Back in 2014 I wrote an entry about what you need to start bullet journaling. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by all of the fancy spreads that use washi tape and beautiful art work and multi-colored pens and I wanted the world to know that really? All you need is something to write on and something to write with. BUT! If you’re looking for a little bit more advanced of a “start” these are some of my favorite basic items that you might like to buy for the bullet journaler in your life.
My favorite notebook is the Leuchtturm1917 in A5 size with dotted pages. Depending on where you live you may be able to find them in a brick and mortar store but I have to order them online because no one in my town sells them. They have page numbers AND a few index pages which are perfect for adapting to a bullet journal. The paper is thick enough that I get minimal ghosting and NO bleed-through on following pages. They come with two ribbons for marking pages and a wrap-around elastic strap to keep it closed if you throw yours in a bag like I do.
Now that you have your something to write in, what are you going to write with? My favorite pens are the paper mate inkjoy gel retractable pens and you can find them ANYWHERE. I get mine at my Target when they go onsale, but if you want to buy online here is your link. I love these pens because they write smoothly AND they come in SO MANY DIFFERENT COLORS. Now, the ink does not dry fast so it’s not a great pen option for left-handed bullet journalers, but I adapt to the ink drying just because I love everything else about them!
If you’re like me and you feel compelled to carry EVERY. SINGLE. PEN. YOU. OWN. with you EVERYWHERE, then I suggest you also get something to carry all of your pens in. Pen pouches are ubiquitous and can be found in just about any store in your town. I know some people like to actually use makeup pouches because they tend to be water-resistant if you are worried about ink leaking from lost caps or un-retracted pens. Some people prefer pen WRAPS which I think are lovely but they don’t work for me. You can find some GREAT custom wraps on etsy if you want to check them out. Me? I have a Yoobi pen case which I ADORE but it seems they don’t make my exact ones anymore. The only one I found on their website is this pink one but you may be able to find older versions in other retailers.
Now, one “frivolous” thing I discovered recently that I love but not everyone probably needs are monthly tabs from Erin Condren. I found mine at my local Staples (online link here) and I love them! I used to just label my own using blank tabs of various types, but my handwriting is not the best and over time the ink bleeds and the tabs just never looked that great by the time I put my bullet journal on the shelf. These tabs gave me a GREAT option to use that are sturdy (a lot of tabs can’t withstand my abuse on my bullet journal) AND pretty AND don’t require my ugly handwriting. I love them so much I bought every pack at my local Staples just so I will have them for several years in case she doesn’t make them again in the future.
Last, but not least, how are you going to carry your bullet journal? Some people like covers for theirs and I’ve had some luck with a few different covers. My most recent was a custom leather journal cover from Maker South which you see above. There were also times when I ditched the cover AND the pen pouch and just went minimal with a bandolier from Clever Hands which you see in the other photo above.
So these are the basic things I swear by to sustain my 5+ years of bullet journaling. Let me know if there is anything you swear by for your hobby!