Tag Archives: sarasa fineliner

Umbrella-themed bullet journal habit and mood tracker

How to Create a Habit and Mood Tracker in Your Bullet Journal

By Kylie Kreimeyer of @bujo.kylie

Hi everyone! Kylie here from @bujo.kylie, and I’m going to show you step by step how to create your own themed habit and mood trackers using Zebra Pen products!

As a journaler, I use habit and mood trackers daily. These trackers help reveal patterns in my moods and behaviors that allow me to notice triggers, develop healthy habits, and improve my general wellbeing, turning even bad days into colorful works of art. So, let’s get started!


Bullet journal supplies

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

First thing’s first, gather your supplies. For this tutorial, you will need Zebra Zensations Technical Drawing Pen, Zebra Sarasa Fineliner, Zebra Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter & Creative Tool, and, of course, your favorite journal or sketch book.

This was my first experience with the Zensations Technical Drawing Pen, and can I just say, it’s my new go-to, period! The nib has the perfect amount of friction on the paper. After all, I personally don’t like a nib that is too slippery. As a lefty, I also need ink that dries fast to avoid accidental smudges. The Zensations Technical Drawing Pen ticks every box! The Mildliner Highlighters are a favorite amongst the bullet journaling community. Between the color variations and different nib options, you can add color to any and all of your creations. Plus, the Sarasa Fineliner markers add the perfect touch of detail!

Step 2: Choose a Theme and Draft in Pencil

Next, you’re ready to choose a theme and draft your layout. For March, I chose a theme of umbrellas! I decided I wanted to track my moods with tiny umbrella doodles, and track my habits using small calendars, decorating the page with more small umbrellas to match.

Using pencil first is optional⁠—after all, not everyone needs to make a rough draft. Personally, I lay out every spread in pencil first. Using pencil can help you avoid simple mistakes and misspellings. It was particularly helpful when I was trying to fit 31 tiny umbrellas on one page! Make sure you leave space for headers, and a key for your mood tracker. Once you’re ready to use pen, you can dive in confident that your trackers will look exactly as you pictured them.


Hand holding Zebra Zensations Technical Drawing Pen

Step 3: Outline with Zebra Zensations Technical Drawing Pen

Now that you’re happy with how you’ve laid out your trackers, it’s time to bring them to life with the Zensations Technical Drawing Pens! The 6-pack of Technical Drawing Pens come in an assortment of point sizes, including 0.1mm, 0.2mm, 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, and 0.8mm.

For this monthly spread, I first used the 0.1mm nib for each doodle. To make my doodles stand out, I then traced the outlines with a slightly larger nib. For the smaller mood tracker doodles, I used a 0.3mm nib to outline. For the larger doodles on the habit tracker and 8×8 tracker boxes, I used a 0.5mm nib.

You can label your mood tracker doodles with corresponding days of the month if you like to know exactly what feelings happened on which days. I use mine as a day-to-day accountability system to make sure I’m not ruminating on bad days, so a general overview of my moods works perfectly for my needs.


Drawing layout of a mood and habit tracker in a bullet journal spread

Step 4: Add Shade

Alright, now you’re ready to make your doodles pop. Here’s a quick pro tip I wish I’d learned earlier—a little gray shading adds depth and makes your doodles jump right off the page! For habit tracker boxes, it’s easiest to use the Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter & Creative fine bullet tip. For everything else, shade with the gray Sarasa Fineliner. First, pick which direction the light is coming from in your design. Wherever the light wouldn’t hit is where you add your shading.


Zebra Mildliner Double Ended Brush Pen and Sarasa Fineliner Marker

Step 5: Add Headers & Color Where Needed

The next step is to add your headers, and color wherever it is needed using Mildliner Highlighters and Sarasa Fineliners. First, add the headers. I used the bullet tip on the Mildliner Highlighters to letter the titles pictured. Then, I outlined all my lettering with Sarasa Fineliners.

Next, add color where it’s needed. For mood trackers, try to pick a distinctly different color for each emotion when filling out the key. This will help to avoid confusion if you have to reference the mood tracker later on. For habit trackers, it helps to highlight the titles on each box so you can quickly fill it out. I like to use alternating colors to add a little distinction between boxes.


Completed habit and mood tracker spread in a bullet journal, surrounded by an array of Zebra Pens

Step 6: Fill it out!

You did it! Your themed mood and habit trackers are ready for the month. Just fill out one doodle per day with the colors corresponding to the moods you felt. For the habit tracker, just fill one dot per habit each day corresponding with the completion of that habit.

Time to watch your pages fill with color throughout the month! I hope this has helped you to create your own themed mood and habit trackers. For more tracker and bullet journaling inspiration, check out my Instagram Page at @bujo.kylie and head to Shannon Hakala’s blog post on 3 Ways to Use a Bullet Journal to Stay Active.

Faux calligraphy with a red Sarasa Fineliner Marker

How to Create Faux Calligraphy in 4 Simple Steps

By: JoAnne Ovenell of @theletteringcompanion

Hello! I’m Jo of @theletteringcompanion. I am an Artist Ambassador for Zebra Pen USA, a calligrapher, and lettering artist based in Washington State. Today, I’m going to teach you how to create faux calligraphy.

What is Faux Calligraphy?

To understand faux calligraphy, let’s discuss a little background on calligraphy. As you might know, calligraphy is the art of creating beautiful letters. Calligraphy has a distinctive appearance with thin and thick strokes, unlike cursive, which is written with a single line weight. With calligraphy, each letter is “drawn” with separate strokes to create thin and thick lines. Calligraphy is created with a flexible nib dip pen or a marker.

Faux calligraphy uses fine tipped markers to imitate the effect of calligraphy. It is created by going over certain parts of your text with bolder strokes and filing it in. Practicing faux calligraphy can help you learn where to place the thick strokes compared the placement of thin strokes. It also gives you the ability to create calligraphy without a flexible nib pen.

Faux Calligraphy Materials

To begin, let’s gather our supplies. The only materials you need is paper and pen. I like to use the Sarasa Fineliner or a Zensations Technical Drawing Pen. Both pens are great to use for faux calligraphy because they have vibrant ink, write smoothly, and dry quickly—which means no smudging. This is very helpful if you are like me and get impatient while waiting for things to dry.


Cursive handwriting

Step 1: Write your word or phrase

The first step is to write your word or phrase in cursive on paper. Be sure to leave plenty of space between each letter, making sure not to crowd them. We will be adding thickness to each letter in the next step.


Cursive writing

Step 2: Retrace over your words to identify the downstrokes

The next step is to identify the downstrokes within your word or phrase. With your pen held above the paper, rewrite your text in the air. Each time your pen moves downwards toward the bottom of the page, this is considered a downstroke.

Whenever you form a downstroke, add a parallel line to thicken that stroke. Remember, we want the downstrokes to be thick and the upstrokes to be thin. I have drawn arrows in the photo above to show you where the down strokes should be. Continue adding a line to each down stroke to all your letters. Take your time and enjoy the process.


Step 3: Fill in the gaps

After you have added all your extra downstrokes, it’s time for the fun part! Color in all your double-lined down strokes to make them thicker. The Sarasa Fineliner’s thin tip provides precise control, allowing you to easily stay within the lines when laying down color. You can create additional vibrancy to the color by adding more layers of the same color.


Faux calligraphy

Step 4: Display your faux calligraphy

Practicing your faux calligraphy will help it become easier and easier. Learning faux calligraphy is a helpful steppingstone to learning traditional calligraphy since it teaches you where to add thickness in your letterforms.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful and it inspires you to continue with your calligraphy journey. For more calligraphy inspiration, check out Shelley Hitz’s Brush Lettering for Beginners tutorial.