Pens! Pens! Pens!

Microline on Amazon

So many of you may know that I’m an official Bullet Journal (Bujo) junkie. If you don’t know about bullet journaling yet, head on over to or over to the original creator’s site at and check out the basics. The short answer is that bullet journaling is an incredibly flexible and easy way to organize (just about everything.) In the next few weeks, I’m going to be talking about how I’m using the powerful force of bullet journaling to live my life #openarted.

Here’s a brief video:

I’ll give a better overview of how I use my Bujo later on, but I encourage you to visit the original site and then go over to BohoBerry (which is just so super awesome and has SO MANY great ideas.) Then we can jump right into the good stuff–like PENS!

Oh. My. God. I am so addicted to pens. I mean, seriously. I have a problem (Help me!) So I need to say–it is NOT necessary to buy a bunch of fancy stuff to make the bujo system work for you. The best advice is to start where you are with what you have. It actually super helped me to start out with a cheap notebook and whatever pens I had laying around. Every time I tried to start with fancier materials it made me afraid to “mess up.” It was only when I grabbed a dollar store notebook and my trusty bic was I fearless enough to dive right in and just do it. Also, it took me maybe six months of bullet journaling to really hit my stride. It was a huge process of trial and error for me–I tried sooooooooo many amazing spreads that ended up abandoned, empty, and clogging up my journal. It was only when I started my setup for 2017 that I finally felt ready to move into a “real” journal and treat myself to some fancy pens (and washi tape, oh my goodness, I may love washi even more than I love pens.)

Pilot Retro Pop on Amazon

That brings me to why I’m writing this today. I just got a big box with a bunch of fancy new supplies and I am SO EXCITED! I am especially excited for my new Pilot MR Retro Pop Fountain Pen. In fact, I got the medium nibbed version (which is absolutely perfect) but I am now thinking that I ALSO need one with a fine nib. I loove this pen! It amazes me that it is so cheap compared to the other pens that I looked at–and yet the quality of the writing I do with it blows the more expensive (and often fussier) pens out of the water. $300 for a messy difficult pen? No thanks. I’ll take my inexpensive Pilot any (every!) day. I can’t say enough about how much I love this thing. The *only* drawback I’ve had is that it only ships with one ink cartridge–I ended up having to wait until the refills I ordered came through because I didn’t think to order a bunch of ink to begin with. Take my advice–get a bunch of ink when you get this pen–you’re going to want it.The Namiki Ink refills are also super cheap, come in packs of 12 and in all kinds of amazing colors! I haven’t had any problems what-so-ever with ghosting or bleed through–and I’m using a Moleskine notebook that has rather thin paper. I’ve also heard really great things about the Jinhao pens, but I haven’t gotten a chance to try them yet. The Jinhao pens have a lot of really cool unique designs, and I kept lusting after them but couldn’t decide on a pattern. Something to revisit in the future! I actually had a tough time finding something that was unique and pretty in my price range–both the Pilot and JinHao brands fit this requirement perfectly.

The Sakura 6- Piece Pigma set on

There are so many directions you can go with your bullet journal, just by adding a bit of color. Even minimalist spreads can benefit. I like to color code different categories according to my Level 10 Life plan. I also tend to pick a color theme for each month or series of events. When I was shopping for fountain pens I noticed that the Microline Ultra-Fine Point Ink Pen packs were on sale to Prime customers. Oh boy oh boy! These archival quality pens are just gorgeous! I’ve been using the Eparon 40-Piece Gel Pen set–but I’ve been unhappy with how long it takes for them to dry on the page. I ended up smearing some spreads that I had worked very hard on because i didn’t wait long enough before turning the page. Otherwise, I did like them very much. They come in a huge array of colors and are super cost effective! If you are more patient than I am, you should totally check them out! I rounded out my “fine” set of pens with a graduated set of Sakura Pigma pens in black.

Salico Dual Brush Pens on

My other major investment on my wishlist was a set of dual brush art pens. I wanted these anyway for art reasons–but they are perfect for my bullet journal as well. I use them to make headers, highlight important points, for art pages, and all kinds of accents and doodles. Most people who are into art pens know about Tombows–they are the be all and end all of the art pen world, and they are GREAT. They are also a bit expensive for someone who is just starting out and still learning. I’d hate to ruin nice pens with my own incompetence. I have an old set that I didn’t manage to keep nice (totally user error). I love them, but this time around I went with a 40pc set of Salicos. Can I just say that I LOVE them and I should have splurged for the 80 pc set? They are bright and colorful and, provided I use a light hand, I haven’t had problems with bleed through that I couldn’t handle. They WILL soak the page if you let them…just be judicious with your strokes.

Between my new Salicos, Microlines, and most especially my Pilot fountain pen, I am in BUJO HEAVEN!!!

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