National Stationery Week: desk clutter or essential tools of the trade?
Did you know that this week is National Stationery Week? It was news to us, too! But it did get us thinking about our favourite or indispensable items of stationery.
My favourite item of stationery is my hole punch. It’s black, quite boring (you could say ‘chic’) and so old that I have no idea where it came from. It’s reasonably heavy duty (I can’t be doing with those dainty, light-weight models) and makes a very satisfying noise when it rips through a pile of paper. I couldn’t possibly keep on top of my filing without my hole punch and there’s something very satisfying about whacking holes in paper – especially towards the end of a particularly frustrating day!
Highlighters are a handy – and vibrant – addition to any pencil case. You can’t help but feel purposeful as you guide a fluorescent line across a selected piece of text. I sometimes find that just the process of highlighting helps me to recall a certain fact. And it’s a great way to manually uncover the essential elements of a document. The classic luminous yellow is my favourite, but I’ve also been known to create a little colour-coded system. I’m not sure I’m quite ready for the high efficiency of this 5-in-1 gadget though.
You can’t beat a fine-liner pen for the detailed work needed for proofreading. I’m sure these also have a Proustian element for me as my Dad used to do the most beautiful drawings in fine-liner pen when I was younger. I was completely obsessed with having neat handwriting and the delicate lines created by these pens certainly help in that regard.
For me, you can’t beat a good notebook. Without to-do lists I’d be lost: if I don’t write things down they don’t get remembered! I constantly have one in my bag and find great satisfaction in crossing things off my list. When I’m out and about I can quickly write things down and I know exactly where they are to look back on them. With modern technology there are so many alternatives but I can’t see myself moving away from pen (or more often pencil) and paper.
Ah, the stationery loved and lost over the years: the fountain pen, the (old style) propelling pencil, the wooden 12-inch ruler with the steel edge; the beautiful notebook with handmade paper, too good for everyday use and consequently never used. The list goes on. Today it’s the erasable red pen (other colours are available), Muji notebooks and the pencil case that unzips and folds back to become its own pencil ‘pot’. However, my all-time favourite, mostly because I’ve had it so long without breaking or losing it, is the plastic alligator pencil sharpener on little wheels whose mouth opens and shuts as you push it to and fro. It still sharpens, a bit. Meanwhile, the search for the perfect, small, pencil sharpener continues.