Spoil Yourself: School Supplies

Perhaps I’m just materialistic, or easily brainwashed by hipsterdom, or never grew out of adolescence, but I love shopping for school supplies. A good pen, a clean notebook, a juicy highlighter—these make homework so much more satisfying to complete.


I do love those quick-dry Sakura Pigma Micron Pens, but the soft tip dries out or weakens over time. Still, the lush colors are a great pick-me-up for note taking in duller classes.

Uni-Balls are resilient and long-lasting crowd-pleasers, and Sharpie pens are nice, though clearly not as appealing as their permanent cousins.

I am a real fan of my Bic Mark-It permanent markers in such stunning colors—including Margarita Green and Yellow Blaze—but I am hard-pressed for a time to use them. They bleed through the page.

Pilot Pens

I’ve lately been really into Pilot G-2s in all widths and colors. These pens mean business. The ink lasts, they rarely smudge, and they feel good in your hand. I have heard great things about the G-3 as well, though I have yet to try it out myself…

I regularly use pencils, though I have discovered a startling shortage of sharpeners left in the world. The only ones left in classrooms and libraries seem to be the rattly metal ones that scream when you use them.

And what can I say? Sometimes I just want my basic blue Bic. Old reliable, fun to spin between my fingers and yes, occasionally, I like to chew on the cap.


Xonex Ru

Everyone loves a Moleskin, I get it. But don’t overlook the Xonex Ru notebook, which at half the price is a stylish and smart alternative. I also Love Rhodia notebooks in their sturdy, stapled, orange simplicity.

There is much to be said for Five Star and classic Composition notebooks, as well. They have never steered me wrong.

In the computer age, I still find myself relying much more on notebooks when it comes to thorough note-taking and creative writing. It is a good idea to leave your computers at home when you go to class in order to cut down on distractions. Remember that each Wesleyan class period costs you upwards of $200 a pop. Plus, writing on paper just feels right. I pay closer attention to my notes. I add pictures, draw lines and arrows, and can quickly underscore what is the most important. I put a little more thought into my word choice, into my sentence length and, occasionally, a spelling mistake leads my sentences down new and unexpected paths. Plus doodling is a way more productive procrastination tool than Facebook. Hunker down. Make some art right there along your writing. Don’t abandon notebooks!


I really can’t read for school without them. I’ve been known to use multiple colors within a single passage, either to keep me engaged (“Ooh! Blue!”) or to indicate different categories or meanings in the passages. The Sharpie Accent is a sure bet. I cannot help but smile at my latest discovery, the Stabilo Boss Highlighter. Fat, long lasting, bold colors… Highlighting has never felt so good with this Boss in my hand.

The Zebra Zazzle Highlighter has got some game, too, and with ten shades to choose from it is sure to please.

We are in the Golden Age of school supplies—don’t be a bystander while your friends take all the sickest notes in the coolest colors. Make your mark!

1 comment for “Spoil Yourself: School Supplies

  1. March 28, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    I would like to add Muji notebooks to the discussion! http://www.muji.us/store/stationery/note.html

    They are thin enough to fill in one semester… to make you feel really productive!

    Thanks for the great blog post! What a great resource!

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