Talk Bujo to Me | What I use for bulletjournaling.

If you are new to bulletjournaling: it is basically a wish list, to-do list and journal – and what I like to do is decorate it with doodles, handlettering, stamps and washi-tape. I have two informative posts about my step into this bujo-world and setting up collections.

Today I want to talk about all the materials I use for my bulletjournal. Almost everything I get is bought on a Dutch website called Penstore. I am not sponsored, but simply enjoy using this website. It is easy to navigate, with different sections, and they provide fast shipping. For my Dutch followers: if you want there are also Notitieboekplaza, de Inktpot, Writersplaza, de Kwast and Liefde voor Papier.

You don't have to use anything that I mention in this post. Bulletjournaling is all about what works for YOU. So if you use a regular 1 dollar notebook and only a pencil, that is fine too! I just want to show you all the materials that work for me and it might give you some inspiration.

I have not tried anything else after I discovered the brand Leuchtturm1917. I found out about the Rhodia Goalbooks this week and I fell in love with the light purple (Iris) one, but I have to say I am disappointed by the quality. I wanted to give it a try, but the cover is floppy and not sturdy, so it already has a lot of dents. The dots on the pages are way darker than in the Leuchtturm and the paper itself as a different feel to it; I don't think it can hold water well.

So back to my one and only Leuchtturm1917. There is a big range of notebooks.
Different formats. From A6 tot A4+.
Different covers. Hard and soft.
Different paper. Lined, blank, dotted and checkered. 
Different colors. The regular colors are: Black, Red, Purple, Berry, New Pink, Orange, Yellow, Lime, Emerald, Nordic Blue, Azure, Royal Blue, Navy, Army, Sand, Anthracite and Pink. There are also three limited editions in pink, emerald and blue and three metallic versions, in gold, silver and copper.

They might be more expensive than a regular notebook, but they are so worth it for me.
All prices in euros: 13.95 for pocket format, 15.95 euro for the regular versions, 17.50 for limited editions, 20.95 for the special bulletjournal edition, 24.50 for A4+ format.

The Leuchtturm1917 notebooks are really sturdy and will last you a long time. The paper is thick enough to hold up with watercolor and the bleed through is minimal, most of the times only some ghosting. This does depend on the brands of markers you use. The paper is 80 gram and there are 249 already numbered pages, which is so neat!

I use the medium format, which is A5 (145x210mm) with dots, because these give you a guideline, but are not so obvious as lines. It comes with an elastic to keep it closed and two attached bookmarks. If you buy the Bulletjournal version you will get 3 strings, but I don't like to have the standard pages they included. I have filled a Emerald colored version and I'm currently using Nordic Blue. So yes, you can say that I'm a big fan!

Staedtler 42 brilliant colours fineliners. This is also available as a set of 15, 30 and 36 pens. The value is 24.95 euros, which isn't a bad price for the large range of colours you get. The pens have a thickness of 0.33 mm, they don't bleed and just a little ghosting. They add a great pop of colour to my pages.

Sakura Pigma Micron fineliners. These are the ones I always use for all my writing. There are two sets, with 3 or 6 pens, but you can also buy them separately. They are 2.50 euros a piece. A little pricey if you ask me, but I do enjoy using them. The tips don't wear down quickly, which is a plus, and they don't bleed at all and ghosting is minimal. 
I definitely recommend to get some fineliners with different sizes, because it does make a difference in a spread. I own all their different sizes: 005, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 en 08 (thickness 0.2, 0.25, 0.3, 0.35, 0.4, 0.45, 0.5 mm) and if I have to recommend two I would go with 01 (0.25mm) or 02 (0.30 mm) and 08 (0.5 mm). The 01/02 are perfect for regular writing and the 08 is fun to use to make certain words stand out.

Don't stare yourself blind on buying everything that is expensive or a brand though. I also use regular fineliners from drugstores that cost me less than 0.50 cents a piece and they are great to work with as well. I recommend to use a page at the back of your notebook to check if they bleed/ghost and if not, you are good to go! The thing with these Pigma pens is that they don't run when you apply water over it, so that's why I prefer to use them most of the times.

Uni-ball gel pens. I currently own the Uni-Ball signo white, black and glitter gold. They are smooth, but do keep in mind that they don't dry as fast as fineliners. I have made that mistake before, haha. 2.50 euros a piece, minimal ghosting, no bleeding. I use the white and gold one to add touches to my lettering, the black one for regular whiting.

I have two Tombow Brush pens, in the color green and red, and I love them. They come with a fine tip and a brush tip. No bleeding on the pages, minimal ghosting. So easy in use and they have such a big range of colours. They are crazy expensive though, but I hope to save enough to get the entire 96 set at the end of the year. I highly recommend their soft Fudensenko brush pen. It is a blast to use this for my handlettering.

I settled down with a less expensive option, all the colours from the Sakura Koi Brush pens. Still a lot of money, but worth the investment. They last me a long time. I've used them for over 1.5 years now and they still aren't dry and the tips aren't terribly worn down either. They can be used in combination with water and I've been experimenting with it; so much fun! I also use their set of 30 watercolors and I can say I'm a fan of this brand. You can definitely go with cheaper watercolor options though!

And if you want to go cheap and still do some brush lettering, definitely go with the Crayola markers! They cost 15 euro and come with 50 colours! I love to use them in my bulletjournal for extra colouring and with some practice, you can definitely achieve some fake calligraphy.

Pentel Touch Brush Sign Pen SES15C (watch out for this. There is also a version that is a regular marker) Easy to use, pretty colors and minimal ghosting, no bleeding. Definitely a good pen to learn to handletter with. It was one of the first I tried and it has a sturdy tip.


Paperclips. You can get the regular ones, but I like to find them in fun shapes. Currently using bow shaped paperclips. I use them to hold my entire monthly pages together, so I don't have to flip through older spreads the entire time. I will write a separate post about this.

Ruler. Most of the time I like to draw freehand, but having a ruler can come in handy.

Washi-tape. I like to doodle to decorate my pages, but sometimes I don't feel like it or I don't have enough time, so I like to use washi-tape to add something extra. Also stickers from Redbubble or stamps.

That's it for now! I like to experiment by testing new brands, so after a while I will make an updated post about new materials I have discovered. If you have any questions or perhaps even want me to test something out, let me know!


  1. I've kind of fallen out of the traditional bullet journaling this summer, but I might get back into it in the fall. It is more a book journal right now, but I have nothing wrong with that. Awesome post.

  2. Loved reading this post :D Thank you for sharing about what you use and such Mel. <3 Ahh. I wish I was able to do this too :) But I'm not very much of an artist person at all, haha. But love seeing pictures of all that you draw and write. <3

  3. Your bullet journal is gorgeous, I always love seeing your spreads on IG! I think I would like bulletjournaling so I'll have to bookmark this post for the future :) Thanks for sharing your tips!

  4. I recently started a bullet journal and I absolutely love it. I got all sorts of colorful pens, stickers and washi tape to decorate it.

  5. I've just started a bullet journal today, after sitting on the fence about it for months. I guess we'll see how it goes.


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