Journaling supplies are fun, and we’ll get to my favorites in a moment. But the best pens and journals and erasers will not help if you don’t know how to use your bullet journal intentionally. So, before you browse the supplies, I recommend getting this ebook: Brainbook – Bullet Journaling Your Way to a More Organized Life by Kalyn Brooke. It’s the book that helped me start my bullet journal and made me fall in love with this design-your-own-planner approach.
Kalyn’s book explains what to do step by step and includes a lot of inspiration pictures and ideas for personalizing your Brainbook. With her help, you can set up your bullet journal in 15 minutes or less.
I recommend the Brainbook Starter Package which includes three extra resources to help you start and maintain your bullet journal:
- Doable Designs companion guide – all the creative doodle, lettering, and header ideas you need to start your Brainbook. You can print this off and trace the designs if you want.
- Access to an exclusive Brainbook Facebook group where you can ask questions, chat with other bullet journalers and share your Brainbook pages (or get inspired by other people’s layouts)
- 11 printable Brainbook layouts sized to fit in your journal – this includes all the layouts you need to start your first bullet journal without having to draw your own layouts. Huge time-saver!
Now, let’s talk about bullet journaling supplies for beginners, because after class tomorrow you’re going to be all 😍 for bullet journaling. I’ve been bullet journaling for four months now, and I’ve found my favorite tools after some experimentation.
The truth is all you need is a notebook and a pen. But if you’re a design and color lover like me, you’re going to want a few more things. Here is my short list of must-have bullet journal supplies for beginners, plus a bonus list of my favorite coloring tools.
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Affordable Bullet Journaling Supplies for Beginners
Let’s start with the basics, including under $10 dot journals.
- Soft Cover 7″ x 10″ Dot Journal – This is my current journal. I looked high and low to find a dot journal with white pages. When I saw these, for less than $10 each, I bought my two favorite colors. There are a lot of colors to choose from. I love the larger size of this journal because I write big and I like adding hand-lettered designs to my pages.
- Triplus Fineliner Color Pens – For color, these are the pens I started with. They are vibrant and have a fine .3mm tip, which makes them great for writing or hand-lettering. They are not good for coloring in large areas (for coloring, see the brush pens below).
- Pencils – When using pens and markers, I always sketch out my design and titles in pencil first. I like Ticonderoga #2 pencils, but don’t use the eraser that comes on the pencil (see the stick eraser below).
- Battery-powered Pencil Sharpener – I got this for my kids, but I think I use it more than they do. It’s great for sharpening pencils and colored pencils.
- Stick Eraser – My husband introduced me to stick erasers, and I haven’t touched a gum or rubber eraser since. I love the ease of using the stick eraser. It erases all the pencil lines completely and doesn’t rip or wrinkle the pages like the larger erasers sometimes can.
- Mini Acrylic Ruler – If you’re a quilter, this ruler probably looks familiar. When I first started bullet journaling, I thought a mini quilting ruler would be perfect for making page layouts. Imagine my delight when I found this mini acrylic ruler. It’s 3″ wide by 8″ long. It’s the perfect size to stay tucked inside my soft cover journal.
- Erasable Black Gel Pens – If you like gel pens, but don’t like scribbling out mistakes, you’ll love these erasable pens. They use the heat of friction to erase the pen marks. It works well. The ink in these pens has been known to pull a disappearing act at high temperatures, so don’t leave the pens or your journal in your car on a sunny day. If you do, put them in the freezer, and the ink will come back. I love these pens for writing my daily to-do lists and taking notes—it’s nice to be able to erase. Because they aren’t recommended for signing legal documents (says it right on the package), I don’t use them for list or collection pages that I want to look back on years from now. These pens are also refillable—here’s a set of three pens and six refills.
- Hardcover 6″ x 9″ Dot Journal – You cannot beat the price on this journal—only $5. This hardcover journal comes in a bunch of colors and your choice of lined, dot, or grid pages. The pages are bright white like the soft cover journal above.
Bullet Journaling Supplies for Color Lovers
If you’re ready to add color to your bullet journal, I have a few more recommendations. Plus, an organizing tool and a pretty journal cover.
- Colored Pencil Set – When I started coloring adult coloring books, I bought this set of StudioPress colored pencils. They sharpen well, and the colors are beautiful. The lead is soft and smooth, and you can blend and build up the color well.
- Tombow Dual Brush Pens – These are the same brush pens I use for hand lettering. They work well for creating hand-lettered titles, doodles, or for coloring large areas. There are over 90 colors available, sold in sets of 10—9 markers and one blending pen.
- 3-Cup Utensil Holder – I keep all my coloring supplies in this holder in my office. When I work on my bullet journal layouts, it’s easy to bring this with me to the dining table or the kitchen island.
- Canvas Bible Cover – On the weekends, my bullet journal goes with me everywhere. While my kids are in activities, I work on my bullet journal. I like this cover—designed to hold a bible—because I can fit both of my journals inside along with extra supplies. It has two pen holder loops and one pouch where I put the markers or pens I want to take with me. The cover measures 8″ x 10″ x 2″ deep, and my new 7 x 10″ journals just fit.
- Twistable Colored Pencils – I
stoleborrowed these from my son. We share them now. These are great for coloring on the go because you don’t have to sharpen them. They’re not the best for fine detail or writing because they don’t have a sharp point.
- Erasable Markers – Just like the black erasable pens above, these markers are erasable with friction. All the colors erase cleanly. These have 1mm tips, compared to .7mm for the pens, so they’re still good for writing. Each marker cap has a built-in friction eraser. They come in a bunch of colors, like this set of 24. I started with the set of 12, but I already want more. My only complaint about these erasable markers and pens, is they aren’t opaque. The ink is a little bit transparent. But the erasability makes up for it.
I wanted to share my favorites because bullet journaling supplies are a load of fun. But before you go crazy stocking up on supplies, I want to make sure you know how to use your bullet journal effectively. so start by reading Brainbook: Bullet Journaling Your Way to a More Organized Life.