What pens are best for my bullet journal?
Whether you’ve been Bullet Journaling for a long time, or have just started, it probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that having the right pens for your Journal, is one of the most important parts of enjoying your entries and really getting the most out of your Bujo experience.
In this post, we’ll be covering everything you could possibly need to know about the best bullet journal pens available on the market, making sure you avoid those nasty smudges, failing pens and ink bleeds in your journal pages.
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make purchases via this post, it won’t cost you any more, but we may earn a small commission.
We’ve broken this post down into 3 simple parts
Part 1 – Finding the right Bullet Journal pen
Part 2 – Different types of pens
Part 3 – Recommendations for each pen type
Part 1 - Finding the right bullet journal pen
It can no doubt feel intimidating to choose what’s right for your needs, and with bullet journaling being such an individual experience, your personal preferences will play an important part n the choice you’ll make.
The good news is, the fact you’re seeking out articles like this one, means you’re taking the right steps to find what’s right for you.
Here are some things to consider when looking for your next favorite pen:
What are your new pens for?
Ok, so we know you’re looking for bullet journal pens, but what exactly is it you want from your new pen?
Knowing whether you would like to use your new pens for doodling, drawing, handwriting, outlines or more artistic pieces, will help you know which ones are best suited to your needs.
Maybe it’s for a mixture of the above, but either way, we would recommend buying good quality pens and not just going for the cheapest option.
6 Things to consider When Choosing Your Pen
1. Your Bullet Journal notebook
Whether your notebook has thick paper or thin paper, will play a part in knowing which pens will bleed through your pages – there’s nothing worse than creating a stunning spread, only to turn the page and see it has bled through the paper!
This is less likely to happen with thicker paper, so a bullet journal with good quality paper is essential if you want to create spreads that won’t look feathered and tired.
Still undecided on your next Bullet Journal Notebook? Take a look at The Best Bullet Journal Notebooks!
2. Tip Size / Style of Pen
The style of pen you choose, along with the size of its tip, will help you to write neat and smooth general entries.
Fine tip pens are among the most popular pens on the market, allowing you to be accurate with your entries and have a consistent flow of ink, creating immaculate fine lines.
Having to go back over lines a second time, certainly won’t help you to keep a neat bullet journal!
3. Pen Comfort
It’s not uncommon for some spreads to take over an hour to create – sometimes much longer…
So choosing a pen that’s easy to hold for an extended period will help you to create the best bullet journal spreads possible and your wrists and hands will definitely thank you for it!
Sometimes this can be a case of finding what works for you and giving different pens a try.
4. Price and Brand
While there are a wide range of pens available for varying costs, if you’re a keen bullet journalist and make regular entries in your journal, then naturally your pens will not last quite as long.
This is something to keep in mind if you choose a high quality set of pens, as keeping your bullet journal style consistent all year round, could become a little more expensive than expected.
Reputable brands can cost a little more, but as with any good brand, they increase your confidence a little as the buyer.
Whichever set of pens you choose, a slight increase in quality will show on your journal pages.
5. Quick Drying Ink?
Depending on what you are using your pen for, fast-drying ink may or may not be the best option.
For writing, it certainly makes sense to choose a quick-drying ink, so you don’t accidentally smudge your writing.
If you are coloring and creating a mix and blend of various colors, a slower drying ink will help you do this, making the different colors you’ve used look more natural on the page.
6. Colors and Style
It’s a good idea to think about how you’d like your bullet journal to look before buying your new pens.
If bullet journaling is your creative outlet, then you may want to think about selecting brush pens and more vibrant colors.
If your bullet journal is taking on a more formal, organizational form, then the sharp lines and neatness of ball point pens with a hard tip, may be more suited to you.
Either way, we’ve got you covered, with plenty of suggestions to choose from below…
Part 2 - 6 Of The Best Pens For Your Bullet Journal
1. Brush Pens
Brush tip pens are a great choice to add that artistic feel and some texture to your bujo spreads. They are available with a range of tips that mimic the flow of a paintbrush:
- Natural Hair
- Synthetic Hair
The brush pens range from firm to soft tip. The firm pen tips produce good line variation, but will require a little more pressure, while the soft tip brush pens allow for a greater degree of line variation.
Tips with bristles will also be softer, while the felt and synthetic tips are firmer. Tip sizes will be labelled as broad or fine, depending on their thickness.
Whichever brush pen you choose, after a little practice you will be able to produce some beautiful brush lettering for your weekly spreads.
(Fude Pens are essentially a brush pen too, but usually have smaller and firmer nibs).
Fineliner pens are made out of fiber with plastic tips. These are a great option for drawing, designing and stunning handwriting.
The fineliner is a really popular choice among bullet journalists, mainly because they dry instantly and don’t smudge.
While fineliners are available in different colors, they are usually a vibrant black color, really making your lines stand out on the page.
These pens have a fine point tip, (available in varying thickness) and they’re ideal for writing, doodling or drawing striking lines in your journal.
3. Highlighters & Mildliners
Highlighters are a great thing to include in your bujo pen set!
As the name might suggest, highlighters can be used to add emphasis to certain parts of your designs and entries.
The thickness of Mildliners is between a highlighter and fineliner, making them perfect for note-taking and coloring.
These are a great addition to your set-up, giving you even more options for adding texture and style to your monthly spreads.
Micron pens are a really popular choice among bullet journalers, mainly because the ink from them doesn’t bleed – even on the thinnest sheets of paper.
They are fine pens, used for drawing thin lines and are perfect when applied to a quality paper – they also last a really long time before they run out of ink!
If that wasn’t enough, Micron pens are fantastic for achievable content, as the ink in them is fade resistant, so if you’re planning on keeping your journals to look back on in years to come, micron pens could be just what you’re looking for.
5. Metallic Pens
Metallic pens add a stunning effect to any bullet journal and can bring a real touch of class to your entries, with their shiny, smooth look on the page.
They can be pretty cool for a graffiti-style lettering, along with doodling, coloring and lettering.
While they are popular in the obvious metallic styles of copper, silver, gold and black, you can also have some fun with the metallic effects of more common colors such as pink, green, purple and blue!
6. Fountain Pens
Fountain pens are perfect for that sleek, professional look.
They can take a little getting used to and may not feel that easy to use at first, but once you get used to them, they can be a real pleasure and a great thing to write with.
There is no reason why you can’t replace your everyday pen with a fountain pen, to give you a super-smooth writing experience for your journal entries.
Part 3 – The 11 Best Pens for Bullet Journaling
1. Brush Pens
This pack of dual brush pens contains 9 beautiful colors.
With two brush options, both fine and a more traditional brush, which makes them ideal for illustrations, lettering and doodling
These brush pens are a top choice among journalers.
This larger pack of dual tip pens gives 36 options of both pen and brush, covering all of your coloring needs at an affordable price.
These fineliners are loaded with gel ink, along with their rollerball nibs, makes them a pleasure to write with, helping your thoughts and plans flow onto your bujo pages in no time!
With a visible ink supply on each pen, you’ll be sure never to get caught short with an empty pen ever again!
Fineliner pens can range in thickness from 0.2 – 3mm, so an assorted pack that allows you to sample what’s right for you, could be worthwhile.
These super-fine, 0.3mm fineliners come in an assortment of colors, giving you endless options for your bullet journal key ideas and entries.
Earning 4.8/5 stars on Amazon, with nearly 20,000 votes says it all!
3. Highlighters and Mildliners
Sharpie pens are usually thought of as a standard black marker pen, but this pack of art pens is packed with vibrant colors, adding a wow factor to any bullet journal.
The ink is quick drying and the medium size tips make them perfect for making different elements really stand out from your pages.
These double-ended highlighters give journalists a highlighter with a broad, chisel shaped tip, for use as a fine underlining tool or a broader highlighter.
Their subtle colors help them to blend effortlessly with a wide range of bullet journal styles.
These are a slightly more expensive example of what you can pay for a high quality set of highlighters for your bujo.
4. Micron Pens
These ultra-fine micron pens are perfect for hand drawn illustrations or everyday writing.
The black ink will produce precise lines on your pages, with no chance of the ink bleeding through, and are also perfect for journals you’re looking to archive,as the ink won’t fade.
5. Metallic Pens
These 8 different metallic coloured gel pens, give a smooth, shimmering finish on your bujo pages.
They’re ideal for outlining, underlining, adding to creative spreads, or even every day writing!
This pack of fine-tip, metallic marker pens is just stunning!
They are incredibly smooth to write with and dry instantly, keeping the risk of smudging in your pages very low.
Use these to add a vivid, metallic finish to your artwork.
These are priced very well, so don’t assume they are low quality – these really are a fantastic addition to your bullet journal pen set.
6. Fountain Pens
The nibs for these fountain pens are available in fine and medium, they are smooth and comfortable to write with, adding a real touch of class to your every day journal entries.
The medium sized nib can be good for writing out headers in your journal too.
Bonus Pen Pack (Shhhh don’t tell anyone!)
We just couldn’t put this post together without including a pack of these pens!
These amazing gel ink pens are amazing on white or black paper and are just perfect for a blackout themed journal spread.
A dark background with these pop-out colors will give you no-end of creative inspiration.
So What Next?
Hopefully this post has helped you choose the right pens to really bring the best out of your bullet journal experience.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration and guidance on how to get your brush lettering looking like he pro’s, take a look at Brush Lettering for Beginners at JetPens.com, where they also have tons of other cool videos: