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Bullet Journaling for Writers Part 2- Tools of the Trade

The first thing to do in making a start in Bullet Journaling is deciding what stationery you want to use. At the very basic level all you need is a notebook, a pen, and a ruler, but being a stationery addict that I am starting a Bullet Journal is just an excuse to go buy really cool stuff.


Notebooks

The first thing you want to do is to decide what type of notebook you want. If you don’t want to spend any money, just grab any notebook you have lying around the house. But if you do want to spend money on buying a super awesome notebook, the world’s your oyster. Head to your closest stationery store, or hit the internet for some papery goodness.

Some things to consider are:

How big is the notebook - Do you want to be able to carry it around with you? Or will it sit next to your desk?

How thick are the pages - Do you want your pens leaking through the other side of the paper?

What sort of lines do you want - Do you want ruled lines, squares, or dots?

The sort of lines you want on the paper are important depending on what you will be doing in your Bullet Journal. Are you going to be making calendars, habit daily lists, tables etc? If so, personally I’d go for squared or dot rulered lines, it means you can make even, tidy calendars, lists and tables without too much effort, or having to calculate things.

Here are some ideas for specific notebooks on the market, and these are the most popular from what I’ve seen on social media. Please note, I’m not getting paid at all to suggest these, the notebooks are just some ideas.

1. The official Bullet Journal Notebook. This notebook is a special version of the Leuchtturm1917 notebook (see below). The notebook has some nice features like a preprinted index, key, and numbered pages. The paper is also ink proof.

2. The Leuchtturm1917 medium/A5 dotted notebook is the most popular Bullet Journal notebook up to now from what I’ve seen. They have two ribbon bookmarks, a preprinted index, ink proof paper, and dotted and numbered pages. They also come in lots of pretty colors. Unfortunately there hasn’t been any way to get hold of them in NZ up until now, but I just noticed that there is now a NZ Leuchtturm1917 website where you can buy them, and they also give you links to NZ stationery shops which stock them as well.

3. The Moleskine Large Square Hard Covered notebook is another popular Bullet Journal notebook. They are hard covered, with small squares, and are mostly ink proof. They don’t come pre-numbered, or have indexes, so you’ll have to set it up yourself. They're not very common in NZ right now, so I’ve sourced mine from Book Depository over the last year, and they’re decently priced.

So far the only notebook I’ve tried out of the three above is the Moleskine Large Square Hard Cover notebook, but that’s been mainly due to the fact the other two weren’t available in NZ up until now. I think next time I’ll try the Leuchtturm1917 to see how they compare.

Pens

Just as important as the type of notebook, is the type of pen. In general any type of pen will do, as long as it doesn’t bleed through the paper. There’s nothing worse than not being able to read the current page because the previous page has ghosted onto the current one.

My favorite pens for day to day Bullet Journaling are the Paper Mate InkJoy range. The 300RT in particular are good, and they come in a lot of different colors. The Paper Mate InkJoy Gel pens have recently become available in NZ, and I love them, but there is some bleed through.


My favorite pens for making titles, tables, and making habit lists are the Staedtler triplus fineliner pens which also come in a great range of colors. They are a bit pricey but they don’t bleed through the paper, and they last for ages. My current two sets have lasted so far for over a year of heavy usage.

Washi Tape

Wash tape isn’t a necessity, but personally I couldn’t do without it. I use it mainly as headers, to separate days of the week on the same page, and to pretty up my quite plain pages. And you can pick them up quite cheaply from lots of different places. In NZ, I’ve gotten them from Warehouse Stationery, Spotlight, card making stores, and online in places like Trade Me, Mighty Ape, and Wishy Washi (https://www.wishywashi.co.nz/).

Stamps

Stamps are also useful if you want to save time from writing repetitive things day after day. I found Kaizercraft captured moment clear stamps in Spotlight, and I use their ’Weekdays’ and ‘Months’ sets daily. If you’re a Spotlight member, wait until they’re on sale. In terms of stamp pads to use with them, I use pigment ink pads (Brilliance Pigment Ink Pads are good), the dye pads I’ve tried bleed through the pages very easily.


So that’s a basic run down on some of the stationery things you may need to start your Bullet Journal, next time we’ll start Bullet Journaling.

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