My Bullet Journal Essentials

I was trying to listen to everybody’s advice to NOT compare your bullet journal beginnings with the layouts of other people (easier said than done!), but I promised myself not to buy all new supplies (although this is what my perfectionist little heart wanted to do, of course!), but start with what I had on hand (and believe me, I already have quite a few stationary supplies on hand).

(In all fairness, I did buy a couple of things, because they seemed ‘essential’ to my success in this new endeavor (in the following marked with a *).

Here’s what I am currently using for my new bullet journal adventure.

*A notebook. I went with the popular and recommended dotted A5 Leuchtturm 1917. I generally like notebooks that are squared, not ruled. The only complaint I have: writing shows through on the other side.

Tombow Correction Tape. Even though I’ve already learned to start out with pencil, you will inevitably mess up along the way (or maybe just me), so this correction tape comes in really handy.

Lamy mechanical (pen and) pencil. After messing up the first couple of pages, I came to the – completely surprising and unexpected – conclusion that I should probably map out my layouts in pencil first (duh!).

*Geometric template ruler. I bought this set of two rulers because it will simply make it faster and easier to use geometric shapes in my bullet journal and I am all about making this work fast and easy for me.

*Staedtler eraser. I probably didn’t need a new eraser, but I read good things about this one getting easily rid off ‘pencil draft lines’, so I bought it.

Washi Tape. There is ALWAYS use for washi tape, am I right?  I already have a bunch, so I will definitely use some of that in my bullet journal.

*Micron 01 archival ink pen. I usually have a favorite ballpoint pen that I like to write with, but turns out, it’s not suitable to create layouts (because it smears) and to write in the relatively small (for my handwriting) squares. (This is a real challenge for someone like me with a huge handwriting.) I also tend to push hard on the pens that I write with, so felt-tip fineliners don’t really last long for me, but Abby recommended the Micron Pens (which also come in different nib sizes and colors) and the tip seems to be a bit more durable (so far).

Stamps. I guess I could – and surely will – create some embellishments myself, but stamps are so quick and easy to use and add a little personality to an empty page. I have a large collection of stamps, so they’ll definitely be used.

Color Pencils. I am a fan of light, muted colors and since the Leuchtturm Journal paper has a tendency to bleed through the pages, I try to keep the coloring light with art color pencils.

*Flexible stainless steel ruler with no-skid cork backing. When I complained on Twitter about my ruler and pen smearing the lines when I first started layouts in my bullet journal, Kyla pointed me to this awesome stainless steel ruler that is slightly raised from the page by a no-skid cork backing which prevents newly drawn lines from smearing. A must-have.

*  *  * 

I know that I need to keep things fairly simple, a) because I know I won’t dedicate all my free time to doodle and make this journal super-fancy (I have too many competing interests), and b) because I actually like simple designs. I also know that stamps and stencils will significantly speed up the process of getting my monthly/weekly layouts ready to use.

If you bullet journal, what are three of your must-have supplies?

This post does not contain any affiliate links. I only linked items to Amazon, so you can easily access more information about the items. I only bought a couple of things from Amazon, the other *-marked items are from a local art supply store.

  1. I would like to see a picture of some pages of your journal. I am wondering how you use washi tape in your journal!

  2. That no skid ruler sounds awesome. I might need to get that when I get back to bullet journaling. I have kind of stopped now because my life isn’t as conducive to it while I am on maternity leave. I use it to make lists and such but I don’t really need weekly layouts right now.

    I love seeing pictures of your journal on IG!! It’s so pretty!!

  3. I agree with all of your suggestions. That notebook is by far and large my favorite. My only thing is that I wish I had mapped it out better because there have been some parts that I almost irreparably mucked up but whatever, that’s the learning curve and if I do it again for 2019, hopefully I’ll learn from my mistakes. :)

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