When I started my first journal around 18 months ago, I went with a Moleskine Hard Cover Grid. Then switched to a Dot Grid. Then purchased a Leuchtturm 1917 in a traveller size. Now I’m using a plain Moleskine Cahier. And that my friends, is the beauty of bullet journaling! The flexibility.
The most important thing to keep in mind when starting a bullet journal is to keep your mind open! Ryder Carroll, the inventor of the Bullet Journal, created this system of sorting your time, your memories and keeping track of collections and lists. There have been many variations of his system created since. And that is wonderful! Bullet journaling has the power to make you feel creative, to explore new creative techniques, as well as track your days. Can you tell I love bullet journaling?!
You can just about use anything to create a Bullet Journal. From the top end Midori, Hobonichi, Leuchttum1917 and Moleskine journals, to a humble Spirax or a wad of computer paper, you can start anywhere. You can make mistakes. You can add artwork. You can use whiteout or washi tape to fix mistakes (or learning experiences, as I call them). You can literally use whatever supplies you can get your hands on and make your journal your own. It’s a really powerful tool, especially for people like me, who don’t have the most creative of jobs and enjoy writing and drawing.
I will add however, there are some accessories that I absolutely love using to work on my bullet journal.
- Stickers: as I’ve mentioned before on This Melbourne Mum (see here for my ode to The Rabbit Tribe and their awesome planner stickers), the only really decadent splashes of colour I use in my Bullet Journal are Jasmin’s stickers (available here). They are functional, pretty, colourful and to be honest, I love collecting them. Takes me back to the good old 90’s when sticker collections were it and a bit!
- Pens: I am a stationery addict. I have hundreds of pens. I’ve always loved writing, changing my writing styles and drawing in pen. My favourite pen to write with in my Bullet Journal every day is the Artline 200 0.4 Shachihata Fine Point, they never seem to run out of ink and are so smooth to write with. For every day scribble and my running to-do list, I use an Artline Flow 1.0 Four Colour. For any colour, I use Staedtler Triplus Dry Safe Finerliners (I have the 30 pack I think?), as well as Papermate InkJoy Gels in 0.7
- Journals: As far as journals are concerned, there are three I totally recommend and cannot separate in terms of quality. I am currently using 3 Moleskine Cahiers in Plain for my planning Bullet Journal, my Collections Journal and for my calligraphy practice. I love using Rhodia A4 Grid Pads for making study notes and I also love Leuchtturm Dot Grid Journals. I’ve used a lot of journals and notebooks in my time, and I can not fault these brands in any way, shape or form.
- Free Printables: I am a big Pinterest fan and love exploring Free Printables in Pinterest. Except for the fact that you need time to search for what you’re after, how can you go past saving a little bit of cash to make your journal your own? My recent searches have been for succulents, herbs, geometric shapes, arrows, crystals, brush script quotes and frame vectors. Printables can really jazz up a journal!
- Pinterest: You cannot go past Pinterest for Bullet Journal inspiration as an accessory for your own journal! I visit Pinterest around 5 times per day (yes, I’m happily dependent) and I am currently interested in Quotes, Humour, Printables, DIY Journals, Planner Inspiration and Bullet Journal Spreads. The possibilities on Pinterest are endless! I really enjoy the hunt for new ideas that I can shape into something tangible for my journal. From templates, to layouts, printables, links to journal blogs and more, Pinterest is my biggest source of inspiration by a mile.
- Markers and Brush Pens: I use Zebra Mildliners to highlight important parts of my Bullet Journal. The softer colours are a great contrast to the bold neons most people are used to and the double ended markers are really handy to change up line depth. One of my most favourite purchases! Took a long time (over 5 weeks) to get to Melbourne but was super happy to start using them. I’ve only started using brush pens in the last 3 months and started with Artline Stix Brush Markers as well as a Japanese Brush Marker (apologies, but I’ve used it so much the name has worn off). I’m working towards neater, more fluid brush script and can’t wait for my new Tombows to arrive this week!
- Washi Tape: Washi Tape is a big favourite in the Bullet Journal Community. I personally love it as a border and page liner. I mostly own monochrome tapes and can’t wait to get my hands on some thinner styles to add some more colour to my Bullet Journal. I usually buy from Washi Lane on Ebay (you can find the store here) but Etsy stores have a massive range on show. Can’t wait to buy some more! One of my favourite functions of washi? To hide mistakes!
- Post Its: Post It Notes are the ultimate in flexibility when it comes to Bullet Journaling. Set up a permanent template on a page and just replace the Post It inserts and voila, you have a really functional tracker! I usually buy the 3M brand (in all shades and sizes) and JB Burrows from Officeworks have brought out some really cute shapes lately, another thing I’ve added to my Wish List! My all time favourite Post It Notes would have to be the JB Burrows Grid Sticky Notes. They are around half the size of an A5 page and I use them profusely throughout my study notes. Love them, and there’s usually no bleed or ghosting through.
- Desk Supplies: Other supplies I use include a ruler, white out, eraser, and protractor.
- And don’t forget: your number one asset when starting a Bullet Journal is your creativity! Go with the flow, scope out Pinterest, YouTube and Google for ideas and just go with it. Really, there are no wrong ways to Bullet Journal as it’s such a flexible planning system. You can change your layouts from week to week or even daily and you can keep any list or collection. That’s the power of the Bullet Journal. You really can do whatever you want.