A tale of two notebooks

This is a comparison of the Original Leuchtturm1917 Notebook and Official Bullet Journal Leuchtturm1917 Notebook (henceforth referred to as Original and Official). The Official notebook as I understand it was a collaboration between Ryder Carroll and Leuchtturm. These are my personal opinions about products that I purchased with my own money. This is not a sponsored post.

My Leuchtturm notebooks: Original in Berry; Official in Black.

My first A5 bullet journal was an Original LT1917 in berry. I really enjoyed using this notebook because there was a generous amount of space on each page. It was also lightweight and simplistic. The only thing I didn’t like after a while was the color. This is just my personal preference and I should have gone with a muted tone. It’s also why I went with a black one for my second notebook.


  • Both are dot grid
  • Both have the expandable back pocket
  • Both have an elastic closure
  • Both have a hard cover


  • The Original has a total of 249 “workable” pages versus the Official which only has 236 “workable” pages because the extra pages have been dedicated to include tips, a four-page designated index, and another four-page designated future log. Pages 241-248 of the Official notebook include an introduction to the bullet journal, and pages about rapid logging, tips (again), collections, migration, and indexing.
  • The Original has two ribbon bookmarks while the Official has three.
  • The Official’s index is just one table with 26 rows. There is no separate column for the page numbers.
  • The Original’s index actually reads “Content” in three languages, while the Official’s index reads “Index” in English.
  • The Official costs several dollars more than the Original.
  • The Official has the official bullet journal logo embossed on the cover, while the original is plain.
  • The Official includes a key with signifiers on the inside of the front cover.
  • The Original comes in a variety of colors while the Official only comes in Black, Emerald and Nordic Blue.

My personal preference leans toward the Original notebook, and going forward I will probably repurchase this style. I prefer that my index pages have a separate column for page numbers and when I discovered the Official notebook didn’t have that column, it bothered me a bit because my eyes prefer the separation (it’s just easier for me to find the page for the entry). I also don’t need the extra pages explaining what everything is, and would prefer to have more pages to work with. The extra third ribbon is nice but definitely something I can live without.

The index in the Original notebook.
And the index in the Official notebook.

If you’re starting out with bullet journaling, have decided to use an LT1917 notebook and would love to have the extra pages of information, go for the Official notebook. But if you’re not new to bullet journaling and want the extra pages to write in, then the Original is the way to go.

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