5 Essentials to Start Bullet Journaling Like a Pro

5 Essentials to Start Bullet Journaling Like a Pro

Student Life

July 09, 2020

Desiring to start a bullet journal but not know where to start? Getting overwhelmed due to those bullet journalist Youtubers who own mountains of stationery? Not sure you can afford every essential supply to begin and decorate your journal? Don’t worry, I got your back!

As a beginner in bullet journaling half a year ago myself, I understood exactly how it felt not to know how to start, or specifically, how to afford all those highlighters, brush pens, or even notebooks that my favorite Youtubers recommended.

To start a bullet journal, all you need is a notebook and a pen, nothing more. That sounds simple enough unless you also wish to own a dotted leather-covered notebook, color markers, brush pens, etc. If that's the case, this is the article for you!

Here are five supplies that I have bought, experimented, and loved to bullet journal with ever since I started this habit. This is not an ideal list of supplies for bullet journaling, but rather one that is affordable, adequate in quality, and accessible for students.

For fresh beginners, watch this video to have a clear view of what bullet journal is.

1. Dot Grid Notebook: BooQuool Dotted Notebook

I came across this one on Amazon after looking through a bunch of expensive, fancy notebooks that surpassed my budget. The product is fabulous, guys!


  • Affordable price (under $15 for two notebooks, are you kidding me?)

  • Very durable and sturdy

  • Sleek leather cover

  • An elastic closure ribbon and a ribbon page marker

  • An inner pocket - great for storing

  • Very minimal bleed-through and ghosting

  • Small in size => handy

  • Suit for most type of inks


  • The dots are too bold but blend in once the page is filled through

  • Only 120 pages
  • No page number or index

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2. Black Gel Pen: PILOT G2 Premium Gel Pens

This is the first gel pen that I tried out ever since I came to the US. The item is great for note-taking, writing, drawing, and many more!


  • Sleek, fancy look

  • Smooth, bold black ink

  • Comfortable grip

  • Retractable and refillable


  • Ink doesn't dry quickly

  • Might be a little pricey for some

3. Black Brush Pen: Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens (2-pack)

I was a little hesitant before I purchased this, but it turned out to be quite superb for both beginners and professionals. A pack comes with a soft-tip pen and a hard-tip pen, both are great for different uses.


  • Awesome products for lettering, doing calligraphy and illustration and drawing (for hard-tip only)
  • Easy to control
  • Minimal bleeding and ghosting
  • Suitable for beginners


  • Don't dry quickly

Check out this video from Pieces Calligraphy for a more detailed review!

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4. Fineliner Pens: Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners Pen

This is hands-down one of the best purchases I have made to bullet journal. I tried out with the mini version first, but feel free to buy a bigger version if you trust the product and me!


  • Multi purposes: taking notes, drawing lines with rulers, etc
  • No bleed-through for most types of paper
  • Pretty colors
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Smooth, even ink


  • (mini version) pens can be hard to hold and control
  • No brown or grey colors

Check you this video from Cindy Guerntert-Baldo where she reviewed this pen set!

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5. Color markers/Highlighters: Crayola 50ct Washable Super Tips Markers

If you have followed many bullet journalist Youtubers, you may have already heard about this product. There are many reviews on this pen set that you can search on Google, but here is one that I found on Youtube from My Blue Side. Many experienced bullet journalists recommended this pen set for beginners due to its affordable price, variety of pretty colors, simple yet elegant look, and decent quality.


  • It is super versatile! I used it for highlighting, coloring, lettering, and drawing.
  • Budget price for a set of 50 colors
  • Easy to control
  • Enough colors for you to get creative, but not too much to make you overwhelmed


  • Tips get fuzzy over time.
  • The colors inside are bolder than demonstrated on the box.
  • May not be suitable for adult coloring

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Above are five products that I believe would be excellent purchases for new bullet journalists and artists. If you're feeling overwhelmed and ready to give up on starting this habit/hobby, please hear me out: the beginning is always rough, you are not alone, there are many solutions to whatever bothers you, and it will be worth it at the end.

Thank you for your time! I hope you found this article helpful.

Nina Tran
50k+ pageviews

Writer since Mar, 2020 · 19 published articles

Nina is a Vietnamese high school student, currently studying in the U.S. She hopes you're enjoying the amazing articles on The Teen Magazine!