The Most Essential Bullet Journal Supplies for Starters

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bullet journal supplies for newbies

Are you a bullet journal newbie? You’re probably wondering which bullet journal supplies you need to have for this therapeutic and creative journey.

I have observed that when it comes to bullet journaling, many go overboard on supplies. The desks are usually filled with various pens, washi tapes and colored markers just to make the BuJo entries beautiful.

I so love the fact that using a bullet journal can help you do whatever you want with your BuJo. You are free to create different layouts; you are free to bring out the creative inner you!

However, when you are just beginning, you might feel overwhelmed if you try to do it in the same way as an experienced bullet journalist would do it.

It’s okay to take things slow especially when you’re still just giving it a try.

So when it comes to BuJo supplies, I wouldn’t advise that you go all out already. But I would suggest that you start with the basics – the necessary supplies. Then, when you find yourself liking and loving the bullet journal system, slowly build your supplies collection as you get more into it.

That’s what this post is all about – the essential bullet journal supplies for when you’re just beginning.

What bullet journal supplies do you need so you can have a great experience even when you’re just still trying out?

Let’s get on with it!

1. Notebook/Journal

bullet journal supplies - notebook or journal
My very first bullet journal notebook

Of course, the very first thing you need when starting a bullet journal is a notebook to be your journal. So what do you look for in a notebook?

Paper quality

You will be using different pens and various coloring materials in your bullet journal.

Because of this, you need to choose something with a thick paper so that your pens will not bleed through the paper. Most BuJo lovers recommend a thickness of at least GSM 100. But if you’re not going to use heavy colored markers, you’ll be just fine with a GSM 80 paper.

You should also check the texture. Some papers are rough that it can affect how you doodle or use your pens and highlighters later on. Choose a notebook with a smooth paper.

Paper color

The paper color will affect the color you get from the coloring materials that you will use. White paper is the most common color, and for good reason – you can be very creative with it!

But some go for black and then they use metallic pens on them. This is one option that you might want to consider, if you’re going to stray from the usual white pages.


What journal size do you feel comfortable to use? You can go with something small like an A5 notebook. Or you can go bigger than that.

Will your bullet journal just be at home sitting on your desk, and then you work on it after a long day? Or will you be carrying it around with you wherever you go?


There are blank journals, lined journals, journals with dot grid pages, and some that have pre-made pages ready.

I recommend you get started with a faintly dotted grid journal. The dots help a lot in writing and in designing. For example, when creating doodles, it’s very easy with the dots because these serve as your guide in drawing. You literally just follow the dots!


If you’re organizing receipts and bills using your BuJo, pockets do help a lot. There are notebooks that have back pockets – you can easily insert a paper in it.

You can also go for binder style notebooks to easily insert pockets and other types of pages.


Bullet journals come in soft covers, hardcovers, moleskin covers, and even leather. What style would you want?

Try these journals from Amazon!

1. Dotted Grid Journal

See more dotted grid journal in this page.

2. Victoria’s Journals

This was my very first official bullet journal notebook, and I’ve enjoyed using it. If you like to try this notebook too, here’s one from Amazon.

Here are more options.

3. Leuchtturm 1917

A lot of journalists swear by this notebook. It’s one of the best journals you can ever have!

See this page for more choices.

Here’s a more detailed list, check it out – Best Notebooks for Bullet Journal!

2. Pencils

bullet journal supplies - pencils

Pencils are a must-have for laying out spreads, testing out various fonts, and doodling before using something more permanent like a pen or marker.

If you want your bullet journal to look neat, you can easily erase your mistakes when you use a pencil first. When you’ve got the drawing or layout that you want, then simply trace that with a pen or marker!

Try these pencils at Amazon!

1. Wood cased pencils

See more wood cased pencils in this page. I highly recommend Ticonderoga pencils.

2. Mechanical pencils

If you want to save time on sharpening pencils, you can also go with mechanical pencils.

See more options here.

3. Eraser

bullet journal supplies - eraser

Of course, you can not work with a pencil without a sturdy and reliable eraser to remove all its traces.

Choose the soft rubber kind of eraser so you don’t have to use force on it and therefore, will not be abrasive to your journal’s paper.

Pro tip: The white vinyl erasers are known to be cleaner erasers compared to the standard pink eraser that is attached to most pencil brands.

4. Pens

bullet journal supplies - pens

You can start out with a black pen and a few colored pens. Then add more colors as you go.

Get a pen that dries up quickly, so it does not smudge as you write. Choose one which won’t bleed on your journal – this is also dependent on the paper quality of your chosen journal.

For more details, check out our related post – 20 Best Bullet Journal Pens for the BuJo Enthusiast!

5. White ink pen

bullet journal supplies - white ink pen

Making mistakes when you are using a pen can easily ruin your bullet journal page. Well not unless, you’re using Frixion pens.

But if not, this makes having a white ink pen essential. It is like a white out but in the form of a pen. When you make a mistake, you simply write over the letters that you messed up and that’s it!

It is a less noticeable way to cover up your mistake, plus the pen needs less space to store – a real win-win solution!

6. Brush pens

bullet journal supplies - brush pen

Having brush pens is only essential if you want to experiment on calligraphy or brush pen lettering.

Get a pen that will give you complete flexibility and control while you write!

7. Highlighters

bullet journal supplies - highlighter

Another essential must-have when you are bullet journaling is a highlighter.

Highlighters bring your attention to the important things you have written. And these also add colors to your journal!

8. Colored markers

bullet journal supplies - colored markers

If you are super creative and love to doodle and draw, make use of colored markers!

Most types are washable and have a nib edge that allows you to make thin and thick lines and come in sets.

9. Stencils

bullet journal supplies - stencil

Stencils are a great bullet journaling tool to ensure a neat, tidy, and symmetrical figures. These can come in any form.

There are circles, banners, arrows, shapes, letters, and many more. They are convenient when you are not so good at doodling or drawing.

10. Ruler

bullet journal supplies - ruler

A ruler is a handy tool for bullet journaling – especially if you want to make particularly straight lines, charts, boxes, and other spreads by hand. They are convenient when you choose to work with blank page journals.

Some rulers also come with stencils that can help you as well.

11. Washi tape

bullet journal supplies - washi tape

Bullet journal users love to use washi tapes. These colorful tape rolls can instantly add some color to your journal. They come in different colors, styles, prints, and sizes.

12. Stickers

bullet journal supplies - stickers

Stickers are another way to decorate your bullet journal and make it look fun!

Use stickers to mark important notes, dates, and events or just for aesthetic purpose. They come in different sizes, colors, styles, and even textures.

13. Stamps

bullet journal supplies - stamps

Having some stamps can save you a lot of time when you plan to repeatedly draw the same thing, such as monthly spreads, weekly spreads, calendars, and to-do lists.

All you have to do is pick out a stamp that you don’t mind using all over again and a stamp pad.

14. Pencil case

bullet journal supplies - pencil case

As you can see from this list, starting out a bullet journal means you need a couple of tools handy. So, you should get a pencil case that stores the basics. With this, you can quickly work on your bullet journal anytime, anywhere!

You can get the generic pencil case or get the bigger pouches that allow you to carry more than just the usual pens and highlighters.

Go at your own pace.

When you are still new to journaling, you may feel overwhelmed with what everyone is using and how creative their pages are. I’d like to let you know that it is okay to go at your own pace.

You do not have to buy every item on this list. In fact, you can just start with a simple notebook and pen until you find your style, and you are ready to be more creative!

Then, when you are more confident and comfortable with your bullet journaling skills, you can invest your money in more supplies.

Looking for more ideas and tips on using a bullet journal? Check these out!

Has this post helped you? Take a second to PIN it!

What bullet journal supplies do you need so you can have a great experience even when you're just still trying out? Let this list be your guide!

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