After 2.5 years, a lot of money, and some real duds, I’ve claimed my favorites. These 5 bullet journal supplies are the MVPs of my planning arsenal.*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure for more information.
There are tons of blog posts floating around, listing 10-20 bullet journal supplies they claim you need. I’m not calling anyone out here, because I have a few posts very similar. One of my most popular posts happens to be 11 Game-Changing Bullet Journal Supplies Under $10.
But, I don’t want to put people under the impression that they need to spend hundreds of dollars to create a stunning bullet journal. Because, the truth is, you don’t. Out of my thousands of markers are pens, I only use a handful on a daily basis. Those are my must-have bullet journal supplies.
And before we get too deep into the goods of this post, let me blatantly state something here. You do not NEED any of these supplies to start a bullet journal. You don’t NEED them. But, 90% of the people I run across that want to start a bullet journal, want to start with some new supplies. So, while you can start in any old notebook with any old pen, this list is for the person who wants to buy some new supplies but doesn’t want to spend a fortune.
So, what’s in my planning arsenal? What do I take with me when I travel? These are my top five bullet journal supplies that I use on a daily basis, minus the notebook.
Top 5 Bullet Journal Supplies
These are supplies I use on a daily basis. Through all the fancy markers, washi tape, and stencils, these are the supplies I can’t live without. Everything else is just luxury.
Everything on this list about $10 or less. In fact, if you were to purchase all of it with Amazon Prime, you would spend about $36 and get Free Shipping. Note: this total cost does not include a physical journal.
The UniPin Fineliners are by far my favorite fineline pens. I have tried the Faber-Castell, Tombow Mono Drawing Pens, Microns, and Staedtler Pigment Liners, and these come out on top. For me, these have lasted the longest. I’ve been heavily using my current set for over 3 months on a very regular basis and not one of them has run out of ink.
They are roughly the same price as other fineliners, coming in at about $2/piece when bought in a pack. I like the all black enclosure and that they are comfortable to write with. The set I have comes with 5 pens- 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5, and 0.8. Typically, I use the 0.3 and 0.5 for my daily writing and use the other sizes when doodling or adding intricate lettering.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliners
If I had to choose one set of colored pens, the Staedtler Triplus Fineliners would be the ones. They are very affordable and have the most vividly brilliant colors. If you buy them on Amazon, you can get them for $1 or less per pen. These aren’t the best for coloring thing in as they do have a very small nib. But, they are fabulous for writing, drawing mandalas, and adding color to your doodles.
I use these daily to fill in my Year of Workouts Tracker and sometimes I use them in my habit trackers. Aside from that, I use them a few times a week to add doodles to my weekly pages and make colorful lettering for memories pages.
Helix Angle Circle Maker
Honestly, the Helix Angle Circle Maker was a recent purchase and I don’t know why I waited so long to buy it. It’s under $5 and has so many cool purposes. For July, I will be using this to create a circular calendar, which I will have a tutorial up for very soon. It’s so much better than using a compass, as I can just use my pen from the start and don’t have to worry about shakey lines on my finalized product.
I’ve already been asked, so here’s how it works. You stick your pen in one of the tiny holes, depending on how big you want to make your circle. Then, holding the tool firmly on the paper, start to draw your circle. The inside of the tool spins, while the outer ring stays stable. This creates a smooth and perfect circle every time. Then, you can use the line cutouts to create a grid. The tool has all of the angles listed so it’s easy to space out your calendar or circular habit tracker.
Pentel Twist-Erase Mechanical Pencil
A pencil is a must-have bullet journal supply for everyone. If you want to try out new doodles or lettering, it’s always best to start by laying out your design with a pencil first. I have been using the Pentel Twist-Erase Mechanical Pencils since I was in high school. They are slightly more expensive, considering you can get a big pack of simple plastic mechanical pencils for a few dollars at Walmart. But they are so comfortable and ergonomic. Plus, having the built-in twist eraser has saved me tons of time that I would have spent looking for my other eraser.
I’ve had lots of erasers and honestly, they all do the same thing. So it doesn’t really matter which one you have. But, I like these click erasers for the simple fact that I can store them in my pen holder with my pens and it doesn’t fall to the bottom or get lost as easily. Plus, lets’ be honest here. Who still clicks these things up and down like they’re bored as hell in high school government class? I do, and it relaxes me. So it’s a double win in my book.
I know that my these probably weren’t the most exciting or ooh-ahh kind of supplies. They aren’t overly glamorous or dressed up. These are the real, “not just trying to get people to buy something”, supplies that I use on a daily basis. They are what I consider the critical elements of my planning arsenal, and I can’t function in my journal without them.
That isn’t to say that all of these products will work or be right for you. A lot of finding what works for you is just trial and error, unfortunately. But, I hope to save someone some time and money by sharing these products and the reasons that I love them. I have another article that may help save you some money as well: Bullet Journal Supplies: Deal or Dud.
I’d love to hear what your must-have supplies are in the comments below. Do we share a common supply, or are yours totally different?