Notebook Review: Zimo Journals

I used to be one of those people who would drown herself in numerous Starbucks drinks just so I could get all the number of stickers needed to get that much-coveted, much-awaited limited edition Planner.

I did get three of those (that I actually still have lying around somewhere in this house) before finally realizing that I was spending way too much on a single planner (give or take P4,000 in total if you’re doing it on your own). That’s when I started scouring all the local bookstores and other coffee/tea shops looking for a cheaper alternative.

I jumped from one brand to another until I finally realized that it wasn’t really the Starbucks planner per se that was the problem. It was all those pre-setup planners! I wanted to be free to do whatever the fuck I want with my journal without sticking to a pre-determined setup or layout.

I first tried the Traveler’s Notebook setup since that seemed like a fun and “free” one. I purchased the popular Midori, some inserts, and took some inspiration from Pinterest. A few months into playing around with the system, I figured that it still wasn’t what I wanted.


Then I found out about Bullet Journalling and it completely changed my life — for the better! The only problem with this system is finding the right notebook because here in the Philippines (at the time), one has very limited options. And those limited choices are all hella expensive (think more than PHP1,000 for just a single notebook that, depending on how you use it, won’t even last you an entire year).

So when I stumbled upon this certain page on Instagram, I was immediately drawn! A locally-designed dotted journal that’s at par — if not better — than most international offerings??? Okay, gimme gimme!

still some of my favorite spreads to date

[click on photos for a larger view]

the specifics

It lays flat, has an expendable inner pocket at the back, a ribbon bookmark, and an elastic band closure.

When I first wrote this review more than a year ago, Zimo only had one option: a black, hardbound, cahier-size* dotted notebook. Now, there are more colors to choose from (blue and red) and a grid variety to add to the list.

*The same size as Moleskine’s Large notebooks; not quite A5, but close.

paper & pen test

This 192-page notebook has a paper thickness of 100gsm and is perfect if you’re into water coloring or painting. The paper is also super smooth, I sometimes find myself just mindlessly running my palms around it as I find that somehow super comforting.

Anywaaaay, no bleeding or ghosting on this thick and smooth paper. But of course, that all depends on the pen that you will be using. I have the most common gel pens and brush pens used for bullet journalling and no ghosting or bleeding from any of those. The only one that had any problems with some minor bleeding were the Stabilo Highlighters. But only a mild issue and nothing that you should be totally wary of.

[click on photos for a larger view]

Seems all too perfect, huh? Well, not quite but close enough.

My one concern with this is that there are some pages where the dot grids on the left page are not aligned with the dot grids on the right, which means that you cannot connect them with a straight line. This sucks if you want to, say for example, draw a huge box on the entire 2 pages but can’t because they won’t connect.

It’s not on every page, though, so I’m not entirely mad at it; it’s just annoying. But with everything said, I am still completely happy with this purchase!

some old weekly spreads that i really loved

[click on photos for a larger view]


Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. Sam, the owner of Zimo, is one of my friends and she’s also one of the organizers of the On the Dot PH event, but there’s seriously no bias here. I first wrote this review back in December of 2017 on my own blog (which has now been set to private) and we didn’t even know each other then. So…. I’m just sayin’, lol.

Anyway, I have both the dotted and the grid version and while I have tried other notebooks (i.e. Limelight and Paper Notes), I must say that Zimo still remains to be the best. And I’ll definitely be using it as my bullet journal for the next years to come.


You may purchase your own Zimo Journal via Instagram at @zimo.ph or on Shopee for P800 each. Available in dotted and grid and in three colors: black, blue, and red.

This goes without saying, though: #notsponsored

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4 thoughts on “Notebook Review: Zimo Journals

  1. I remember when you showed this to me and I completely agree with the review — the paper is indeed very smooth! Totally impressed with the minimal to no bleeding/ghosting, especially for people like me who loves using very “inky” brush pens. But what I like most about this notebook is how it can lay flat on its back even when you’re already in the last few pages. Perfect not just for bujo, but for sketching, too. ^_^

    Like

    1. Amen to it laying flat! I didn’t know that hardbound notebooks can actually do that prior to meeting this notebook. I’m still super impressed by this and I’m glad I got to give it a try. And on that note, panahon na para bumili ka ng sarili mo. More more sketching!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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