This Melbourne Mum Recommends….

Two years into my Bullet Journal journey and I’ve come across hundreds of products and uses for those products that are well suited to bullet journalling.

While my recommendations are easily accessible from most countries (I’m from Australia {hence my name} and I’ve found more cool products to be produced overseas than here!), they are only suggestions. You don’t have to have a fancy notebook or fancy pens. You don’t have to use colour, or even know how to draw. You just need a reason to want to create a bullet journal. And the plethora of reasons why people start a bullet journal will be the topic of one of my posts to come……because there are literally hundreds of reasons!

So in getting started, we need to start at the top.

A notebook. 

You can get notebooks from ANYWHERE for a wide range of costs. You can make your own. You can go for a dot grid, a squared, a plain or a ruled notebook.

dotgrid

Dot grid (image: https://goo.gl/TiyemR)

Notebooks come in a range of sizes and I think at this point, one source you can check out (even if you’re outside Oz), is this blog post from the Notemaker store, which neatly explains notebook paper in all its magnificent glory.

What do I go for? I love my Leuchtturm1917’s, in A5 size, with dot grid paper. They come in a range of colours and I’m confident that I haven’t had a pen bleed through or had too much ghosting yet.

Which previous notebooks have I used? Moleskines, Rhodias, Officeworks JR Burrows, and handmade journals.

Next up? Pens. You can pick up any pen and write a to-do list or draw a picture in your journal. Doesn’t have to be a calligraphy pen (as pretty as they are to write with). Depending on your budget and confidence with certain equipment, start with a pencil, a biro, maybe a fine liner and move from there. Or not move. It’s up to you and your preferences.

fineliner

Artline200 in 0.4 (image: https://goo.gl/pgPcx6)

You also can stick with one colour ink, or add in multiple colours to represent different parts of life as expressed in your journal.

colouredfineliner

Staedtler Fineliners (image: https://goo.gl/F869VH)

In bullet journal circles, there are a few names in the pen business you will hear time and time again. And to be honest, I can’t really fault any of them! Their purchase and use again depends on your budget and what you feel comfortable writing with. The common pens you will hear about are Sakura Pigma Micron, Tombow Dual Brush Pens, Artline Fineliners, Tombow Fudenosuke, and Pitt Artist Pens.

Me? I started with Artline, added Pigma Microns and Tombows (which come in the most awesome range of colours) and now use a Unipin Fine Liner in 0.4 as my “go-to” every day pen.

There are a hundred more accessories you can add to spice up your journal from its humble beginnings as just a notebook-pen pair. But just remember, you don’t have to have or use any of these things. Your bullet journal is whatever you want it to be, that’s why I think it is so much more useful than a pre-printed planner.

I like to add sticky notes (not just plain yellow ones, go on, live a little!). I print my own stickers from sites like Graphic Stock (royalty free and no issues with copyright thank goodness). I use Faber Castell Pencils and Watercolours to brighten up my drawings. I use Zebra Mildliner highlighters to outline important points and draw borders on my pages. I use page marker flags so I find certain spreads quite easily in a hurry.

I use a ruler daily (I can’t draw a straight line, or one close enough to, to save myself). I have an eraser handy, because although I try not to be a perfectionist, I really dislike seeing pencil marks on my pages! You can also find stencils for creating neatly outlined banners and shapes on Etsy and Ebay these days.

I use a $3 pencil-case from Kmart Australia to carry around my everyday supplies and a $3 faux leather pouch from Cotton On Australia to hold my two journals safely in my bag. Unnecessary items, but I love them all the same.

I will of course expand on these items in detail in posts to follow, but for those who are just dipping their toes into the pond that is bullet journalling, hopefully this has been a useful starter for you.

Happy BuJo-ing, can’t wait to share more of my favourite tips, pages, creations and accessories very soon!

Lauren

@thismelbournemum

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