The Allan’s Journal

Last Friday, we talked about Bibles and notebooks — and I promised to say more about the ultimate notebook, the Allan’s Journal. Let’s take a look …

Allan Journal 2

This is the Pocket Journal. It measures 5.75 by 4 inches, has 192 pages, and is bound in Morocco goatskin with a single ribbon marker and art-gilt page edges. A larger Standard Journal, which measures 7.75 x 5.0625 is also available.

Allan Journal 1

It comes in a slipcase, too, which is nice. Right now, only the Standard Journal is listed at, where it sells for £10 — about $20 in play money. The Personal Journal listed for £8, which works out to about $16. For some perspective, a large Moleskine journal, which measures 8.25 x 5.25 retails for $15, and last time I checked it was not bound in goatskin. Or slipcased. It probably can’t do this, either:

Allan Journal 5

Don’t get me wrong, I love Moleskines, but one of the things I can’t figure out is why I don’t have more Allan’s Journals. I ordered one and loved it — but it was so nice I couldn’t bring myself to write in it. (Which is good for you, since you get to see the pristine article.) This stockpiling instinct is a habit of mine. When Moleksines were re-introduced in 2001, I bought out every stock of them I could find, figuring something so good couldn’t possibly stay on the market. I was wrong, but as a result I have a long-since-paid-for supply of notebooks. Still, I need some more Allan’s Journals. They are splendid, just like the Bibles.

Allan Journal 4

The pages are lined, and as I mentioned before, the edges have the red-gold art-gilt treatment familiar from Allan’s Bibles. The quality is really impressive. Not long ago, I was at the bookstore looking for leather-bound journals with sewn bindings, since the Moleskine hardback isn’t as flexible as I’d like for pocket carry. I had a hard time finding any — most of the offerings seem to be glued, even when the covers are touted as quality Florentine leather. Then I remembered the Allan’s Journal, quietly slipcased on my shelf. “What am I doing?” I said. I already had what I was looking for.

Allan Journal 6

These journals even have head and tail bands like the Bibles. Not too shabby, huh? To give you a real-world idea of the Personal Journal’s size, here it is with the Allan’s Crystal KJV:

Allan Journal 7

And here’s another image, this time coupled with a red Moleskine journal, which measures 5.5 x 3.5:

Allan Journal 8

Now I’m not saying we should trade in our Moleskines, but last Friday’s post was about what journals go best with our Bibles, and it’s hard to imagine a better match than an Allan’s Bible with an Allan’s Journal. The Standard Journal would be a great match with an Allan’s ESV, for example. So next time you place an order with the the glorious ones in Glasgow, maybe you should include a journal or two. That’s my plan.

Allan Journal 3

35 Comments on “The Allan’s Journal

  1. Very nice indeed. Too nice to write in was my first thought too. But then, I’m sure a fountain pen would be worthy of the task. 🙂
    This certainly is a step up from the more utilitarian-looking Moleskine, and gives us a worthy companion to our high quality Bibles. Thanks for the pics too, for, once again, it’s hard to pull the trigger on an such an item from a website that is quite minimalistic in describing their products. Once again, you’ve put me under the influence.

  2. Wow. I saw the entry for those last month but had no idea on the quality. If I take to journaling I would probably switch over to these from my Moleskines. So far though I spend most of my time reading and don’t write much of consequence. The majority of my notes are more like scribbles fit for temporary use on post it notes or index cards. I’m surprised at the difference in quality from the china sourced moleskines to these, given the comparable pricing.

  3. I wonder if you can get these without “Allan’s Journal” stamped on the cover?

  4. Good article. I currently have 2 of the Journals (the £10 versions) and I am planning on adding several more on a regular basis. The quality at this price is amazing

  5. That is a beautiful notebook! I, too, would want to know if one can get these without “Allan’s Journal” stamped on the cover. Just when I was about to get a full size Moleskine this weekend. Decisions, decisions.

  6. Mark,
    If you actually break down and write in it, I’d be curious to know how the paper holds up to fountain pen ink.

  7. I love my wife. She not only supports my Bible habit, she saw this piece and said, “I think you need one. It looks like you.”
    Guess that means my next stop online is the RL Allan website.

  8. Wow — very nice. When someone figures out if the RL Allan can be left off…and perhaps even personalized, let us know!

  9. I have the journal and prefer it over my other journals. The goatskin, red under gold, and nice paper add a ton of character in my opinion. That being said I also wish the “Allan’s” logo would be left off. It is the reason I do not use the journal as much, I also tend to shy away from bibles that print “holy bible” on the front cover (I guess I like covers plain)

  10. I like this idea. I write notes from church on whatever is at hand ond only later decide it something is worthy of writing in my Bible.
    Like Matt, I am not crazy about the logo on the cover.

  11. I emailed Allan’s about the logo and received this response:
    David, I am sorry the only journal available at present has the logo on the front. Our current stock is running low and when we produce them again we will omit the logo – no timescale on this.
    So there you go. I’m personally waiting until the 2007 ESV reprint becomes available in June to purchase my ESV1T… Maybe by then the Journals will be sans logo.

  12. Thanks for checking into this — sounds like you and I may be purchasing both at the same time!

  13. I picked up one of these journals a couple months ago when I got the NKJV Cambridge Pitt Minion in Goatskin. BTW, they go very well together. I have a similar complaint with the Allan logo on the front. I quickly rubbed laboriously to get the gold off and I feel more settled. Also the goatskin is not of the same quality as the Cambridge or Allan Highland Goatskin. It is a much harder tougher, lower quality goatskin. I guess if they were to used a higher quality hide, the price would be through the roof. Also my father in law is licensed to sell Allan Bibles/products here in Illinois if anyone wants to go that route you can contact me.

  14. Indeed these Journals are worth far more than they are priced. I bought two of these journals early last year and am currently using them to my great satisfaction. However Mark, your influence is bad for the budget. After reading your review of these Allan journals I am seriously considering ordering without delay three more of these glorious journals from the glorious ones from Glasgow. I have a host of journals that cost an arm and a leg, but the quality of these Allan journals drives one to throw all caution to the wind and possibly incur the wrath of a wife who will surely ask ” how many journals does a man have to have?” ( she has asked this for ages concerning my bibles) Often I wish that your blog never existed so that martial bliss may pervade the homes of those choice individuals who thought they were one bible men but fell under the allure of your pen,photographs, and your not too subtle descriptions of the joys of the high quality leather Bibles.

  15. Hello, everyone. This looks like a wonderful journal, but Allan’s no longer has any. I would like to get my hands on one, preferably the larger one, but either will do. If anyone has an extra one, and is willing to part with one, please let me know. My e-mail is:
    I received some correspondence from Allan’s regarding their journals, and was told the new ones are of higher quality, but at about $30 per, that’s just too rich for me. At the old price, I was within a few clicks from ordering when I found out there aren’t any more.
    Thanks in advance,
    Pastor Ron

  16. I’m glad Allan’s ran out of the old journals, because they have new ones on the way next month. It’s dimensions (6 1/8 x 4 1/2) are a cross between their standard and the pocket one. Well the almost $30 (15 sterling pounds)might be a little stiff but I am keeping my fingers crossed that this edition will surpass the old one. Allan’s website says the new design will just feature the title JOURNAL on the front cover. It will also have India paper, more pages ,and a more superior goatskin binding. Well all you writing fanatics out there and true Allan’s believers, pray that the next days go forward at warp speed.(Where in the world is Einstein when you need him?)

  17. I have an Allan’s journal and must say that I am pleased with it. Although the leather was a bit tough and I am still seeking the right pen to use so that the ink does not bleed through the pages. Also, when the new Allan journals are released, isn’t the india paper going to be thinner than the semi-heavy stock notebook paper already used? Which pens do you all prefer when it comes to journaling?

  18. Good review and very nice pictures, made it a lot easier for me to buy one “unseen”.
    I’m ordering some more, together with a backorder for the black ESV.
    I can really recommend these notebooks, either to go with a Bible to church or just for every day life for the folks that don’t want an iPhone. (Yes, I had one for a year and grew tired of all the functions, I know, I’m odd). If I might make a suggestion: don’t use a fountain pen with it, use a Perfect Pencil from Faber-Castell. The plastic ones don’t look as nice as the Sterling Silver ones, but do the job like no other. You’ll have a pencil, eraser and sharpener in one for € 7,95 in all plastic and € 25 in nice aluminium…
    @Charles Well, I dunno, but Moleskine pocket 14×9 lined is €13 overhere, the Journal is €18. For that price I get better paper and a goatskin leather exterior and a (binding) quality that is at least as good as that of smythson’s of bond street.
    And in the Netherlands I can only buy the 18 month as a soft cover.
    So I would say that Moleskine is no match. Perhaps if you need a clean unlined notebook, but not for me as I often scribble in it.
    @Peter, a F Pilot Vanishing point might do the trick, certainly with the Penman ink from Parker that I use, but you’ll have to use it a lot as the Penman ink is prone to clog the feeder. But the ruby is such a brilliant and deep color! I tricked my Pilot into giving a bit less ink, but I would not recommend that doing it yourself. Some good old penshops can do this as a service.
    I also have a Sailor 1911 naginata togi with medium tip that I use upside down.
    But most often I use a perfect pencil in sterling silver from Graf von Faber-Castell. it is easier to work with as I often change little things in my texts.
    @Ron, why is £15 a stiff price? I ordered a Travel Notes from Smythson’s it was £55, it also cost £10 P&P, was packed unbelievable nice, arrived within three day’s of ordering, but still, I could order exactly 4 Journals and still keep £ 5 in my hand! And believe me, the Journal is every bit as nice as the Travel Notes. Or compare it to Moleskine and you’ll end up with spending € 5 more and getting at least for € 20 more worth of notebook.
    I really don’t understand how R.L. Allan can make these notebooks for these prices!

  19. The current Allan Journals do not have the Allan Logo on them. They simply have “JOURNAL” embossed on the cover. All pages are blue lined. It has one ribbon marker.

  20. Great news about the logo being removed. It’s the only thing stopping me from buying one right now.

  21. I am awaiting the revised ESV 2008 from Allan’s in a full leather lining, 32 lined pages for notes and 3 ribbons. But because of this superb review i have also ordered a Journal. I need to stay away from this site!!

  22. Edward- if you read other posts you’ll find out that the new Allan’s will not have the note pages. Bummer. That was an attractive feature for me. The question I have is that since they delayed publishing due to problems with the printer, why wouldn’t they wait to refill their stock on note pages s they could include them? If they wanted it exactly correct, why not wait? Is the market putting too much pressure on them for delivery?

  23. Rod, Thanks for letting me know this! I think you are right with regards to pressure. The web site said June 08 then it was moved to mid September. They maybe feel they do not want to delay anymore than they have. I will let you know what the Bible is like when it arrives next week, God willing. Many thanks.

  24. Rod, The ESV1 arrived today. It is awsome, the maps are in place of the lined paper and to be honest this sems to fit with the Bible better. I bought a journal but from these pictures it is not as good as the old version. Ah well back to the ESV1 for me! Really though buy one, if you liked the first print run you will ove this one even more.

  25. DEAR SIR,
    P.O. BOX 642,

  26. Those are some amazing leather journals. It’d be nice if you could customize it with your own name on the front, if you can’t already.

  27. The good thing about your information is that it is explicit enough for students to grasp. Thanks for your efforts in spreading academic knowledge.

  28. I have the journal and prefer it over my other journals. The goatskin, red under gold, and nice paper add a ton of character in my opinion. That being said I also wish the “Allan’s” logo would be left off. It is the reason I do not use the journal as much, I also tend to shy away from bibles that print “holy bible” on the front cover (I guess I like covers plain)

  29. Jesus these things got expensive! Nearly $40 for a journal with too thin paper? Too bad. Wish I had heard about them when they were around $20. Looks like they upped the pages ($256), but I have to wonder if they’re still stitched as shown above. Really, too bad about the price, anyone know any other red under gold lined page journals out there?

  30. This looks like a wonderful journal, but Allan’s no longer has any. I would like to get my hands on one, preferably the larger one, but either will do.

  31. Inspiring stationery i have seen here. Thanks for sharing this great stuff.

  32. I wonder if you can get these without “Allan’s Journal” stamped on the cover?

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