Practicing Creativity

Best Highlighter Pens for Bullet Journals and Doodling

My refrigerator calendar.
I like to doodle, adding little touches to my desk and refrigerator calendar pages to make my days stand out. I've been using low cost highlighters to give a bit of color to my doodles. They brighten up the page I'm on and don't bleed through to the back. The problem is they don't come in many colors – I'm limited to bright blue, green, yellow, pink and orange. My doodle game needed upping.

Google 'best highlighters' and you'll find lots of different opinions, but the type  mentioned again and again by bullet journal/doodle enthusiasts are Zebra Mildliner Double Ended highlighters. I decided to give them a try and ordered a set of 20 pastel colors.

My desk calendar.
I love them! I like their pen shape better than a chunkier highlighter, the variety of colors is good – far beyond the limited range I was working with before – and there are two tips – one fine and one broad (I'm using the fine tip most).  Best of all, with normal application they don't bleed through to the back side of the paper. Only if you apply a lot of color on thin paper do you see it on the backside, and even then, it's not much. The photo below shows the bleed through on my refrigerator calendar which is a very fine paper. On my desk calendar, which is heavier weight paper, there's none.

Back page of refrigerator calendar. Some bleed through on fine paper, but not much.
Before adding the highlighter color, I doodle with a blue medium Pilot Accroball 10 ballpoint pen, Stabilo Fineliner pigment liner 88/22 Night Blue, or black Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.1. I prefer blue ink to black, but I have to admit the Staedtler pen is less likely to smear. Sometimes I'll doodle first in pencil, trace over the lines in ink, then erase any pencil showing with my Tombow MONO Zero eraser

I'm enjoying using these Zebra Mildliners and am quite pleased with my purchase. What remains to be seen is how long they last.


  1. And you can doodle too?!?! I especially love those cute Santas you drew. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. You make your calendars so fun.


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