This is my fourth year tracking my reading in a physical journal. My book journal has become such a fun way to use my creativity while also helping me track what I’ve read over the year.
Over the last few years, my journals have changed styles, and I’ve found certain supplies that I tend to gravitate towards. While, you don’t need any specific supplies to get started on journaling, these are the items that I recommend.
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There are quite a lot of brands and styles of journals that you can use. I prefer dotted journals, but many people use ones with blank pages or grids. It really is up to your preference. Some people just use a simple lined notebook.
Dingbats Earth Notebooks
Dingbats* is an eco-friendly company that sells notebooks among other items.
They sell three different types of notebooks, and each one has different features.
My favorite of their options is the Earth notebook which currently comes in 5 different colors with different animals on the cover of each one. They come in size A5+ (which is 6.1 x 8.5 in) and have dotted paper.
Each of these notebooks includes:
- 2 bookmarks
- 184 numbered pages
- Last 16 pages micro-perforated
- 3 index pages
- 2 key pages
- Future log
- Location infographic spread
- Pen holder
- Elastic closure
- Expandable pocket
I don’t use a lot of markers in my reading journal, but I do like having them because they’re good for creating headings. I also like to use them to create pie charts. I basically only use my Tombow Dual Brush Pens, but I know a lot of people enjoy using their Crayola markers as well. You definitely don’t need to spend a lot of money on them.
Tombow Dual Brush Pens
I’ve had mine several years now and haven’t had any issues with them drying out. I do store mine horizontally to keep the ink equal between the two ends.
They sometimes run sales where you can get a good deal. I purchased four packs when they were having a buy one get one free sale. I would recommend following their social media accounts or signing up for their newsletter if you want to know when they’re having sales.
I use a variety of pens in my reading journal. I use them for creating lines, writing sub headings, and other places as well. I typically choose pens based on what colors I need for my page. I do use quite a few different brands which I like for different reasons. As I said earlier, you don’t need to spend a bunch of money on pens. Just find some that you like and have the colors you want.
Sakura Pigma Microns
Even though they don’t come in a lot of colors, they do come in different sized tips. One of my favorite features of these pens is that I can highlight over them and they won’t smear.
You can purchase these individually or in packs at craft stores such as Michaels, or you can purchase online from Amazon.
Zebra Sarasa Clip Gel Pens
They have fine tips and are great for writing lots of text.
Paper Mate Flair Pens
They come in so many different colors, so they will match any color palette in your journal.
I typically use these pens to create lines or write sub headings.
They come in a variety of different packs. You can buy small amounts or get a large package of them.
You can buy these at a lot of different stores in the school supplies aisle. You can also buy them on Amazon for pretty cheap.
Bic Round Stic Pens
These are the pens I use to write throughout my journal. There’s nothing fancy about them, but I think they work well. They are also really affordable. They can be highlighted without smearing, and the ink doesn’t show through even on thin paper.
You can purchase these at most places that sell office supplies. They are also available on Amazon
When I started journaling, I wanted to find some highlighters that came in prettier colors than the typical neon ones that I used in school. I also wanted to find some that wouldn’t bleed through the paper.
They currently come in 35 colors and have a variety of light colors to some darker colors. They can be used as highlighters or markers. They have dual ends; one end is a chisel tip and the other is a finer marker tip.
I love the quality and variety of colors these come in. They come in packs or can be purchased individually.
I like to be able to attach paper and photographs to my journal pages because I like to include book covers and other pictures that fit the book’s aesthetic. You could definitely use glue or tape, but I prefer to use roll-on adhesive because it’s so easy and works well.
Tombow MONO Adhesive Permanent
I don’t remember where I first heard about this adhesive, but I believe I saw another person who journals mention that they liked this adhesive. They sell it at my local Michaels, so I decided to give it a try.
This roll on adhesive sticks really well and is clear. I like that you can purchase refills for it so that I don’t have to throw out the whole applicator every time.
Tombow makes a variety of adhesives including some that are not permanent if you want that option.
I love to add other things to my pages to make them more interesting. Within the last year, I started using more embellishments in my journals, and I love how the pages have turned out. You definitely don’t need to spend a lot of money on them though. They’re not necessary but are a fun addition.
I’ve listed a bunch of places to purchase these embellishments down below if you’re interested.
Washi tape is a tape that isn’t super sticky. You can remove it and stick it on the paper again. I love using washi tape to add color and to hide mistakes on my pages. You can purchase washi tape at most craft stores and a variety of places online. I’ve found that tape purchased through small businesses is typically higher quality but also costs more money. It’s really up to you on where you want to purchase it.
If you’re just starting out, it might be a good idea to choose a variety pack so that you have different colors to choose from. It also depends on what you want your pages to look like. For example, if you read a lot of contemporary books, you may find brighter and pastel colors more useful. Whereas if you read mostly fantasy or horror, darker tapes might make sense.
Besides washi tape, stickers also are a great way to add some details to your pages. They are great for filling in empty spaces and to cover up mistakes.
I like to purchase stickers in groups to save money. If I want specific stickers, then I might buy a separate sheet here or there.
One thing I’ve found with small businesses is that they often offer discounted stickers that have minor defects. This means that there might be tiny issues with them but that they are super cheap to buy. I recommend looking into these if you’re trying to grow your collection.
Etsy is a great place to find a variety of unique washi tape prints and stickers. There are so many small businesses that create their own. A few shops that I like are:
- Wintertime Crafts
- Planner Envy
- Occasional Motto
- Goat Girl MH
- In Love and Words
- BARTISTA Shop
- Alicia Marks It
I have found quite a few small craft businesses through Instagram. These are people that create their own designs, so you can find a lot of unique prints. I’ve also found that a lot of small businesses run sales and have reps with their own discount codes.
Here are some shops I’ve found through Instagram:
I recently discovered sticker subscriptions, and I’m currently limiting myself to one (lol). I know there are more out there, but the one I’m currently subscribed to (and loving!) is called Stickii.
This is an affordable subscription that allows you to choose between three styles of stickers: pop, cute, & vintage. I am subscribed to the vintage one because I love the look of the stickers.
If you’re interested in trying it, you can get $5 off your subscription using my link.
Stickii also has stickers that you can purchase without a subscription, so I definitely recommend you check them out.
What book journaling supplies do you recommend?
Comment down below!