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The bullet journal is a planning system that is a tried-and-true option for any working person. I’ve been using a version of this system since the beginning of the pandemic, and the transition from traditional planner to bullet journal was extremely beneficial to my productivity. While I don’t use the full system exactly as it was created by Ryder Carroll, the way that I’ve adapted it has made my life a lot easier.

In the most basic version of bullet journaling, all you really need is a writing utensil and a notebook. However, as the study community grows on Instagram and YouTube, the look of bullet journaling and planning has definitely evolved into something more creative and art-driven. As an artsy person myself, my journal definitely uses a few more things than a pen and notebook, and I’d like to share my top five supplies that make my bullet journal experience all the more fun.

Pilot G2 Pens 0.38mm

These are hands down, the best pens for any type of writing. This isn’t a supplementary supply for bullet journaling like the others, but this pen is extremely well made that I just have to share. It doesn’t bleed through and dries pretty fast, so it works for any type of planning and note-taking (if you still take notes on paper like me). I use the 0.38mm, but the 0.5 is good too for a cleaner look.

Ruler

This seems a little odd, but a good six-inch ruler really changes the game when creating little boxes and designs for your journal. It also acts as a straight edge to rip off washi tape on the edge after you put it down.

Washi Tape

Washi tape is my favorite material to use because it adds color and designs that I wouldn’t be able to draw myself. If you don’t know what it is, washi tape is a Japanese tape that can be made of bamboo, trees, or rice. It’s like masking tape that you would use for painting and it doesn’t leave any sticky residue, which makes it great for using in your journal because you can move it around easily without any mess. I always use washi tape as a divider, border, or on a drawn line to make it look like the washi tape is holding it in place.

Sticky-notes and Scrapbook Paper

Another great decorative stationery supply to use are sticky notes and scrapbook paper. They both serve the same purpose of being any shape you want on the page and you can decorate them with washi tape, doodles, or stickers. I especially like using patterned scrapbook paper that matches the color of the tape or stickers to create a cohesive spread. Also, if you don’t have washi tape, sticky notes cut into thin strips act as the same thing.

Colored Pens or Highlighters
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Holly Rhue

Going with the trend of the past two supplies, colored pens or highlighters add the same fun color and brightness to any spread to make it more interesting. You can use them to draw little doodles in any empty space too. I use the Zebra Mildliners, but there are many other varieties of colored pens out there.

Bullet journaling doesn’t have to be an art, but I’ve found that a little extra color and fun designs make it a much more exciting part of my week to set up.

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Madison is studying journalism and international relations at BU. She's from Washington state, loves drinking tea, and watching Marvel movies. Check out her portfolio and blog at https://dontmakelies.com
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