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6 Essential Stationery Items to Get Started With Bullet Journaling

Risha Khan is a stationery addict who loves collecting writing utensils, journals, and brush pens

Photos downloaded  from free image sites: Pixabay and Unsplash

Photos downloaded from free image sites: Pixabay and Unsplash

A bullet journal could be your planner, diary, or sketchbook. A planner is used to plan, schedule, and prioritize important tasks and events. Your journal could also be a sketchbook that gives you the freedom of self-expression. The basic stationery items that are used in bullet journaling are as follows: -

1. Journal

Bullet journal enthusiasts encourage using journals that have dot-grid or square-grid pages. This way, it is easier to divide the pages into sections for creating future logs, monthly spreads, habit trackers, etc. You can take the help of grid spacing cheat sheets available on Youtube. Plain pages are also a good option if you are an expert at drawing freehand lines and shapes.

Word of Caution: Always check for reviews before buying the journals online. Test out the pens and markers on the last page to ensure that there is no ghosting (bleeding) on the other side. Gel pens and ballpoint pens are the ideal choices.

If you are using watercolors in your sketchbook, then hot-pressed and cold-pressed sheets should be used. Hot-pressed watercolor paper is smooth and, therefore, ideal for water-based brush pens. The cold-pressed ones have texture.

Recommendations: -

  1. Menorah A5 Diary Notebook.
  2. Papercoal 90 GSM Notebook.
  3. myPAPERCLIP Limited Edition 100 GSM Notebook.

2. Brush Pens

If you are a professional calligrapher, brush pens are the best choice. You can write interesting and inspirational quotes for the cover page whenever you start preparing for the monthly theme. Just make sure that the paper is smooth so that the tips don’t get damaged or frayed. Also, the paper thickness should be around 90 GSM so that the ink doesn’t bleed through the paper. My recommendation is to use the Tombow Fudenosuke hard tip brush pens.

If the tip of the brush pens has frayed, don't throw them away. They can be used with watercolor inks/metallic colors. You can also smear the tip on a plastic cling film, blend with other colors to create a gradient effect

3. Mechanical Pencil

Honestly, any pencil will work. You just need to work with light pressure. The best part of using mechanical pencils is that you don’t need to sharpen them, just insert the graphite leads and you are good to go. This tool is popular among many hand-lettering artists and calligraphers for the planning and illustration of the letters. Firstly, you have to create a rough sketch with a pencil, then give final touches using the fineliners/brush pens.

4. Fineliners

They have a fiber tip available in different widths, ranging from fine to broad sizes. They are also available in a variety of colors. The fineliners can be refillable or non-refillable. They are ideal for drawing doodles, headings, and writing journal entries as well.

Recommendations: -

  1. Sakura Pigma Micron Pens
  2. Staedtler Triplus fineliners and broadliners.
  3. Stabilo point 88 fineliners.
  4. Faber Castell Pitt Artist pen set.

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5. Highlighters and Mildliners

An essential tool used by the students for highlighting important notes, highlighters can also be used for prioritization of the tasks. Highlighters can also be used as keys. For instance, red color for urgent projects, green color for tasks that are pending, etc. Highlighters are extensively used in habit trackers and mood trackers.

Mildliners are basically double-sided: brush tip at one end and chisel tip at the other end. So, they serve as a brush pen and a highlighter. They are available in a variety of colors. Zebra Mildliners are gaining massive popularity among the influencers.

6. Washi Tapes

These tapes are made from Japanese rice paper. They are known as masking tapes. They come in different widths and also available in different patterns such as solid colors, floral designs, polka dots, striped, and the gold foil embossed ones are everyone's favorite. They are used for the following purposes: -

  • Thin washi tapes can be used as dividers between daily journal entries.
  • They can be used as bookmarks.
  • Decorate them around any one of the corners of the page or photos.
  • To cover mistakes.
  • Create abstract designs with tapes and "Distress Oxide" ink pads using blending sponges.

Many stationery addicts love to collect them as a hobby. They swatch their collection on the bullet journal pages.


If you are planning to upgrade your journaling collection, you can consider the following suggestions: -

  • Stamps: - Creating the “Future Log” for your bullet journal can be a very daunting task. It includes planning events and vacations for the whole year. They can also be used for habit trackers. There are a various designer and alphabetical stamps available as well.
  • Stencils: - Another time-savvy option if you are too lazy to draw shapes and banners for headers and monthly cover pages.
  • Craft Paper: - Add a vintage touch to your journal using craft paper. You can tear or crumple and unfold the paper to give a textured look and stick it on the pages.
  • Punch Machine: - Small punch machines are available that cut out different designs printed on them. Colored craft papers are a good choice. Just punch your favorite design on the kraft paper, add glue, and stick it or you can also directly punch on the journal page.
  • Sticky Notes: - They can act as labels, reminders, keys.
  • Adhesive Runners: - These are the hassle-free version of regular adhesive tapes. They are also available in designs similar to washi tapes.

Final Word

There are tons of ideas and inspirations you can get about these tools from Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. You can also join communities on Facebook, where you can post your queries. Some young influencers you must follow are: -

1. Amanda Rach Lee (@AmandaRachLee).

2. Jasmine (@studyquill).

3. Therese (@studytee).

4. Elizabeth Turn (@elizabethturn, Plant Based Bride)


Risha Khan (author) from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh on November 08, 2020:

Thank you for your invaluable feedback , Preeti! It is always a pleasure to meet people with mutual interests.

Preeti Shah from Delhi on November 07, 2020:

Very informative article Risha. Being an art enthusiast myself, I love reading art related stuff. Looking forward to more articles on the topic.

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