My Planner Toolbox

Tools I use for journaling, planning, planners and bullet journal

My Planner Toolbox

I’ve always been a paper planner type of gal. Having tried multiple digital systems, I realized analog works best for me. Over the years I’ve used numerous different planners – Planner toolbox, tools for planning, bullet journalingregular every day planners, disc bound, a binder, traveler’s notebook, bullet journal system, a regular old notebook, etc. Currently, I’m using variations of the bullet journal system and my own style in a Leuchtturm 1917 – but no matter what you’re using as your planner, I highly recommed these products. These are the things I keep at my desk or in my bag to use in my planner regularly.

The Basics

There are things you need and things you want… if you’re reading this with the idea of beginning an analog planner, bullet journal, etc. the basics are the first thinGS I’d recommend. Some of them aren’t “necessities”, however, I would count them as the top things I’d recommend starting with. The pizzazz comes later.

Pencil & Eraser.

I mean, I’m not too picky here. I generally use papermate and the occasional BIC mechanical pencils. My only real preference is a .05mm lead and a GOOD eraser. No junk that just drags it around and leaves a mess, thanks though!

Staedtler Fineliners.

I confess, I’m a pen junkie. I own boxes of pens, but when it comes down to it, I am absolutely in love for Staedter’s. They don’t bleed (I’ll admit there’s some light ghosting, which for me isn’t a problem). They don’t smudge AND I can erase over them without the color fading (bonus, the pencils almost always comes out from under the pen as well!) I bought the 42 color set, so I have plenty of options and I don’t get bored with the colors. I also purchased a 6 pack of the black, because I genuinely love the way they write and wanted some at work too. 

Ruler, compass & protractor. 

I admit, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I cannot draw a decent circle or a straight line to save my life. I’m great at squiggles to make up for it, I promise!

The Personality.

Add a bit of your personality and spice with colors, lettering, etc. Even if you’re going after a minimalistic planner, these things can add a little something when things start feeling drab. A pop, a punch and a dash of life!

Tombow Brush Pens

The price tag kept me for purchasing these gems for quite a while, however my love bought me some around Christmas and I was instantly in love. They are worth the money! I had tried a set of prisma colors and faber-castelle, but they didn’t pair up to the Tombows in my opinion. One of the other awesome things about Tombows is while I primarily use them for their brush tips, on the other end they have a hard tip marker, which is pretty cool. The only struggle I have with Tombows is when it comes to writing smaller.

Zebra Mildliners.

Another product that lives up to their hype. I never imagined highlighters could out rank each other, but surprise! I’ve spent a good portion of my life detesting highlighters because they always, ALWAYS bleed through. I hated it. Originally I had bought the Pilot Frixion Pastel highlighters, and they’re great. But honestly, I prefer the Mildliners. They seem a bit richer in color and offer a larger variety of color options. Both products are great and don’t bleed, which was what mattered to me most. The other benefit of the mildliners is the dual tip – a chizled edge on one end for highlighting and then a hardtip at the other for lines, writing or lettering.

Water Colors & Water Brush Pens

I love colors and water color has been my media of choice of a few years now – so when I finally realized I could add water color to my planner, I jumped at the chance! I love the Prima Confections Watercolors, I took my favorites from each set and combined them to one tin for convenience. 
I also want to note the Pentel Water Brushes are excellent. They’re a bit pricier than some others, but having given some others a shot, they’re worth the little extra! No loose bristles or water over flow! Regular paint brushes also work of course!

Colored Pencils.

I have two sets of colored pencils: Prisma Color Premier and Prisma Color Watercolor. I’ll be honest, I use them more for other artwork than I do for my planner – but they’re nice for adding doodles, a splash of color, etc. when you’re feeling artsy. 

The Extra Pizzazz

If you’re feeling really creative and want to go all out, these are the things baby! I like to keep my planners and notebooks to hopefully look back on someday. Adding things like pictures, tickets, notes, etc. can help preserve memories long after they’re gone! 

Washi Tape.

Let me lay this out, I am NOT a washi addict. I debated adding this to the list, but I do use it enough to mention it. I enjoy a few pieces to add some punch to seasons, holidays, etc. But I use washi for two main reasons: 1. to tape the edge and help index important pages. 2. to tape things into my notebook. Those are the two biggest, like I said, I’m not saying I don’t have a few festive pieces, but overall, I like adding variety to the edges. Which doesn’t require 284 different washis. I’ve also made a rule where I don’t purchase washi unless I have a use in mind for it, for example my most recent washi purchase was cactus and baseball – one because I’m currently obsessed with cactuses and baseball for the kids game schedule pages.

Project Life Cards

I found these on clearance somewhere and had bought them a year or so before I realized I could just tape them into my planners! It was probably one of the greatest things I found. Even if it’s backing for flimsy paper, they’re perfect. With cute, inspirational, motivating, etc. quotes or pictures on them and whatever you added on the other side. You can also include them as a flip out for your key, notes and other such things as well! (Yes, these are one of the things I use the washi for!)

Polaroid SNAP

This is a more recent addition – I wanted my notebooks to be more than to do lists. I have all my planners the last few years and decided I wanted to add memories into my notebooks so when I look back I see more than I did laundry and took a kid to a doctors appointment. I think looking back the visual memories of our adventures or cute things I/we enjoyed will be wonderful. (Plus, I love photographs soo… it works!) And remember, any photograph will work! You don’t need this specifically to start taping memories into your future memoirs!

What are your favorite tools to use in

your planner or bullet journal?



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