You’re definitely going to need a black pen for bullet journaling at some point. In this post I’m going to show you all the essential black pens you might need for your bullet journal and I’m going to give you save and splurge options so you can get a black pen to suit your budget.
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For Drawing Spreads & Layouts
For drawing out my spreads I always use a fineliner. Gel pens might have a tendency to skip or railroad (when the ink disappears in the middle of the line) and often they can smudge as soon as you use the ruler.
I’ve mentioned these pens a lot on this blog! They were the pens I first used when I started my bullet journaling and I ordered a big pack of black stabilo triplus pens that lasted me a long time. Get that pack here and get started on designing your layouts!
Splurge: Staedtler Pigment Liners
Now that I’ve been bullet journaling a lot longer and I’ve built up some nice supplies I always use these Staedtler Pigment Liners that are more artist quality so they are ‘archival’ which means that the ink won’t fade and they are very pigmented and good quality so they last a lot longer. You can also get them in a variety of thicknesses which definitely opens up a lot of options when drawing spreads and headings. Get this pack with a variety of line widths here.
Filling in Spreads
The ‘filling in spreads’ pen is basically what you use after the layout and main headings are all done. It’s the pen I use to write down all the tasks and notes on my spread. Rather than using my fancy fineliners which can mess up the nibs if I use them too much, I like to use a nice fine gel ink pen. I prefer a finer line so I can squeeze a lot into my spreads!
Save: Uniball Signo Gelstick
A good basic gel pen I’ve had these in the past and they’re a good staple although when they start to run out they can be prone to skipping a little. This was the best quality cheaper black gel pen I could find that’s only
Splurge: Muji Gel Pen or Pentel Energel
First up the muji pens. I love them basically and you can get them in a variety of thicknesses and colours. They’re a very good basic gel pen and they look super cute! You can get single Muji Gel Pens from Kawaii Pen Shop (and get a 10% discount at the checkout with MAGPIE10) or you can get a pack from Amazon here.
On the other side we have the Pentel Energel which I was a big fan of for a while. It’s definitely a more sturdier pen (my muji pens keep losing their tops now!) and you can easily get refills from Amazon. I also like that you can get them in a range of colours. Get them here.
I also use my bullet journal as a place to vent sometimes and I like to have a nice black pen that I can write with. It just helps your writing to flow when your pen flows nicely and you enjoy writing with it. I’m very picky with pens especially if I’m writing a fair amount on a page.
Save: Papermate Inkjoy Gel Pen
Another gel pen, I don’t tend to use this one as much for filling in dailies and weeklies because it’s a little thicker but it’s very smooth to write with and pigmented. Inkjoy come in a few different inks but Gel is definitely the smoothest. Get it here from Amazon.
Splurge: LAMY Safari Fountain Pen with Black Ink
If you’re new to fountain pens check out my blog post on Fountain Pens for Beginners. I’m still fairly new to them myself but I do really enjoy writing with my LAMY which currently has a lovely black ink inside it. I highly recommend treating yourself to a nice pen like this that you will enjoy writing with. I bought mine from Amazon where it was fairly well priced. These fountain pens generally come with a blue ink cartridge so if like me you’re a black ink fan you’ll need to get a pack of black ink cartridges available here.
Bonus: For Hand Lettering
If you want to start out with some brush lettering in your bullet journal for headings and titles I highly recommend getting a small hard tip brush pen to practice with.
If you want to start out with some brush lettering in your bullet journal for headings and titles I highly recommend getting a small hard tip brush pen to practice with. I was lucky to get a Pentel Touch in a freebie bag (yay!) and I also have a hard tip Tombow Fudenosuke. I definitely find the Pentel Touch a bit easier to work with but the ink is a lot darker and looks really good quality in the Tombow.