A few weeks ago, my family engaged in the usual end of summer tradition: back to school shopping. I have to confess I was more excited about that than the kids but not for the reason you might think.
Although I am glad my homework days are behind me, I still love school supply shopping. Walking through the Target aisles this time of year always gives me that same thrill of potential and possibility.
Grade school Anne looked forward to the day each August when she could pick out her new Trapper Keeper for the year to come. I don’t use one anymore (alas!) but I still enjoy filling my cart with supplies I know will serve me well in the months to come—pens and post-its and index cards galore—and then slotting them neatly into my desk drawers. That fresh stack of crisply packaged supplies looks like potential to me and just seeing them ready and waiting for me gets me excited about putting them to work.
I can’t be the only one who gets nostalgic when the school supplies come back out so I thought I’d share some of my favorites. Of course, I hope you’ll share your go-to school supplies for grown-ups in the comments.
The basics (i.e., the stuff I can’t resist stocking up on during back-to-school sales):
I use post-its and index cards every single day and would be helpless without them. While I don’t use Crayola markers much anymore, I use Sharpies all the time for planning and brainstorming on my gigantic post-its.
- Fresh markers (Crayola and Sharpies)
- Sticky notes
- Index cards
- Altoids and a little bit of chocolate (I keep both in my desk drawer)
All the pens and pencils
- All the pens. My favorites include: Pilot G-2, Pilot Juice, Pilot Precise V5, Uniball Signo Micro 207, Staedtler Triplus Fineliners (black | multi | grey), Pilot 4 Color Gel Ink Multi-Pen, Sakura Microns (black variety pack | multi), Pilot FriXion fineliners, Papermate Flairs, Sharpie pens (blue | multi), Le Pens
- Pencils. My favorites are the classic yellow Ticonderoga and The Blackwing.
- A good sharpener, like the KUM Wood Cutter and the Mobius & Ruppert brass sharpener.
Nerdy bookish accessories
- Post-It super sticky easel pads. I love these giant sticky notes for brainstorming. These smaller sticky notes (11″ x 11″) are great when I want a smaller and more portable option.
- Address and envelope guide—a handy tool for those of us that have trouble writing in a straight line (raises hand). I use a Lettermate, which is no longer in stock, but there are plenty of other great options at Paper Source or your local bookstore.
- Book darts have my heart, forever and always. I’m so thrilled we have some in our merch store!
- Notebooks. I’m a Rhodia reverse book devotee (bound | spiral) for brainstorming and note taking
- My journal lives on my desk: I use the Leuchtturm 1917 journal (lined | dotted | squared | plain) for planning purposes.
- My Reading Life: A Book Journal is a must for tracking my reading and I like to keep it on my desk. In my line of work, I find myself constantly referring to it to confirm what I recently read and to jot down what I may want to read soon. (There’s a new version available for younger readers: My Reading Adventures: A Book Journal for Kids.)
To corral it all
- Desk tray: this marbled melamine tray holds pens and pencils, an eraser, a few paper clips, and a dime (that I use to easily change my keyboard and trackpad batteries as needed).
- I love these versatile plastic desk organizers, and have them in a variety of sizes. I’m pretty sure Target envisioned them for bathroom storage use but I LOVE them for my office supplies.
- Small zippered pouches to organize the extras—and drop in my purse if I plan to do some journaling on the go.
Do you enjoy school supply shopping as much as I do? What do you keep on your desk and in your desk drawers? Please tell us all about it in comments!