Which material is great for starting a Bullet Journal?
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With the right materials and stationery, you can customize your Bullet Journal in no time at all. Personally, I think there are big differences, especially when it comes to pens. For me, the quality of drawing and writing is crucial. In addition, I still pay a lot of attention to the choice of color and handling. There is of course a wide range of suppliers for stationery and accessories and everyone has different preferences and likes. In this article I would like to present my current materials that I use for my Bullet Journal. I will also discuss which pens I use for selected methods (e.g. for headers, doodles or lettering) in the Journal and why they are particularly suitable for me.
Starting the Bullet Journal with the right notebook
I use a classic black notebook, hardcover and with dot grid. The Bullet Journal is from Lemome and I got it as a double pack at Amazon. This is very convenient for me, because I definitely need a second notebook over the year. When choosing the right notebook, I think it is very important to pay attention to the characteristics and textures that are most important to you. I myself use a lot of watercolor colors in my Bujo and in the themes, so thicker paper (120 grams) was essential for me. The pages of the lemome notebook are very stable and the color does not come through on the back.
Why a Dot Grid (dotted checkered)? Of course there are enough notebooks that are empty or lined and do not have a dot grid. But for me this was not useful, because the grid with dots helps me to draw and so I can often do without ruler and measurement. It also gives me more creative freedom and flexibility. Especially for beginners I can recommend a Bujo with Dot Grid.
Before I decided to buy the Lemome Notebook, I looked through different vendors and their products. Other notebooks that are suitable for your Bullet Journal and were at the top of my list: Leuchtturm, Scribbles That Matters und Moleskine. In the community the classic notebook of Leuchtturm is the most common. But I decided against it myself, because the pages are not very thick, even though the design is very appealing.
The essentials for a beautiful design
To be honest, I could never own enough office supplies, handicrafts and stationery :) I just love to try out new pens, colors and templates again and again. Simply because I want a custom designed Bullet Journal, with lots of details and beautiful elements. So I am always trying out new methods, pens and materials. In the following list are my most important essentials for a beautiful & creative Bujo:
Fineliner black: Farber Castell offers here a super 4 pcs. pack of "PITT artist pens black" with different line widths (S, F, M and B) which I use myself. I need fineliner for all normal fonts to draw the sketches and to fill in the weekly spreads etc. of my Bullet Journal. Therefore it is very important for me that the fineliners do not smear and are waterproof.
Fineliner colored: the classics from Stabilo "point 88" with 0.4 mm tip is my favorite
Highlighter: I love the "Swing cool" markers from Stabilo in pastel. The colors come out very well, they are not too strong and can be used for highlighting. Additionally I use the "Mildliners" from Zebra. With the bigger package you have a wide range of colors and because the markers have a thick and thin side you can mark and write with different line widths.
Brush Pen black: For me the Tombow "Brush Pens" with soft and hard tip are the best. I always use both for all handlettering work.
Brush Pen colored: I use here once from Tombow the "Dual Brush Pen" 6 pack with Pastel Colours and the "24 Real Brush Pens" from ARTEZA. For me all Brush Pens in different colors are very easy to use and look great!
Pencil: A good pencil for sketching before inserting the fineliner is essential! I use a very thin one from Farber-Castell, which is super easy to erase and does not smear.
Eraser: Of course, any common eraser is suitable, but a great help when drawing small doodles or fonts is the "MONO zero elastomer eraser" by Tombow. The eraser is super thin and you can erase precisely.
Further accessories for creative journaling
Of course you can make your Bullet Journal very minimalistic without much elements and graphics. This is certainly sufficient for the weekly overviews of the calendar and the time required is lower. But I like it more creative and I love to design my journal with different elements. Therefore I use more material for the design of my pages:
Washi-Tapes: Selbstklebend können diese variabel eingesetzt werden, um Layouts zu verschönern oder Collagen zu basteln.
Aquarell Farben: Ich habe das "Aqua Brush Pen Set Watercolour" von Ezigoo. Die Farben decken sehr gut, leuchten und lassen sich richtig gut mit Pinsel oder Push-Pens im Lemome Journal einsetzen.
Pinsel: Ich habe mir ein einfaches Pinsel Set mit verschiedenen Größen bei Amazon bestellt und kann mit den Pinseln Feinheiten zeichnen aber auch großflächig malen.
Push-Pen: Mit diesen Pens, die wie Pinsel genutzt werden jedoch mit Wasser gefüllt sind, kann man super mit Wasserfarben zeichnen und malen. Ich liebe diese Stifte, da ich das Wasser durch ein bisschen drücken während dem malen direkt zugeben kann! Vor allem helle Flächen (Hintergründe, zum highlighten) lassen sich damit super einfärben. (
Sticker: Hier gibt es unzählige Sets für unterschiedliche Themen. Ich finde Sticker ab und zu schön zum gestalten, nutze die selbst aber nicht so oft weil es mir nicht so gefällt. Ich liebe es selbst zu doodlen :)
Stempel: Können auch eingesetzt werden, um Schriften/Bilder/Kalender nicht selbst erstellen zu müssen. Nutze ich aber bis jetzt nicht.
Bilder & Illustrationen: Ich setze gern noch Bilder aus alten Zeitschriften oder der Zeitung ein, verwende Polaroid Bilder oder Fotos, schneide aus Papier Schnipsel aus, presse Blätter oder Blumen, nutze Buchseiten etc. und klebe all diese Dinge in mein Bujo.
Foldback-Clips: Benötige ich hauptsächlich, um mein Notizbuch offen zu halten während ich eine Seite bearbeite. Finde die klassischen Clips z.B. von Wedo aber an sich einfach schön :)
Easy Handlettering for beginners
In order to master handlettering perfectly, it is useful to practice again and again and try out different fonts. Nevertheless, it is absolutely necessary to use the appropriate pen, as not every pen is suitable for lettering. The tip of the pen is crucial. I use two different Brush Pens from Tombow in black for standard lettering and headers. With Brush Pens the tip can be used differently with the right technique. If you press harder on the pen, the writing becomes wider, if you use the pen under less pressure, you can write fine. A normal fineliner or ballpoint pen cannot support this. I recommend to use brush pens for beautiful handlettering and especially for the beginner. But why do I have two of them? Tombow offers one with a soft tip and one with a hard tip. I use the soft tip when I want to combine thick and thin lines for handlettering. I use the hard Brush Pen for fonts that consist only of thin lines. But of course everyone can find the right technique and the most effective use for himself :)
Unique headers with brush pens and markers
Headers are necessary components of every Bullet Journal. There are various ideas and inspirations on how to make headlines and subheadlines look beautiful. This month, I have also created a page in my Bujo with my favorite lettering ideas.
You can easily select different fonts and design them with colors. For example, I like to use markers to highlight headlines in the background or to redo the black font and add some color. Often markers, like the mildliners from Zebra, have a classic thicker side for marking and a thinner side for writing. But both sides can be used and headlines can be written directly with markers. Even with colored brush pens I write my headlines directly and vary only in the type and white of the font. I use many different fonts, because I do not want a uniform font in Bujo. Another idea, which I often use myself in connection with watercolor, is a white pen for headlines, doodles and text sections. If I have designed a colored background, e.g. with watercolors, I often use the Gelroller von Uniball, which is simply perfect for handlettering. It covers really well, shines in beautiful white and is easy to guide while writing.
Surely there are many more products and beautiful stationery that I don't know myself yet! Maybe you have a hint or more inspiration for me?
I would like to point out that I bought all products myself and use them for my private use. There is no cooperation with any of the mentioned companies/brands.
Happy Journaling! :)