Twelve Perfect Gifts for Bullet Journallers

Bullet journalling is becoming more and more popular

In case you haven’t noticed, bullet journalling (aka bujo-ing) has taken the world by storm over the past few years. What is bullet journalling? In the simplest terms, it is a way of making your own planner in a notebook. The concept was popularized by Ryder Carroll, and his method is a simple system of lists with symbols and an index. The planner community (yes, that’s a thing) grabbed the idea and ran with it, and now most bullet journallers embellish their journals with artwork, stickers, color coding, washi tape, scrapbook elements, fancy lettering, and anything else you can imagine.

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If you know someone who bullet journals, or if you want to try it yourself, here are the perfect items to start with. Be warned, though: there are so many brands, styles, and sizes of notebooks, and bujo addicts can be very particular about which ones they use. If you’re buying a gift for someone who already uses a bujo, your best bet is to ask them which notebook they prefer to use.

First, of course, is the book that started it all: The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll.

Notebooks

Next, some notebooks. Moleskine and Leuchtturm are two classic brands that many bullet journallers love. Even within these two brands, there are different sizes, different covers, and different types of pages– lined, gridded (like graph paper), dot-gridded, or blank– so, again, you really want to ask before buying this as a gift for an established bujo-er. You can be slick and tell them you’re looking into bujo-ing and want a recommendation.

   

Scribbles That Matter is a popular brand that has a few things set up for you already. Their pages are pre-numbered, and they have preprinted pages for an index, a key, and even a pen test page.

Pens and Markers

For a simple black pen, my go-to is the Sharpie fine point pen. It’s a durable felt-tip pen that you can find almost anywhere, it dries quickly, and it hardly ever bleeds through paper. Another nice one is Pigma Micron. Micron goes beyond fine and extra-fine points to give you a whole range of points. Get the six pack and see which one you like best.

For writing and drawing fine lines in color, the pens you need are fineliners. The two most popular brands are Staedtler and Stabilo. I have the 36-pack of Staedtlers and I looooove it.

One of the biggest hits in the bujo world is the Zebra Mildliner pens. When I first started seeing the name, I misread it as “midliner,” which I assumed was a size between fineliner and a bold fat marker such as a chisel-tip. Finally I realized it was mildliner, referring to the mildness of the soft, pastel shades. The Mildliner comes in four sets: warm, cool, fluorescent, and a newer set with bolder (but still mild) colors; I’m not sure what the newest set is called. They are double-ended, with a traditional highlighter point at one end and a fine point marker at the other. They’re perfect for highlighting and coloring.

Washi Tape

Washi tape is a decorative paper tape that originated in Japan. Like masking tape, it is sticky but can often be repositioned, and it can be torn off the roll easily. The standard width is 15mm (about 5/8″), but skinny and wide versions are also available. It can be used to create borders or dividing lines, or to decorate anywhere in your bullet journal. There are SO MANY kinds of washi out there, with any kind of picture or pattern you can possibly imagine.

Creativity Rundown

Creative projects I’m currently working on

a magnifying glass sits on the open pages of an old dictionary.
Image by Pixabay

Preparing for a side hustle as a proofreader. Does this count as creative? I think it does. Entrepreneurship is always creative. I notice typos, misspellings, and grammatical errors all the time, so I might as well get paid for pointing them out. It’s a job I can do on my own schedule and from my own home. What I have to learn is the symbols used in proofreading, the usual practices, how to get gigs, and how much to charge. I’m excited about this.

Side view of a woman standing and wearing a maroon knit wrap.
image from www.mamainastitch.com

Knitting the Merlot Alpaca Wrap by Mama In A Stitch. It is absolutely gorgeous, and will probably take me until at least January to finish. I really love the patterns I’ve seen on her website, and can’t wait to do more.

menorahslist

Designing and selling t-shirts. This is something I’m working on with my husband. It’s been taking a ton of time. There are lots of articles and podcasts that say you can get a t-shirt store up and running in a day or two. Maybe you can, if you know Photoshop; already have a shirt design, a store name, and a logo ready to go; and are fine working with the first t-shirt print-on-demand shop that Google shows you. None of that was the case for me. I’m learning Photoshop as I go, and luckily my first shirt designs were simple bits of text. My son designed our logo. We’ve done a lot of research on print-on-demand businesses. It’s surprisingly hard to find plus-size shirts, and we’re still working on finding a supplier of women’s sizes larger than 2x. We’ve had our shop up and running for about a week and have made our first sale. Check us out at www.ragsofgold.storenvy.com.

Learning to code JavaScript with the Grasshopper app. I saw it and figured, why not? It’s fun and easy so far, but I just started.

Creative projects that have fallen by the wayside

My bullet journal. I’ve been pressed for time and unenthusiastic, and I even went a couple weeks without using a planner at all, which was really difficult. If I don’t have things written down, my ADHD takes over, I feel completely discombobulated, and my anxiety level goes up. I finally bought a preprinted weekly insert for my traveler’s notebook. Much better. I’ll probably go back to bullet journaling at some point; it’s the planning method I keep returning to. But for now, being able to simply write my appointments and tasks down in a planner is what I need.

Inktober. I stuck with it for less than half the month, but it was longer than I’ve ever stuck with any daily prompt drawing project, so I’m considering it a win. Next year, I’ll stick with it longer.

Morning Pages. I have the hardest time keeping up with this habit, even though I know it’s probably the most helpful thing I can do for my writing and for my creativity as a whole. Maybe I can set a reminder on my phone.

 

So… I’m not perfect, and I definitely need to get better at keeping creative habits such as writing and drawing every day (not to mention blogging more often). But I’ve realized that I truly am always doing something creative, and I’m really happy about that.