I started using a bullet journal two years ago. Like many others, it started with a YouTube rabbit hole that ended with me at the craft store buying a Leuchtturm1917, too many pens, and a ruler. If you’ve found yourself in a similar position, you know the reality of the situation: there are too many pens! When you’re just getting started on a new planning system that can already be overwhelming, choosing the best pens for bullet journaling can be a lot.
Since I use my bullet journal for both planning and book journaling purposes, I like to keep things exciting with different types of pens. Tracking books I’ve bought and read, reading challenges I’m trying to complete (hello, Read Harder), and writing out reviews…using different pens allows me to break up all that text. But it’s important to note: you can keep a great bullet journal with just one black pen! The rest is just fun.
To make things easier, I’ve rounded up a list of the best pens for bullet journaling to save you some time so that you can get started on this new journey stress-free! But before you get started with all your new pen purchases, make sure to do a pen test at the back of your journal to make sure they don’t bleed through the paper.
There’s a reason these pens are bullet journaling staples: they come with a wide range of nib sizes, they don’t smudge once they’re dry, and they’re accessible both on Amazon and at craft stores.
For a cheaper alternative to the Micron, Le Pens are a great fine liner that come in a multitude of colors. They also don’t smudge easily once dried.
The Fudenosuke pens usually come in a pack of two: one with a hard tip and one with a soft tip. Tombow pens are great quality and these are no exception. They are typically used for writing headers in calligraphy-style font.
When you see people adding color to their bullet journal spreads, this is usually the pen/marker duo they’re doing it with. Coming in over 90 colors to choose from, these pens have two sides: a flexible brush marker and a fine pen. Not to mention, they’re water-based, meaning they’re easily blendable to make cool gradient effects.
Another crowd favorite is the Signo Uni in white ink. These pens are great for both writing over dark markers for a cool header effect and for making corrections (similar to how you’d use white out!)
These gel pens are a ’90s classic, and they’re just as great now as they were then. These pens take a while to dry, but they are consistently smooth and long-lasting. Also, we all know they come in a variety of cool effects, including glitter, metallic, and bright neon.
These pens are classics and for good reason. They come in four sizes (ultra fine, extra fine, fine, and bold) and write like a dream. The only catch is that they do typically smudge if you put marker or highlighter over them. That just means you need to put marker down first if you plan on using them in tandem.
Pilot’s FriXion series includes erasable pens, highlighters, and markers. Using friction (appropriately named), these pens can remove all traces of any mistakes made in your bullet journal, making them perfect for beginners.
Still need to buy your bullet journal? Check out our post on the Best Journals for Bullet Journaling.