2018 Bullet Journal Supplies List
I’ve come to accept that I lose almost all sense of financial responsibility when it comes to stationery. But as a person who constantly preaches that you don’t need a boatload of pricey supplies to start and maintain an effective bullet journal, that kinda makes me a hypocrite.
While there’s nothing wrong with using half of Office Depot to keep a bullet journal, it’s important to ask yourself if your supplies of choice are truly enhancing your own bullet journal experience and helping you get things done.
There’s no rule requiring you to make picture-perfect spreads with the best supplies money can buy. In fact, there are hardly any rules for the bullet journal! You can either follow the original system to a tee or modify and expand it to your heart’s content until it becomes your ideal productivity tool or even a creative outlet. At the end of the day, what really matters is that you have a bullet journal that caters to your specific needs and keeps you organized, productive and in check.
To start, all you really need are pens and a notebook. Everything else is extra and can be included if they fit your needs and your bullet journal’s intended purposes. As I’ve mentioned in the past, get good quality supplies that you enjoy using, but don’t feel obligated to buy what everyone’s recommending – I’m looking at you, Leuchtturm1917, and your $25 price tag.
Ask yourself what you want out of your bullet journal, and go from there.
Since day one, I rely on my bullet journal mainly to organize and keep track of events, tasks, and notes. Back then, all I used were a 27 cent spiral notebook I had laying around and a dying MUJI pen. When I noticed how often I’d carry it around, I invested in a sturdier journal. When I wanted to make important entries and sections stand out, I began using colorful pens and markers. And when I saw my bullet journal as a potential creative outlet, well, that just opened a whole new world to me.
My point here is that, just like how there’s no right or wrong way to use a bullet journal, there’s no specific list of supplies you must stick to as long as they help you get the job done and improve your experience with the bullet journal system.
And with that being said, here’s my current list of supplies I’m using for my bullet journal.
As I’ve mentioned before, all you really need to start bullet journaling are something to write with and something to write in. I’d go as far as to say that pencils are fine, but that all depends on whether or not you mind the smudging.
Once again, I’m using the Midori MD gridded notebook in the A5 size. While there were times when I wish it had an elastic closure like most journals do, the paper quality is just too damn good. Its 176 pages handle almost all pens, with the exception being a single oil-based drawing pen that I rarely use. Plus, I love the very simple, no-frills design. Not bad for a $9 notebook.
My main writing pens this year are my Pilot Hi-Tec and Muji hexagonal pens in black. For bolder lines, I turn to the disposable Zebra pens that you can buy at Daiso for $1.50. And the neat thing about them is that they’re all waterproof when dry.
I may have more stationery than the average person needs, but boy do I love to use them in my bullet journal, snail mail, and other fun projects! Not much has changed from last year, but I did learn to be more selective with my supplies. It helps me achieve a somewhat minimalistic look while still having that pop of color to give it more personality – the best of both worlds!
Brush Pens and Markers
To keep things cohesive, I assign a main color to each month and use it throughout those four to five weeks. That would mean that I’d just need twelve markers, but I also like to have different secondary colors to separate weeks and practice matching colors.
For the months, I picked out twelve single Tombow brush pens; no need to buy an entire set where you’d only use half the colors. I love the brush tip for lettering and the fine tip for smaller details. Plus, they last a very long time! I’m also using the Crayola SuperTips because there are 50 colors to choose from and it’s only $7.
Washi tapes are excellent for creating borders, filling up spaces and covering up mistakes. While it’s tempting to buy all the washi tapes you stumble upon, it’s also good to be picky. Choose designs that you actually like and can see yourself using often – not just because it’s cheap. I do have to draw the line at $5 washi tapes, though, because a single tiny roll should not cost that much.
The ones I’m currently using are MT, Muji, and Classiky tapes that came in sets, making each between $0.70 and $2.65. They may not be the cheapest options, but the quality is superb, there’s a good amount of tape, and the colors and patterns are exactly what I’m looking for.
Like the washi tapes, sticky notes are perfect for covering things up. I also like using them to make a section stand out, be it a shopping list, a project that’s been broken down or a short journal entry. And I rely on my trusty Tombow adhesive applicator to secure these notes in place.
The Target dollar section has decent designs for a really good price. And for some reason, we have a TON of Post-It notes, so I often use those too.
The Extra Extras
I don’t put much thought into how I decorate my bullet journal if I decide to do so that week. It should be therapeutic and fun, not a headache or a chore. If I weren’t using my bullet journal as a stress-reliever and a small creative outlet, I definitely wouldn’t need the following add-ins:
Daiso Origami Paper – I can’t resist cheap patterned papers because imagine all the possibilities! The fact that they’re thin enough to use without bulking up my bullet journal is a major plus!
Stickers – They’re mostly stickers from friends and family because I’m obviously a 5-year-old. But seriously, they’re an effortless way to decorate a page.
Inserts – Depending on the week, I’ll have tickets, photos and other mementos to stick into my bullet journal. However, I do try to keep those to a minimum because I feel that it’s better to add them in an art journal rather than next to a list of tasks I have to do for work.
I think what attracted me most to the idea of bullet journaling – aside from it being another source of fuel for my stationery obsession – is the fact that it’s unique to you. No two people are alike, so the same should hold true for your bullet journals. You’re not restricted to a minimalist setup, nor are you obligated to model your bullet journal after the colorful and image-heavy spreads you see online.
And because we all set up our bullet journals differently, our supplies lists will vary as well. What some might find useful, others might see as pointless. I wouldn’t be surprised if people roll their eyes at my list. But you know what? That doesn’t matter because I absolutely love how my bullet journal is set up and how much it has helped me over the years.
That should be the most important thing: that you’re enjoying your bullet journal experience. Ask yourself what you want out of your bullet journal, find budget-friendly tools that’ll have you achieve that and get started!
As always, if you have any questions about bullet journals, please don’t hesitate to ask. Until next time, happy journaling!