You don’t really need most of these products to bullet journal. In fact, a pen and notebook are enough. However, once you get into bullet journaling you will probably want some of them. If you are a stationery geek (like I am) you’ll enjoy using different products and you will love decorating your bullet journal. I personally don’t spend a lot of time decorating my journal as I would rather spend that time doing something that matters more to me. I do like to use colors and washi tape and add embellishments without spending hours doing it. I often print bullet journal printables with doodles and I color them with markers and colored pencils. It’s a creative outlet, and it is relaxing. As always, do what works for you!
If you do decide to buy journaling supplies, this list will help you decide which products you might find useful. The best bullet journal supplies for one person might not be relevant for others since we are all so different just like our bullet journals. No two bullet journals are the same. One person cannot function without highlighters and others feel that they are useless. These are the products that I use and love.
The following supplies are nice to have but not essential.
Bullet Journal Essentials
The list of bullet journal supplies for beginners is really short. You don’t need much. In fact, some people can get by with only a notebook and a pen or pencil. A ruler is very helpful to draw layouts but even that is not essential. The following supplies are necessary to bullet journal.
Bullet Journal Notebook
A bullet journal notebook is pretty much one of the few supplies that you need to create a bullet journal. In fact, you don’t even really need a notebook and you can turn a binder, Happy Planner or traveler’s notebook into a bullet journal. There are a lot of differences between the notebooks on the market so if you don’t have one yet you can read about how to choose one.
Bullet Journal Pens
There is a big difference between the pens and markers available. You don’t want to spend time creating a spread only to find the pen leaks (bleeds) through to the other side of the page. See our article on the best bullet journal pens.
You don’t necessarily need a pencil but it can be useful to sketch a layout before you draw it in pen. It is also helpful to hand letter a title before you draw it. You can use any pencil however, a soft pencil (HB or 2B) will be easier to erase than a hard pencil (6H).
A small ruler will help you draw straight lines. Buy a ruler that you can keep inside your journal. The thinner the better.
A metal ruler is better than a plastic one. It doesn’t slip and it produces an even consistent line. A plastic ruler can be used with a pencil but it doesn’t work as well with a pen or marker.
After you use your ruler with a colored pen or marker I suggest you wipe it with a wet wipe. If you don’t wipe it and then use it with another color you might find that the ink left on the ruler can stain your bullet journal.
The Westcott stainless steel ruler with a non slip cork base, 6-Inch is good for use with gel pens and markers. It has a non-slip cork base on the back side which slightly lifts the ruler off the paper. The cork base grips the paper so that the ruler does not move. It has precise measurements.
If you are going to draw your layouts in pencil before you go over them in pen then you will need an eraser. A good white eraser will enable you to erase your pencil lines without tearing your pages. The cheap colored erasers tend to smudge and leave marks. The better colored erasers are usually fine.
This eraser is cheap but works well without leaving smudges or tearing the page. If you already have a good eraser then there is no need to buy another one.
Supplies for Bullet Journal Addicts
BuJo addicts are always on the lookout for the best bullet journal supplies. My husband never gets why I need so many bullet journal markers. Yes, I DO need them. I have given up trying to explain it to him because he just doesn’t get it. The following BuJo supplies are nice to have but not essential.
Colored pencils are perfect to add color without worrying about ghosting or bleeding. Good pencils are smooth to draw with and blend really well. However, most people will do fine with any brand. If you want to get a great quality pencil that blends well you can try these:
The glue roller can be applied very cleanly and precisely. I use this glue. It’s very good.
- You will find a glue roller very helpful particularly if you use our free bullet journal printables. This will save you a lot of time since you don’t have to draw complex designs and layouts. You can create beautiful bullet journal layouts in minutes and add them to your journal without drawing from scratch.
- You can also create cheap planner stickers by printing on paper and adhering with a glue roller (instead of buying sticker paper).
- It is also useful to join two pages if your pens bleed, shadow badly or if you make a mistake.
Whereas the dispenser is very convenient and clean, if you are on a budget then a cheap paper glue stick will work too.
Although washi tape is certainly not a necessity it is such a fun easy way to add color. The possibilities are endless! It comes in thousands of colors and designs. You probably have some at home. If you don’t it is worth purchasing as you will find a use for it. There are so many packs of washi tape available.
- If you use our free bullet journal printables, you can adhere them with washi tape.
- It can also be used to divide pages or create sections. Since we usually write with a pen in our bullet journal you are bound to make mistakes sometimes. Washi tape can cover those up for you AND look good doing it!
- Another great way to use washi tape is to create page dividers or tabs. If there is a page that you need to access often you can cut a small piece of washi in the corner and it will stick out even when your notebook is closed.
- You can also adhere notes or even an envelope with a piece of washi.
I bought these bullet journal stencils and I am very happy with them. Stencils are one of those bullet journalling supplies that last for ages so they don’t need to be replaced often. They are really useful as they save time drawing certain doodles that repeat themselves such as banners, shapes, titles, etc.
Since you cannot remove pages, correction tape is quite helpful. It is not one of those items that HAVE to be on your bullet journal supplies list but it is useful if you have the budget for it.
Another one of those accessories that are not essential but oh so nice to have! There is something so therapeutic about sticking stickers in my journal. It takes me back so many years and I find it so creative. It is so much easier than drawing. I think that one of the most important things to look for is if they are removable or repositionable. There is a huge selection here. If you want to make your own then please see our free DIY planner stickers.
Sticky notes (Post-it notes) come in all colors and shapes. Have you seen these super cute black sticky notes? I use them with these white gel pens and I love them! I also have a pack next to the phone and I use them on my noticeboard.
Sticky notes are so useful. You can use them to add content, hide areas or just add color. You can also use them to plan a layout before you start drawing.
I started using them when one of my Happy Planners came with the cute sticky tabs on the left. Since then, I have found them so helpful. Not only on my traditional planners but on my bullet journal as well. I love the Happy Planner sticky notes. They are so cute and useful! Sometimes I just use them for color or to add some cuteness to my spread.
Bullet Journal Highlighters
Highlighters are useful to mark important sections in your bullet journal and to add color. This pack has the most beautiful colors. If you are on a budget then these are nice too. The pastel colors are pretty.
Tabs help you find pages quickly and add a pop of color. Avery has the cutest tabs that come in so many colors such as these pastel ones, or these glittery ones or the polka dots! I love that they are re-positionable. Post it has some good ones too.
The bullet journal index is made to help you find content but if you find yourself looking for the same content all the time then tabs can be super useful. Sometimes, the content that you are accessing on a daily basis changes all the time. One month you are busy planning a trip and keep accessing that spread. During this time you can add a removable tab. When that becomes irrelevant you can simply move the tab to your next project. It is a big time saver and very useful.
Do you have any bullet journal tools that you love and I didn’t mention? Please comment below!