Back to Uni Stationery Essentials


As we head into the start of the new semester, it can be more than a little overwhelming working out what you’ll actually need for the term ahead, let alone which products will actually last. However, just because stationery is a study essential, doesn’t mean it has to be boring, so here are my top picks:

Pens and Pencils

Although pens are one of the absolute basics, finding a good pen that doesn’t require you scribbling in the margins every 10 seconds just to leave an illegible scrawl can make such a difference to your note taking. My favourite pen at the moment is the Zebra Classic Ballpoint 1mm, as it writes like an absolute dream! The only downside is that you’ll have to keep a close eye on them, as they look so great everybody will want to ‘borrow’ (steal) them. Coloured pens are also invaluable for making easy-to-read notes, and you can’t go wrong with the trusty Stabilo pens many of us relied on in secondary school – but switch it up with this pastel set for a more sophisticated vibe. Finally, treat yourself to this set of empowering pencils from Paperchase to keep yourself motivated to do your best work! 

Image for Zebra Rose Gold x3 from Sainsbury's
Credit: Sainsbury’s (£3)
Credit: Paperchase (£5)
Credit: Paperchase (£10)

Pencil Cases

Now that you’ve gotten your new pens, it’s time to figure out where to keep them. Two-way sequins are a big trend this year (and give you a great way to look busy when your lecturer starts asking people questions), or alternatively, if you’re a humanities student that only needs a single pen like me, an artsy mini case could be perfect for you. Investing in a pen pot will not only prevent you from feeling like you need to carry around all of the stationery you own in your pencil case, but can really brighten up your desk and keep any spares in one place (plus, this one is super cute).

Credit: Neon Sheep (£4)
Credit: Paperchase (£6)
Credit: Neon Sheep (£5)


Whilst I’m a huge Pukka Pad fan (the quality of the paper is just incredible), when I look at them piled up on my desk they don’t exactly scream ‘fun’, which is definitely what I need to motivate me to actually open my notes. Ohh Deer offer some really durable A5 notebooks which are absolutely perfect to throw in your bag in the rush to get to a lecture.  However, if you’re looking for a cheaper option, Typo offers some amazing notebooks for those on a budget. From fun Harry Potter and Disney ring-bound pads to motivational notebooks, Typo offers plenty of choices to suit your needs without breaking the bank. 

Credit: WHSmith (£4.99)
Credit: Ohh Deer (£8.95)
Credit: Typo. (£3.50)


Despite now always wanting to write your best notes in your stunning new notepads, sometimes you’ve just got to admit that following along with the handout is a little easier than writing extensive notes at that 9am after the night before. This is when folders become an absolute godsend, as you can consolidate all of your notes and handouts in one place without them getting out of order. Whilst we’re all familiar with the WHSmith’s classics, Wilko also offer a great range of affordable ring binders and lever arch files, with some more exciting designs. It’s also worth investing in an expanding file – sadly, coming to uni means the ever daunting approach of proper adulthood, and with that comes an unexpectedly large amount of paperwork, so an expanding file is a great way to at least pretend that you have this adulting thing down.

Credit: Wilko (£2.50)
Credit: WHSmith (£1.99)
Credit: WHSmith (£3.49 – was £8.99)

List and Planner Pads

As much as having everything noted down on your phone is uber convenient, when trying to get a great overview of the week ahead (or just attempting a social media detox for the second time that week), nothing beats a list pad to keep track of everything. kikki.K have a great range of pads to cover all of your bases, whether you want a generic weekly planner, a project planner or even a habit tracker. Ohh Deer also do great list post-its to keep track of your to-do list each day and week, meaning you can at least start off the semester being super organised!

Credit: kikki.K (£6)
Credit: Ohh Deer (£5.95)
Credit: Ohh Deer (£7.95)

Subscription Box

If you’re still stuck for stationery ideas (or just love new stationery as much as I do), then Ohh Deer’s Papergang subscription may be for you. From £10.95+postage, each month you’ll receive a new stationery haul featuring some of the prettiest artwork you’ve ever seen. With each month including different products, from planners to rulers, it’s a great way to quickly build up your stock of stationery supplies whilst still being a little quirky – and you also get the excitement of having a surprise box to open every month!

Credit: Ohh Deer (£10.95)

Sub-Editor 2019-2020. Third year Philosophy and Politics student and cat lady with a true love of books.

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