Before I get started on the list, I have a list of some generic items that I think everyone needs before they can start bullet journaling. The following list are just my personal preferences and my opinions, if you have items that work for you, that’s great and if you think I’m missing anything from the list, please feel free to share them! The bullet points below are items that I don’t necessarily have a preferred brand that I use, I usually just pick them up when I run out or lose them.
- Mechanical pencil (0.5 mm) and 0.5 mm led
- Ruler (minimum 15 cm)
- White out
These items create the foundation of a creative spread. If I’m drawing or sketching, I’d like to have a rough draft of it using something easy to erase before I make them permanent with my pens. I also think any mistake remover is key to have in your collection for obvious reasons.
Leuchtturm1917 Notebook Medium (A5)
They’re so many beautiful bullet journal notebooks out there but they can become quite pricey. Last Christmas, my dad purchased an Archer and Olive notebook that I still love and use till this day. As much as I love the Archer and Olive notebooks, they’re not as accessible as I like them to be. I live in Toronto, Ontario and some of the notebooks I’ve been eyeing, costs too much, the shipping is awful and to top it off, some require me to pay customs. The Leuchtturm1917 dotted A5 notebook, you can grab at your local Chapters/Indigo. As someone who does a lot of journaling, not just bullet journaling, I love to just grab one and go. I also love the colour selection matched with the simplicity. I’m not one to decorate the cover but I like to have the option too. Sometimes I find myself getting sick of my own design so I do tend to keep it plain and simple.
Muji Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen in black
Any generic black pen will work but if we’re talking about preference, I do love Muji pens. I love that it glides on the page, so I don’t have to press down on the paper making an indent to the next pages. I also love that it doesn’t bleed through the Leuchtturm1917 notebooks. I do find that it bleeds through my Moleskine notebooks. The pens from Muji are water based making the ink appear bolder on your notebooks and there’s nothing I hate more than dull pens when you’re trying to plan your day out.
Sakura Pigma 30067 Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set, 8 Set
For someone who creates layouts, draws boxes and squares, as well as lettering, this set is a lifesaver! The ink doesn’t bleed through my Leuchtturm1917 and I always bought them in black ink. As someone who’s left-handed, they do not smudge after you place them down, the Muji pens do smudge but I usually use those to write and journal. When I’m drawing out calendars, weekly spread boxes or habit trackers, I need pens that give very bold pigments, a variety of different size tips and doesn’t require a lot of pressure to apply on to the page.
Crayola Super Tips Washable Markers, 50 or 100 count
The more colours the better! I absolutely love adding colour to my bullet journal because it makes the days and weeks seem more exciting. I originally thought I had to grab the full collection of Tombow Brush pens, but after seeing others use Crayola, I had to grab the 100 count. It’s way more affordable, they don’t bleed through the Leuchtturm and with that many colours, you can do so much with it. I use the colours to have colour schemes throughout the months, to highlight or colour code certain things or to colour simple doodles. They come in handy for colouring and highlighting.
Duck Brand Easy-Stick Adhesive Roller, 4 pack
I have trouble finding these outside of Staples and craft stores so I usually grab these on Amazon. I’m someone who loves to stick Polaroids, pictures and other images into my journal for a more aesthetically pleasing look. These work great for me! They’re basically in the ‘wite-out’ cartridge but it’s double sided tape.
Sakura Gelly Roll Classic 10, White
I always thought white pens were useless until I started to dive into creative journaling. They’re a great way to contrast certain words and creative doodles on paper. I also think they’re a great way to correct mistakes. When I make a mistake, especially when incorrectly numbering my calendars, I colour in the number with a black marker and use the Gelly roll to renumber them. I also prefer to use the 10 bold point pens because anything less, it usually doesn’t show up through the paper.
These are just some of my favourite things I carry around when I’m beginning a spread. They’re essential to my collection but you don’t necessarily need these specific items to create a beautiful bullet journal spread. I think as long as you have a pen, white-out and a journal, you’re all set. The most important thing is to express your true self when journaling and to not let products hinder your creativity.