Hey there, friends! Madigan here, with Kara Benz, of Bohoberry.com. We were so excited to work together on a blog to bring you the top fountain pens and ink recommended for bullet journaling. If you aren’t familiar with this system of organization, you should watch Brian’s interview with Kara to get up to speed.
The Leuchtturm Notebook has many great qualities from the table of contents to the numbered pages, but it is not without fault. Depending on the nib size and ink choice, if you use fountain pens in your Leuchtturm1917 Bullet Journal, you may see ghosting or bleed through. Yikes!
To avoid that happening, Kara and I have put together 5 pens and 5 inks that will minimize these effects in your journal and help you make a beautiful and useful BuJo totally tailored to you. Kara is going to take on the pens, and I (Madigan) will take on the ink!
The Pilot Metropolitan was my very first fountain pen. At just around $15 a piece, I decided to pick up two of them — Fine and Medium — specifically, so that I could test to see the difference in my Bullet Journal. I was happy to find that both pens performed admirably in my Leuchtturm1917. While the Fine was better for every-day writing, the Medium nib quickly became my go-to for writing out headers. If I had to choose one over the other? It would have to be the Medium for its versatility.
Another popular first pen choice is the Lamy Safari ($30) or Al-Star ($38). They are both essentially the same pen, with the Safari having a plastic body while the Al-Star is a more durable aluminum body. With only a $6-7 difference in price, I think it’s a no-brainer to go for the aluminum-bodied Al-Star. Then again, I bought my husband a Fine Al-Star (in Copper Orange) to go with his orange Leuchtturm1917 and it is simply a dream to write with. After finding myself stealing borrowing his Al-Star for my own purposes on the regular, I finally got one of my own in the gorgeous Graphite color.
Coming in at $50, the TWSBI 580 was my first “next level” pen purchase. I desperately wanted a demonstrator pen so that I could see my beautiful inks sloshing around inside. I didn’t fully grasp how much I was going to fall in love with this pen until I held it in my hands. The TWSBI has quickly become my daily writer. I keep her filled with Noodler’s Black, and carry her with me wherever I go. The Extra Fine nib is smooth as butter, and the perfect line weight for daily writing in my Bullet Journal.
The moment I heard that Goulet would be carrying Karas Kustoms, I knew that I’d be bringing one home. I went with the Fountain K since I have tiny hands and was afraid that the “Ink” would be too large for me. After watching Brian’s video, I decided to go with the EF nib — knowing full well that the line weight would be similar to my Medium Pilot Metro. I keep my Fountain K inked up with Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku and use it mainly for headers in my Bullet Journal. The Fountain K comes in parts, meaning that you get to mix and match to create a truly custom pen. They range from $75 to $125 depending on your combination choices.
The Pilot Vanishing Point is truly a Bullet Journal match made in heaven. Its retractable nib makes it a breeze to click open for use, not having to worry about unscrewing a cap. Not to mention how easy it is to just throw it in your bag when you are done. The VP comes in a wide variety of colors too… perfect for those of us who like a pretty AND functional writing instrument. It is available in a variety of nib sizes, but for a Leuchtturm1917, I recommend going with either a Fine or Extra Fine nib. Starting at $148, this is definitely an investment pen for some, but a great intro into the lovely world of gold nib fountain pens.
And now on to ink…
Noodler’s Black is our best selling ink and there are a lot of reasons for that. First of all, it comes in at a very reasonable price ($12.50). It is water resistant and archival, and tends to resist feathering (even on cheap paper!). It’s a deep, rich black, with little to no shading. Paired with a fine or extra-fine nib, this ink is perfect for use in your bullet journal. You can get Noodler’s Black several sizes and prices: a 4.5oz bottle for $18, a 3oz bottle for $12.50, or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.
This is a favorite ink in the fountain pen community and for good reason! It’s a gorgeous color, coppery and fun, and it is a fairly dry ink, making it great for bullet journaling. Word to the wise- this ink does require a bit more cleaning, so make sure to maintain a regular cleaning schedule if you decide that this is the ink for you. It is available at Gouletpens.com in a variety of sizes and prices: a 2ml ink sample is $1.25, a package of ink cartridges for $8.50, a 30ml plastic bottle for $7.50, or an 80ml glass bottle for $14.95.
Pilot Iroshizuku is a brand beloved by fountain pen enthusiasts. It has great flow and comes in a variety of fun, vibrant colors. Ku-jaku means peacock in Japanese, and you can certainly see the color inspiration. If you are looking for a terrific turquoise to go with your Pilot Metropolitan Retro Pop Turquoise fountain pen and Leuchtturm1917 Emerald notebook. You can find Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-jaku in a 50ml bottle for $28 or a 2ml ink sample for $2.50.
This is one of my all time favorite magenta inks. It is bold, jumps off the page, and is just satisfying to write with. It also happens to be one of the drier inks in this color family, making it perfect for your Leuchtturm BuJo! If you are looking to make your lettering pop, give Solferino a try. Rohrer and Klingner Solferino is available at Gouletpens.com in a 50ml bottle for $11.95 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.
Lexington Grey is a soft and soothing color, ideal for bullet journaling because of its archival qualities and, again, that nice dry factor. Grey ink is a good alternative to black if you want something a little less harsh on the eyes, but that will still stand out from the page and look professional. Lexington Grey comes in a 4.5oz bottle for $18, 3oz bottle to $12.50 or a 2ml ink sample for $1.25.
|You can write like Kara! Get the Kara Benz Package Set.|
If you are just getting started in Bullet Journaling, we’ve put together two starter kits that combine a Leuchtturm1917 notebook with a Pilot Metropolitan of your choice and a package of cartridges. You’ll also get a surprise ink sample so you can experiment with filling your converter! You can get the Bullet Journal Starter Kit in Medium or the Bullet Journal Starter Kit in Large.
|Bullet Journaling Starter Kit in Medium|
|Bullet Journaling Starter Kit in Large|
For a full list of the products we covered in this blog, go to our Bullet Journaling Shopping Guide. If you’d like more information on Bullet Journaling, check out Kara’s website, or the creator of the bullet journal system Ryder Carroll, bulletjournal.com.
If you have any questions about your fountain pens, Leuchtturm1917 Notebook, or want some ink suggestions, let me know in the comments below!
What do you love about bullet journaling?
Madigan & Kara