I’m a sucker for good school supplies. The right highlighter can make a boring chapter feel manageable. A luxurious pen can make note-taking fun (or, at the very least, bearable). A good planner can make time management a breeze. If you’re looking to upgrade the tools in your academic toolbox, you need to check out these seven school supplies we’re absolutely loving right now.
Sharpie S-Gel Pens
Receiving five stars from a self-described “pen snobs” and “pen connoisseurs” in the reviews, these are going to quickly become your favorite. They’re retractable so don’t worry about losing caps, feature a comfort grip, and the ink dries almost instantly so you won’t have to deal with messy, smudged writing (the woooorst). Get some of these pens. Trust us.
BIC Brite Liner Pastel Highlighters
If neon is your thing, more power to you, but after awhile my eyes need a break. These pastel highlighters are a great reprieve from traditional, blinding highlighters. Plus, I’m a big fan of the colors so it makes annotating so much more enjoyable! The chisel tip means you can use this to underline or highlight – which is great for those of us who go a little highlighter crazy and need to alternate styles so the entire page isn’t a block of highlighter. Plus, text is easier to read through the pastel colors.
The Enrichery’s Academic Planner
Sure, this is totally a shameless plug, but who better to design a holy grail academic planner than school-supply-obsessed people like us?! Stay organized and on top of everything on your plate with The Enrichery Planner. Created by executive functioning experts, the Planner contains to-do lists, calendars, study skill sheets, and other tools that will become key parts of your homework routine.
FriXion Erasable Gel Ink Pens
Love writing with pens but suffer from commitment issues? These are for you. These have an insane 62,500 five star reviews on Amazon, and you’ll see why. These pens have “thermo-sensitive gel ink” – I can’t tell you what exactly that is, but I can tell you that it glides on smoothly and erases just as easily. I am way too Type A to scribble things out when I make a mistake in pen; in fact, I’ve been known to throw entire pages away and start fresh. With erasable pens, I don’t have to!
Some people might think that using a planner and a wall calendar is neurotic, but hear me out. I keep my planner in my bag and I bring it with me everywhere I go. When I get home, I often stow my bag in a closet or on my desk. I don’t want to go fetch it every time I need to see what I have coming up. On my wall calendar, I mark all my big exams and due dates, appointments, social events, and so on. It hangs in my kitchen so I can easily glance at it throughout the day to make sure I’m not missing anything major.
If you have trouble focusing on the task at hand (and who doesn’t, from time to time?) then the Pomodoro Technique might be a great idea for you. Click the link to read more, but in short, this technique consists of setting a timer for a certain amount of time (i.e. 20-30 minutes) and focusing for that long. When the timer goes off, you take a five minute break. Repeat four times, and take a longer break after the fourth “pomodoro.”
I’ve tried a lot of different organizational systems, but after much trial and error, I’ve settled on this. At the beginning of each semester, I label each folder with the name of a class. I also label one folder “Personal.” This is where I place syllabi, handouts, forms, graded papers, and everything else – all neatly organized by class. When I need something related to any subject, this is the first place I look. Basically, it’s a catch-all for every course, it ensures I have everything I need at all times, and it keeps my bag from becoming a disorganized mess.