Posted in Education Help and Advice, Life as a Research Student, PhD Journey

Useful stationery for your PhD

When I first started my PhD I was searching everywhere for the things I needed to buy for my PhD journey. I’m a little bit obsessed with stationery and I love any excuse to go out and buy some. I thought I would share some of my favourite stationery bits that have gotten me through so far!

Sticky Tabs.

Very similar to sticky notes but they are used to mark sections/pages on something and make things easy to find. These are especially useful for when you are reading textbooks for your PhD, you can stick them all over the place without actually marking the book. This is good for when you have a book you have borrowed from the library or one that you intend to sell on upon your PhD completion. I have a drawer full of them! You can get some plain colours from places like Wilkinson’s or you can get some cute ones from Etsy or paperchase.

Non-Dated Diary.

This is something which I discovered from Urban Outfitters and you can get from a brand called Oh Deer. What I mean by a “non-dated diary” is a diary that isn’t set for a certain set time. Usually when you buy a diary it will have dates for that year e.g 2018. But if you get a non-dated diary it has a section where you can put your own date into it, meaning you don’t have to buy a new diary every year because they are usually incredibly thick! I find these quite useful to make quick notes about meetings or what I need to do for the day.

Ringbinders/Lever arch files

This is an obvious one but you need to have some organisation. I really love the rounded ringbinders and lever arch files that you can purchase from WHSmith. They normally have an offer on for “three for…” and they have a wide range of colours from brights, darks to pastels. So you can get really creative and pretty with it!

Label maker.

This one might be excessive to some people but I absolutely adore my label maker. I can easily label my files, folders etc and know where everything is. I also use it on the edge of dividers within the files so I can see everything easily. You can get loads of colours of tape and loads of different types of labelmaker!

An “everything” journal.

This might not work for everybody but his definitely worked for me. The idea behind this is just to have one big notebook where you write everything into. You could have one of those notebooks that are essentially a mini binder so you can add/remove pages or you could just get a bit notebook and use sticky tabs to find things. It just makes it easier to grab one notebook and take it with you wherever you go!


Of course these are of particular use if, like me, you print out your articles and like to sit, read, scribble and highlight. I bought myself the big pack of a range of colours so I can easily colour code everything e.g. yellow is useful information, blue is contradicting information, green is something I want to critique etc.

Pens, pens and more pens!

I am a bit of a pen hoarder. This doesn’t help when it comes to conferences and they are so easily and freely available. You can never have too many pens! You will always need them so it is good to have a little collection going.

Things to bind paper e.g. stapler, paperclip

Having numerous ways to bind paper together is good for when you get given any pieces of paper, you print anything out etc. I would always recommend making sure you have a stalker and hole punch (necessities) but also for thicker pieces fold back clips and paperclips are useful. A lot of stationery places have sets that also usually include pins which I would highly recommend getting!

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