Three Things: Office Supplies

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.
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January 19, 2016

desk pen situation

Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows I love office supplies. It’s a little ridiculous. Which is one reason I try really hard to not fall too much down the rabbit hole. I don’t always succeed. This time of year is especially hard because all the pretty planners and goals to organize one’s life once and for all.

Black Fineliners

I have so many of these scattered around the house it’s not even funny.

Starting with my dad’s discarded Flairs (usually with mashed tips) when I was very small, then a sojourn into Pilot Precise V5s in high school, I discovered Sakura Microns in college in the early 90’s and used them almost exclusively through my college career (alternating with a long discontinued line of Pentel gel pens–depended on how much money I had in the checking account; then, as now, Microns were more expensive than gel pens). For my daily drawing habit, I really like black Pitt Artist Pens, but for my planning, I’ve really been enjoying Copic Multiliner SPs–in part because you can replace the nib and ink reservoir and they feel vaguely less wasteful. I’ve been buying them one-off as I feel the need for different sized nibs–I have the 0.1, 0.2, 0.25, and 0.3–I have a very strong preference for nibs on the finer side.

I’ve also tried Uni Pins, which are a very solid and affordable choice–I have a few of them hanging about on my desk and I use them in my Hobonichi, which I use as an evening journal to write about random things that happened during the day. I’ve also tried the disposable Copics, but didn’t like them as well–I much prefer the feel of the reusable ones.  Let’s see…what else? I’ve sets of Staedtler Pigment Liners and Ohto Graphic Liners at work, but I don’t use them much. Not sure why, because I have no objection to them, but they’re not what I reach for when I reach for a pen.

So, yeah. Black fineliners. I love them. (All sorts of pens I haven’t tried yet at that link… so tempting!)

3″ x 5″ Index Cards

I almost always have some of these nearby–they’re great for quick notes or a doodle or wiping extra paint off your brush or testing a color out or… They don’t feel too precious to use (as nicer sorts of paper often can), but I do have a couple of “fancier” kinds as well. Nothing as fancy as the Levenger ones, but I do have a couple stacks of the now-discontinued Frictionless Capture Cards, and a small stack of the extremely nice (especially with fountain pens!) Nock Co. Dot Dash cards. But my mainstay are the ones you can get at any office supply store–I do have a slight preference for Oxford over Mead, and never get the off-brand because those will be too thin and that way lies sadness.

Pen/Pencil Cases

Once you have a huge quantity of pens around, you need something to carry them around with you with. And JetPens has a lovely selection of pencil cases and I want all of them, oh yes I do. I also like the selection at MochiThings–I have this one and it’s great. You can fit a lot of stuff in it. But, funnily enough, my current pencil case is a repurposed makeup case I picked up at Target. It’s small so I can’t over stuff it and it’s easy to fit into my current handbag and it has a pretty pattern (you can see it at the bottom of the picture at the top of this post).

Other office supplies I find enjoyable: blank books, fountain pens, ink, Clairefontaine notebooks, pretty much everything at Goulet Pens, washi tape, cute Japanese stickers, and the occasional trip to this website to drool over this incredible German notebook holder.

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2 Comments

  1. Lee

    Oh all of these!! I have some of those, and I try to stay away from the Jetpens site because whoa! So Many Cool Pens, and also ALL THE POCKETS… I’ve been experimenting with making my own covers for sketchbooks and notebooks, that have pen pockets and holders and places to stash things.

    Also how is the bullet journal going? I read a bunch of things from your pointer to them, and they look interesting and also maybe not for me.

    • Natalie Luhrs

      I don’t go to JetPens very often for the same reason–I’m way too likely to buy ALL THE PENS. It’s so hard when they have new ones for me to try, though… The bullet journal is working out really well–I’ve only been doing this since the beginning of the month, but I feel a lot more organized and on top of things and it’s nice to have one place to write everything down.

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