April 12, 2017

Bonjour BuJo (n°2): Journaling Essentials (and extras)

Whether you are totally new to bullet journaling and gearing up for my spring/summer Bonjour BuJo set up series, or you already love to journal and just want new ideas and recommendations, this is the post for you. Today we talk bullet journal supplies: essentials and extras. 

If you stay true to the original concept of a bullet journal, you can technically start with any pen and any notebook. That said, the creative in me was looking for a way to integrate art and design with the practicalities a bullet journal provides. I knew that for me, bullet journaling was not only about streamlining my calendar/planner/various journals/lists, but also about the ability to design a journal to suit my specific tastes and aesthetic. 

There are a wide variety of supplies on the market that are great for bullet journaling. It can be overwhelming to decide which supplies are the best quality, what you really need, and where to start when setting up for your first journal. On top of that, you want to be kind to your wallet - it would be really easy to spiral out of control buying fun colored pens and adorable embellishments! Here, we are going to try to keep it pretty simple. I'm in to this whole capsule trend (capsule wardrobe, capsule make up collection...). There's something that comforts me about having exactly what I need, not too little, not too much. With that idea in mind, we will consider this list a "capsule" bullet journaling supply list of sorts. 

The Essentials

1. The journal.
My first journal was done in a soft cover, large (5x8.5in), dotted Moleskine. This lasted me a full 9 months. It was thrown into various totes and purses and held up incredibly well. I loved the durability, the size was easy to carry with me, and I've just always been a Moleskine fan. This journal didn't disappoint. I liked it so much, I've committed to the same journal for BuJo n°2. This time I added a special detail - my initials on the cover embossed in gold (Moleskine has a free personalization promotion going on right now). 

A lot of journalers speak highly of the Leuchtturm1917 journals. These come in a wider range of colors and have the added benefits of pre-numbered pages and a built in table of contents (I will talk more about this in a future post). I've considered trying one, but I'm sticking to my Moleskine because I love the entirely blank slate. I enjoy adding each and every detail to my bullet journal by hand, down to the numbers on the pages. You just have to decide what works best for you. :) 

2. Black pens.
I use these on every single page in my journal. Faber Castell black fineliners in various widths are my favorite. This allows you to create different lettering styles with ease.

3. Colored pens.
A must for bringing your pages to life, Staedler Triplus fineliners are my favorite. I started with a 12 pack but quickly realized the 36 pack was worth the investment. The best part about purchasing both of these pen sets (black and colored) is that even if you abandon your BuJo you will be left with some really nice pens that are great for every day use. 

4. Washi tape.
Just a few rolls of fun colored or patterned washi tape for spicing things up. :) 
(Michael's and Hobby Lobby both have fun options!)

For a long time I stopped at these four essential supplies. I was just getting started, and I didn't want to invest too much into my bullet journal if there was a chance of not sticking with it.

Of course, I did stick with it... and so my "capsule" supply collection has grown a bit. Here are a few of the things that can take your page designs to the next level, still without going overboard. If the essentials are your staples, these extras are your fun accessories. 

The Extras 

1. More washi tape. 
I don't know why this stuff is so addicting. I feel like I can't ever get enough, but I also try to keep myself in check. I bought a small plastic three drawer set at Marshall's. I vow to keep one drawer for washi tape. If I can't fit my rolls there, I know I've gone overboard and rein it in. 

2. Highlighters.
These Midliner highlighters are almost turning into an essential for me. The soft, muted shades aren't your typical highlighter fluorescents, and they are great for adding small details and making things pop. 

3. Acrylic stamps and ink. 
This was a splurge for me, but as dedicated as I am to my journal, it was worth it. I use this acrylic stamp block with these stamps (also lots of cute options for these in the Create365 section at Michael's). Versa Magic inks come in beautiful shades, dry quickly, and won't bleed through the page. I went with a classic navy that would look good on almost all of my pages. Again, I don't want to get too crazy buying tons of colors.

4. Gellyroll pens.
I am a lover of metallics, especially gold and copper. I love these for adding some shine to my pages, but beware, they smudge if they aren't completely dry. 

5. Fun paper clips and binder clips.
Check the dollar bins at Target and Michael's. These are awesome for marking favorite pages or keeping track of your current spot in your journal.

As you can see, these extras doubled my supply collection, but I assure you this happened over time, and all of this fits in a small basket under my coffee table. I'm a big proponent of buying that which I will truly use (in all aspects of life) and I stay true to that with my bullet journal as well. 

I hope these suggestions are helpful! Do you have any favorite supplies that you think my list is missing? Even though I try to keep it simple, I'm always open to new ideas. Let me know in the comments!

Warm wishes from me to you,

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