We started journaling a year ago, and since the beginning of it, we were on the lookout for the best products to use for this new hobby. We longed to create with our hands and practice our handwriting, so the search for the right tools began.
Coloring and Painting Tools
We wanted to create more than just plain and ordinary journal entries. We wanted to make it as lively as possible by adding watercolor images using various painting techniques. For this, we found that watercolor tools like pencils did the job best, as it makes it easier to draw, define, and blend afterwards.
The pigments of the paint react to water, and you can adjust the intensity of the color by applying a thin layer of coloring or a heavier layer of coloring. It’s also easy to use and doesn’t soak the paper. A regular brush or a water brush can be used to create any effect that you want.
The result is a livelier watercolor painting and one that looks more defined and richer in color, too.
Tried and Tested Writing Tools
Finding the right type of pencils and pens was a bit tricky, as there are hundreds of recommendations to choose from. However, we stuck to the brands that we’ve tried and tested, and are used to. If you use pencils a lot but would rather not concern yourself with the task of frequently sharpening them.
Opt for a mechanical pencil instead. The pencil tips come in different sizes so you can choose the thickness of the lead. These fine lead sticks are quite delicate; just make sure they’re kept in the containers they come in, and they’d be safe.
The Right Paper
This is the biggest challenge as we tested a couple of notebooks that claim to use acid-free paper, non-blotting paper, and all the fancy terms used to say that the ink won’t bleed into the back of the paper or on the next page, but did so each time.
This exercise of trial and error led us to the discovery of a Japanese notebook planner that uses Tomoe River paper. Based on our research, this is the finest type of paper for writing, as it is smooth, acid-free, and pH neutral.
Despite its thinness, watercolor, fountain pen ink, markers, tech pens do not bleed through the other side of the paper. It’s very important to use paper that handles various types of ink well so that the pages stay crisp and the images look clean.
Accessories That Don’t Bulk Up
Lastly, what is journaling without a few adorable stickers and decorative additions to it, right? Adding stickers and washi tapes can make the pages look even more adorable, but these add bulk to the pages overall. We love seal masking stickers because they are made thinner than regular stickers.
It’s very easy to use, and it’s possible to reposition it if you wish to. The adhesive is similar to that of washi tape. You can peel it off without damaging the surface of the paper but doesn’t lose the effectiveness of its adhesive.
It makes sticker decorating easy and keeps your journal thinner than the ones with pages that are decorated with regular stickers, so that’s pretty neat.
Our search for the best journaling tools and accessories is never-ending. But these four items we shared above remain our best picks, making each of it an all-time favorite. Are you starting with journaling, too? What are your favorites? Let us know what tools and accessories you use, we’d love to hear about it!