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If Joseph can't find me after we've split up to tackle our shopping list at Target, I'm probably wandering around the office supply section, swooning over all things notebooks, pens, and sticky notes.
The overflowing boxes and baskets in my home office might give you the impression that I never leave empty handed!
I can't help it. I'm hopelessly addicted.
Which also makes me the perfect candidate to become equally addicted to bullet journaling too.
Not only does this fun, creative, and customizable planning system put every other planner to shame, (so much so that I even wrote a book about it!) I suddenly had blank notebooks begging me to fill them up with stickers, washi, and every coloring tool under the sun.
It was like this whole new world of office supply opportunities opened up for me. and I can't wait to share all the tools that land on the tippy top of my list as my all-time favorites!
But First…a Quick Disclaimer
If you're just starting to bullet journal, you do not need all the best bullet journal supplies to be a rockstar bullet journalist.
Nope. You don't.
If you pick up a regular notebook and pen, you have everything you need to start customizing your own planner right away. In fact, when you’re first starting out, I suggest you don’t spend your entire paycheck at the nearest craft store or on a massive online order from Amazon. Instead, use what you have at home, and build up your wish list of supplies while you decide what to invest in next.
Of course, I understand that the paper and pen addict inside of you is saying, “Nope. I'm totally doing this ALL THE WAY.” And that's fine. Just know that you don't have to. 🙂
Alrighty…onto the supplies!
The All-Time Best Bullet Journal Supplies
Notebook: Leuchtturm 1917
The Leuchtturm 1917 rings in as almost every bullet journalist's favorite, and for good reason. Despite the higher price tag, the Leuchtturm offers:
- 249 pre-numbered pages
- A built-in index
- Two ribbon bookmarks
- An elastic closure band
- Incredibly smooth paper
- A binding that lays flat at all times
- A paper pocket in the back to hold receipts, etc.
The only drawback is the pages are thinner which could result in ghosting from heavier inks like felt-tipped markers and fountain pens. Ghosting means you can see writing through the page when you look at the back side, but honestly, this “downside” doesn't bother me at all.
However, if you're looking to spend a little less, The Essentials Grid-Lined Notebook is my second choice. With thicker pages, you don't have to worry about ghosting, however, the pages are not pre-numbered so you'll have to write those in yourself.
Black Pen: Faber Castell Pitt Pen (S)
Every bullet journalist needs a go-to black pen, and this is the best bullet journal pen I've found! The ink in the Faber Castell Artist Pitt Pen in (S) is a luscious black color and writes beautifully on the page. It takes a few seconds to dry, so you have to be careful not to let it smear, but it’s totally worth the investment!
Colored Pens: Papermate Flair Felt Tip Pens
For additional color options, Papermate Flairs come in a wide variety of shades, feature quick drying ink that won’t smear, and are available at Target or Amazon. If you want to color code your schedule or different tasks, you can’t go wrong with this choice!
Bonus Option: Pilot Frixion Pens
While pens outside of the typical black and colored options aren't necessary, I often find myself reaching for Frixion pens when I'm creating lists that may require future changes in information. Why? Because they are totally erasable!
If you're a perfectionist like me, this is a game-changer.
Color Highlighters: Zebra Midliners
I use Zebra Midliners whenever I want to add a splash of color to a title or highlight a particular word. They are dual-tipped, which means there is an angled highlighter on one end, and a pointed marker tip on the other, making it easy to add thicker and thinner swatches of color with one tool.
Colored Pencils: Crayola Twistables
For color that glides right onto the page, a set of Crayola Twistables are perfect for coloring in your doodles. They are not as precise as colored pencils, but the colors are vibrant and really fun to work with. Plus, the tips never need to be sharpened. You just twist them!
Brush Markers: Tombow Dual Brush Pens
I'm just starting to learn more about brush lettering, and Tombows are one of the best tools to create gorgeous titles in your bullet journal. They are also dual-tipped with a brush on one end and a marker on the other. The brush allows you to go lighter on the upstrokes and heavier on the downstrokes to create that hand lettering/calligraphy type look.
Pencil and Eraser – Sometimes, you’re not always sure how a layout will turn out unless you sketch it out first in pencil. I do this for more complicated layouts when I need to make sure I have enough space before committing to the page with a bold black pen. The Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser is my personal preference because it erases really nicely and doesn't smear.
Ruler – If straight lines make your heart flutter, invest in a 6” ruler so you don’t have to worry about wobbly lines.
Small Pouch – Whatever tools you use, keep them all in a small pencil or makeup pouch so you don’t have to go searching when you need them. This also makes it easy to grab and take all your bullet journal essentials on the go!
Washi Tape – For added patterns, design and mistake cover-ups, keep a stash of washi on hand to embellish your pages—and cover up those inevitable mistakes!
Stickers – If you don’t want to attempt hand lettering or doodles of your own, stickers are a great alternative to add similar features. Here is a pack of my favorites. Michael's clearance bins are treasure troves of thrifty finds!
It's really fun to experiment with different notebooks, pens, and colored tools until you find the perfect mix, but remember, you truly do not need anything fancy to get started. There’s no right or wrong way to set up your bullet journal, and there’s no one tool that will make or break your ability to use it well.
Your bullet journal's number one purpose is to be an effective organization tool to manage your busy life. It doesn’t matter how complicated your schedule is, how many social events you have on the calendar, or the number of responsibilities weighing on your mind on a given day.
Any notebook and pen has the power to create the system YOU want!
Let's chat about the best bullet journal supplies:
Do you have a favorite notebook? Pen? Coloring tool? Share them with me in the comments!
Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Rest assured, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.