9 Things I Use to Keep My Bullet Journal Pretty and Organized

I started bullet journaling about a month ago and I've never been so creative and organized. From Aztec washi tape to dual-sided brush markers, here's everything I use to fill the pages with bold colors and unique designs.

Carly's bullet journal with pens and stickers
Collage of supplies Carly uses for her bullet journal photo

Craft Supplies I Swear By for My Bullet Journal

One of my goals for the new year is to spend less time staring at a screen and more time being creative, reading books, or doing other activities that bring me joy. I had never heard of a bullet journal before until I stumbled across one on my Instagram feed (already off to a great start with my new year goal). It was set up like a planner with colorful pages, flawless lettering, and full of shiny stickers. The difference between a bullet journal and any other journal is the small dots on each page. They are used for spacing to give you the freedom to draw whatever you like without needing a ruler. I immediately searched for bullet journals on Google and went to my local Hobby Lobby store the next day. I spent less than $40—which is the average cost of some planners—and left with the Agenda 52 bullet journal, Twin Tip brush markers, washi tape, and gold star stickers. The theme of my bullet journal is positivity so it was fitting to get a journal that says " Hello Lovely" on the cover to set the mood.

I started by creating a "swatches" page in the back of my journal to test out the markers and to see if they would bleed through the pages. The markers have a fine-tip side and a larger brush side that's great for lettering or making small designs like flowers and greenery. Each color is bright and beautiful just as I'd hoped, and didn't go through the thick, paper. Next, I tried lettering for the first time and let's just say it's harder than it looks. I quickly realized the small erasers on the tops of my ban.do pencils weren't going to cut it and I desperately needed a calligraphy practice book. I went ahead and bought a three-pack of Pink Pearl erasers because I draw everything out in pencil before going over it in marker—and I tend to make a lot of mistakes. I also found the Calligraphy Made Easy book that teaches you how to write each letter uppercase and lowercase. There's even an information page that tells you all about the anatomy of calligraphy along with practice pages so you can perfect your letters before writing them in your bullet journal.

After perfecting my letters and drawing out designs for the January page, I decided I wanted a more subdued contrast to the bold colors of the markers to make the page more interesting. Back to the store I went to pick up a 24-pack of Crayola colored pencils and a 48-pack of Crayola crayons. They are a throwback to my childhood, but still provide great color for a low price. At the bottom of some of my spreads I had a lot of white space I didn't know what to do with. Instead of spending more time drawing out designs, I let the stickers and washi tape do the work for me. Simply cut a strip the length the white space, stick it on, and violà! You have a stunning metallic design that took 5 seconds to create.

Not only does my bullet journal act as my daily planner, it helps me relax and get my mind off things, too. I find myself watching fewer shows on Netflix and spending less time on social media—successfully achieving my New Year resolution.

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