2018 was my first year of bullet journaling. Rather accidentally, I stumbled into it in January in a very, very minimalist fashion. I almost had to trick myself that I wasn’t entering the world of arty bujos through my stubborn use of a single pen to create spreads for the whole first month. That way, I wouldn’t overwhelm myself and run away from the whole thing in a blind panic.
Throughout the year though, my confidence and creativity grew. As did my desire to fill old jam jars and the living room coffee table (much to the annoyance of everyone else) with various bits of stationery.
Although I tried several different styles of pen and ways to create spreads, by the end of the year I found myself reaching for the same things over and over again. I thought I’d give a rundown of the most popular pieces from my pencil case in this post. Honourable mentions go out to the humble biro and the eternally-useful-eraser-topped HB pencil, which will forever remain vital bujo implements; beyond that though, things get a little more interesting…
Starting off on a pretty predictable note – the Leuchtturm 1917 journal is all the rage in the bujo community. And I have no reason to say that this is undeserved prestige: I love and highly recommend it. You can see the full range of colours here.
For lettering, outlines, doodles, titles… Staedtler liners are great for anything really. This is the pack I have, which has a wide range of thicknesses perfect for a huge range of things.
These Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens exceeded my expectations when I ordered them online by a long way. One of them has a soft nib, which allows for greater variation in brush strokes, and the other is harder, so is more precise. I like having the choice between the two when writing titles. I got them quite cheap in a two pack here.
The other pens I found myself reaching for were: Zebra Mildliners (which I’d heard a lot about and definitely live up to the hype), some seriously old Crayola markers from my childhood (can’t beat super cheap!) and pastel Stabilo highlighters (which seem to have been all over the place in the last few years). I use these for drawings, borders and colour coding my day-to-day events.
I like to use watercolours to create backgrounds, add a splash of colour to an otherwise dull page, or occasionally do a more detailed painting as part of an arty spread. This is the set I use, made by Daler Rowney, but there are plenty of options out there for all budgets.
I sometimes use acrylic paint for the same sorts of things but when I want to create bolder areas of colour. The ones I use are probably the cheapest ones you can get – they’re from Flying Tiger – yet they still do the job! This, above everything else on this list, demonstrates there is absolutely no need to spend loads of money to create good spreads in your bullet journal.
What ‘proper’ bullet journaller doesn’t have a stash of washi tape?! That was my exact thought at the start of the year, but the average £3 a roll freaked me out a little. That was until I found this selection of 10 colours for 58p on Amazon. That sounded way too good to be true but curiosity got the better of me. I’m glad it did because a month after I ordered them (yeah, the one drawback) they turned up exactly as described. I have since bought more expensive washi tape which is nowhere near as good.
And that concludes the list! What have been your most-used bujo products in 2018?
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