When it comes to writing with a fountain pen, the paper you write on is just as important as the pen you are writing with.
Today we are going to take a look at the best journals for fountain pens. There are many things to think about when looking for a journal to use with your fountain pen, but of course paper quality is the number one attribute.
Beyond paper quality, you may want to think about what you are going to use this fountain pen journal for. Do you want blank paper? Lines, dots, or grids? How big of a journal would you like?
We are going to take a look at all of these things and more, and help you find the absolutely best notebook or journal for fountain pens.
In This Guide...
Understanding Paper Weight for Fountain Pens
The paper used in these journals has a weight rating called GSM. GSM, or grams per square meter is basically a measure of how thick the paper is, and how much it weighs.
The larger the GSM number, the thicker the paper.
As you experiment with your fountain pen journal, you will begin to see the weight and thickness you prefer when it comes to writing with your fountain pen.
This is something that is unique for everyone! You will notice as you begin to pay closer attention to the paper you write on with your fountain pen, that different journals feel different when you write on them depending on what their GSM is.
This is important for a few reasons, first of all, as you write more and more with a pen you will determine if you like the way it feels to write with. This is a combination of the pen, the ink, the nib and the paper. It is important that the notebook you use be able to stand up to your favorite writing instruments
Best Notebooks for Fountain Pens
Here are our five favorite fountain pen friendly journals. Pay close attention to the different options for each one, because there are many!
I own at least one of each and every one of these journals, so I am not recommending them without having used them.
When I first was getting started with fountain pens, I started with a single pen and a Rhodia No 16 dot pad. Rhodia paper is a true experience if you have never used it.
It is nice and thick at 90 GSM, and silky smooth. It comes in both white and cream, so pay attention if you have a color preference.
The Rhodia notebooks and journals also have a handy pocket in the back to store important papers.
You really cannot go wrong when it comes to Rhodia, and with so many size, color, and paper options you are likely to find the perfect journal for your fountain pen.
One thing I will note is that the cover of this journal is not 100% firm like some others on this list, so keep that in mind if it is a consideration for you.Rhodia Journals
The Author Tomoe River Notebook
When it comes to the best paper for fountain pens, Tomoe River paper is a tied for my first love.
While Rhodia is a French brand, Tomoe River paper originated in Japan.
It also writes silky smooth like Rhodia paper, but is much thinner at 68 GSM. You can use it with a fountain pen with no issue, even an extra fine nib, as long as you have some experience.
Tomoe River paper does take some getting used to, but because it is so thin, it also can cram a huge number of pages into a journal without taking up much room.
Tomoe River paper is also used in Hobonichi Planners.
Moleskine is one of the strongest names in the journal arena, while Tomoe River and Rhodia are stronger in the paper arena.
Moleskine notebooks come in an array of sizes, with different formats available when it comes to lines, dots, or plain.
They are probably one of the most classic journals around. The paper is quite nice, but on the thinner side in the classic notebooks0 GSM at 7. You can still be prone to a bit of bleeding if you write too hard or too slow.
It also has a very firm cover, which allows it to take quite a beating and be very durable, and it does also come with a pocket in the back.
With so many sizes and options available, there is a Moleskine for everyone.
While Lechtturm1917 does make a wide variety of products, you will find the most options in their A5 size, which features every color under the rainbow of covers and lined, plain, dot grid, or square grid paper.
The paper in the Lechtturm1917 is 80 GSM paper, so it is nice and thick, making this a great journal for beginner fountain pen users.
It also has a back pocket, like the other journals, and has a hard cover.
One nice feature of this journal is that the pages are numbered, unlike many of the others.
Taroko Design Tomoe River Notebook
This journal is actually a two pack of journals, allowing you to get more granular with how you use them and journal.
It uses the same Tomoe River 68 GSM paper as the author notebook, but has fewer pages at 64 per notebook.
This is ideal if you are using different journals for different subjects, or keeping track of different tings. Some people find using multiple journals is better than using a single one.
This does not have a hard cover, and does not have a pocket like some of the others.
Picking the Best Fountain Pen Journal or Notebook
The best notebooks for fountain pens really comes down to personal preference. Let’s take a look at these journals one more time:
It really comes down to personal preference.
For me, I prefer Tomoe River Paper, and The Author Tomoe River Notebook. This is also the thinnest paper, so it is not for everyone.
Slightly thicker is the Moleskine Classic , but not much. However, Moleskine journals have somewhat of a cult following.
If you are looking for a great all around journal for fountain pen use, the Rhodia Rhodia Journals are a safe bet with thicker, smoother paper.
If you like the hard cover of the Moleskine notebook, but really want thicker paper, then the Lechtturm1917 is the journal for you.
Finally, if you are a Tomoe River addict like me, but are looking for journals with less pages, then the Taroko Design Tomoe River Notebook is a sure choice.