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Bullet journal supplies for bullet journal beginners Bullet journal supplies can be overwhelming. Pretty – but a lot to wade through. If you’re a beginner to the bullet journal like I still am, you need a guide to keep things focused. Otherwise, you could fall down an Amazon-Etsy-Pinterest rabbit hole and never come back.

Bullet Journal Supplies for Beginners

pastel pencils in a coffee cup

Bullet journal pencils aren’t they so pretty?

You’ve probably seen this trend sweeping your Instagram feed. After all, the aesthetic appeal of bullet journals is a perfect match for the curation of Instagram. Pure, minimalist pages are shown organizing life into days,  weeks, and months; Watercolors bring a splash of color to a habit tracker; perfectly balanced flat lays showcase the bullet journal’s elegant simplicity. You’re inspired.  …But where to start? For newbie journalers, the best place to start is getting the right bullet journal supplies for beginners. 

What is a bullet journal?

The bullet journal is a journaling system that emphasizes short, succinct note-taking and task management on a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule. The “Bujo” has risen in popularity because it is part creativity and part productivity – perfect for driven people that also appreciate aesthetics.
The system originates in the mind of Ryder Carrol. He envisioned a way to track both the future and the past while keeping precise track of the present.   bullet journal with highlighter and marker writing   The necessary bullet journal supplies start with the actual journal. Any blank journal can become a bullet journal. However, not every blank journal will become a bullet journal. This is because bullet journals require a few key elements.  Here are some of those elements of a bullet journal:

Bullet journal index

This is the first page that sets the bullet journal apart from its run-of-the-mill cousins. You’ll be keeping track of your pages and where you keep everything, instead of just making lists haphazardly as you go.  The sky is the limit with how you organize the index. Some people keep it nice and simple by listing the page numbers and contents, while others uplevel by color-coding entries or sorting by category. You can always start basic while you are learning and in your next bullet journal, pull out all the stops. 

Bullet journal future log

Okay, this part is really cool for the folks that set appointments weeks, sometimes months, in advance. If you have appointments or due dates set for the future, you need a way to keep track of them; that much is obvious. But in a design-your-own journal, how do you know which page you will use in six months?  Bullet journals have a future log page where you can store any future due dates or appointments. You can prep this page for the next three months, six months, or twelve– totally up to you.  Divvy up the page for the number of months you have decided to include and label by month.  You can now add appointments and due dates as you make them to your Bullet Journal future log. Make sure to check back to the future log whenever you start your next bullet journal monthly spread.  

Bullet journal spreads – what are they?

A bullet journal spread is a term for the pages within a bullet journal, specifically the view of two pages side by side. Spreads are where you can delineate your monthly, weekly, and daily tasks and reminders, as well as trackers and collections. 

Types of bullet journal spreads

Bullet journal monthly spread

Your month, at a glance! You can make this look like a list, or a calendar, depending on your personal preference. The design world is your oyster. You can include just tasks, or add a spot for your monthly goals, too. 

Bullet journal weekly spread

The system that Carrol designed doesn’t include weeklies (just “monthlies” and “dailies”), but many of us like to plan out the week, so we included this here. You can add anything you need to know for the week. 
bullet journal weekly spread example from etsy -fun for your planner

Bullet journal found on Etsy courtesy of FunForYourPlanner

A weekly bullet journal spread is really helpful for your work life when you have projects you need to complete. Or, if you have kids, you may want to track their activities and even Zoom school homework.

Bullet journal daily spread

This is the workhorse of the bullet journal. You can track literally anything you want by the day: appointments, due dates, steps, meals…really anything. LadyGang podcaster Keltie Knight tracks her Diet Coke intake in her bullet journal. So let your imagination run wild – what do you want to track? If you like lists, consider vertical “dailies,” but most people start with horizontal daily spreads. 

Other ideas – fitness, mood tracking, and more

screenshot of a bullet journal fitness tracker page

Physical bullet journal vs. digital bullet journal

The bullet journal was created to be an analog method of organization in the digital age. So going digital with your bullet journal doesn’t make a ton of sense in that respect.  However, with tablets, you can have the memory-boosting effects of handwriting while keeping your bullet journal digitally. You’ll also have a lot more flexibility with the creative process of designing your journal. Check out apps like GoodNotes or Friday The bullet journal creators have an app called The Companion designed to bridge the gap between the digital world and your analog tracker. The app has a lot of helpful things. It has a system for creating reminders to check your journal and a guide for new journalers to learn best practices. It also has an ingenious 72-hour log where notes you take in the app, away from your bullet journal, fade in 72 hours– meaning there is a time-sensitive reason to return to your physical bullet journal. 

What are the best bullet journal supplies for beginners?

To start, keep it simple. You need a journal and a pen. If you are already artistic and want to dive right in, bring your favorite medium into play, perhaps by adding colorful pens or watercolors.  Of course, having nice supplies can make the experience more enjoyable (and you more likely to stick with it!), so when you choose your journal and pen, make sure you find one that feels good and you like using. 

Essential bullet journal styles for any aesthetic

Every person is different and thus their bullet journal style will be different. For this list, we divided the different supplies you will need into three style preferences; The Minimalist, The Artist, and The Materialist. The Minimalist is exactly as it sounds. You love clean lines, a monochrome palette, empty space and breaking things down into the bare essentials. The supplies we recommend for you will embody these values. The Artist is ultra-creative. You want to add your own artwork and doodles to the pages of your journals. The supplies we recommend for you will allow you space for your creativity to flow. The Materialist is the Taurus of the Bullet Journal world– you like to have the nicest feeling things and surround yourself with beauty. We’ll recommend the highest-quality, luxury items to create your Bullet Journal with. Let’s get started.

What kind of journal is best for bullet journaling?

Any journal can become a bullet journal; however, journals with dot grids are perfect for bullet journalling.  The following journals come highly recommended:

Bullet Journals

The Minimalist

Leuchtturm1917 comes in a broad range of sizes, paperweights and types, and covers. In terms of options and amenities, this is your best bet for a new Bullet Journal. It lies flat when open, features a preprinted index, dotted pages, and has page numbers.
leuchtturm1917 bullet journal

Leuchtturm1917 found on Amazon

The Artist

Thass and Kirsty of Diary of a Journal Planner recommend the Rhodia Bullet Journal Dotted Notebook. They write, “Rhodia notebooks are one of my favorite journals to bujo in. The paper quality is just superior and if you like to play around with colors and use your bullet journal also for art journaling, bullet journal hand lettering or for any other creative purposes then this notebook is for you.” You can find the Rodia notebook they like here on Amazon.
Rhodia Bullet Journal

Rhodia Bullet Journal Dotted Notebook found on Amazon

The Materialist

Cathy Hutchison at Your Visual Journal recommends Soothi Leather Journals. Soothi Leather Journals are beautiful, hand-made leather journals. The artisans carefully create journals to stand the test of time. The artisans are based around the world, many in disenfranchised groups in developing countries and are fairly compensated. Each item sold is donated to Animal Aid Unlimited, a rescue hospital and sanctuary for street animals in Rajasthan, India.
Soothi Leather bullet journal

Soothi Leather Journals found on

“For beginners, I advise getting a notebook that you will take with you everywhere — whatever that looks like for you. Accessibility of your bullet journal is key to its effectiveness. After all, you aren’t going to log anything if something pops into your head when your bullet journal is sitting on your nightstand at home!” – Cathy Hutchison at Your Visual Journal

Bullet Journal Pens

So, you’ve found a journal. What’s the only other thing you really need in order to start Bullet Journaling; a pen or a set of pens. Just remember to start slow, you can always add more elements as you get comfortable, but there’s a lot to be said for starting with the basics. “Don’t feel the need to “buy all the things” when you start out. A notebook and a pen are really all you need!” states Allycia Lee at Hope Dream Journal.

What kind of bullet journal pen should I get?

I’m sure you learned in school that each person prefers a different type of pen. Some people will only use a specific pen from a particular maker. This is because feel is everything! Choosing which pen to use for your bullet journal is genuinely up to personal preference.  If you don’t already have a favorite pen, these bullet journal pens come highly recommended:

The Minimalist

What do you need to start writing in a minimalist way in your Bullet Journal? A good ballpoint pen and a set of markers. Boom. Owen at the Bullet Journal Addict recommends the PaperMate Profile Pens. They come in both black and assorted packets. Owen recommends the Crayola Super Tips for beginners because, “not only can they be used for modern calligraphy, which I’m still practicing, but they color in without bleeding or leaving a heavy shadow.” Find them here.
Crayola Super Tips bullet journal pen

Crayola Super Tips found on

The Artist

Your Visual Journal Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolors is a portable watercolor palette. The brush holds water so you can add your artistic touch to the pages of your Bullet Journal anywhere you go. Become a watercolor artist on the go with this set. 
Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolors bullet pen

Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolors

The Materialist

Shelby Abrahamsen of Little Coffee Fox recommends the Zebra Mildliners for your highlighting needs. Shelby writes, “I was never a big fan of highlighters until I found this brand. But after using the Mildliners, I became a convert. Most highlighter sets have the same screaming neon colors, but Zebra offers you softer hues. You can get pastels, jewel tones, and earth tones — which to me is a million times better than neon yellow.”
Zebra Midliners bullet journal pens

Zebra Midliners found on Amazon

Bullet Journal Stickers

What about bullet journal stickers?

Let’s face it, we’ve all been yearning for a way to get stickers back in our life since 3rd grade. Bullet journal stickers satisfy the inner Lisa Frank lover inside all of us.
Bullet journal stickers are a great way to add design flair to your journal without actually having to be an artist. Washi tape is a great way to make colorful lines in your journal, and there of plenty of organizational stickers for labeling dates and days of the week. 

Wait, what’s Washi tape?

Washi tape is big for bullet journaling. It’s a masking tape style tape that allows you to create straight lines – kind of like a sticky ruler. Then, you can pull. off the Washi tape without ripping your bullet journal page. There are a ton of Washi type brands and designs online.

The Minimalist

For the minimalist, cute black and white script labels are where it’s at. These Days of the Week Planner Stickers are functional for organization with the days of the week written in easy-to-read script font. These won’t distract from the minimalist theme you’ve got going on in your bujo. This set was recommended by Elizabeth Journals as part of a list of 25 Amazing Bullet Journal Stickers From Amazon and Etsy.
These Days of the Week Planner Stickers bullet journal stickers

These Days of the Week Planner Stickers found on

The Artist

If your passion lies more with the doodles in the edges of your Bullet Journal than in creating a list template from scratch, you can let stickers take up the slack that you don’t enjoy as much. This pack of list stickers is sure to help let you focus on the parts of Bullet Journalling you are more passionate about. This pack was recommended by Thass and Kirsty at Diary of a Journal Planner.
Diary of a Journal Planner bullet journal stickers

Diary of a Journal Planner found on

The Materialist

The DESEACO Vintage Aesthetic Botany Adhesive Washi Decorative Sticker is the perfect addition to your Materialist style Bullet Journal! The vintage feel of this sticker set oozes sophistication and old-world sensibilities.
DESEACO Vintage Aesthetic Botany Adhesive Washi Decorative Sticker bullet journal stickers

DESEACO Vintage Aesthetic Botany Adhesive Washi Decorative Sticker found on

Washi Tape

Washi tape can be so helpful for both beginner and advanced Bullet Journal users. Washi tape is decorative tape, often in a variety of colors and patterns, lengths and widths. It gets 5 stars for not just it’s usefulness, but for the sheer variety of ways you can use it. From page tabs to dividers, washi tape can do it all.

The Minimalist

Monochrome patterns add a little variety to the minimalist design of your Bullet Journal. The Savena Washi Tape Set comes with 19 monochrome rolls of different patterns. It comes highly recommended by Elizabeth Journals.
Savena Washi Tape Set bullet journal washi tape

Savena Washi Tape Set

The Artist

For the artistic minded, check out this Van Gogh Washi Tape Set on Kawaii Pen Shop. The set contains three different 1.5 cm wide tapes featuring three of Van Gogh’s most famous works. Using these washi tapes is the easiest way to incorporate Post-Impressionism and the Impasto technique in your Bullet Journal.
Van Gogh Washi Tape Set bullet journal

Van Gogh Washi Tape Set found in

The Materialist

What is more bouji and luxury than gold foil? You’ll love the Accmor Set of washi tapes, featuring 20 different patterns using gold and silver foil. Simple and elegant, these designs will continue the sophisticated vibe of your Bullet Journal. You can get it here on
Accmor Set washi tapes

Accmor Set found on

Where can I buy bullet journal supplies? Etsy and Amazon are some of the best places to find bullet journal supplies online. Check out Stickers for Keepers or The Ginger Cat Co. on Etsy and these productivity stickers on Amazon.  Search by your style, and you’ll be able to find something you like on either Etsy or Amazon. 

Bullet journaling – a trend worth trying

Bullet journals are such a great way to stay organized, keep track of appointments, start and keep new habits and create a record of your life for posterity.  You don’t need to make it complicated to get the benefits of bullet journaling. Keep it simple at first while you get the hang of it and start the habit. Give it time for this to become second nature. Everyone’s journals will be different, so stay in your lane and do not compare your first bullet journal to a professional artist’s third journal.  Once you’ve got the basics down, you can branch out and start trying new things.  Good luck!  Our only question is, when are you starting your own bullet journal? 

photo of bullet journal mood tracker with highlighter pens Photo of self love bullet journal page ]