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If you’re new to bullet journaling, it can be incredibly daunting figuring out where to start. In theory, it’s as simple as just having a notebook and pen, but fellow stationery enthusiasts will know these things are never that simple.
I’ve reviewed and rated ten different dot grid notebooks to help you find the perfect bullet journal for you, depending on your own requirements – number of pages, ribbons, tabs, paper thickness, cover, etc. The perfect one for me is the Dingbats Earth Journal and I’ve written all about my current set up here.
Once you’ve picked your notebook, the next step is your pens – and you must test them all out on the back page. There are few things more soul destroying than starting a new notebook only to find that your favourite pens bleed everywhere, ruining your new spreads. Incidentally, I tested all of the following pens in my first Dingbats Earth Journal here, so you can see the results for yourself.
Sidebar: I keep all of my favourites in this feminist-friendly pencil case, which spends most of its time on my bedside table, alongside my journal.
First up, the STABILO Sensor. I do the bulk of my writing with these bad boys. The smooth flow makes me actually like my handwriting (destroyed years ago when I learned shorthand) and there’s zero smudging or bleed through. I tend to write most of my free-flow stuff in black or dark blue but it’s nice to mix it up for different topics.
These beautiful pastels, the STABILO Pen 68, are great for adding colour to my trackers. I don’t like to write with them but they’re great for colouring – handy for ‘year in pixels’ spreads.
We all get scared of committing pen to paper sometimes and the Paperchase mechanical pencils are great for that first dabble with something new. Most built-in erasers are a bit shit and wear out the page but these are perfect. A friend bought me a multipack for Christmas a while back and I love them.
This year I’m turning my bujo into a bit of a scrapbook and prints and tickets are great for adding to your dailies. I don’t want to do this at the expense of my page count (I’d love to use just one notebook a year but I think two is more realistic) and so I’m adding things which really mean something to me.
Of course, why use a Pritt Stick when you can use washi tape?! I’m quite proud of my growing collection and there’s something for every season. A lot of these come from Poundland multipacks, so you don’t need to spend a lot.
What are your essentials?