I don’t know about you guys, but with the ongoing climate emergency, I’m always looking for ways to make my life more eco-friendly and going completely paperless is one of the things that I’ve been considering for so long. Since I started university, I’ve definitely been using a lot less paper than I was previously, but I still do have a decent amount of handwritten stuff, whether that be actual notes, or revision mind-maps, etc.
I’m hoping that from next year, I’ll pretty much be all paperless, especially as we get given iPads on starting third year, so it’ll be easier to move to digital notes.
That does, however, mean that my favourite stationery items might become obsolete! Sounds absurd, right?! I mean, I’m sure I’ll be using a regular pen to write stuff (I do journal every single day, but it’s definitely a get-to-the-point type of journal, with very little actual artistic flair) but what about my fineliners, and highlighters, and coloured pens?!
I guess you could consider this an ode to my favourite stationery, because I’m sappy like that and honestly, having nice tools to use for revision has been a huge motivation for me at times. When things get tough, anything that keeps me going is important to me.
Classic black pen
I think everyone needs a basic black pen in their repertoire and those people that grab any old ballpoint from the bottom of their bag to write regularly with scare me. I have two black pens that I use regularly:
Uniball Eye Fine Rollerball pen UB-157
This is my nice pen. You know the one you whip out when you have something special to write about, or a signature on an important document to do? This is that one for me. Also when I’m doing extended writing & journaling, this just feels decadent and elegant, like I’m a classy woman spilling deep secrets into my notebook.
I will say though, because this is an ink pen, it smudges so easily, and I smudge it very often. Even before I turn the page, I have to make sure the ink is completely dry to avoid any transfer anywhere. Also, I use the 0.7mm tip which is pretty standard, but I won’t lie, I think I’d prefer if it was a little narrower. I have such big handwriting anyways and the wider the tip, the messier my writing seems to look.
Papermate Comfortmate Ultra 1.0
This has been my ‘everyday’ pen for the past few years, probably since mid-high school. It’s just fantastic! Perfect ink flow, the pen itself feels so nice to hold and write with, and its ink dries instantaneously so there’s no stress about waiting for it to dry or worrying about smudging it.
It’s clear to see why this is my favourite writing pen because it’s perfect for writing fast and writing a lot, which pretty much sums up my high school and sixth form experiences. Recently though, I think this pen has been discontinued in so many shops because I can never find this exact pen, and instead I have to resort to the other version of this (which might be the exact same thing, but a connoisseur like me knows they’re worlds apart). I once was so desperate for this pen that I swapped five brand new other-version pens for two used ones of this pen, and I have no regrets whatsoever.
Papermate non-stop HB pencils
This is my favourite type of pencil ever and since I started using it, I have not looked back. They are mechanical pencils, but not typical ones that have the hassle of lead refills and lead that’s constantly breaking. As long as you use these responsibly, the lead never breaks, and the non-stop feature where you can protract and retract the lead is so useful because it feels like the pencil just lasts forever. Truly genius in a world of rubbish mechanical pencils.
I cannot recommend these enough and they come in so many pretty colours! My brothers are always stealing these pencils from me and I totally get why.
Random red pen from Kenji
I went into Kenji one day after a tiring day of uni and picked this pen out. Initially, I didn’t even realise it was red ink, and I was disappointed that I hadn’t gotten a black or blue pen, because that’s what I was hoping to get, but that disappointment flew right out the window when I got the chance to use this.
It’s a narrower tip (I’m not sure exactly how many mm), which I prefer to write with, and I feel like this pen has been perfect for emphasising things in my notes, especially as its ink just flows so nicely. I went back to Kenji a few months later to pick up more of these in different colours, but I never found this specific pen again, not even on the website. I’m not sure where it disappeared to, but I love this pen and dread the day the ink runs out.
Papermate Inkjoy Ballpens 1.0mm
These have been my steadfast pens for all the notes and revision where I’ve tried to incorporate colour. They are so cheap and cheerful, and I’ve gone through so many packets of these over the years because they get the job done nicely.
I also quite enjoy the colour range, which is relatively extensive, even in the smaller packets.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliners (0.3mm)
I remember being in high school and seeing other people having these and begging my mum to buy me the same ones. They were quite the symbol of having-your-life-together back in 2014.
In all honesty, I used these a lot more in high school and sixth form, but they always stood by me well during those times. By the time I reached uni, most of my pens didn’t have enough ink left to keep these around and I knew I’d be using them less so I didn’t bother to reinvest, but I have the odd few lying around and they’re still fantastic. I put them on this list mostly because of the nostalgia that I can’t associate to any other item of stationery and they’re still great.
Stabilo Boss Original Pastel Highlighters
I’m such a sucker for pretty pastel notes and using these made me feel like my notes were just more elevated. I know they’re not much different to the regular ones, but the standard colours are so boring and typical. It’s really the colour of these that sets them apart from the rest.
Other miscellaneous items
Tipp-ex Mini Pocket Mouse
This correction tape changed the aesthetics of my notes completely! I’m the type to write in a hurry and scribble out any typos or incorrect words while I write, but this changed me as a person. Gone are the days of hurriedly striking my misspellings through and moving on with things.
I feel like this tool genuinely made me take my time more, and give me this sense of achievement that I can have perfect pages of writing, which sounds so pretentious, I’m aware, but it just made such a strangely positive impact in my life for being a bit of plastic with white tape in.
These are classic but such an essential! I won’t lie, I mainly use these for crossing out my address when I’m disposing of mail packaging (does anyone else do that too?) but they really come in handy. They’re also so useful for labelling binders and folders because they’re so permanent.
I hope you guys enjoyed my analysis of my favourite stationery, I thought it would be fun to reminisce and talk about this stuff. Also, I think paperless is the way forward in so many industries, but that doesn’t take away from the real magic behind paper and pen.
Wishing you all safety and prosperity while we navigate the turmoil of the world today.