If you miss the absolute high of buying school supplies each year, there’s a good chance you’re now an adult journaler. Whether you have a notebook of daily thoughts or you’re a full-on bullet journal person, there’s nothing like stationery.
The best thing about stationery, though, is that it’s impossible to have enough. Eventually, nearly all of it runs out. There are no pages left in a journal, the pen has no ink, and the sticky notes are gone. What’s the harm in shopping for a few pre-emptive backups or adding some new items that you don’t already have.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, there are certain items you can always use, and they don’t just have to be functional. They can look good on your desk, too.
If you’re in the market for some new stationery or are on the hunt for a gift for a stationery-loving friend, we’ve got a few ideas.
Happy Holidays! This article is part of our Holiday 2021 Gift Guide where you can find the best-of-the-best recommendations from LifeSavvy, How-To Geek, and Review Geek to help you pick the perfect gift for everyone on your list!
While an obvious choice, quality pens are a must-have for people who love stationery and those who journal. Let’s be honest, not all pens are created equal, and not all of them look good displayed on your desk.
These ballpoint pens from Cambond do both. With a twist to extend top, you won’t need to worry about losing a top, and for those who like to take their pens on the go, they include a sturdy clip that can be attached to a pocket or notebook. The pens also come in a variety of colors including blue, red, black, and silver, and depending on the shade you choose, they can write in black, blue, or red ink.
As for their performance, the pens are currently sitting pretty at a 4.3 out of 5 rating with over 2,000 reviews on Amazon. It’s pretty safe to say people like them.
Anyone who already has their fair share of stationery knows that it can get messy quickly. Toss pens, highlighters, and paper goods into a drawer, and you’ll be lucky if you can ever find what you need. That’s why a great organizer is key.
This piece from Spacrea features every compartment you need. There are raised and tilted shelves to place and organize pens. Position them with the colored ends facing outward to always know what you’re reaching for. Below that, there’s a flat shelf ideal for items like sticky notes, wite-out, and tape. Finally, the drawer at the bottom can hold anything that might get lost if left loose like gym clips, erasers, or thumbtacks.
Altogether, it’s the ideal organizer thanks to its clever set-up, and hey, it doesn’t hurt that it’s rose gold.
To-Do List Notepads
Those who bullet journal might not be quite right for this stationery item, but those who simply love to jot down their daily thoughts or those who love organizational tools will definitely want a set of these to-do list sheets.
While some notepads ask you to narrow down your top three tasks or set goals for the day (which is totally fine if you have the time), this is as straightforward as it comes. With a to-do list header and lined rows for checklist items, you can jot down all the things you need to get done in a day simply and quickly either before bed or first thing in the morning.
The notes section at the bottom is the only extraneous feature, and it’s actually not extraneous at all. Make a note of a grocery item you need, write down a reminder for your next day’s to-do list, or even add a mantra for your day.
Embellished Sticky Notes
For those who are constantly forgetting to add things to their to-do lists or need to make notes on documents, sticky notes are a stationery must-have. If you use them frequently, why not make them cute?
This set of marble-themed sticky notes from Buquoo are made from 80gsm paper (so it’s a bit thicker than normal) that’ll help prevent bleeding, and they feature a strong adhesive back that can not only adhere to your notebook or document but also a wall or desk. Plus, for under $16, you’ll get a whopping 600 sheets so you’ll be stocked up for a while.
A notebook needs to stand up to a lot of wear and tear, but if probably want it to look nice, too, right? With this option from Coboll, you get it all.
Perhaps most obviously, this notebook is gorgeous with a blue and pink agate stone-inspired pattern, gold elastic clasp, and gold ribbon bookmark. It’s not just pretty. The journal is ultra-functional with a cleverly hidden pocket in the back and cream-hued pages to help prevent eye strain that stark white paper could cause. With 142 lined pages, this notebook will have your thoughts organized for a while before you need a new one.
Those looking to bring a bit of art to their journaling but don’t feel like they’re the greatest artist should invest in washi tape. This decorative sticker tape makes it easy to add embellishments, create different note sections, and mark important pages in your journal. Plus, like this pack from Knaid, you can get the tape in a wide variety of colors and patterns. From simple neutral colors to bright florals, no matter your style, there’s a washi tape for you.
While binder and gym clips seem like a necessity only for those who work in offices, if you keep a journal—particularly one where you might add bits of artwork or mementos—it can be difficult to keep the pages open and flat for writing. That’s what binder clips are for.
Whether you’re creating a new monthly or weekly layout in your bullet journal or adding a new reflection to your notebook, gym and binder clips can help keep your notebook flat. Plus, if you organized your notebooks by quarters (hey, that’s me!), they’re handy for keeping them organized and separate.
Whether you love to add doodles and sketches to your personal journal or are a person who bullet journals, there’s no better tool than a pencil.
Pencils, like this set of pastel-hued mechanical ones, are ideal for sketching out doodles, bullet journal spreads, or any sort of journal artwork in advance. Let’s be honest, we all make mistakes. We jot down a note we don’t need, a line goes crooked, or a doodle doesn’t look quite right. That’s why pencils, which are easy to correct are ideal. Plus, hello, they’re really cute.
Much for the same reasons that it’s a good idea to have pencils, it’s also a good idea to have erasers.
Once you start doodling or creating spreads in a bullet journal, you’re bound to make mistakes. Those tiny erasers on mechanical and typical pencils sometimes just can’t hold up. That’s why a set of erasers is essential.
This pack from Pentel features multiple erasers that are protected by a plastic casing to keep them from getting dirty alongside all of your other supplies. This, in turn, keeps them from getting streaks all over your journal pages. When you need a bit more eraser, push a bit more out, and when you’re done, it can be rolled up back inside the container to keep it clean.
For the most dedicated of stationery lovers, a subscription box is the way to go.
This Archer & Olive subscription box comes to your doorstep quarterly, and while it costs just $70, it includes $175 worth of supplies. The items change every quarter, but you can expect to find items like brush pens, notebooks, pencil cases, and washi tape. Plus, thanks to its quarterly, as opposed to monthly, schedule you’ll never be inundated with supplies you won’t use. As they start to run out, a new box will arrive.
Whether your bullet journal, jot down to-do lists, keep a journal of your daily thoughts, or just love school supplies, these 10 stationery items are musts for your collection. Think of it as a stationery 101 guide. Let’s be honest, you can never have enough stationery.