Review: NOSO Journal for Teens

Notebook Review: NOSO Journal for Teens | Blossoms and Bullet Journals

Recently, I have had the pleasure of being one of the first people (!!!) to try out the NOSO Journal for teens, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you all!

what is it?.graphic

NOSO stands for Not On SOcial Media, and it’s all about creating an offline, creative space for teens to express themselves. The creators of the NOSO Journal really wanted to help teens have a way to de-stress and reflect on their lives in an analogue format, away from screens and distractions. This really connects with me, being a teen myself, and I think it’s super awesome that people want to help introduce journaling to teenagers. There are so many benefits of keeping a journal! The ability to “de-clutter” my brain and engage in reflection is one of the reasons I love bullet journaling, and I would love for more kids like me to be able to share in that.


The NOSO Journal itself is a smallish notebook with dot grid paper, numbered pages, and prompts for journaling. At first glance, the notebook seems very similar to any other premium notebook, but there are a few key differences.

Anywho, being the list-maker I am, I decided to make a list of pros and cons of the notebook for you all!


  • The journal includes prompts, guidelines, and ideas for lists, which could be helpful for people who are a bit intimidated by a completely blank notebook or don’t know how to start journaling. It’s a blank notebook for the most part, so the user has lots of freedom, but there’s still some structure


  • Size—the notebook is about 5 by 6 inches; small enough to slip inside a backpack or purse, but not too small.
  • Pages have a dot grid format!
  • Journal’s cover is a bright, happy yellow
  • Paper is eco-friendly and very good quality
  • Love the built-in index
  • Draw-on cover—I was very intrigued when I saw that the NOSO Journal’s cover can be written on! Sure enough, when I tried it out, I found that I was able to write on the cover, and so far, the Sharpie hasn’t smudged off. My Faber-Castell pen didn’t work quite so well (see image below), but my Sharpie marker wrote excellently on the cover.
  • One of my favorite things about the NOSO Journal is that a percentage of all sales go towards teen mental health initiatives. This is such a great idea, and I think it shows that the journal’s creators really have their money where their mouths are when it comes to improving teen mental health.
A weekly spread I created using one of the funky alternative grids in the back of the notebook


  • I tested out a bunch of my favorite pens in the journal (more on that later) and found that the writing from my fountain pen s feathered a little bit.
  • The sizing of the dot grid was perhaps a little too small. Depending on the size of your handwriting, it could be hard to fit stuff into the lines.
  • There are random drawings on a few of the pages—not sure why they’re there? They don’t really seem to serve a purpose, so they seemed a bit weird.


  • This is a little nitpicky, but a few of the list ideas didn’t really seem to make sense for the target age group—I don’t think many teens are thinking about meal planning and vacation rentals.
  • There is one prompt I would have excluded had I been making the journal—Which parent do you resemble most?—because not everyone has two parents.
  • The journal has a built-in calendar (known by bujo-ers as a future log) at the front, which is a great idea, but the boxes aren’t really big enough. If you have more than one event per day, it’s gonna be really hard to fit both of them.



Paper quality is super important to me, being a stationery nerd, so I decided to test a bunch of my pens and markers to see how they’d work in the NOSO Journal.


As you can see, most of the pens worked fine. The Sharpie marker bled through, but that was to be expected—Sharpie bleeds through the Leuchtturm1917 notebook (the notebook of choice for many bullet journalists) as well. The only other problem was that I experienced some slight feathering with all of the fountain pens I tried:

  • Pilot Metropolitan in size F with black Pilot Namiki ink
  • Ecoalva fountain pen with Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-jaku ink
  • Pilot parallel with black ink
  • Pilot Varsity

It’s not too bad, but I did notice a small difference from how my fountain pens write in my Leuchtturm notebook. The majority of people probably don’t use fountain pens, so it’s not that big of a deal, but I figured it was worth mentioning. Also, my darker colored mildliners had a bit of ghosting, but other than those two things, everything I tried worked great. The paper is very smooth and thick!


notebook comparison.graphic

The Leuchtturm1917 (medium size, dot grid) is my notebook of choice for bullet journaling, so I drew up a table comparing it with the NOSO Journal.

 🙂 NOSO Journal Leuchtturm1917
Size 120×160 mm (~4.75×6.25 in) 145×210 mm (~5.75×8.25 in)
Grid style Dot grid Dot grid
Dot grid width ~3.5 mm 5 mm
Page count 160 249
Weight of paper 120g 80g
Elastic band? No Yes
Built-in index? Yes Yes
Back pocket? No Yes
Page numbers? Yes Yes
Journaling prompts and ideas? Yes No


To Recap

Thanks so much to the folks at NOSO Journal for the opportunity to try out their journal! Overall, I think the NOSO Journal is a really cool idea that has the potential to help a lot of teens de-stress, recharge, express themselves creatively, and benefit from all of the other positive things journaling has to offer. If you’re looking for a nice quality notebook that’s a bit smaller and more structured than a blank one, look into the NOSO Journal. There are a couple of things I thought could be improved, but this notebook is definitely a good option. If you want to learn more about the NOSO Journal, here is the link to their Kickstarter page.


♥ Annie

Notebook Review: NOSO Journal for Teens | Blossoms and Bullet Journals

One thought on “Review: NOSO Journal for Teens

  1. Pingback: November ’17 Monthly Recap | What I Journaled, Read, Watched, Posted, and Listened to in November – Blossoms and Bullet Journals

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