Notebook Review: Rustic Ridge Classic Leather Journal

Front View


I’m back to writing in a journal again. It’s not that I haven’t been writing or reflecting these past few years–it’s just that I’ve been using other formats. But it’s hard (impossible?) to beat the distraction-free mode of a pen and nice journal.

Rustic Ridge Leather makes a classic leather journal that I’ve been using this fall. It’s made well without an accompanying exorbitant price tag. My Rustic Ridge journal is 5×7, which is probably my ideal size–portable yet big enough to feel like I have a good amount of space on the unlined pages.

You can see in the image above that it’s got a leather wrap tie closure. When I was a frequent journal-writer back in the day, I used to avoid those ties as much as possible. But this one has grown on me. There’s something almost ritualistic now about unwrapping it to start writing and then wrapping it back up again when I’m done.

Here’s what it looks like inside:


With Pen


The bleed-through is a little noticeable but largely limited, even with a Pilot G2 07 gel pen.


Limited BleedThrough


And check out the cool-looking binding (which, more important, shows its craftsmanship):


Binding View


It makes for an aesthetically enjoyable writing experience: before, during, and after.

The leather–as leather–had some imperfections I didn’t love:


Inside Flap


I’m no tanner, so I don’t know how avoidable something like the above would be, but I do understand that real leather has imperfections, so no worries, really. I learned from Rustic Ridge that my journal is “chrome-tanned” and has a buffed finish, which gives it its soft feel. There is not the oil finish sometimes applied to leather, so this journal didn’t have what I associate with a “leather” smell, but it’s just the applied oil that I’m not smelling. (Whatever treatment was applied did smell sort of chemically.)

Of course the leather journal lays flat right away, a question one might have with a hardcover journal. That’s a plus. And the cream-colored pages (acid-free) match the leather perfectly, so that the coloring is just right.

I am using the 200-page journal (i.e., 100 sheets of paper), but there is also a 400-page version (200 sheets). And, yes, I do hope to fill it up by the end of 2016! No need to look elsewhere for a great journal writing experience–this one has got me covered.

Find all Rustic Ridge’s leather journals here. They make other products, too, like photo albums. You can purchase the classic leather journal above using this link.



Many thanks to the fine folks at Rustic Ridge Leather for the journal for review! Check them out here.

4 thoughts on “Notebook Review: Rustic Ridge Classic Leather Journal

  1. I began journaling some 14 years ago. Outside of simply reading the Bible regularly and prayer, there has been no discipline that has been more shaping spiritually than this one. Enjoy!!

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