This post is all about my favourite bullet journal supplies right now. Not everything I use by any means, but it’s definitely the essentials that I drop in my pencil case and take with me when I travel. Let’s dive in.
I’ve got several notebooks that all do a different job for me, but the one I use for my main bullet journal is the Lemome A5 Dot Grid. It has a hard cover, thick paper and 180 pages which I’m hoping will last me through the year. Where it falls down is the lack of page numbering (although to be honest that bothers me less than I thought it would) and the slight yellow tint to the pages. I’d prefer a crisper white sheet, so I may look in to the gorgeous Archer & Olive journals for next time. But for now, I’ve been very happy with my notebook choice this year.
This is a category where I can’t see myself changing my favourites any time soon. The Sakura Pigma Micron Fineliners are simply outstanding. Archival ink, which basically means they shouldn’t fade, quick drying and non-smudge – I just love these babies. I’ve linked to a pack that now includes a brush pen which I haven’t tried, but I’ll give you my favourite black brush pen below in the Essentials category. There’s no getting away from the fact that these beauties aren’t cheap. But if you’re going to splurge, I’d say this is definitely where it’s worth it.
Brush Pens and Coloured Pens
A small selection of my beloved Tombow dual-tip brush pens. Unsurprisingly these pens have, the clue-is-in-the-name, two sides. One is a brush pen and the other a more standard thin felt tip. I’ve seen wonderful modern calligraphy on Pinterest and Instagram with the brush side. But I’ve tried and failed many times to ever replicate it. However I do find them brilliant for adding colour to my bullet journal. They’re water-based so it’s a bit like painting with a pen. The brush gives me excellent control and they can be layered up if that sort of thing takes your fancy.
Again they can be pricey if you’re buying these in a pack. So my recommendation is go to Cult Pens and choose the exact Tombow shades that you think you’ll use. More affordable and guaranteed to be put to good use.
If you want more bang for your buck and are looking for a wider colour selection for your money, you can’t go wrong with a pack of standard Crayola Supertips. They come in a pack of 24 for about £5 or even a pack of 50 if you’re feeling fancy. Great colour variations and if you can keep the kids mitts off them, they’ll last ages. I will admit to having one pack for me, another for my kids!
White Gel Pens
A lot of my illustrations include heavy black lettering, and you’d be amazed at the difference it makes to add a touch of highlight in white. The Sakura Gelly Rolls are my white gel pens of choice. I have a 05, 08 and 10 and although they take a bit of getting used to, they do the job for me.
My three absolute essentials for my bullet journal have got to be:
- A pencil – mine is a technical pencil because I couldn’t be bothered to keep sharpening it. But any old pencil will do. The point is that I draw EVERYTHING in pencil first. It frees up my perfectionist brain from the fear of messing up the page and allows me to enjoy the process of trying things out.
- An eraser – see above. I use mine A LOT!
- My Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Brush Pen – this is meant to be for the sort of beautiful brush lettering that I can’t do. But I use mine to colour in all of my monochrome illustrations. The brush tip is perfect for fine detail and it has a good density of colour to create real impact. And god damn it, it’s so satisfying to use.
Everyday Writing Pen
The biggest mistake I made when I started bullet journaling was to use my precious fineliners for everyday writing in my journal. And that is one quick way to burn through your delicate and expensive pens. Older and wiser, I now use a standard gel pen for my day-to-day use like to-do lists. This one from Zebra was purchased as part of a metallic(?!) multipack from our supermarket. It dries quickly (less smudging) and has a nice smooth writing flow. I can’t find the exact pen online but Cult Pens stocks Zebra so this one looks like it would be similar.
If you love stationery you’ll understand what I mean when I admit that my collection is a tad larger than just these items. However, if you’re starting out and are just looking for some recommendations of where to start, these are my current favourite bullet journal supplies. Happy bullet journaling!