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A good pen is the second thing you need when it comes to bullet journaling (the first one is your notebook).
Just like your bullet journal notebook, you must put some thought into the quality of the pens you will be using, simply because you will be using these everyday!
Some you will use for writing. Others you will use for designing your journal, like for drawing doodles and creating fonts.
Hence, we decided not to limit this list to just pens per se, but we’ve included every kind of pen or writing tool you can possibly think to use as a starter in bullet journal. So don’t be surprised if you see pencils and markers in this list.
Henceforth, if you do not know where to start, there is no need to worry! We got you covered!
That being said, here’s our list of 20 best pens for bullet journaling!
A good writing pen is important because you will be using it in your bullet journal all the time. Your experience with the writing pen should be a smooth one.
It must also has a good grip so your hands won’t get tired.
This medium point Sharpie pen is easy to use as an everyday writing pen. When the ink dries up, it is water-resistant. Hence, no worries about smearing. It also does not bleed through paper.
2. Pilot G2
This is a smooth writing gel ink pen that has a rubber grip for you to write comfortably. It makes an extra-fine and bold line.
The Pilot G2 is found to be one of the most longest-lasting gel inks compared to most brands.
Next to your everyday writing pen, the second thing you will use often is your pencil.
You need to have a pencil to form your layouts and make sure that your headers or doodles are in the right positions. Take note that the way you use your pencil could leave etches on the paper that will not go away even if you erase them.
It is best to use the pencil lightly so that the etches will not be visible.
This is a break-resistant mechanical pencil set that comes with lead refills. The mechanical pencil can absorb shock, so there will be less breakage.
It also has a refillable eraser that cleanly removes traces of what you have written on the page.
This mechanical pen uses a 0.5mm standard lead point, making your writing and drawings light and precise. The pencil itself is made of a durable stainless steel barrel.
It comes with a black rubber grip so that it will not slip from your fingers while giving you comfort as you write.
Fountain pens are not that easy to use, but it is something you can learn with practice.
These pens look very professional. Writing with it actually can bring you more pleasure because you get to take your time to appreciate your handwriting.
If you want to try out using fountain pens, this is an affordable option.
It has a medium tip steel nib that works great for cursive writing. Its shape also makes it easier on your hand when you have to use it for long writing sessions.
If you want a high-quality fountain pen, you should get the Lamy Safari. It has interchangeable nibs that allow you to write in different lines and styles.
It is a fountain pen that was built for everyday use, so it is very durable.
Fineliners are very popular because they smudge less compared to gel pens. The ink dries instantly, so they barely bleed or ghost.
Fineliners are favored by bullet journalists who do doodles and drawings because these come with a vibrant black ink that makes lines stand out on paper.
The Sakura Pigma Micron ink pens are very popular for those who do bullet journal drawings and doodles. It has waterproof archival ink pigment that does not bleed through paper.
It also does not get smeared when you use highlighter markers over it. It’s sold in sets, with each pen having different pen point sizes.
The pens in this set move smoothly on all kinds of paper and leave a smooth line. The ink is waterproof. Hence, you can use your brush pens or other water media over them, and it will not disturb its lines.
The set comes with multiple tips to create a range of lines that you can use for headings and handwriting.
The colored pens you use will depend on the paper quality of your chose bullet journal notebook. Some colored pens work best on thicker paper, while some can be used with thin ones.
You can use colored pens to draw doodles or to write colorful notes!
Paper Mate is a reliable brand that has been around since the 1960s, and their felt tip pens are a favorite.! The ink is water-based and acid-free. It dries up quickly too, so it does not smear or bleed through the page!
These fine line markers are made from food-grade dyes, and the colors are very vibrant. You can also rehydrate the markers by dipping them in water.
It is designed to be gripped easily. The design also lets the pens stay in place, so you do not have to worry about them rolling away.
Markers function the same way as colored pens do. Only they have bigger nibs.
They produce bigger lines, and you can easily use them for bullet journal headings.
These colored markers from Crayola are not just for kids! These work great for bullet journaling too! Plus, it helps that it’s also a practical choice since Crayola is more affordable than other brands.
It is effortless to use, making it the perfect marker when you’re still new to hand lettering and shading. The fact that it is non-toxic and washable makes it an easy marker to work with!
These markers from Mr. Sketch will bring scent and color to your bullet journal spreads. Each color has its own designated scent, and it smells so good you would want to use them more often!
Metallic pens do not only add an element of color to your bullet journal spreads, but they are also shimmery and bright. It definitely catches one’s attention easily.
These are used best in dark-colored pages, like the trendy black notebooks. However, a common dilemma with metallic pens is that they smudge easily. So when using metallic pens, give the ink a few seconds to dry.
Gold and silver are the most in-demand metallic colors used in bullet journals. They add an element of luxury and glamour to the spreads.
The Uni-ball Signo Broad metallic pens come in a set of three with gold, silver, and white. You can also use the white metallic pen to write over your errors.
These metallic pens have brilliant colors. It is a brush pen type, so it will be easy for you to use it for your lettering needs. The brush tip is flexible – you can use it for intricate details and coloring larger spaces.
You can easily alternate from bold to thin lines too.
Highlighters are important in bullet journals because it helps organize your contents. Bullet journalists use them to make headings stand out and also to mark off tasks.
1. Stabilo BOSS
Stabilo BOSS has always been a favorite brand when it comes to highlighters. The brand uses water-based ink on their highlighters, meaning they are non-toxic and harmless to your health.
These come in a wide range of colors and designs. The pastel line is a favorite in the bullet journal community. You can buy them individually or by set.
If you want a unique, glittery effect on your highlighters, you should get the Faber-Castell Metallic Highlighter Pens. It uses odorless water-based highlighter ink. The highlight is also smudge-proof.
This is one great way to add some glam to your bullet journal layouts!
Brush pens are great for watercolor effects on your illustrations or lettering. The sets usually come with a midtone pen that helps blend the colors together.
Brush pens are a favorite for those who do calligraphy and other forms of lettering. You can also use it to do thick and bold lettering with ease!
When it comes to brush pens, Tombow Dual Brush pens are a favorite. They are odorless, non-toxic, acid-free, blendable, and do not bleed.
It’s ideal for faux calligraphy, brush lettering, and watercolor illustrations.
Just like with Tombow, Pentel brush pen’s ink also does not bleed through the paper. It dries instantly. You can lay the ink thickly on the paper without worrying about it ruining the next page.
Its synthetic bristles can produce a sharp and stable point. If you need a black brush pen often, add this to your bullet journal supplies!
Fude pens fall under the category of brush pens. These are mostly used in East Asia calligraphy.
You will find that fude pens can either have a real brush tip or a soft felt tip. These are best for when you need to do calligraphy or lettering of smaller sizes. Bullet journalists love this pen for its precision and good ink flow.
Zebra Fude Pens have three nip styles – superfine, fine, and medium. The tips are not that soft, so it is perfect when you are still new to lettering and calligraphy. It gives you more control.
This is a felt tip fude pen that allows you to have better control when drawing or using it for calligraphy and lettering. The dye ink is water-based and flows smoothly when in use.
You can start with just one pen for your bullet journal!
Remember, if you are new to bullet journaling, you don’t have to buy a pen for all the categories above. All you really need to start a bullet journal is a notebook and one pen.
Yes… just one pen!
I always recommend that you start with minimum supplies first. Then gradually expand your supplies as you get to figure out what you enjoy the most about bullet journaling and how you are using it in your life. This saves you from splurging your money all at once!
Start off with one high-quality writing pen – which you’ll find in this list.
Then expand to colors once you get the hang of things. Some of us thrive on colors while others find that a distraction. Explore where you belong! Then just add different pens to your bullet journal supplies as the need arises.
Looking for more bullet journal tips? Check these out!
- Best Notebooks for Bullet Journal
- 20 Practical Monthly Spreads for Your Bullet Journal
- 20 Creative Bullet Journal Monthly Themes
- Bullet Journal Key: 20 Classic & Simple Designs