Beginner Bullet Journal Supplies: Your Simple Guide to Getting Started (Free Printable Trackers Included!)

College Life Made Easy is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
Beginner Bullet Journal Supplies Your Simple Guide to Getting Started (Free Printables Trackers Included!)

Bullet journalling:

“What is it and what supplies do I need for it??”

As using a bullet journal is becoming more popular, you may have some questions about it. Look no further for answers, because in today’s post I’m going to answer both of those questions.

So, first let’s talk about just HOW it works:

A bullet journal is a COMPLETELY customizable system for organizing your daily thoughts, planning out your to-do list, sorting through a variety of upcoming tasks, and setting goals for the future.

Think of it as a marriage between a traditional day planner, a diary, a notebook and a sketchbook.

The idea behind bullet journaling came from the notion that traditional planning and journal writing take time.

Get this:

The MORE time, energy and effort expended on the planning and writing, the GREATER the chance the task will be viewed as a mundane chore instead of an uplifting and motivating experience.

By investing the initial time to create a one-of-a-kind bullet journal, you are able to rapid-log entries and enjoy the process of simplification.

To create a bullet journal, there are some basic supplies you will initially need and more elaborate items you can pick up along the way.

Bullet Journal Supplies: The Basics

For starters:

One great thing about starting a bullet journal is that you really only need a basic notebook and pen of your choosing; it does not have to be fancy or elaborate.

You can choose a basic spiral-bound notebook or composition book, or you can invest a little more money into a leather-bound journal with ribbon book markers. It’s really up to you and how much you can afford (or even want) to spend.

Some people prefer a notebook with lines, especially if they want to forgo utilizing a ruler during the planning stages of the journal. Others like the simplicity and minimalist look of a notebook with blank or dotted pages.

My notebook recommendations: The Best Cheap Bullet Journal Notebooks

After choosing a notebook that suits your tastes, you’re only left with one other task:

Selecting a writing utensil. To some, this isn’t too important and any old pen will do.

But for others….

…creativity is king! There are a myriad of things to consider writing with; like colored pencils, fine-tipped markers and even calligraphy pens.

My pen recommendations: Stabilo Fine Point Pens or Staedtler Fineliner Pens

My advice is to just choose one pen or pencil to start, though.


The trick to being successful when creating a bullet journal is to start slow. Give yourself some time to learn the process and interpret it in your own way.

If you make things complicated by purchasing too many bullet journal supplies initially, you may burn yourself out and never even see your creation come to fruition.

Beyond the Basics, bullet journal supplies


Once you have a basic understanding of bullet journaling and want to get more creative, a ruler and some correction tape become the next bullet journal supplies you may want to have on hand.


A flexible and transparent ruler makes it SO MUCH easier to create boxes and lines – which you’ll probably want to do. One thing to note: you’ll want to pick up a ruler that is long enough to span the complete length of your bullet journal when it is fully opened.

And, correction tape (aka Wite-Out) is an ESSENTIAL for anyone new to the world of bullet journaling. Mistakes happen, but also…

you may go through several different adaptations and stages as you plan the perfect bullet journal for your lifestyle. Corrective tape will quickly become your new best friend!

Bullet Journal Supplies

After you have the basic understanding and a general layout chosen, you can let your creative spirit run wild! Customize your journal in literally ANY way you desire.

Once you get past the basics, there are LOTS of bullet journal supplies to consider.

An idea to get you started:

One thing that a lot of people like to do is utilize page tabs in their journals for quick referencing and locating. Some people prefer to use washi tape to mark their pages (like this); it comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns and is both easy and fun to use.

What is washi tape?

Washi tape is a paper or tissue-based crafter’s tape with an adhesive back that is very pliable and PERFECT for bullet journaling. It has SO many uses!

It can be used to fill in empty spaces in your journal, make borders for boxes and decorate the journal cover. I love how versatile it is.

A few CUTE washi tape recommendations of mine: this floral washi tape multi-pack or this skinny, gold foil washi tape multi-pack

Another alternative page marker would be a basic binder clip; it adds an architectural look to a bullet journal.

But hey – that’s just two ideas for labeling out of endless ideas! There are even stickers made especially for it, like these ultra adorable ones.

Bullet Journal Supplies

Adding fun little touches like metallic star stickers, stencils and stamps give your journal it’s own personality. And, it at least gives me extra feelings of happiness as I flip through the pages.

You can notate and mark special circumstances and upcoming events with coded stickers to serve as personal reminders.

Highlighters are another great tool for marking important events. Quickly locate and identify an important upcoming event when you use a color-coded highlighting system in your journal.

My highlighter recommendations: Zebra Midliners or Uni Propus Quick Dry Highlighters

Whether starting a bullet journal for the simplification aspect, the organizational need or the creative desire, the finished product will keep you inspired and motivated for the entire year.

It’s even fun reflecting on the experiences and highlighted moments you have had over the past year!

And with a bullet journal you can take a more personal peek inside your brain for what you were thinking each week. Marvel and rejoice again at your triumphs once more as you re-read through your journal.

Another perk is:

That you will also be able to pinpoint areas that may need a little more of your attention in the coming months. Always useful for continuing in personal growth!

When you take the time to create a journal that reflects your individual style and needs, writing and doodling will become the high point of your day.

To get you started, I have a couple of free printable pages that can be inserted into your bullet journal and used to keep track of birthdays. Click on the picture to below to get them.

P.S. If you aren’t sure how to resize printables, this tutorial will show you how.

What’s your take on bullet journalling? Are there any bullet journal supplies you love?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below.

Bullet Journal Supplies, free printable birthday tracker pages

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *