Rhodia: 8/10

bullet journal rhodia

Value for Money

Strictly speaking this isn’t a fair test on price as the Rhodia book is bigger. At £17.50 it weighs in more expensive than the £12.95 Leuchtturm book. I would say that the Rhodia is not nearly as good value as the Leuchtturm as it has less pages and costs more. Even allowing for the size difference this is still the case (the A5 Rhodiarama is £13.75, so 80p more). That said, the Rhodia book does have 90gsm paper so if paper quality is important then this might be a factor in the value but for me, it isn’t one of my top criteria.

Scores. Leuchtturm: 9/10. Rhodia: 7/10


I wanted to prefer the Rhodiarama book, I really did. I thought it work better for me, it has a nicer look and feel, it seems more suited to being a book I carry everywhere but…it just doesn’t do enough to land that killer blow on the Leuchtturm book. Hard or soft cover, you take your choice but the page numbers and index are great when you have 200+ pages of notes and want to find an important note quickly. I am not looking for anything but good quality paper so the Rhodia doesn’t win points with me there and yet the Leuchtturm has so many extra features and it costs less. That said, if you are a fountain pen user who doesn’t value those extra features then the scores might well be closer and maybe even in favour of the Rhodia.

Total scores. Leuchtturm: 34/40. Rhodia: 31/40

Click here to see more and buy the Leuchtturm Medium Dot Notebook

Click here to see more and buy the Rhodiarama Soft Cover Ex-Large Dot Notebook

NB: Prices were correct at time of publishing!


Look, loops! :)

We are going to take a break from fountain pens this week. There are other things in our stationery world than pens and ink (look out for cameos). One of the reasons why I love stationery is because of how useful it is…it’s purpose is to look cute and help you get the job done. This blog post will focus on having your pen and paper ready. Pen loops and straps do just that 🙂

Branded Castelli notebooks. Credit goes to Faisal :)

Castelli notebooks that come with a loop and pencilGenius idea! These pen loops are usually black. Classy, no fuss, no extra work necessary.  Apparently not everyone travels with 10 different fountain pens 😀

Leuchtturm1917 pen loops

Leuchtturm loop: so many colours to choose from! This is another very convenient  add-on option. Glue this pen loop to your notebook of choice and you are good to go. Loop is more suitable for pencils and thinner pens. The biggest advantage is that it goes with every kind of notebook. Big or small – you don’t have to worry about buying the wrong size. I have noticed that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who go for colour match and those who mix it up. I belong to the second category. Black on black or red on red just doesn’t do it for me. Right now I am rocking Lime Leuchtturm1917 dot book with a yellow pen loop. The only downside is that this loop is too slim for Lamy Safari fountain pen.

Papelote notebook strap with 5 special edition Lamy Safari Fountain Pens

And finally, this, ladies and gentlemen is the winner: Papelote notebook strap…the most amazing invention in stationery world 🙂 I gave at least a dozen of them out as presents. Not a single serving friend – use it after you finish a notebook (unlike Leuchtturm1917 pen loops). It works as a pen holder by itself, no extra weight necessary 😉 They come in 3 sizes and many colours.

Smallest is A6 Papelote notebook strap holds 3 pens and fits pocket A6 notebooks from:

  • Quo Vadis Habana
  • Moleskine
  • Rhodia
  • Leuchtturm1917

Medium A5 Papelote notebook strap size holds 5 pens and will go on following A5 notebooks:

  • Leuchtturm1917
  • Rhodia
  • Quo Vadis Habana
  • Nuuna

also XXL Moleskine notebooks (medium Moleskines are too thin) and both Rhodiarama sizes (A5 and XXL).

Large A4 size Papelote notebook strap holds 5 pens and fits Link and Leuchtturm1917 Master books, Rhodia A4 Webnotebooks and believe it or not the Buckle files.

buckle file with papelote

We’d love to hear from you – which ones do you go for? Are you a colour-matcher or a colour-mixer?

Thank you for reading,

Mishka (^_~)


Faisal’s Year In Review

I am coming up to my first anniversary with Bureau Direct and it feels right to finally offer up a staff review. I use the term ‘review’ very loosely here. Please do not think I know what I am talking about, I am probably much more of a stationery amateur than anyone reading this. These are just some of my ramblings.

For those of you not familiar with myself it is because I do not play a part much in the mail-order side of Bureau, you may have heard me answer a few phone calls when no one else is available (sorry for not being as helpful as the others!). I mainly manage producing branded stationery for company use or for promotional events and conferences. If you want to get in touch, my details are at the bottom of this post! Sorry, a shameless plug there, let’s get back on topic.

Before my time here, I was blind to the wonders of fine notebooks and pens. A stationery peasant, using battered biros laying around the house and supermarket refill pads as ‘notebooks’. Although I wouldn’t call myself a stationery addict (just yet), my sight has been revived and the following are now some of my few treasured possessions.

  1. Lamy Vista Fountain pen

lamy vista

Deep down, I think I have always yearned to own a fountain pen. However, I had always assumed that this would be an expensive dream and never looked into it further. All that changed after working just a couple of weeks here. It was impossible not to notice how popular the affordable Lamy Safari fountain pens were with the customers and that gave me hope.

I took the chance and I am glad I did! I was pleasantly surprised at how much an improvement in fun writing was. In fact, now I exclusively write using my fountain pen. I set myself on the Vista in the end because seeing the colour of the ink through the clear barrel is a novelty that I will never tire of. This leads nicely onto my next choice.

  1. J Herbin Mini Ink Bottles

herbin inks

When you have finally settled on a fountain pen, you then need to find some inks to fill it with! I love bright, exotic colours so my mission was to find such a range of inks. Over the past year I have tried numerous inks from Lamy, Monteverde and J Herbin. All of which have some great colours in their catalogues which really stand out, but I have to go with J Herbin. They just have such a huge choice and there are many that provide that strength of colour that I crave. My personal favourite so far is the Bleu Pervenche.

If you hold no alliance to any one particular colour, it’s a no brainer to go with the J Herbin pick’n’mix option. (Remember to get an ink cartridge converter, the Lamy Z24 in my case!) I personally went for the customisable ten ink set, as it presents your ink in a luxurious black box for safe keeping. I am showing symptoms of addiction already. I have the constant thought in the back of my mind encouraging me, “the more I write, the quicker I can change ink.”

  1. Leuchtturm1917 notebooks

leuchtturm1917 notebooks

As with the public mainstream, the only notebook I had ever known by brand name was Moleskine.  I needed a notebook to track what needed doing for the day and so naturally picked off a standard Moleskine lined notebook of the shelf. They were good enough for the biro I started with but the move to fountain pen was not pleasant. The ink bled through constantly through the pages and everything just got so messy!

However, I kept my first Moleskine to the bitter end and when the last page was used I immediately switched over to Leuchtturm1917 and have never looked back. Not only do the pages not bleed but writing in ink is so smooth and effortless. Even something as simple as the Leuchtturm having numbered pages and an empty contents page makes a tremendous difference in keeping myself organised. Or maybe I like them because the colours Leuchtturm offer on their covers are fantastic.

A year at Bureau is a big step but even greater is the fact I have come out of the stationery shadows and now bask in the powerful combination of a pen, ink and paper. If you are a newcomer to this stage then I would recommend starting with the above. Well, maybe don’t go crazy on the ink just yet…

Here’s the website for branded stationery from Bureau Direct, aptly named Bureau Business: www.bureaubusiness.co.uk

And if you would like to contact me, I am available at faisal@bureaudirect.co.uk.


For the Love of Stationery…

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Hello, I’m Liz Weston. I’m doing some project work for Bureau Direct at the moment and as I’ll be popping up in a range of places online Dominic and Jo thought I should introduce myself to you. I was a fan of Bureau Direct long before I met them for work purposes – #StationeryWednesday is usually the highlight of my week because I’ve been a stationery fan all of my life. Seriously – I still have one of the yellow pencils I used to do my GCSE’s more than 20 years ago.

And I have a shelf full of notebooks that are empty, waiting to be used. Some of them I’ve bought myself and some of them have been bought for me as gifts. I’m notoriously difficult to buy gifts for – think Rachel in Friends – and so the one thing that everyone knows I won’t return – is stationery! I can always find a use, a home, a purpose for stationery. It makes me smile, makes me feel efficient, helps me switch my brain off in the night when I think of something and write a note in the small booklet next to my bed.

I have used paper as a way to document my life since I was truly small – writing stories and ideas and lists in notebooks progressed to journals and diaries as a teenager. I loved them. Even at University, I had to draft my submissions on paper before typing onto the computer and doing final edits there. Now, I use my personal blog as a kind of diary. But there’s nothing to replace the feeling of paper, and committing pen to paper. It’s heaven.

When the opportunity came along to work as part of the Bureau Direct team, I seized the opportunity with both hands! I’m working on all sorts of different things with them – starting with a blogger project and also, on their support of The National Brain Appeal’s #ALetterinMind campaign. I’m starting to contribute to their social media as well, so please look for me there.

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Here’s some stationery related things you might like to know about me…

I’m a lined paper kind of girl – but not too thin and not too thick in terms of lines.

I prefer hardback to softback notebooks and I like them to be A5

I like notebooks with the envelope / stash place in the back

I used to be a diehard Moleskine fan, but am moving over to Leuchtturm1917 with a passion, because it syncs with Evernote, Dropbox and email in one press of a button!

I have two children who have inherited my love of stationery. The colour, write and document their pictures with surreal levels of concentration. I’ve trained them to do this in notebooks – it saves me having to put all of their creations on the wall / fridge and means we can keep them and put dates in, to keep their stories and pictures to look at again when the are older.

My current must have accessory is the Papelote elastic strap that keeps my phone, pens and notebook all together. It’s brilliant. Have been telling everyone about it. Repeatedly.

What’s your favourite piece of stationery at the moment? I’m always on the lookout to expand my collections, so please tell me about what you are loving in the comments below.



Staff Pick – Back to School

Henry’s Choice

back to school stationery

Whilst I’ve been working at Bureau over the summer I have been given the opportunity to pick 5 items that I could take back to school with me. My initial suggestion was the dialog 3 but after seeing the looks on their faces I decided to stick with a green Lamy Al-star with matching green ink. I’ve never really used a fountain pen before and have possibly the worst handwriting so I’m hoping that the fountain pen will get me into shape.

Obviously I needed something to write and take notes in so I picked an A5 orange Leuchtturm with a sea green Papelote notebook strap for my Al-star since the pen  fits in it. The notebook has really nice paper and the sea green pen loop goes really well with the orange. I also picked up a mark’s storage it notebook to keep my phone in and oyster card. I really like this notebook as I can store everything I need in it and can still take notes. Since I was going back to school I needed some new kit so I picked the essential stationery kit in purple, which has everything I need for school next year. Overall I really like the items I have with the Lamy Alstar being my favourite, as the green ink looks fantastic.


Henry has been working with us as a temporary summer job to help fill in after Paul left. Part of the deal (we did pay him as well!) was that he could have a selection of Back to School stationery in return for a review. It is also fair to mention that Henry is also a part of the ‘Bureau family’ – the first of the next generation! Henry will be leaving to go back to school (6th form) in September.


Staff Picks – Leuchtturm Master Dot

Dominic’s choice


One of the perks running a stationery business is that you end up trying out various items of stationery as they arrive. So many new items have arrived and each one has looked like it will be ‘the one’ – the answer to all those problems. All those reasons why my daily life isn’t better organised will finally be swept away with this new notebook/diary/pen (delete as appropriate). And then the reality – the number of new notebooks I have tried out and been left disappointed with after a few pages! I have tried Moleskine notebooks, Quo Vadis Habana books, Clasmax/Oxford books, Rhodia books, even the Moleskine Evernote and Whitelines Link books, and each has promised me so much but left me no better off.

I had been casting a longing look over at the Leuchtturm Master notebook (sorry, LEUCHTTURM1917 to give it its full and proper name), and so after one too many disappointing notebooks I decided that now was the time. I am now the owner of a very nice Leuchtturm Master Dot book, and we’re talking about 6 weeks in now. That’s 6 weeks and I am still happy.

What do I like about it? Simple things really – I like Leuchtturm books, the quality and feel of them is satisfyingly solid and reliable. They have nice features like the Index and Page Numbers, which means that you can easily mark out where your important notes are as opposed to the endless pages of scribbles and doodles. The dot paper makes me wonder why no one came up with this idea years ago – enough structure to keep my messy scrawl in line, but enough white paper to let your notes and drawings breathe. Finally, being a full A4 and a bit in size, the book has space to fill – let your notes meander and devote a whole page to a long list.


Job under the spotlight – WDFG

Branded notebooks on a deadline

branded Castelli Tuscon


This month we are putting the spotlight on a recent job for branded notebooks that we carried out for WDFG (World Duty Free Group), for their Annual Supplier Conference held at a Heathrow hotel. The conference was for 200 delegates from leading brands including Chanel, Dior, Lancome, Estee Lauder, Diageo, LVMH and Luxxotica. So far, so good, except that this was one job with a very tight deadline, and just a little bit of pressure from the CEO that this had to happen.

The brief

We had previously carried out work for WDFG, branding our Leuchtturm1917 notebooks using the orange books to fit in with their corporate branding. When approached by Karen at WDFG for an urgent delivery of notebooks for an event we were left with a problem  – the event was only a week away and the Leuchtturm books can take a week just to import from Germany. I suggested to Karen that she might consider an alternative notebook  – the Castelli Tuscon – which we could just about get delivered in the week available.

A further problem on this was that Jo had previously handled the WDFG job. She was on holiday and I was fielding her emails. Tim had only joined us 2 weeks before and was still on a steep learning curve, all of which just added a bit of spice to the proceedings.

The brief Karen had was to make sure the delegates were given a branded item that was both of suitable quality but also something useful for them. As she has told me, the week deadline seemed impossible, but ‘impossible really wasn’t an option’ on this one.

What happened next

Having produced the Leuchtturm notebooks before, we took the simple and obvious decision to scale down the same artwork onto the Castelli book – there is a slight size difference and we wanted it to appear proportionally right. The orange Tuscon notebook was a good match colour-wise and we had confidence in the product – after all, Karen didn’t even get to see a sample beforehand, so there was a risk involved in this!

Production went as expected and delivery was made in time for the conference.

branded Castelli Tuscon

The outcome

Everything went perfectly, and best of all the branded notebooks were a success – everyone used them and took them away. There’s nothing worse than having them left behind once the conference is over, but no such worries here. The WDFG staff working there were also given one and more have already been ordered.

The notebooks themselves really stood out – the orange Tuscon book is a bold colour and these books brand very nicely when blind embossed. The heat of the embossing changes the colour of the cover slightly giving an extra element of depth to the embossing, and Tuscon has a very pleasing soft-touch feel to the cover.

From our point of view we hope that we helped solve a problem for Karen, and subsequent discussions have now moved on to looking at other branded products going forward. Despite the deadline we both loved working with Karen who seemed unfazed by the pressure.

In Karen’s own words: We wanted to give our delegates something that was of excellent quality – but that was also genuinely useful…an item that we could brand quite boldly, but that people would still be happy to usethis style and format of notebook really is extremely popular and lends itself to a variety of events – conferences, store launches with airport partners, media events