How’s it going?? I hope you’re all having a super fun Saturday so far?
I just got back from some light stationery shopping and now I’m all buzzed up on it because, whether this is weird or not, I’m obsessed with stationery. Pens, pencils, highlighters, coloured markers, washi tape, post-it notes, notebooks and whatever else you can think of – I love stationery!! There are so many choices to make when it comes to starting or adding to your stationery supplies and collections – infinite colours and sizes and qualities that it all starts to swirl into a rainbow mess of creative equipment. My point is that there is stationery available for any situation that you could think of, and with this being said, it can be pretty easy to get overwhelmed by it all and decide to stick to that one black pen. Even though it is tempting to just say no to everything or walk out with your credit card balance dangerously far into the red zone, there are actually only a few essentials that can get you through almost anything.
Sooo … today I thought, because there are so many wonderful stationery items available in the world, I’d go through my list of stationery must-haves and also some fun ones that are not essential but I just couldn’t live without (does that make it an essential?). Hopefully, you find some useful information from this or even just an idea on what you might need to add to your desk.
Pens, pencils and erasers
This might seem obvious because how can you do anything without a pen? And no, the answer is not to swap over to a laptop so you never need to use a pen again. Everyone has pen preferences so making sure you have the right pen is critical. For me, I use black gel pens (blue pens are a big no no for me. I’ve never liked them it’s just my weird thing), but some people prefer ballpoint pens or pens in different colours. Whatever it is, having pens (at least two because Murphy’s law says that one will run out when you need it most and then you are stuck trying to find some writing instrument in the forgotten crevices of your cupboard) is critical, so make sure you stock up.
Next, never forget how useful a pencil and eraser can be. If you ever need to write something down but are not sure if you might need to get rid of it (for example, you are thinking about meeting up with friends and want to make sure you have time for it so you write it in your diary, only not everyone has confirmed so it might not happen), then using a pencil is ideal. If what you wrote remains then you can either leave it or rewrite it in pen, but if things change, you can erase it. Having a pencil and eraser is particularly useful for writing in your diary or organiser, because of how quickly certain situations can change. If you’re still not keen on a pencil because you don’t want to sharpen it all the time, invest in a clutch pencil (just don’t forget to buy lead for it). Voila – problem solved. I adore pencils because you can scribble along as much as you want, and if you make a mistake who cares?? Plus you can do shading on drawings a lot better with a pencil than with a pen so there’s that too!
There is no such thing as too many notebooks and I will say this until the day I die. I easily have over 30 and those are just A4 – we won’t go into the A5 ones or the ones already half-filled. Notebooks are so useful because you never quite know when you’ll need to jot something down or have pages and pages that you need to write, and you happened to forget to charge your laptop. Just make sure to get the right type of notebook. For example, if you want to be doing lots of writing, a lined notebook will probably be a lot more helpful than just a blank one. If you were asking me, I’d say get one of each because you never know when you might need it. I go through about two notebooks a week and some need more so notebooks are definitely a useful item that you will never think was a waste of money or is just creating clutter. Plus, there is nothing more fun than going shopping for notebooks because choosing between the fun covers is always exciting. And, if you pick super funky covers, you’ll always have a small smile before starting whatever work you have to do, even if the work isn’t too fun.
Most of us are very busy, and so having an organiser is a great idea to keep us on track and make sure we don’t forget about any important events or something that needs to be completed. Now, a lot of people will say that you can easily get an app on your phone, but I am old fashioned and prefer to write things down and tick them off as I go along. Having a paper diary or organiser is a good idea because you don’t need to worry about the battery dying or the memory being wiped. Also, just because the whole world has moved online, that doesn’t mean that you need to keep your diary online (plus having a few things on paper is always a useful backup in case technology rises up …). It is also very satisfying to have a paper diary because you can see how much you have accomplished and you get to tick/scratch things off as you complete them. There is nothing more fulfilling than looking at your day and seeing all your tasks ticked off, trust me.
Now that those generic items are done let’s go to some more exciting ones. Highlighters are a must-have in my book because they add a zap of colour to otherwise quite bland colours of writing. Highlighters are also great because they can help you itemise and separate the sections and ideas in whatever work you are doing. You can highlight dates in one colour, names in another colour etc. The reason why this is a good idea is that sometimes it is hard to sift out and find the exact information you are looking for when it is all in one colour. If you have highlighted that info in one specific colour though, that makes your task a lot easier. Some people don’t like colour-coding, but for me, I use highlighters almost every day because they help me to divide up my work and find different categories/ sections more efficiently and who doesn’t love a little bit of colour? Even adding highlighters to your diary or using them to spice up some generic reading notes can make reading through your work a lot more fun when you have to come back to it.
If you haven’t been introduced to the beautiful creation that is post-it notes yet, then I’d highly recommend you go and treat yourself to a pack of them right now! Post-it notes are soooo handy to have on a day to day basis because sometimes you don’t want to haul out a notebook and start a whole new page for just one little thing you need to write down or remember. With a post-it note, all you have to do is write your little scribble on it (and there are different sized post-it notes depending on what you want them for and how large your scribbles can be) and then stick it to whatever surface you need. If you have something you need to remember to do on a particular day, you can add a post-it note to your diary. If there is something that you need to remember, you can put post-it reminders all over your room, and if you have something small that you need to jot down, post-it notes are ideal. Basically, post-it notes are baby pieces of paper that you can stick anywhere – useful for anyone and anything. I absolutely adore them and have them stuck all over the place, mostly covered in work-related items but sometimes just fun messages for myself.
Something else sticky
Sometimes you need to stick something up or put it in a book and leaving it loose is just asking for it to get lost. That’s why it is useful to have some sticky substance at the ready for whenever you need it. Glue, sticky tape or prestik (the sticky stuff you use to put things on walls). You don’t need to have all of these items, but they do have different uses and places where they work better. Glueing paper into a book will be a lot better than sticky taping it in and using prestik to stick a photo on your wall will have less damaging consequences than using glue. Basically, it doesn’t matter what you do, but there always comes a time where we need to stick something somewhere so having at least one of these items will allow you to be prepared for when that happens. Or, if you’re looking for something more exciting, how about washi-tape?? You can get hundreds of different patterns on washi-tape, and it’s way more fun than using plain old sticky-tape so not only can you stick things where you want them. Lastly, how could I have a section about sticky stationery items and not include stickers? Stickers certainly did not go out of fashion in prep-school – I use them in my notebooks, on my suitcase, sometimes even on my window. They’re just so cute and expressive, plus they can sometimes have memories attached to them so overall they are just awesome!
Mildliners, fineliners or coloured markers
Ooooh colours!! Colours are the highlight of stationery (bad joke I know, please don’t groan at your phone or laptop screen I couldn’t help myself). Colours always add so much fun to whatever work you’re doing. Just because you have to write something down, it doesn’t mean that it has to be in a generic, dull colour (like black or blue). Who says you can’t have a little fun with it? I think that having different coloured pens, markers etc. are essential for work because, same as with highlighters, sometimes it is more helpful to have things colour-coded. Say you are studying for a test (I know this is more specific to students) – you can separate the different subjects by colour. While this might sound a bit tedious to do, it can make studying more fun to be reading things in different colours instead of just one, but it can also help you remember the details better because you will remember that everything in this section you wrote in red. If you’re into bullet-journalling, colours are critical! Mildliners or fineliners also make making notes so much more fun – I pick a different colour for each lecture topic and it helps me organise my thoughts, and I use different shades of that colour for different sections. Am I too obsessed with colours and stationery?? Probably but I don’t care, it’s too much fun!
Last but not least, I don’t know what I would do without whiteboard markers (that’s assuming you have the whiteboard too because the markers aren’t so handy without them). Having a whiteboard and different coloured whiteboard markers is truly a lifesaver because it’s like having an organiser, notebook and all the different coloured markers combined into something that you can get rid of (for those of you who want to save paper). I use my whiteboard for ongoing to-do lists, a big calendar, essay plans, keeping track of creative writing products and deadlines. Honestly, there is no shortage of the amount that you can do with a whiteboard and some whiteboard markers so I’m not sure if this counts as an essential or something fun for stationery addicts but either way, they are the best!
And there you have it!! I know this is a lot of stationery talk for one blog post but I hope some of you enjoyed this blog post even half as much as I enjoyed writing it! I know stationery shopping itself can be very overwhelming but I hope this is also helpful in narrowing down what you think you need, or inspiring you to add to your collections or whatever you need for school/work. What did you think of my list?? Are there any essentials you have that I may be missing? Or something you can’t do without – I would love to gush about stationery with you so lets chat in the comments section!
Lots of love
Blondey on a Mission xxx