Monday, September 14, 2020

Notebook Review: Buke Owl Dot Grid Journal


It's always a joy finding beautiful notebooks with good quality paper that takes fountain pen writing really well. Getting them from local sellers? That's a godsend! I first heard about Owl Dot Grid Journals in our local fountain pen group, and later read good reviews from bullet journal enthusiasts. As I'm a broad and stub nib user, I got very curious about the notebook's 160gsm paper. I connected with Calligraphy Source, the local sellers of Owl Journals in the Philippines, and I got a yellow notebook to review a few days later.

Owl Bullet Journals are made by Buke Notebook, and they are available in the Philippines through Calligraphy Source in black, peach, turquoise, and yellow covers.  I was surprised by the yellow Owl Journal when I received it, but I like the lemon yellow cover and it makes me think of happy things to write on it.

The lemon yellow Owl Dot Grid Journal by Buke Notebook.

The Owl Journal's band has a surprise! The backside of the band has some handy tools that one can easily stash in the notebook's back pocket. There is a line weight guide, a protractor (measuring instrument for angles), and a paper compass.   


The Owl Dot Grid Journal is available in A5 size with a supple, silky, fine PU hardcover. Each notebook has 160 pages (80 sheets) of 160gsm ultra-thick bamboo paper and an expandable inner pocket in the inside back cover. It also has a matching elastic band, ribbon pagemarker, and pen loop. This notebook's pages are Smyth sewn (thread-stitched) and lays flat when open for easy writing. 

I love the lemon yellow cover of my Owl notebook. I can't remember having a yellow notebook before.
The Owl logo/branding is embossed in gold on the front cover. I hope it won't be scratched off later.
The logo of Buke Notebook is imprinted on the back cover.
The Owl Journal is thicker than most A5 notebooks because of its 160gsm paper. But the PU hardcover is supple so the notebook still lays flat when open.
The matching elastic closure of the Owl notebook is firm and strong to hold the covers and pages together.
The Owl Journal has round page corners. No sharp, pointed corners that get frayed and worn down easily.
The pages of this notebook are thread-stitched so they are secure and will not fall off the binding easily due to use.
The yellow Owl Journal has a matching ribbon pagemarker, just like its matching elastic band and pen loop.
The pen loop in this notebook is a nice touch. It keeps a pen handy all the time.
The inside cover page of the Owl Journal is blank. I was looking for the usual space to write my name and contact details. This is perfect for sketches and some ink art, though.
The Owl Journal has an expandable inner pocket attached to the back cover. 

Buke Notebook's Owl Dot Grid Journal has 160 pages (80 sheets) of 160gsm Ultra paper. Buke Notebook claims that the Ultra paper is excellent for fountains pens and ink, and does not show any feathering and bleeding. The dot grid in this notebook's pages is the standard 0.5x0.5mm spacing. The dots are printed in light gray so they are unobtrusive on the page while writing.

The Ultra paper used in Buke journals is excellent! To test the paper, I tried writing on it using my inked fountain pens, some gel pens, and a ballpoint. I learned the 160gsm paper is smooth but it's not too shiny, and it tolerates most of my fountain pens which all wrote beautifully. I did not see any feathering, and only minimal ghosting and bleeding. I also noticed that when I tried the paper in this notebook, all of my pens wrote smoothly, even the scratchy ones. 

Is the 160gsm paper in the Owl Notebook really good? It is!
I also tried a combination of ink art and text and I did not see any feathering or bleeding.

Buke Notebook's Owl Dot Grid Journal is a well-made notebook. It has a sturdy cover to withstand daily use, and strong binding to keep the pages together and avoid falling out. The matching cover, elastic band, page bookmarker, and pen loop is a nice touch, but this notebook's paper is the winner. The 160gsm Ultra paper is smooth, and perfect for journaling, calligraphy, note-taking, sketching, drawing, and painting. Get one for your pens!

The Owl Dot Grid Journal in this review has been provided by Calligraphy Source for review purposes, where it retails for PhP495.00. To purchase one for yourself, visit their online store: https://calligraphysourceph.com/

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