End of Journal Review: Leather Leuchtturm1917 Master Dots

I received this journal from Leuchtturm1917 free of charge, and it took a while before I got around to using it. At first I was intimidated, and then got into it easily. Since then it’s been a pretty nice book.

Shortly after I got it, it suffered a bit of trauma when it fell of the roof of a car in Florida at ~40 mph, and got run over several times by other cars. I could tell because of the different tire tread patterns left on the pages. I don’t think any other notebook I’ve had would have sustained that damage as well – the leather really is tough.

The covers on the leather book are more flexible than the regular notebook, which I don’t like. Otherwise I prefer the leather. It’s soft, but tough, and feels very luxurious. Boardroom quality.

I’ve become much more of a ballpoint and pencil user, and so while the paper handles fountain pen ink pretty well, that’s not much of an issue for me. It does not handle ballpoint ink well compared to other papers, but one doesn’t use a ballpoint for the beauty of the ink…usually. Pencil works ok, but it needs softer grades. A 4B on Stillman and Birn Alpha paper is like using charcoal. On Leuchtturm1917 paper it’s more like a 2B on Alpha, so a 2B pencil is about as hard as I use on that paper.

I don’t use the pocket. I stuck an expense check back there once and forgot about it until it was past its void date. Never again.

The table of contents has gone mostly unused. In fairness, this notebook had few business ideas or the like, which is what I usually need the TOC for.

Will I buy another leather journal? I don’t know. Cost is part of the issue, but I enjoyed putting stickers on my first Master Dots, which I felt I couldn’t do on the leather one…I kind of miss it. Yes, I know, it’s a bit silly for someone my age but that is the point actually.

220 Days With The Master Dots

On February 19, 2012 I made my first entry in the Leuchtturm1917 Master Dots notebook, and 220 days later I made my last. I’ve written several posts about this notebook, and the last was about its durability.


I’m happy to say the covers didn’t fall off, and no pages fell out, nor did any serious tears develop. I hauled the book daily in my briefcase. I also carried it on vacation and traveling.

The useless perforated pages in the back that I used for a few lists even stayed attached.

The only really serious points of wear were at the corners, especially along the spine – you can see how the corners wore down. At first I was a little disturbed by this, but it’s harmless as far as the book is concerned, and testifies to the journey it has taken


So, did I like it? Would I use another one?

After I finished this book I thought about what I would use next. I made another Poor Man’s Midori, with a nice dyed cover and read place holder ribbons. That lasted about two weeks. I briefly thought about using a BookFactory book I’d received and started using for a dedicated notebook on a specific subject, but the page format was just too dominating and dark.

In the end I pulled out the leather Master Dots the folks at Leuchtturm1917 had sent me and it’s my current notebook.

I’ve written about the benefits of a larger page size before, and I’ve noticed that this last book lasted about 7 months – about the same as the book before that which was A5 size, or about one quarter the page area. In the larger book I did do a bit more drawing, but I still must have written at least three times as much if not more. Truth be told some of it was drivel, and some always will be, but because I had the space I wrote more about everything, which is the point of having a notebook in the first place.

I know I’m past sounding like some kind of brainwashed big-notebook zealot, but if you haven’t tried a big book you should.