When I started bullet journalling around three years ago, I never went in with the expectation that I’d suddenly be brilliant at drawing or conjuring up aesthetic layouts. I did so with the thought that the flexible system would be perfect for the type of life that I lead; works full-time, manages a hobby blog, runs a small business, and attempts to live a life. In 2020, I think this sort of multi-hyphenate lifestyle is somewhat of a norm, and so my bullet journal continues to be a brilliant way to manage my diary and more.
As a bit of a disclaimer, I use my bullet journal for a number of things. Primarily, I use it to:
- Keep track of life admin tasks.
- Note down work to-do lists.
- Jot down appointments and (virtual) gym classes.
- Track my savings for a house deposit/down payment.
- Log blogging statistics and milestones.
- Improve my mental health with small self-care daily habit trackers.
- Keep track of the books I read, when I read them and my star ratings.
- Document my gratitude.
- Make general ‘brain dump’ notes.
As such, my bullet journal is often a hot mess but it does its job. And if you’re hoping to start your own journalling journey, these are some essentials to get you started and keep you on track. You truly don’t need thousands of resources!
A good pen.
It goes without saying, but a brilliant writing pen makes the world of difference when it comes to journalling of any sort. Stick to the ones you like to use – pilfered IKEA pencils, fountain pens, the cheapest Biro you could find… They’re all perfectly fine. I personally use a MUJI Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen 0.38 in Black for my writing endeavours.
Another essential is a good ruler, especially if you plan to create weekly spreads. A lot of people enjoy drawing freehand lines, but I just do not possess that skill, and so a little stainless steel MUJI ruler does the job for me. I think a clear ruler would be even better, though.
Like I said, I cannot draw for toffee. So, cute stickers are a godsend in adding a little décor to my pages. Of course, this isn’t essential, but if you’re interested, my favourite sticker sellers are Coffee & Scribbles, moehrenkunst and Lace & Whimsy.
A glue pen.
I’m a cutter-and-sticker sort of journaller – I love making the most from tickets, little paper trinkets and mementos, and sticking them in my journal. A roller glue is perfect for mess-free sticking.
And finally, I’m never without a highlighter. Sometimes I’ll use a Tombow Brush Pen to add a splash of colour, but for the most part a highlighter helps to, well, highlight important dates and notes, no matter the type of page or spread you’re working on.
What are some of your own journalling essentials?