Back to School Stationery Must-Haves

By Emma Davis

5th September 2018

Share this entry:

For a stationery fiend, seeing the hoards of ‘back to school’ stationery is a complete joy.  The masses of pens, pencils, notebooks, files and planners can keep us occupied for an age.  Contemplating what to buy is a challenge as it all looks so appealing!  We all have a need for hundreds of pens, right?!

As a teacher and Masters student, there’s usually plenty I need to stock up on ready for the new school year.  This year, I’ve been very lucky to receive a helping hand with my stationery supplies.  With the help of Uni-Ball, The Happiness Planner, Paper Station and Pukka Pads, I have everything I need for the Autumn term.


Uniball pens

Uni-Ball produce some of my favourite pens which I come back to time and time again.  I’m a bit of a pen fanatic and my pencil case is always bursting at the seams!

Uni-Ball kindly sent me three sets of pens to try – the ‘Handwriting’ pen which is a liquid ink roller ball, ‘Jetstream Colours’ and the ‘Signo 307’ gel ink roller ball.  I tested them out with my left handed teenage daughter who is also developing a pen fascination.  The handwriting pens write like a fountain pen but without the mess you sometimes get.  When writing, the ink glides across the paper, leaving a smooth line which looks neat and professional.  The Signo 307 roller ball has a comfort grip which goes some way to eliminating that sore finger feeling which I often get.  My daughter was really impressed that there was no smudging as she was writing, something she frequently finds a nuisance as a left hander.  They have already made their way into her pencil case ready for Year 10!

The Jetstream Colours include black, dark blue, light blue, green, orange, pink and purple rollerballs.  They are fabulous to write with, requiring almost no effort at all – although I was not prepared for these to be stolen by my daughter!  The Jetstream Colours are going to be perfect for both work and Uni when I often have the need for a range of bright colours for making notes and annotations.  I love the bright colours which pop from the page.

Pukka Pads:

Pukka pads

The A4 Pukka Pads ‘Project Books’ are always my go-to choice for University.  The pads are split into four sections, useful for organising modules and keeping notes safe over the year.  A necessity for me is paper which is thick and smooth to write on, meaning the pen doesn’t drag when writing and ink doesn’t seep through.  A4 Pukka Pads are perfect in that regard!  The plastic dividers feature paper tabs which can be removed for writing on, handy for labelling in order to find things quickly.  Each divider has a pocket which I use for storing notes and handouts.

The A5 ‘Jotta’ pads I use as work notebooks.  The quality paper means no ink run through to the following page.   They’re the perfect size for popping in my work bag and the strong cardboard cover is durable and long-lasting.

I’m terrible for making notes on scrap pieces of paper then struggling to find them or make sense of them.  The memo steps set with a bright, stripey pen is going to transform my work life.  The memo pad is made up of removable post it notes.  A feature I particularly like is that the strong spine allows for the pad to be flipped from colour to colour without splitting.  The hole in the top houses the pen, meaning you’re never searching for a pen when the telephone rings and need to jot down a message.  This fantastic item of stationery will live next to my phone so that messages can be taken easily, ripped from the pad and passed on.  I’ll never lose a message again!



PaperStation are a local business, providing office supplies to over 5700 customers nationally.  They can supply everything for a classroom including arts and crafts resources, stationery, electrical equipment and furniture.  With a huge choice of over 45,000 quality items and free delivery, I know where to go for classroom supplies.  A huge benefit for me is that next day delivery is available on most items.  Next time I use the last drop of PVA or last sheet of sugar paper, there’s no panic!  The customer service is incredible – prompt replies to emails, an easy to navigate website and a helpful, knowledgeable sales team.  Nothing ever seems too much trouble for them which is great when you’re ringing at 6pm with an emergency order!

My ‘back to school’ stash, kindly supplied by PaperStation includes a useful desk pad where I can record important reminders for the week.  Similarly, the giant wall planner will help ensure the classroom runs smoothly.  Staff absences, training days, visitors and school holidays will be easily seen by all, helping with planning and time management.

The general stationery ‘must haves’ mean I’m all set for the Autumn term.   With files, pads, pens, highlighters, correction fluid and blu-tac, I’m feeling more organised and prepared than ever.  My only worry now is to make sure others don’t take too much of a liking to my supplies…there’s only one solution – order more so there’s enough to go around!

The Happiness Planner:

Happiness planner

There are times when working in Early Years, as much as being a joy, can be a cause of worry and stress.  I sometimes find it difficult not to overthink and work worries often come home with me.  I think the Happiness Planner is the answer to my problems – this product stunned me when it arrived as it is just so special and unique.

The planner oozes luxury, right from the gorgeous embossed box which it comes in.  After much excitement, I opened the box to discover the most impressive planner I have ever seen.  The front section is a happiness triumph which I couldn’t wait to dip into.  There’s much to devour and inspire, described as a ‘happiness roadmap’ which includes exercises to help you think about what makes you happy and fulfilled.  What is your definition of happiness? What are your strengths? What are you grateful for and what is holding you back?  There’s so much to think about and reflect on.

Split into months with easy to use tabs, it’s quick and easy to flip between months to record important dates and reminders.  At the start of each month, there’s a double page spread allowing you to view the whole month at a glance.  There’s a useful plan for the month ahead which includes a focus for the month, personal and professional goals and happy things you have planned to do.  Each day, there’s an inspiring quote plus a schedule, to do list, notes, good things about the day, what you’re grateful for and what you’re excited about for the next day.  This planner offers a fantastic way to gather your thoughts, be inspired, put to bed worries and look back on achievements over the year.

Also included with the planner are a selection of A4 sheets, encouraging reflection over the previous year, a vision board for the coming year, goals, resolutions, a bucket list and much more.  Not forgetting the beautiful rose gold pen, paper clips and mini bull dog clips.

The Happiness Planner will be my saviour this year.  I’m not usually very good at keeping a diary but this is something different – I’m already feeling motivated and inspired to use this incredible planner as a well-being tool for my personal and professional life.  Thank you to The Happiness Planner for supplying me with such a wonderful product.

The products in this blog were supplied to Emma Davis free of charge by Uni-Ball, Pukka Pads, Paper Station and The Happiness Planner.

Why attend Childcare Expo?

Join over 2,500 like-minded individuals from the early years sector who are dedicated to improving both practice and their childcare settings.

Attend educational seminars to credit your CPD

Meet the experts to have your questions answered

Receive fantastic onsite offers and discounts

Experience expert-led informative hands-on workshops

Network with peers and industry players

Pick up hundreds of new product ideas and services

And most of all, enjoy a great day out with your colleagues

100+ exhibitors | 1000s of industry players | 100s of experts