Summer might not long have started but already we’re thinking about getting ready to go back to school or University. I absolutely love collecting a new set of stationery ready to start a new year fresh. In this blog post I’ve picked out some of my back to school stationery essentials so you can start the new school year right.
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Lets start off with the place you’re going to put all of your school stuff. You need a good backpack that’s going to be durable and take at least a whole year of use and abuse from you! Paperchase actually has a great range of good quality and fun backpacks including well known brands like Eastpak, Herschel and Fjällräven Kånken (don’t ask me how to say that!) as well as their own more budget friendly but equally cool creations. Check out the whole range here.
You’re going to need a good pencil case to house all of your shiny new stationery supplies. Arguably the pencil case was one of the most exciting back to school purchases. This is what people will see and can be an expression of your personal style. I always end up cramming loads of ‘essentials’ into my pencil case so I definitely need one that has plenty of space and compartments. I’m in love with these stylish Dubu Dumo pencil cases. I love the colours and all of the storage options! Choose your favourite here from Etsy.
Notebook – Lined Paper
It’s an obvious one but you are definitely going to need some good quality lined paper to take down all of your notes. I’m a big stickler for good quality smooth paper and two of my favourite notebook brands are Oxford Campus and the Pukka Pad. If you’re going to be carrying a lot around with you sometimes it’s better to get a few thinner pads of 100 pages rather than big bulky notebooks that will weigh you down. To save some money get this 5 pack of Oxford Campus Wirebound A4 notebooks in your colours of choice!
If you’re going to have to rapidly take down lots of notes in lectures of seminars then you need a really smooth pen that isn’t going to go all smudgy on you and is going to be comfortable to hold. A biro is a great choice if like me you like to press hard when you write or for a smoother experience try a gel ink pen like the Papermate Inkjoy or a Pentel Energel. If you prefer to write with some colour you can get both of these in colourful sets.
Check out my other blog posts on all the different black pens you can use in a bullet journal (or wherever else) and my explainer on all the different types of pens. for some more in depth pen comparison.
A pencil was something that I was often missing out of my student toolkit but it’s always useful to have something that you can make erasable notes with. A mechanical pencil is a great choice to ensure a fine line when writing. As much as I love traditional pencils like Palomino Blackwings, as the nib wears down the lines get thicker and don’t look as neat or readable, so a mechanical pencil is a great choice. I’m in love with these Tombow pastel mechanical pencils available from Kawaii Pen Shop where you can get 10% off with my discount code MAGPIE10.
I absolutely love highlighters. They’re a great tool for adding a bit of colour to some notes but also of course for highlighting key information from your notes. Some highlighters are now dual ended with a marker so you can have a tip to highlight and another to make notes. A great example are the iconic Zebra Mildliners! Pastel highlighters are now hugely popular as they’re a little more muted and calm than the traditional fluorescent highlighter shades we’re all familiar with. Check out my blog post on the best pastel highlighters here and make sure you add them to your back to school stationery list.
A bit more of a bonus item rather than an essential but fine liners are a great way to add some colour into your notes just like highlighters. I especially love using them for mind maps and diagrams to label different features. My pride and joy in school was my pack of Staedtler Triplus fineliners and I still love them today! Why not go crazy and get this 36 pack for only £18.83! Look at all of the pretty colours!
Eraser & Sharpener
My top tip for an eraser and a sharpener is to get a combo! These two tiny tools are easily lost but if they’re together you know where they both are especially as it’s very likely you’ll be using them together. I’m a big fan of Milan erasers and sharpeners specifically their ‘Capsule’ eraser and sharpener. Especially as they’ve now started to bring out loads of interesting and colourful editions. Get it here from Amazon.
You don’t need a huge 30cm ruler (I mean it won’t fit in most pencil cases so it just isn’t practical) but a small ruler is a great tool to keep notes tidy and to draw diagrams. A ruler is a great tool for you to show some of your personality with some novelty. I really like these cute cat rulers and also this cool cactus! Get both of them from Scribblet on Etsy for only £2.50 each and check out their other novelty rulers here!
In order to start the school year off in the best way I highly recomend you add a planner to your back to school stationery list so that you can organise your time. I’ve used a lot of different types of planner in the past for school including a regular diary, an academic planner like this SmartPanda academic planner (pictured below) or an academic wall planner that will give you an overview of the entire year!
Of course you can also use your bullet journal to plan everything related to your education. Check out this blog post to find some ideas on how to use your bullet journal for school and page ideas!