Bullet journaling is all the rage in the planner community lately. I’ve always loved the idea of bullet journaling, but for the longest time I had no idea how to do it myself. I’ve made several attempts in the past and my layouts never quite turned out the way I wanted them to. Bullet journaling is fantastic if you’re like me and you’re a tad bit obsessive about tracking the minute details of your life– it’s always appealed to me, since keeping tabs on my daily habits and routines helps me (okay, forces me) to be a healthier and more responsible person.
Bullet journaling is a type of planning where you can create monthly, weekly, or even daily layouts from scratch in a blank or grid notebook, and your layouts can be as simplistic or as creative as you want them to be. Personally, I like a mix of artsy and minimalism– which is mostly a cop out because I’m not very artistically inclined, so whenever someone asks I can just say it’s supposed to look that way!
In this post series I’m going to be introducing you to the world of bullet journaling, and sharing some of my favorite supplies and most loved layouts, both mine & others’. Before diving into dot grid notebooks and weekly layouts and collections and index keys though, I’m going to share my own (very) humble beginnings with bullet journaling.
This is where my bullet journal journey started, at 3am one night when I couldn’t sleep and was stressing over the upcoming events of my week. I was using one of my Moleskine Chapter dotted notebooks, and I created a very simplistic, sleep-deprivation induced layout. Needless to say, it’s not the pride and joy of my bullet journaling career, but everyone has to start somewhere.
Speaking from personal experience, I really recommend experimenting with your bullet journal layouts until you find one that fits just the way you want it to. I went through at least five different notebooks and multiple layout styles before finally (I hope) reaching bullet journal bliss.
Starting Your Bullet Journal: Supplies
This is my favorite part: gathering supplies to begin a bullet journal. You’ll need a notebook, a pen or set of pens/markers, and really those are the only absolute necessities. If you want to jazz up your bullet journal though, I highly recommend washi tape, highlighters, colored pens, and stickers. Here’s a list of some of my favorite supplies, and a few that seem to be canonical across the bullet journal community.
Leuchtturm1917 dotted notebooks seem to be the gold standard for bullet journaling. I personally can’t vouch for them, because I’ve never owned one (although it’s on my wish list!) They’re a bit on the pricey side, but I hear that their quality is unparalleled.
If Leuchtturm1917 notebooks aren’t your style, there are many other options for notebooks, all the way down to a standard composition notebook picked up from your nearest Walmart. Personally, I’m waiting to buy a Leuchtturm1917 until I really feel like I’ve gotten “good” at bullet journaling.
I’ve recently ordered a dot grid notebook from a seller on Etsy that looks like it might be the perfect fit. It’s an A5 size notebook, and even after shipping from Taiwan it was less expensive than a Leuchtturm1917.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens are widely acknowledged as one of the pen sets of choice in the bullet journaling community, and I wholeheartedly agree. The colors are beautiful, and best of all, the ink doesn’t bleed.
Zebra Mildliner pastel highlighters are some of my absolute favorite markers. I have the pink set, and I absolutely love it. The colors are perfectly soft and muted, and the concept of a mint green highlighter makes the stationery fanatic in me go wild. A lot of people in the bullet journal and studyblr communities are huge fans of the mildliners, and I definitely understand why.
Like I mentioned earlier, all you really need to get started bullet journaling is a pen and some paper, but it’s glam planning tradition to deck out your planner in washi tape and stickers, and those decorative elements can absolutely be incorporated into your bullet journal as well.
Ban.do Washi Tape is some of my favorite, especially the floral print and the “I’m Very Busy” print! I use these tapes in my bullet journal and planner layouts all the time, as you’ll see in upcoming posts.
Some of my favorite stickers for bullet journaling come from a shop on Etsy named Sugarloop.
Each photo is linked to the listing if you want to check them out; I highly recommend her shop!
A good bullet journal starts with good supplies. In this first part of the series, I wanted to introduce you to a few of my favorite bullet journaling supplies, and provide some accessory recommendations for beginning your own bullet journaling journey.
Feel free to comment below with some of your own favorite supplies, or let me know if I missed anything amazing! You can also tweet to me @catladyplans or tag me on Instagram to share your favorite #bujo supplies.
I hope that you’ll join me soon for the next part in my Bullet Journaling 101 series, where I’ll be taking a look at the starting setup for your bullet journal, including setting up an index, key, and creating your first layout.
Until then, happy shopping!
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