These are the best bullet journal supplies for beginners. No fluff or trying to upsell you on supplies you may not use right now.
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In the past, I have written a few articles on my favorite bullet journal supplies, the supplies that ended up being a total waste of money, and supplies that make great gifts.
But, with the New Year approaching, I thought this article was fitting.
There are a lot, I mean A LOT of blog posts out there talking about bullet journal supplies. And I’m not knocking any one of my fellow bullet journal bloggers, here.
But, there are a lot of salesy posts. You know, the ones that are just trying to earn a buck. I know because I have wrote them. It’s part of how we make money.
Again, not knocking anyone here.
But, in this post, I want to detail the bare bones basics of what bullet journal supplies you should invest in as a beginner. Because, the truth is, you don’t need brush pens that cost $3-$4 a piece.
You don’t need 67 stencils from Amazon.
You don’t need foiled washi tape and glitter gel pens.
These are all accessories that might later make an appearance in your bullet journal journey.
But for now, in an attempt to save you some money, some stress, and a whole lot of buyer’s regret, I want to share the supplies I believe to be the most beneficial to beginners.
Bullet Journal Supplies for Beginners
A Good Notebook
I’m going to start with the notebook component, because it’s what I get asked about most frequently when talking to people looking to start bullet journaling.
It’s not necessary to have a dot grid notebook! Read it again. It is not necessary.
However, I would say that most people I talk to want to buy a new notebook for their journal. And if you have the option, I recommend this being your first and biggest purchase.
Your notebook is where you will house your creativity, your plans… your life. So, considering all supplies, this is the most important.
How to Choose a Good Notebook
Okay, so you are ready to make that purchase.
Go to Amazon.
Type in ‘dot grid journal’.
Good grief! There are 20 pages of dot grid notebooks!
Now, it seems like you have your work cut out for you. And ultimately, you do. Because it’s your choice, which you have to base on price, features, size, color, where you live with shipping costs, and possibly cover material.
You can take my advice, or you can do your own research and find a notebook all on your own. But, as someone who has used a multitude of different notebooks, I want to give my recommendation.
If I could recommend one notebook to a beginner, it would be the Leuchtturm1917.
The Leuchtturm1917 is a classic in the bullet journal community. They are known for their quality, color variety, and smooth paper.
They are relatively easy to get almost anywhere in the world, with Amazon carrying them in most countries.
The Leuchtturm1917 comes in Pocket, A5, and A4 size and a
The Leuchtturm1917 is great for beginners because it’s simple, can be designed to your liking, and is very reputable in the bullet journal community.
The price on these notebooks can vary from website to website, but when ordering from Amazon US, they are around $20. You can get free shipping if you get an Amazon Prime Free 30-Day Trial.
Pencil & Eraser
Are you rolling your eyes?
Of course I need a pencil and eraser, silly.
I know it seems redundant and obvious, but having a pencil you love to use should be a priority. You can use any pencil. But you will be using is regularly and want to have a writing instrument that is comfortable in your hand.
This may mean a No. 2 pencil or a plain plastic mechanical pencil, or a quality mechanical pencil with a finger grip.
The eraser is equally important. Pink erasers are known to leave ugly pink smears on paper. So, finding a nice white rubber eraser that won’t smudge your ink is game-changing.
Here are the two I have become most comfortable with.
Pentel Twist Erase III
Pentel Hi-Polymer Rubber Eraser
Related: 13 Bullet Journal Supplies that Won’t Disappoint and 3 to Avoid
Another obvious item. But, what you might not know is that you don’t need Pigma Microns or Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens.
You don’t need to spend $20 on pens. What you do need is a pen that makes you feel confident while writing. This could be a gel pen, a ballpoint pen, or a fineline pen.
The best way to find what works for you is to head to your local art store and buy individual pens. This way you don’t spend tons of money trying products that may end up in a cup as a paperweight.
My Favorite Black Pens
The last item I want to recommend for complete beginners is a ruler. And no matter what anyone tells you, I’m 95% sure all rulers are exactly the same.
The one I have used for two years now is a $0.96 plastic ruler that I picked up a Walmart.
But, for an extra dollar or two, you can get a smaller 6″ ruler that is easier to carry around and fits better across A5 pages.
As long as it draws straight lines and has marks for measuring, I don’t think you can go wrong with any ruler.
Need printables to set up your bullet journal? Check out the hand-drawn printables in my shop.
If you are someone who has been bullet journaling for a while, do you think this list of bullet journaling supplies for beginners is helpful? Is there anything you would add or take away from the list? Let me know in the comments below to help a fellow bullet journaler.
Sharyn Hutchens says
Excellent post and I think very useful. I started bullet journaling about three years ago and began teaching myself line drawing this year. I just wanted to be able to draw little icons and figures. Well. That led to lettering and calligraphy and while I am still a rank novice at all of it, I have enjoyed journaling more than most things I can think of. Mostly I wanted to agree that you are right to tell people to start small. I have spent far too much on things that didn’t work out well for me. My pen collection alone is embarrassing! So go more slowly than I did and save yourself some money and aggravation!
I’m so glad you commented with your experience, and I hope it will help others who are new feel content with what they have. More does not always equal better. And the more supplies you have or the more expensive they are does not guarantee newfound abilities, sadly. I hope people will read your comment and know that they can start and enjoy their journal with whatever they have on hand.
Jan Cain says
Great job! Too many posts from people make newcomers think that have to be creative and buy lots of supplies. I’ve been a bullet journaler for quite a few years and it is amazing that you can have just a little notebook and pencil and still have the full effect!
You are 100% right. I think when it boomed, bullet journaling got commercialized and big retailers took advantage of it and marketed their products as a must-have. And it has convinced people that they need to spend hundreds to have this system when in reality, you could start for probably a dollar or less with a comp notebook and an old pen.