I have to say, I go back and forth between planners and bullet journals. I really love the freedom that a bullet journal provides, however, other times I just want the week/month already planned out so I can just fill it in. Does this ever happen to you? Here are some of my favorite planners.
If you are looking for an elegant planner that looks amazing on your desk while providing a place to hold all of your plans, check out the Day Designer. I love how special I feel when using this planner. The covers are GORGEOUS and have gold corners on them along with a large gold spiral binding. Mine is the black stripe and I purchased the larger of the two planners (they have a mini version as well).
The planner comes with so many helpful planning pages in the front to help you get organized, maximize productivity, and plan your best life. There are tabbed monthly spreads for taking in the month in a glance. The daily pages allow you to schedule your day, list your most important tasks, your to-do list, gratitude, dinner, and even a space for notes. There’s also a section for weekend pages along with a weekly overview. The large planner is hold so much information, but it is hefty so I only recommend it if you plan on keeping it in one place. Pick up the mini version if you like to plan on-the-go.
I am obsessed with this beautiful, functional, and simplistic planner from Japan. Hobonichi is available in three sizes: the original A6 Techo, a larger A5 Cousin (my personal favorite), and a breast-pocket sized Weekly planner.
One of the most unique things about this planner is the paper. It is made using extraordinarily thin Tomoe River paper. It has that “just right” crinkle sound that make the pages a dream to turn. Also with the massive amount of pages in each planner, you’ll be glad they used such a fine light paper. You would think the fine paper makes bleeding a problem, but as long as you don’t use a gel pen, writing in this planner is a dream.
It has a unique 180 degree lay-flat design that keeps allows you to write easily no matter where you are in the book and the pages actually stay open.
The Cousin version has a yearly calendar/index, monthly calendars on two pages, weekly calendars on two pages, and one page per day daily pages. There is so much room for planning and organizing all aspects of your life. You don’t have to use a Hobonichi just for personal planning, either. Many people use it for diaries and record keeping, family, hobbies/drawing, business life, student life, collections, happiness & gratitude journaling, or even as a photo album.
Hobonichi also has lots of amazing accessories. Of course you’ll need a cover for this planner and there are a wide range of gorgeous covers to choose from. They also have custom stencils that are made to fit the grids, stamps, stickers, page flags, and folders.
Uni-ball Power Tank 1.0 Ballpoint Pen with Black Ink. This is my favorite pen to use with my Hobonichi. The Hobonichi case has self-closing loops that are connect by inserting your pen. The loops are pretty wide so a chunky pen works better than a skinny one. I love how thick this pen writes while still passing the smudge test. Also, the power tank makes this a pressurized pen. So rather than having to scribble a bit to get the pen started, it is always ready to write. It can also write upside down, on wet paper, and in below freezing temperatures! I keep a stockpile of refills so I never run out of ink.
The Seven Year Pen - this adorable pen comes in lots of adorable styles. I chose the “Bee Happy” pen in bright yellow. Made by SeltzerGoods, this sustainable pen hides a jumbo ink cartridge so the pen lasts a really long time. The messaging says you can write 1.7 meters every day for seven years. Thats a lot of writing with one pen. Longer pen life means less pens end up in landfills every year. In addition, the pen has a satisfying click to open/close and writes great!
Sakura Pigment Micron Pens - These pens are a must have for bullet journaling! They are artist quality small point markers. If you buy the blister pack, you’ll receive 6 different pens in various point sizes from 0.20-0.50. That assortment gives you lots of variety for creating fine lines, fun doodles, and all of those frames that are a part of bullet journaling.
Mildliners - If you like to highlight, Mildliners are a must-have in your bullet journal supply box! I use these markers for much more than that as well. First of all, the colors in this set are gorgeous. They give a light, fresh feel to your bujo pages. I have Mildliners in other color sets, but this set of pink, orange, yellow, green, and blue is the one I always use. The pens are double ended with both a fine tip and a chisel tip. The colors go on clear, bright, and transparent.
Tombow Brush Pens - If you love adding color to your planners and bullet journal, you’ve got to check out brush pens. These are ideal for creating faux calligraphy and decorative handwriting. The brush pens are dual ended; one side has a brush pen, the other a fine point. It’s a great combination for pumping up your handwriting. Since these pens are also blend-able, you can also use them to make really colorful artwork in your planner. Now if you like to have a consistent look and feel to your bujo, you might want to check out this Pastel Brush Pen Set or this collection of Primary, Bright, and Secondary Sets.
Prismacolor Colored Pencils - this collection of artist quality colored pencils comes packed with 72 rich shades. The color goes on soft and smooth allowing you to blend, shade and layer. The pencils come in a sturdy metal tin so you’ll have this collection for years to come.
Ooly Jumbo Brights Neon Colored Pencils - I have been on a neon kick lately. So I purchased this set of 8 neon pencils for coloring in my bullet journal. I love the bright yet light effect these colors add to the page.
Ok, so in reality, you don’t need more than a pen or pencil to fill in your planner. But where’s the fun in that? One of my favorite activities is perusing my local Japanese paper store, Paper Source, or even Office Depot.
I love looking trying out all the little tools and gadgets to make planning and bullet journaling a more creative process.
What kind of tools and gadgets am I talking about? How about stamps, rulers, sharpeners, washi tape and more!
So here are some of my favorites.
Planner Stamps - I have an entire zip-top bag filled with planner stamps. They are a really fun way to plan and decorate your bullet journal or planner.
There are two types of stamps available traditional rubber stamps or clear stamps. I have a lot of both, but to be honest, the clear stamps are the ones I use again and again.
Clear stamps are much more economical than rubber stamps because they are not mounted on anything. You get a sheet with lots of individual stamps on it and then you place it on a stamp block to use. You’ll end up paying the same for an entire sheet of clear stamps as you would one single rubber stamp.
There are thousands of clear stamps to choose from! There are stamps with motivational quotes, daily to-dos, checklists, chores, and goals. Some of my favorites are The Happy Planner Stamps, Heidi Swapp Stamps, and Hero Arts Clearly Kelly Stamps.
Ink Pads - Guess what? You don’t have to stamp with just plain old black ink! There’s a huge variety of ink colors available. One of my favorites is the Colorbox Pigment Petal Ink Pad. It comes in a wide variety of color combinations. What makes it unique is that each petal is a separate removable ink pad. You can pull out the pad, ink the stamp and then replace. Or, you can use a combination of petals on the same stamp to create an ombre stamp effect.
Versa Ink also makes stamp pads I love. These dew drop shaped pads come in collections of 4 well thought out shades, so they are great for setting a look and feel to your planner.
Finally, I’m going to mention my favorite go-to stamp pad. This Kaisercraft Ink Pad is one I love to carry in my stamp bag for stamping everywhere I go. It’s smaller than most stamp pads but works perfectly for me when using the clear stamps.