Bullet journals are a wildly popular method for organizing your life. It’s one of those things that you never heard of before but then a few months later it’s a foundation of your sanity. It’s not hard or complex, but as with all systems, the right tools can make a difference.
Here are our picks for the right pens for your bullet journal journey…
What are the goals of bullet journals?
- Track the past
- Organize the present
- Plan for the future
Easier said than done, but with the right equipment your bullet journal can be better organized, longer lasting, easier to read, and more fun.
The Notebook Matters
One important note is that your paper matters here. For example, if you have thin paper you should check out our guide on pens for Moleskine notebooks. If you have thicker paper, like a Leuchtturm 1917 or Clairefontaine then your pen choice will matter less.
Of course, all this is assuming that you want to write on both sides of the paper! If you don’t your journals won’t be very space efficient and your page numbering will be a bit confusing, but to each their own!
Top Bullet Journal Pens
Staedtler Pigment Liner
In the official how to get started with Bullet Journals video the pen that is used is a 0.3 mm Staedtler Pigment Liner, a fineliner pen. A fineliner is more of a marker than a pen with a hard plastic tip (sometimes called a felt tip). They are popular with people who need to do precise drawing and writing because they have very accurate writing tips and are available in a huge array of colors.
Fineliners like this are great for all journals since they don’t smudge, they dry quickly, and they are one of the best tools for writing small letters. Journals have limited space where you want to put down a lot of ideas, so small writing is key. Color coordinating sections and ideas helps as well.
Some great alternatives to the Staedtler Pigment Liner are the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner, the Pilot Drawing Pen, the Sakura Micron Pigma Fine, and the Sharpie Pen.
Pilot Precise v5
The Precise V5 is an all-round great pen, but it’s excellent for journal writing thanks to the bold ink colors, quick-drying, accurate lines, and needletip. A generous ink flow (for a 0.5 mm pen) means clear writing without overwhelming the page or preventing letters too small. To this point, we tend to prefer the Pilot V7 or V10, but the V5 is the winner for bullet organization.
A great alternative to the Precise V5 is the Hi-Tecpoint V5, which is the same pen but with a cartridge refill system. It’s a cooler pen, but it’s harder to find.
Almost any Jetstream pen will be good for bullet journals. That’s because the Jetstream line use a quick-drying, hybrid ink. It’s oil-based so it won’t sink through pages but it’s quick to dry like a rollerball. The best and worst part about the Jetstream is that there are so many options. How do you choose the right one?
We really like the Jetstream Slim Compact 3-Color. It’s as thin as a normal pencil but has three colors, so you can change colors in your journal as necessary, separating ideas and highlighting thoughts. This really is a stellar pen and it’s as good as the Jetstream gets.