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.
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 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.