Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday Reviews : Bullet Journal

Hi everyone!  Happy Wednesday!

I've been talking a lot about my new love of the bullet journal (aka the bujo), so today I wanted to share reviews of the products that I use.  I'll also be writing a post about how I actually use the bullet journal next week, so stay tuned for that.

The beauty of the bullet journal system is that it works with any paper and pen that you have on hand.  You could use a spiral notebook and some free pen you got from a hotel, or you could get a top-of-the-line fountain pen and gold-encrusted notebook made with unicorn hair.  Either way- it works!

When I started to do research about how other people use their bujo, I saw a lot of the same products over and over with amazing reviews, so I decided to give them a try.  I'm really happy with my purchases and wanted to share some thoughts in case any of you want to get started on this journey as well.  Let's get to the reviews!




Leuchtturm Medium Hardcover Journal


If you're going to start a bullet journal, the only thing you really need is some sort of a journal!  Any kind really works, but after reading about other people who bujo, I decided to follow the crowd and get a Leuchtturm.  These journals are really fantastic!  Here are a few things that I love about the brand :


- The cover is sturdy, which helps prevent it from getting destroyed when I throw it in my bag.  It also makes it easy to write on-the-go.

- The paper is pretty thick, which prevents the pens and markers from leaking through to the other side.  One of the best parts of using a bullet journal is the freedom to be creative and doodle in your notes, so it's nice that I can be generous with ink and it doesn't bleed through and ruin the other side of the page.

- The size is perfect.  I usually have three days on each page, which is a great size.  It's small enough to throw in my bag, but also big enough that I have plenty of space to write or draw.

- There is an index in the beginning of the notebook, which is one of the essential parts of the bullet journal system to keep everything organized.  There's also a folder in the back to hold scraps of paper.

-There are so many different variations of this journal available!  I got the emerald green one, but there are tons of colors out there.  I also (accidentally) got a blank notebook, but there are also ones that come dotted, which makes it easier to keep your writing straight.  The size that I have is the A5, but there are also bigger ones available.


Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers


Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers Review

I use markers to add some color to the pages of my bullet journal.  The Tombow markers are really high-quality but affordable, which is fantastic.  This is definitely something that is completely optional, but I love adding some color to my pages.  This is my first time using a product from Tombow, but I don't think I can ever use any other brand.  Here are some things that I love about the markers that I got :

Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers Bullet Journal


- There is a fine tip for writing as well as a brush tip to make bolder lines.  It's almost like you're getting two products in one!  Both have a precise tip though, so you can do some detailed work or shade things in.

- The colors are really vivid and bright, but don't leak through.  I feel like markers are usually really wet and go through paper. I don't have that problem at all with these!

- There are so many different colors available!  I got the basic colors, but there are so many different theme packs out there - from greyscale to skintones!  I think I need to stock up :)

- The tips are "self cleaning", which basically means if you accidentally go over your black marker with yellow, the tip will clean itself (I just swipe a few times on a plain piece of paper) and it's as good as new!

- I've only been using these for a few months, but they haven't dried out at all yet.  I'll have to see how these wear in the next year, but so far so good!


Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen


Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen Review

I've been trying to learn some calligraphy and different writing techniques, so I decided to invest in a pen set.  In this set, you get eight different pens with varying nib sizes.  There's a great mix of sizes in this set and there are even some brush tip markers included.  This is another optional product to use because regular pens work just as well, but there are some things I really love and recommend about this product :


- The ink is so smooth on these pens!  Usually when I'm using an ink pen, there tends to be a lot of skipping (especially when I first use it), but these write so well.

- They are completely water proof.  I haven't actually tested this out with water, but after they dry the ink is smudge proof.  I'm excited to try water color painting using this ink and seeing what kind of art work I can create!

- There is such a great variety of sizes in this kit.  I like to use the smaller sizes for writing in my bullet journal (the S is my favorite).  I'm still working on using the brush tips!


Paper Mate InkJoy



I've had these pens for a while, so I didn't get them specifically for the bullet journal.  I love them so I had to throw in a quick review!  I got a huge pack at Target, and they come with so many different colors that all write really well.  I love using these if I want to write full sentences in a color, and these show up really well and the ink flows out smoothly every time.


Here's a look at how all of the pens write (from left to right- Faber Castell, Tombow, Papermate)


Does anyone else use a journal?
What is your favorite brand of pen?
Do you have any special tools that you like to use in your planner?

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33 comments:

  1. This is really interesting, Gretchen! I love writing in my Erin Condren planner and make notes, to do lists, and color code items. This method seems really cool, though! I've pinned it for later :)

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  2. I have a friend who bullet journals and between the two of you, I'm considering getting started!

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  3. i am a bullet kinda girl! i love the reviews of the pens, too.

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  4. I just started my bullet journal this week! I'm really excited to read your post about how you use yours!

    I got a moleskine for mine, and while I like it, the flair pens I use do show through on the other side of the page a little bit - not bleed through, but the pages are a little more transparent than I thought they'd be. Oh well :-)

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  5. I've never heard of bullet journaling before I saw you write about it so I'm interested in it! I use a planner everyday and also have a gratitude journal that I try and write in daily too!

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    1. The thing that I love about the bullet journal is that you can combine all of these separate things into one! Keeps things streamlined and much easier to maintain for me :)

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  6. After seeing one of your previous posts that included the bullet journal, I went on their website and watched the video explaining it--it sounds so awesome and like a great way to organize every aspect of your life! Hoping to get one soon!

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    1. It's seriously amazing! I hope you'll try it out soon :)

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  7. Oh, I love fresh pens and paper and journals and colour-coding and all that fun stuff!!

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  8. I've seen the bullet journal a few places lately and it looks really cool. I've been wanting to try it, I'm just so catastrophically bad when I have to freehand things. :P Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I am definitely not the best, but with some practice I've learned some cool techniques and now it looks like I know what I'm doing!

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  9. Thank you for sharing this. I will be stopping back to see how you use it. I am very interested in doing this! :)

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    1. I hope I can convince you to try it out :)

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  10. I've heard of the bullet journal and it looks like the most incredible way to keep organized. I haven't quite made the leap yet I'm still stuck on my day planner which saves my life.

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    1. Hey- whatever works! Day planners are great too as long as they help you stay organized :)

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  11. I can't keep up with my running log so I know I couldn't actually journal but the concept is cool. I have the Papermate Inkjoy pens at work, I like them. I use a lot of sticky notes of all sizes and colors.

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  12. I am so obsessed with bullet journals and love everything about yours! I've been back and forth about wanting to try it out, but just don't think my writing is neat enough...

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    1. As long as you can read your writing it works! Plus with practice I bet you will improve :)

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  13. I'm totally obsessed with bullet journals - they're so awesome! I was doing so well with keeping up with mine but then I had Owen and I have't even touched it. maybe I need some fun new supplies for inspiration!

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    1. I'm sure you have your hands tied now but hopefully soon you can start using it again! And yes new supplies are a must!

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  14. My stationery obsessed self is geeking out over this post! So much good stuff! :P

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  15. This is just the sort of thing that I would buy and then never, ever use because I would be too afraid of messing up the pages.

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    1. I was the same! It's so nerve wrecking when I start a new page!

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  16. Oh my goodness! I'm drooling over all these pens! Your pages are beautiful!

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  17. Whenever I've bought a planner in the past it would last maybe a month before I stopped using it. I started bullet journaling at the beginning of the year and am actually still using it since I can set everything up the way that works best for me.

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