My Favorite Journaling Supplies

I’ve been a journal keeper my entire life.  I remember as a child writing in a floral fabric-covered journal that I had named Bobbi, because it was the 80s and that seemed like the hippest name there could possibly be. While my journal keeping methods have changed (I no longer name them, for instance), I still love spending time processing my life through writing. Currently I have four personal journals going.  They include:

  • Two scripture journals (one for my personal study and one that I’m using as I am working through the personal progress program again with my daughter)
  • My day-to-day journal or commonplace journal: this includes snippets from our day, my thoughts and challenges and silly things the kids say plus photos and memorabilia.  I also take notes on books I’m reading or podcasts I listen to in this journal.
  • Art Journal/Sketchbook.  I’ve had a goal to paint or draw daily for the past 3 years.  You can find my work on Instagram, I’ve also shared a few favorites here.
  • my Bullet Journal. I prefer to save my artistic efforts for the other journals above.  My bullet journal is nothing like you’d find on Pinterest.  It’s more of a to-do book.  A simple, sometimes messy, place to record things I need to do and to capture ideas for later.

I will be doing a series on journals over the next several weeks.  The first installment includes something I’m asked about all the time: my favorite journal supplies.  I’ve put together my tried-and-true journaling favorites for you today.  Over the next few weeks we’ll take a look at the separate journals I keep (and why I want them separate), common techniques I use, how I make time to journal, journaling for and with your kids and more.

My favorite journal supplies:


Moleskine Classic Journal  I prefer blank pages because I am constantly adding extras to the journal and I just prefer the look of no lines. I don’t mind the pages being a little crinkly (in fact, I kind of love that) so the thin pages don’t bother me. 

However, if you’re planning to do a lot of wet media (watercolor, heavy glue, etc) I love this Moleskine with a heavier paper as well. I’ve used it as a sketchbook and it holds up well to watercolor on both sides of the paper.

Visual Journals also have nice thick paper. I found a non-spiral bound version at Hobby Lobby and I much prefer that to the spiral bound kind.


  • ticket stubs
  • scraps from my daily life
  • love notes from my husband/kids
  • programs from plays
  • printable coloring pages
  • cards/happy mail
  • magazine clippings
  • journaling cards 
  • scrapbook paper or other patterned papers I come across
  • favorite printed photos


I generally use whatever black pen I can get my hands on. Around here pens are a hot commodity, and no matter how hard I try to protect my favorites, they always go missing a while.  Pens I love for writing include the Uniball 207, Pilot Medium and in a pinch a Bic Medium.
For adding detail to drawings I love Micron pens. I don’t use them for writing, they’re just to precious for that and the tips can be damaged pretty easily. My all-time favorite for adding detail after a watercolor painting is complete is a Le Pen . Warning: Le Pens are NOT waterproof.  They will smudge if you add watercolor over the top of them, so if you decide to use these, make sure you’re doing it after any wet media is dry.


Simple Glue sticks. I use these often, they work really well.
Tombow Mono Adhesive.  I have been really happy with this inexpensive brand.  My biggest challenge with these is keeping them out of my preschooler’s grasp.  He loves to pull the tape out of the container and spread it all over the house.  It makes me so sad because: think of how many things I could have glued into my journal with that!

Washi Tape.  Compared to many crafters, I have a small collection of Washi Tape. I would love to acquire more, though. I use it really often to add a little pop of cuteness to a journal page.

Adding Color:

I use a lot of different mediums in my journal, some of my favorites include:

I have only had a problem one time with adding watercolor to the thin pages of my journal. You can see below what happened.  I used the cheap set mentioned above and the colors all bled and smeared and looked really horrible.  You can see the reverse side of the page in the second photo below and where the colors seeped through to the other side.

Keeping a journal (or four) is a practice that has brought a lot of joy to my life. They help me to flesh out thoughts and ideas and impressions.  They help me to grow spiritually.  They are a place to record memories and capture my life in the moment.  I’m excited to share more about my method and tips for keeping a journal over the next few weeks.

Tell me: are you a journaler? Or would you like to become one?

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