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Bullet journaling is a fantastic tool for productivity, wellness, and creativity. You will need to invest in a few bullet journal supplies to get started.
Don’t worry, though! Some may try to tell you that you need fancy pens, stickers, glitter, and a ton of other bling to make your bullet journal great. While those items are fantastic bonuses, they aren’t essential for beginning your journey into bullet journaling.
What Bullet Journal Supplies Do I Need?
To start your bullet journal, you only need two things: the journal and a writing implement. You could even start with a regular notebook if you’re low on cash.
Ideally, you should start with a journal with tiny, laser-dotted “bullets” covering the page. These marks are spaced equally throughout the entire page, making drawing lines, charts, tables, and anything else you might need a breeze.
While regular lined paper or blank paper can work in a pinch, you may need a ruler or other straight edge to draw any shapes or boxes you will use for journaling.
The second essential bullet journal supply is a writing implement. You can use something simple, like a regular pencil or pen, or you can use graphite, colored pencils, markers, or anything else you want. Pens and pencils are the top choices for bullet journaling, as the writing tends to be smoother, and they smudge less. Those with artistic skills may want to consider watercolor pens, chalk pastels, permanent markers, or other writing implements.
The Best Journals for Bullet Journaling
There are thousands of different journals you can use for bullet journaling. Here are some of the top brands and places to get both your journal and your bullet journal supplies!
Moleskine is the king of journals. They make a variety of journals for various needs. Consider their classic hard-covered notebook in multiple colors for your journaling needs.
Soothi offers gorgeous leather-bound journals. The only problem with Soothi regarding bullet journaling is that they only offer lined and unlined journals. They don’t provide dotted journals.
However, many people prefer plain paper for their bullet journals, and Soothi is an excellent option if you want to combine your bullet journal with an art journal or junk journal.
Promptly Journals is best known for its themed journals, but they also offer a simple, elegant bullet journal.
Get the Perfect Bullet Journal at the Store
Bookstores like Barnes and Noble and craft stores like Michaels offer wide varieties of bullet journals. Even office supply stores like Staples have great options! These are the best places to shop if you’re looking for a journal that’s easy to use with a beautiful pre-made cover design.
Check out the awesome journal options available at various retailers. Be advised these journals include all different page styles from ruled journals, blank page journals, and dotted page journals.
What Pens Do You Use for Bullet Journaling?
The other essential item you need for bullet journaling is something to write with. Although any pen can work, I prefer to use colored pens to color-code my tables.
My favorite pens are the Pilot G-02 colored pens that come in a box of 10 or 20. They are reasonably priced and offer a variety of colors. I also prefer ballpoint pens and regular ink, as they go on smoothly and generally dry fast.
Gel pens and fountain tip pens provide stunning writing effects, but the dry time and tendency to smear can make them difficult choices for bullet journaling. However, newer gel pens have faster dry times. Zebra brand gel pens are typically easy to use and dry quickly, making them a perfect tool for bullet journaling.
It’s harder to find fountain pens that don’t smear, but if you love how they look and are careful with your writing, you can make it work. The most important thing about your bullet journal pen set is that you love how it looks and feels on paper.
Top Pens for Bullet Journaling
Here are some of the best pens you can get when starting with your bullet journal.
Those on a budget may opt for simple blue or black ink ball pens. Ballpoint pens are suitable for journaling because they tend to write smoothly, and most don’t smudge a lot. Papermate and Pilot are both great options for reasonably priced ballpoint pens.
Pilot Gel Pens
Pilot gel pens are my favorite because they are reasonably priced, write smoothly, and come in an assortment of colors.
Zebra Gel Pens
Zebra gels pens are a second option for a solid, affordable pack of bullet journal pens.
Calligraphy Pen Set
Consider a calligraphy set if you want to go fancy with your bullet journal pens.
Gel Pens with Effects
Gel pens are unique because they have so many different effects. You can get metallic gel pens, translucent gel pens, and even glitter gel pens to decorate your journal in various ways. Check out Michael’s selection of fantastic gel pens and grab what speaks to you.
Top Pencils for Bullet Journaling
Pencils are great for bullet journaling because they are erasable. Sometimes deadlines change, tasks change, or dates get mixed up, so using a writing instrument that has a built-in eraser can make your life easier.
I prefer mechanical pencils for bullet journaling because they write smoothly, and I can simply refill the lead when empty.
Those who want to combine their bullet journal with a sketchbook may wish to invest in art pencils. Faber Castell makes a fantastic set of graphite pencils for sketching, drawing, and doodling in your journal.
Writing Instruments to Avoid When Bullet Journaling
Not all writing utensils are well suited for a bullet journal. When shopping for bullet journal supplies, keep in mind that not all tools are created equal. Sharpies, permanent markers, and heavy felt-tipped pens tend to bleed through the pages unless you opt for an art journal with thicker paper.
Fountain pens, older gel pens, and some felt tip pens also tend to smudge, making it harder to keep a clean, crisp journal.
You can still use these items if you want. An excellent felt tip pen offers a smooth writing experience and effect you can’t get with a simple ballpoint. Test your pages to check for bleeding before deciding which pen to use.
What Supplies Should I Get for Bullet Journaling?
Many people go beyond the basics to create a unique bullet journal fitting their style and mood. Here are fun extras you can get to add some flair to your diary and make journaling a more creative experience.
Stickers make great additions to bullet journals. You can find sticker books dedicated to nearly any niche, from plants and animals to aliens and spaceships.
Bullet journal stickers allow those with little artistic talent to add exciting graphics and effects to their journal without drawing them in. Get creative with a variety pack and use stickers to highlight important parts of your journal.
Post-it notes allow you to write portable reminders in your journal, but they don’t have to be plain. There are tons of decorative post-it notes available which enable you to let your personality shine even in your messages to yourself.
Stencils are great because they help you draw specific letters and images perfectly. Stencils can help you with lettering for your titles or add a bit of flair to your journal with shaded pictographs.
Stamps are one of the best extra bullet journal supplies you can get. You can find tiny stamps in the shapes of hearts, stars, birds, or other symbols. Use these stamps to mark off your to-do lists or to decorate the edges of your journal.
A highlighter set is a perfect addition to your bullet journal supply pack. You can use different colors to highlight your journal’s most critical tasks or ensure specific items catch your attention.
Although the laser dots in bullet journals make drawing charts easier, some of us not blessed with artistic abilities still may struggle to make the lines straight. A simple six-inch ruler is a fantastic tool for ensuring all your tables maintain sharp edges.
Craft tape is a fantastic tool for journaling. Also called washi tape, the thin, decorative tape allows you to underline titles, create boxes, and easily decorate your journal’s margins.
Washi tape comes in various colors and design schemes.
Finally, you need something to hold your wonderful bullet journal supplies. A simple pencil case will work if you don’t have a lot. However, if you decide to go all out, you may want to purchase a larger craft box to hold everything.
Combining Your Bullet Journal with Other Types of Journals
Though a bullet journal is an excellent tool, many users prefer combining it with another type of journal. Some may use their bullet journal as a scrapbook, while others may add bullet journal pages to their art journals. Experienced journalers may want to put everything together into one massive junk journal.
There’s no right or wrong method for journaling, but you may need different supplies depending on your intended use. If you lean towards crafts and scrapbooking, you may need scissors, tape, and stationery. If you incorporate art journaling into your bullet journal, you may want pastels, watercolors, and art pens.
How Do I Start a Bullet Journal for Beginners?
Starting a bullet journal is simple, but it may seem overwhelming. Don’t overthink it. The best way to learn something new is to dive in and try it. Grab a bullet journal and get started!
For inspiration, check out our massive list of bullet journal ideas. There are ideas on how to use your bullet journal to track goals, habits, and meals, in addition to ideas on creating monthly or weekly bullet journal spreads. There are hundreds of ways to use your bullet journal, so use the inspiration as a guide and do what feels right for you.
Bullet Journal Supplies are Personal
Bullet journaling is a personal journey. Many people love turning their bullet journals into art projects, but you don’t have to if that doesn’t speak to you. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to a simple black ink pilot pen and paper craft notebook for bullet journaling if that works for you. Everything else is just a bonus.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.