What stationery I actually use: 2021 edition

I’ve actually been craving writing a blog post, which is a really a nice feeling. I think since opening The Stationer, I can’t quite work out where this blog sits. As it’s now attached to a shop it feels a bit weird to potentially recommend other stationery shops, and equally I feel a bit icky only posting about things from the shop because then it just feels like one big advert, and that’s not what I want this to be. But I think a lot of blogs which have ended up having some sort of shop attached do manage to walk that line well, so I’d like to try too!

So with that said, I used to share a “what stationery I’m actually using” post every so often so I think it’s high time I did again! And yes, a lot of the items are available in the shop BUT that’s a testament to the quality of them – I only sell things that I genuinely rate and love – and you’ll see with many of these items I’m able to link back to blog posts from YEARS ago from when I first discovered and fell in love with them.

Pens & Pencils

When I look at this selection, I realise that I’m quite a traditionalist at heart, especially colour wise. So from left to right:

  • Kaweco Skyline Sport in mint green: My OG fountain pen (reviewed here wayyy back in 2014!) I just love this pen. Not even a particularly fancy fountain pen, but it makes me feel fancy when I use it all the same. It’s the perfect size for my small hands and still writes like a dream. Just perfection. Available at The Stationer here. And on the very right hand side, Kaweco ink cartridges in midnight blue. I’m obsessed with the packaging of these. Simple and perfect. And I love a blue black ink.
  • Mark’s Inc Tous Les Jours Ballpoint. Again, this is one I’ve had for YEARS. Bought on a whim (I think because I was trying to make up the free shipping minimum on Bureau Direct’s – sadly no longer around – website) and I have never looked back. I kind of remember at the time thinking, gosh, a fiver is quite a lot to spend on a ballpoint pen but I hadn’t anticipated just how satisfying I would find that pen to use. OF COURSE, this obsession has led to me selling them, available here in a plethora of colours, and I know that my customers love them too because they are one of my top sellers and people always come back for more. They also take refills so can last as long as you want them too – hence my one looking a little bit battered, but well loved.
  • Le Pen in Oriental Blue. Another one I blogged about way back when. I’d discovered them when I was handed one to pay a cheque in New York and was immediately obsessed. I then found it pretty impossible to get in the UK. When I opened the shop I knew I wanted to stock them but again, I was finding it impossible to get anyone from Marvy Uchida (who make them) to answer my emails. But my persistence paid off this time and I manage to import some. I think it’s safe to say they’re my best seller now and for good reason. They have a super fine line and come in a great selection of colours. Available here.
  • Papermate Flair. I’m pretty sure I stole this from the stationery cupboard from work at some point (sorry work), on a rare occasion when there was anything other than the bare basics bic biros in there… But I have used this pen to write every single thank you note in The Stationer orders since it began 4.5 years ago. So it’s safe to say they last a while! It’s perfect for the job because it has a great firm felt tip, and a good 0.8mm line – the ideal sign pen for me.
  • Blackwing Natural. I love a Blackwing. The background of the company, the style, the pencils. I can’t say I’m an expert, I certainly haven’t tried all the limited editions (although there are so many now, I’d be impressed if you have!) but this is my favourite. The lead is “extra firm”, which is pretty similar to an HB, and I love the natural (hence the name) wood finish. And yes, of course I sell them here.
  • Livework Multi Gel Pen. This one kind of compensates for the absolute lack of colour imagination in this line up. Although the pen itself is blue, it has 4 inks – pink, brown, teal and black. This is for when I want co colour code my to do/planner pad a bit. I always favour a super fine line, and this gel pen definitely has that. And whilst I do sell these, my distributer hasn’t had them in stock for aaaages, which is frustrating, but you can sign up for notifications on my site if you want to know when they’re back in stock.
  • M+R Double Hole Brass Sharpener. An absolute classic, one I’ve had for years and knew as soon as I opened the shop that I wanted to stock them, even though it took me a few years to get around to it.

Paper

It’ll be no surprise that I’m mainly using my new Mini Shapes Planner Pad (which I wrote about here) because let’s face it, I made it predominantly for myself (but am so happy to see them out in the world being used – the first batch of 100 are nearly all gone!) I actually did an Instagram Reel about how I use it so I’ll let that explain it for me!

The other thing I’ve been using – especially before the planner pads arrived – is a Troll’s Paper 302: Free Planner. I love this planner SO much. I seem to be going through a bit of a Korean stationery phase. The simplicity of the clean cover is right up my street (although, as you can see on the right hand image, my 3 year old got his hands on it – gahhh), it has great paper quality and a really useful layout; undated monthly overview grids at the front of the book, weekly planner pages next to notes pages for the biggest section in the middle, and a dot grid notes section in the back.

I actually randomly came across this brand when looking for a planner/notebook for Harry for Christmas. He really wanted a Hobonichi Cousins but they were out of stock everywhere so I ordered this one and a Stalogy 365 Notebook for him to try. Once he’d decided the Stalogy was for him, rather than send the Trolls Paper one back I kept it for myself and I have no regrets. I don’t yet stock these, but let’s just say it won’t be long before I do!

So there we go – what I’m using most right now. Let me know what you’re loving! I’m going to try and diversify my usage a bit, I think, and will check back in soon.

(will not be published)