A bit of background
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved stationery. Books, pens, diaries, are all I ever wanted. My mum always recalls how when I was younger (I am literally talking age 2 or 3 onwards), other kids my age wanted toys; cars, teddies, playsets etc. But not me. Whenever we would go out shopping I would pick up pens, paper, books, diaries and whatever else caught my eye, and from very early on into this enjoyment, my mum and elder siblings picked up on this interest of mine and started gifting me stationery.
I mean don’t get me wrong, give me a toy at 4 or 5 and I was happy, but give me a set of gel pens, a notebook or any other stationery item and I was over the moon! I remember being 7 or 8 years old and receiving a birthday gift from my uncle, to this day I regret misplacing it. He worked for a large American IT company (three letters starting with I) and had gifted me this beautiful multi-compartment leather briefcase (company- issued). I had seen his one for years and always said that I had wanted one. And now, here it was, my very own, still wrapped in plastic. I immediately ripped the packaging off and began filling the bag with all my stationery goodies. I had secretly pinched my mums old leather Filofax and this leather travel wallet she had and popped them into my new briefcase. I was hooked! I wanted to take this briefcase everywhere; to school, the shops, on holiday (which I did actually with my homework). This is where the story takes a sad turn (get the tissues). During some home renovation work a few years after receiving the briefcase, it disappeared, never to be seen again. Think I should ask him if he has on old spare one lying around somewhere.
So there you have it, a bit of a background as to when I got into stationery. As the years went by my collection got bigger, more refined and I was able to decide what I like and where from. Below I have some stationery from my collection (I’d say around 3/4 of what I have) I will of course provide links with each image so that if you like what you see and wish to get it yourself, you can do. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: all the images below are the rightful property of The J Journal and are subject to copyright protection. You may download or save these images for reference, however they may not be recreated, uploaded or shared on any public platform, without prior permission. Thank you. The J Journal © 2020.
I have used many pens over the years, but my handwriting is still abysmal. But thats not to say that you should not feel comfortable writing. Considering I have doctors handwriting (often I can’t even read what I have wrote), I still choose to write rather type where I can. Most of my uni notes are all handwritten. Don’t be afraid to own your handwriting, it makes you unique. Anyway since first trying out their pens in 2012, my absolute favourite pens to write with are the Muji gel ink pens in the 0.5mm nib. They are very smooth to write with and have some beautiful colours. I opt to use the 0.5mm nib as I find the 0.38mm nib for me seems a bit scratchy and the 0.7mm is a bit too thick. I don’t personally own any of the latter but do have 5 of the 0.38mm (can be seen in pic 6, bottom right) for finer line drawing etc. My main go to pens from Muji were the ones you can see in image 5 (bottom centre) which are the 0.5mm gel ink pens with a lid. However back in August 2019, I visited my local Muji shop to get some supplies for the academic year and came across a new line of pens. The 0.5mm gel ink pens were now available in a retractable clicky pen (with refills, pics 1-4). I couldn’t resist and got one of each colour available. I have 14 of them in total, I had purchased 5 of them in the UK (only 5 colours were available in-store at the time) and the remainder 9 on holiday in Dubai in September 2019. I hold my pens in various Muji glasses cases (very good fit compared to their actual pen boxes). Below I have provided some links to the pens and the cases with them.
- Muji retractable gel ink ballpoint pen 0.5mm , £1.50 each: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=13&Sub=52&PID=11047&qclr=4550002794118&qsiz=0&qsel=
- Muji gel ink pen with lid 0.5mm , £1.50 each: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=13&Sub=52&PID=11046&qclr=4550002796815&qsiz=0&qsel=
- Muji gel ink pen with lid 0.38mm, £1.50 each: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=13&Sub=52&PID=11044&qclr=4550002794262&qsiz=0&qsel=
- Small glasses case used for pens, £2.95: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=14&Sub=57&PID=9579
- Large glasses case used for pens, £3.95: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=9&Sub=38&PID=9578
Notebooks, books, journals, pads
I have an abundance of notebooks, pads, journals etc. Most of the stuff I like I usually purchase doubles or triples of (incase of an apocalypse and all the worlds stationery runs out). The image above features a few of my Muji notepads, the upper 3 contain dotted paper and the bottom 3 are plain. Muji’s paper quality is of an excellent quality and paired with their gel ink pens produces flowing pretty lines. Muji has many different sizes in pads, so there really is a variety to choose from that works best for you.
- Muji B5 notebook (plain), £3.50 each: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=12&Sub=49&PID=7787&qclr=4548718218899&qsiz=0&qsel=
- Muji A5 notebook (plain), £2.75 each: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=12&Sub=49&PID=7136&qclr=4548718218905&qsiz=0&qsel=
- Muji B6 pp cover notebook (dotted), £3.95 each: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=12&Sub=50&PID=7349
- Muji A6 pp cover notebook (dotted), £3.50 each: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=12&Sub=50&PID=9845
These are the Clairefontaine Koverbook wirebound notebooks in A5, I got these back in August 2019 during my uni shopping haul after reading about them online. I had planned to use the different colours for various modules, but then decided to use some Muji notebooks instead as these are lined and the Muji ones are plain and easier for me to draw diagrams in. I got these 4 A5 ones, as well as matching A4 ones. The ‘wraparound’ feature makes it easy to fold the book under itself (as I do often), but also has a thick plastic cover to keep it safe and dry (no homework excuses here). I can’t find many exact links for these notepads, but have provided as many as I can below.
- Clairefontaine Koverbook Wirebound Notebook A5 (blue), £5.80: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clairefontaine-Koverbook-Wirebound-Notebook-170x220mm/dp/B07N255JG2/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=Clairefontaine+Koverbook+Wirebound+Notebook&qid=1578248564&s=officeproduct&sr=1-4
- Clairefontaine Koverbook Wirebound Notebook A5 (red), £7.60: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clairefontaine-Koverbook-Wirebound-Notebook-Margin/dp/B07PRQYTZV/ref=pd_day0_hl_229_2/259-5191516-3980507?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07PQLCV4C&pd_rd_r=a9134f54-a320-42a5-b27c-ce9bbbff57dd&pd_rd_w=q9Yra&pd_rd_wg=DYAgl&pf_rd_p=41dbe6ca-a21b-4cfc-8629-394c3728d27a&pf_rd_r=GVBH202T3JRS3RQ6VJXD&refRID=GVBH202T3JRS3RQ6VJXD&th=1
- Clairefontaine Koverbook Wirebound Notebook A4 (red), £4.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clairefontaine-Koverbook-Wirebound-Notebook-Margin/dp/B07PQLCV4C/ref=pd_day0_hl_229_2/259-5191516-3980507?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07PQLCV4C&pd_rd_r=a9134f54-a320-42a5-b27c-ce9bbbff57dd&pd_rd_w=q9Yra&pd_rd_wg=DYAgl&pf_rd_p=41dbe6ca-a21b-4cfc-8629-394c3728d27a&pf_rd_r=GVBH202T3JRS3RQ6VJXD&refRID=GVBH202T3JRS3RQ6VJXD&th=1
- Clairefontaine Koverbook Wirebound Notebook A4 (blue), £12.67: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clairefontaine-Koverbook-Wirebound-Notebook-Margin/dp/B07PN9QT7G/ref=pd_day0_hl_229_2/259-5191516-3980507?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07PQLCV4C&pd_rd_r=a9134f54-a320-42a5-b27c-ce9bbbff57dd&pd_rd_w=q9Yra&pd_rd_wg=DYAgl&pf_rd_p=41dbe6ca-a21b-4cfc-8629-394c3728d27a&pf_rd_r=GVBH202T3JRS3RQ6VJXD&refRID=GVBH202T3JRS3RQ6VJXD&th=1
(not too sure why the prices fluctuate so weirdly, sorry)
Paperchase is another brand I love. They have some fabulous stationery, from books and pens, to wrapping paper and gift boxes, all at a very high quality and of great build. I use many of their products such as notebooks and blank cards as well as their gifting material (boxes, wrapping paper, tissues paper, ribbons). I have provided links for 2 of my favourite notebooks from paperchase. The first is a book that has several sections of different coloured paper (I am yet to use it, but love the look, feel and paper quality). The second is a 10 subject notebook, that I use for work. The 10 subject book also comes in a 5 subject (which I will link) that I use as a supplementary to my uni research lab book. The 5 subject comes with 3 sections of ruled lined, 1 plain and 1 squared. These 3 books I have are in an A5 size. A4 sizes in the subject notebooks are also available online and in-store.
- Paperchase 5 subject notebook A5, £5.00: https://www.paperchase.com/en_gb/stationery/notebooks/lined-page/a5-5-subject-multi-notebook.html
- Paperchase 10 subject notebook A5, £6.00: https://www.paperchase.com/en_gb/stationery/notebooks/subject/translucent-10-subject-a5-notebook_1.html
- Paperchase Spectrascope multi notebook A5, £6.00: https://www.paperchase.com/en_gb/art/paper-card/spectrascope/spectrascope-multi-a5-thick-notebook_1.html
Fabriano is a brand I discovered recently on one of my favourite stationery websites (https://www.cultpens.com/). Its mainly aimed at artists as most of their books are marketed and advertised as sketchbooks, but they were too pretty not to buy! I got the Fabriano Journal, which I have dedicated to all my blogging (ideas, posts, future plans 😉 etc). It has coloured plain paper inside, much like the Paperchase Spectrascope, but is in a smaller A6 size and contains ’12 intense shades of smooth 89gsm Sirio Color paper’. Its perfect as a pocket journal and fits neatly in a jacket pocket. The other set of notebooks I have are the Fabriano Quaderno Bouquet Notebooks, which I purchased in the last few days. I am yet to use these and will definitely post when I have done. This set of notebooks is slightly smaller than the journal and comes in 7 colours housing 7 different types of paper (refer to the main image above), from ‘velvety’ to ‘felt marked). I think these will make excellent quote books as gifts (future post maybe?).
- Fabriano Journal, £13.00: https://www.cultpens.com/i/q/FB56024/fabriano-journal
- Fabriano Quaderno Bouquet Notebooks, £13.00: https://www.cultpens.com/i/q/FB56020/fabriano-quaderno-bouquet-notebook
Highlighters, markers, fine tips and more.
Over the years I have collected a variety of different highlighters, felt tips, fineliners and other markers.
Muji have these amazing double-sided ‘twin’ highlighters. What makes them so amazing you say? well these highlighters have a clear window running through the tip of the highlighter. This window allows you to see the line ahead and easily highlight without it getting wonky- nothing worse than wonky highlighting. They come in a few bright colours with a chisel tip and a finer felt tip. The colours I have are; orange, yellow, green, blue and pink. Again, I use the glasses case I mentioned above to store these highlighters.
- Muji twin highlighter, £1.50 each: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=13&Sub=55&PID=8084&qclr=4548718654529
I don’t use my Sharpies as much as I would like, but they definitely come in handy for posters, projects or anywhere I want to add a splash of colour (on Muji notebook covers, plain mugs, even walls). I have over 50 (doubles and triples) and they are long lasting with good overall performance. I opted for the finer tip over the bullet ones, but they’re both equally excellent. I store them in a Muji pp vanity six-divider organiser (linked below also).
- Sharpie Fine Permanent Markers Pack of 24, £19.99: https://www.ryman.co.uk/sharpie-fine-permanent-markers-pack-of-24
- Muji pp vanity 1/2 divider, £2.95 each: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=17&Sub=80&PID=2309&qclr=4945247506624
Considered the Holy Grail of highlighters, Zebra Mildliners are any stationery enthusiasts dream. They use to be particularly difficult to obtain here in the UK but you can now purchase them at Paperchase for £8.50 for a pack of 5. I must admit, they were a bit of an impulse buy and the colours are no way as near sharp or vibrant like the Muji ones or Stabilo, but I guess the clue is in the name ‘Mild’. I usually use these in my planner as the milder colour makes dates and events easier to see, whereas other highlighters may saturate the pages. Like the Muji highlighters, the Mildliners are double-sided (chisel and point), but do not feature a window. I use a Muji pen case (yes, the actual specifically designed one) to hold my Mildliners.
- Zebra Mildliners pack of 5, £8.50: https://www.paperchase.com/en_gb/stationery/pens/highlighters/mildliner-highlighters.html
- Muji pp large pen case, £2.95: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=13&Sub=16&PID=1021
Classic highlighters, everyone has or has had a Stabilo highlighter. Not much to say about these other than they are really bright, eye-catching and have helped me pass some serious exams. I have them in 3 versions; the minis (for my lab case), the neon soft cover and the classic normal size. I store the minis in my lab case (another Muji item, unfortunately not available in the UK, I purchased it while in Dubai), the neons and standard are in a Muji vanity organiser (same one I use for Sharpies).
- Stabilo Boss Mini assorted colours, £5.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Highlighter-STABILO-BOSS-Assorted-Colours/dp/B000J61V1C/ref=asc_df_B000J61V1C/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=214477646089&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2004774915800172629&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045534&hvtargid=pla-421567642250&psc=1&th=1&psc=1
- Stabilo Neon assorted colours, £4.72: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Highlighter-STABILO-NEON-Assorted-Colours/dp/B00SGTFB38/ref=asc_df_B00SGTFB38/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=218085297059&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11460540864823532421&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045534&hvtargid=pla-420084297256&psc=1&th=1&psc=1
- Stabilo Boss original assorted colours, £5.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Highlighter-STABILO-ORIGINAL-Assorted-Colours/dp/B0007OEDZC/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=stabilo+highlighters&qid=1578255388&s=officeproduct&sr=1-4
I use these classic Staedtler triplus fineliners for a long list of things from uni notes and diagrams, doodling and shopping lists and in my planner. As they are felt tip, the 0.3mm nib does not feel uncomfortable or scratchy and they write, draw and doodle really well. Not ideal for colouring, but great for writing in colour. They come nicely packaged in a sturdy plastic case and the lid folds and clicks into itself to form a stand. These are really affordable and an essential to have. Look out at local supermarket stationery sections as they often have offers on these sets and you will can pick them up for under a fiver compared to online.
- Staedtler triplus fineliners, pack of 10, £4.60: https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/254913928
Uni Pin black finliners are great for drawing, writing and journalling. They have a deep black colour and come in a variety of sizes. I have this 3 pack that contains a 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5mm. Just like the Staedtler, although a small nib size they don’t at all feel scratchy or sharp. I use these for notes in my lab book (diagrams and tables) as well as for making note cards. I store them in the smaller size Muji pen case.
- Uni Pin fineliner pack of 3, £5.49: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Uni-Pin-Fineliner-Drawing-Pen/dp/B07DJQ6KWH/ref=asc_df_B07DJQ6KWH/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=205226078528&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13052697730391077346&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9045534&hvtargid=pla-467478076502&psc=1
- Muji pp small pen case, £2.50: https://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?Sec=13&Sub=16&PID=1021&qclr=4547315815234&qsiz=950&qsel=
Finally onto the miscellaneous, a whole lot of different things that come in handy from time to time.
Revision cards/ note cards.
An absolute necessity for any student, revision/note/index cards are a study must! I think I have used revision cards as a method of studying for most of my academic life. There is something about breaking info down into smaller chunks that makes it easier to remember. Saying that, this method may not be for everyone but works wonders for me, and has helped me pass many exams. I mainly get use the cards pictured above from Paperchase, but you can pretty much cut some paper into rectangles and use that if you wish. I like the Paperchase revision cards (pack of 40) because the pack contains around 4 different styles (plain, lined, dotted and squared), meaning you can cover different topics on different cards (diagrams on plain, points on lined, equations on squared etc, can you see where I am going with this?). I also have a jumbo pack of cards (pack of 30) and a Spectrascope set of post cards (also used as revision cards) Before discovering the Paperchase ones I use to use a set from Rymans, but I hated that I had to pull each one out of a bounded book-type pack (I’ll link these in too).
- Paperchase revision cards with dividers and stickers(not the ones I have as they’re not online anymore, but these are very similar), £7.00: https://www.paperchase.com/en_gb/stationery/school-essentials/revision-cards-with-dividers-and-stickers-pack-of-40.html
- Paperchase jumbo revision cards, £5.00: https://www.paperchase.com/en_gb/stationery/school-essentials/jumbo-revision-cards-pack-of-30.html
- Spectrascope multi postcards, £2.75: https://www.paperchase.com/en_gb/stationery/photo-albums-scrapbooks/scrapbooking-accessories/spectrascope-multi-postcards-pack-of-30-paperchase.html
- Revision and presentation cards (Ryman), £2.99: https://www.ryman.co.uk/business/revision-and-presentation-cards-ruled-pack-of-48?&awaid=3326&utm_source=redbrain%2cRedBrain_Direct+Linking&utm_medium=shopping%2caffiliates&utm_campaign=css%2consite_link&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIj-uC36nt5gIVCbrtCh30qgVlEAQYDiABEgKXlPD_BwE&source=aw&awc=3326_1578257077_4bd55d981c2179fa9747003356c61832&utm_content=site_link
Page markers and everything else
And finally the last little bits. I use a lot of page markers/flags (first image) in my text books and notebooks. The ones I have are from Daiso (unfortunately also unavailable in the UK), they are pretty great because they have coloured ends with a plain white area to make a small note. As they are slightly wider than some others you can get, you can actually write enough on them so that it makes sense. I also have a set that you can see in the box from Flying Tiger (no online link- sorry, but cost around £1.50), they come in a nice small ring-bound book and have 5 sets of different sizes in the book. The foldable ruler is also from Flying Tiger and cost £1.00. Tiger has some amazing affordable stationery and bits instore, so if you have never been there before its for certain one to check out! The washi tape are from Poundland (again no online link), you get a set of 6 for £1.00, which is excellent value. I have the silver set, but I remember seeing a gold, bronze and bright set too. The small dotted stickers are another planner must. They allow me to colour coordinate events, dates and important stuff in my planner. They are available on Amazon, I won’t provide a link for these as there is many many options and colour schemes available, just head over to Amazon and search ‘coloured dot stickers’. I store all of these in a small gift box from Paperchase that comes with a black elastic ribbon to keep it held closed- convenient to have all these small things in one place.
- Paperchase small kraft gift box, £2.50: https://www.paperchase.com/en_gb/christmas/wrap/all-christmas-wrap/small-kraft-gift-box_1.html
So that’s it! It has just gone past 9pm and I have been sat here typing this up since around 4pm, so it has taken me quite a bit of time, but it has been worth it. I really hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Remember, this post is purely a display of stationery I have collected over many years, and I am not in anyway suggesting you have to go out and buy all of this stuff (you can if you want to lol). I hope you have enjoyed it and I shall see you all soon!