What’s in My Utility Pouch?
I was going to title this post “What’s in My Pen Case”, but this thing is way too big to be considered a pen case. And I certainly store more in there than just pens.
I always talk about the tools that I use for my bullet journal, all the random stationery goods I grab from Daiso, art supplies and so on. However, I’ve never really gone over how I organize and carry them around which are pretty important, too. Let’s face it, when you accumulate stationery and supplies this quickly, you’re going to need ways to keep things tidy.
So why a utility pouch?
One word: pockets.
My carrying case of choice is a medium Delfonics Utility Pouch, which is large enough to fit A5-sized notebooks and a bunch of other supplies within its 15 pockets. It’s comically huge, so I only carry it around with me when I know I’ll need my bullet journal or sketchbook that day.
There are plenty of other ways to carry your writing and drawing essentials around, but I like being able to reach into my bag or backpack and pull out everything I need in one go. And when I say everything, I mean everything.
Since this is as close as I can get to Hermione’s tiny bottomless handbag from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, there’s quite a lot to cover. So, buckle in because it’s gonna be a long-ass list.
I won’t go into details about the products themselves since I’ve definitely mentioned some of them elsewhere on this blog, but I’ll list the supplies in the captions or photos if necessary.
Bullet Journal or Sketchbook
Sometimes both! Like I said earlier, I’d only carry the pouch around if I know that I’ll be needing either one that day. My Midori MD has plenty of wiggle room in there, so I can add my Global Art sketchbook and a couple of Muji notebooks (all A5-sized) and still have room for everything else. I think the real test will come when I get a Hobonichi Cousin sometime next year because the cover is rather bulky.
A Bunch of Pens
I always carry around a couple of Pilot and Muji pens, but the carrying case allows me to bring along so much more – Tombow Brush Pens, archival drawing pens, highlighters, you name it.
These are for quick memos when I can’t be bothered to pull out my bullet journal. And since not everything needs to go in a journal or sketchbook, these are also nice to have on hand as scrap paper.
Watercolor Travel Set
Midori MD notebooks can’t handle watercolors without buckling, so I’ll only carry paints around when I have my sketchbook. It’s usually my Winsor and Newton Cotman set, which is super compact and super convenient. However, I recently bought some tube paints and empty half pans, so my Cotman set will most likely be replaced by a custom travel palette soon.
Can’t use watercolor paints without a watercolor brush. While the Cotman set comes with an adorably tiny brush, it’s too tiny for my liking. Plus, I prefer not to carry around water jars or jugs to paint and clean with. Water brushes are great for on-the-go painting because there’s water in the handles to help you get the desired effects without the mess.
And while we’re on the topic of water, I also carry a tiny spray tube of it to activate the watercolor paints with. Just a spritz and you’re ready to go!
Kuretake Clean Colors
If I don’t have the time to set up my paints for a quick watercolor sketch, I’d use the Kuretake Clean Colors brushes to add a pop of color to my drawings. And if I still want a watercolor effect, I just need to go in with a slightly wet brush.
Adhesive Roller Tape
A must-have for when I want to stick tickets, photos, cards, and other inserts into my bullet journal or sketchbook on the spot. I also carry around small scissors for that reason.
Kitta Washi Tapes
I love these Kitta Washi Tape stickers because they’re thin, convenient and perfect for adding a splash of color to my bullet journal on the spot. I still need to make or buy those washi sample cards because all my favorite washi tapes cannot fit in this pouch, no matter how big it is. With everything else in there, I can fit three rolls, tops.
Ruler and Other Supplies
I don’t rely on rulers when I use my bullet journal, but I’d rather have it on me just in case. Same goes for correction tape, pencils, and erasers.
Just take a swab of your phone and put it in a petri dish, then you’ll know why I have to carry these around wherever I go. There’s always a couple in my main bag, but this is too important not to mention. Your hands may be squeaky clean, but the surfaces your phone has been on probably aren’t.
Other things you’ll find in there include stickers, memo pads, small microfiber cloths, hair ties, and tissues.
I never need to make a “What’s in My Bag” post because my utility pouch holds 90 percent of things inside my bag anyway. Is it excessive? Probably. But I’m usually the over-prepared mom of the group, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
What’s a must-have in your pen or carrying case?