Welcome back to The Curiosity Concept!
Firstly, this week marks one year since I posted my first ever blog post here on The Curiosity Concept! TCC is officially one! Thank you to everyone who has ever read a post, liked or shared a post and commented or given me feedback. I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to visit The Curiosity Concept. And, yes, I am treating this occasion as a second birthday.
This post is a little different – I wanted to share the supplies and stationery that I use at university. I love getting insight into the things that other people use for their studies and I could genuinely talk about pens and highlighters all day, so this post is dedicated to all my fellow stationery addicts.
You can also follow The Curiosity Concept on Instagram to see the products I list below ‘in action’.
Before uni, I was never a backpack person. Never. But carrying my laptop, notebook, textbooks and other essentials around campus in a shoulder/tote bag became too much for my shoulders, and so I decided it was time to adopt the
With backpacks, I definitely look for comfort and convenience, but I also love a backpack that can go with my outfits and that suits my vibe. What can I say, I love functional fashion. There are plenty of backpacks that have a more athletic or edgy look, but that’s not really my style. Then there are other, more ‘fashionable’ backpacks but they’re just not practical – I cannot fit a 200-page Trust Law textbook into a cute, mini day backpack from River Island. So, as I was looking for a backpack to replace my well-worn Velvet Black Mi-Pac (available on Amazon), I was really surprised to come across this one from Berlin brand
My favourite features of this backpack include:
- The square shape
- It’s so spacious!
- The laptop compartment is a little larger than the average size, so my laptop fits in very nicely
- The z
ippedcompartment at the front is very handy
- The straps have a cool and unusual design
Check out my backpack here: ZIGN Rucksack
I have to be honest, the only reason I have the laptop that I currently own is because I wanted to copy my younger sister. When I saw her laptop that was touchscreen and could be folded back into a tablet, I was in awe. It was the same feeling as when you see a young child with a smart phone and reminisce back to the days when your first phone was your parent’s old flip phone that could literally only make calls, send texts and play snake.
So, after seeing my sister’s laptop, I got a gold version of the HP Pavilion x360. I like that it’s convertible and touchscreen because it means I can read and highlight e-books and PDF articles with more ease. It’s also useful for viewing content like videos.
Some cons that I do have to mention are that although it can be transformed into a tablet, I wouldn’t say that it’s both a laptop and a
Check out my laptop here: HP Pavilion x360 (this is the latest version of my model)
This may sound a bit strange and contradictory but when it comes to dairies and planners, I like to have a lot of freedom. Planning and freedom aren’t words you’d usually think of in the same context, but my Andante Dairy from Sticker Stack is the perfect embodiment of “planner freedom”.
The planner is
I also love the Andante’s aesthetic. The dairy features lots of pictures, some on a singular page and others featured as a double-page spread. There are also plenty of blank pages. This mix of images and free space creates a clean and calm aesthetic, which I think alludes to the meaning of the term “
This dairy features:
- 1 yearly spread
- 12 monthly spreads
- 54 weekly spreads
- 20 pages at the back, with pictures and blank space
Check out my planner here: Andante Dairy
This year I decided to buy a separate notebook for each of my modules, for taking notes in lectures and for my reading. I have found through some trial and error in the past two years that I learn really effectively by writing things down physically rather than digitally, so I’m trying to move away from relying solely on my laptop when learning and studying.
I’m someone who writes on both sides of the page. To be honest, I’ve never understood why you wouldn’t write on both sides, but I do admit that some paper can be quite thin and consequently the ink from one side can show through to the other. So, I chose to purchase a pack of the Oxford Campus Notebooks. The paper is 90 grams per square metre (GSM), with GSM indicating the thickness of the paper (the higher the GSM number, the thicker the paper). I really like this thickness because there is significantly less show through than with other notebooks I have used throughout school and university, which tend to be of 70-80 GSM. I’ve used gel ink, ballpoint ink, highlighter fluid and even washi tape on this paper and there is very little show through. The paper also just feels very nice.
The Oxford Campus Notebook tagline is literally “For people who write on both sides of the page” and I think the notebooks are very true to this statement.
Check out my notebooks here: Oxford Campus Notebook (5 pack)
I actually have two sets of pens, used for different things in my studies. For general note-taking, I use the BIC Cristal Grip pens – the staple of everyone’s pencil case, right? I’m sure we’ve all used the BIC Cristal pen at some point in time.
The ink in ballpoint pens definitely doesn’t flow as smoothly as it does in gel pens, and so you have to apply more pressure when writing, but I like that ballpoint pen ink dries very quickly and more importantly, doesn’t smudge. I’m an avid user of highlighters in my notes and I don’t
That said, I do generally prefer gel/rollerball pens because I’m able to write faster with them. My ability to write in exams was genuinely transformed when I switched from ballpoint to gel pens in exams. (Sidenote: sometimes a simple thing like the pen you use can have a big impact on your exam strategy. If you struggle to write in exams, maybe it’s because of the pen you’re using?) And because I don’t use highlighters in my exam answers, I don’t have to worry so much about smudging. I have been using the Pilot G2-07 Gel Ink Rollerball pens since
Check out my ballpoint pens here: Bic Cristal Grip pens – 8 pack
Decorative and felt tip pens
When taking notes, I like to use different coloured gel and felt tips pens alongside my ballpoint pens. Colour coding your notes is a good way for differentiating between types of information in your notes and for making information stand out on the page. Colour-coordinating your notes can also generally make note-taking more fun.
I have used the Muji 0.5mm gel pens for around 3 and a half years now and I love them. The ink flows so nicely, leaves a vibrant mark of colour and lasts quite a while. I actually need to get my hands on some more because I only have 5 left of the 12 pack I bought back in 2015.
In January this year, I bought the Muji Dual Tip Hexagonal Pens (it’s safe to say I’m a big Muji fan). I really like these pens and for essentially the same reasons as I love the gel pens, and I like how the pens look and feel. I also love the hexagonal packaging – it’s really nice for carrying the pens around neatly.
Check out the gel pens here: Muji 0.5mm Gel Ink Set – 12 pack
Check out the felt tip pens here: Muji Hexagonal Pen Set – 10 colours (note: I don’t think Muji sell the pens I have anymore, but these are very close)
I could have included my highlighters in the Pens sections, but I take highlighters very seriously and so they deserve their own section. I have tested a wide variety of highlighters throughout my life, from the random promotional highlighters that come in goodie bags, to the staple Stabilo Boss highlighters and the erasable Pilot Frixion highlighters. My criteria for a good highlighter are:
- minimal show through i.e. doesn’t bleed onto the other side of the page
- minimal to no smearing of pen ink underneath (but this also depends on the pen used)
- no ink-skipping
- long-lasting ink
- non-blinding colour, i.e. non-neon (personal preference)
Stabilo Boss highlighters definitely have vibrant colours and the ink is long-lasting, but I’m not a fan of the neon bright colours and the ink can often show through. I used the Pilot Frixion pastel highlighters for a while – from Year 12 to my second year in university – but I often had to buy more throughout the years because they didn’t last very long.
When I was looking for new highlighters to use for
Check out my highlighters: Iconic 2Way Pastel Pens – 5 colours
Other useful supplies
Washi tape – for decorating my notes
Check out my washi tape: Washi Tape Set – 40 rolls (yes, 40 rolls)
Post-it notes and sticky tabs – for marking my textbooks/reading and adding reminders to my notes
Purchased from Wilko and Flying Tiger
Pins and clips
Purchased from Wilko
As you can probably tell, I love stationery and trying out new and different products. I’ll update you when I change my supplies and stationery. Also, leave a reply or send me a message if there are any stationery products you suggest for me to try!
Until the next post, onwards and upwards!
Disclosure: This post contains product links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I will earn a commission. It comes at no extra cost to you, but it helps me to keep running The Curiosity Concept! I purchase all of the products reviewed on this blog myself unless otherwise stated and I always give honest reviews. I deeply value you taking the time to read The Curiosity Concept, so I am committed to maintaining integrity and authenticity on this platform.