My Stationery Essentials: Affordable Must-haves for Students

I hope those of you who went back to school this week got off to a smooth start. It’s only been two days and the work is already piling up for me. At the same time though, my sleep cycle has gone back to normal and my days feel so much more busy and productive – which is the way I like them!

I know you might think it’s a little late for a back-to-school post, but I think that stationery shopping should be an experience enjoyed more than just once a year… though I’m not sure my bank account would agree. I also left buying school supplies until I came back from New York which meant I didn’t have a chance to take photos and write this post until now. In this post, I am going to show you my absolutely essential stationery items as well as where you can get them – shoutout to Stella who gave me the idea!

stationery haul folders pastel highlighter pens


It might seem a little weird that I’m mentioning paper but believe me, not all paper is created equal. If you don’t want to spend an eternity putting sheets into plastic wallets or dealing with ripped pages, this refill pad is the way to go. The Oxford Campus Refill Pad above is from Whsmith and it actually lets you scan your notes by taking a photo of them! I admit I haven’t used this much but it’s a pretty cool feature to have. Also I used pretty inky pens for the notes above and the ink didn’t go through. The pens are the Maped Graph’peps Fineliners which are so easy to write with.

stationery haul folders pastel highlighter pens


I use an A4 folder to carry around the work I need and store each subject’s work at home separately in a lever-arch folder. Both the brown folder with the butterfly pattern and the grey folder with the golden pattern are from Wilko which is my go-to stationery store. I don’t think you can really beat it when it comes to of affordability.

stationery haul folders pastel highlighter pens


Fineliners may not be an essential for some people but these are an essential for me because they’re perfect for emphasising keywords, marking work or even just making your notes look a little bit more interesting. The ones pictured above are the Scribblicious Fine Line Coloured Pens which come as part of a pack of 30. I bought these from The Works (another one of my favourite stores) for a mere £4! And they’re great quality for the price.

stationery haul folders pastel highlighter pens


I’m not going to lie, I bought these highlighters partly because of how pretty they are. But I also find that using calmer, pastel tones makes a nice change over you standard harsh, neon highlighters. They also make you actually want to read your notes which is always a plus. I bought these STABILO BOSS Pastel Highlighters from Ryman stationery – an absolute bargain at only £4.

stationery haul folders pastel highlighter pens


The cute little pencil case is also from Whsmith. 11 year old me would have opted for a fold-out, fancy and potentially fluffy pencil case but 17 year old me prioritises practicality. I also prefer the wipable ones because there’s no danger of them getting dirty like the fabric pouches. And of course, no pencil case is complete without pens. My favourite pens are the Z grip pens – so easy and comfortable to write with! I also carry smaller highlighters in my pencil case for school. Both of these products are from Wilko although I’m sure you can get them elsewhere too.

stationery haul folders pastel highlighter pens

Sticky notes

Again, they may not seem like that much of an essential, but for me they really are. When it comes to reading, sticky notes are your best friend, I promise you. I’ve been reading quite a few books at once recently to try and finish them before I have to submit my personal statement  and it can get very confusing very quickly. What I like to do is take notes on larger sticky notes and using these smaller coloured ones to flag certain segments of the text. And the different colours mean different things: I use pink for bits I need to look over again, green for parts I find particularly interesting, yellow for real-life examples etc. This system is especially useful if you’ve borrowed a book because you can remove the sticky note notes (hah) and keep them for future reference. I prefer not to write in books that are my own either and still use this system. I don’t know if it’s just me that doesn’t like writing in books?!

Anyway, I received the sticky notes above on one of my work placements but you can get them pretty much everywhere. Here is a very similar set I found at Ryman.


I hope you found this somewhat interesting. If you’re still reading, where do you like to shop for your stationery? I’m always on the lookout for new places to shop.

15 Replies to “My Stationery Essentials: Affordable Must-haves for Students

  1. Can I just say… I LOVE your handwriting?! Your notes are so organized and aah the pictures are stunning. I didn’t know post its were helpful for reading – I usually just go through in one shot but maybe I should step back and take it in more often. Great post!

    1. Can I just say… this is the NICEST comment ever! Thank you so much; there’s plenty of mistakes up close, I assure you. And yep I’m very forgetful so I find them incredibly useful. Glad you enjoyed it! Xx

  2. Stationary shopping has always been my fav thing about starting a new year at school/uni! Since I graduated last summer I really feel like I’m missing something this September hahah! Defo need to get some notebooks etc just for myself c:

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