To me, stationary is SO underrated. When I was a student, nothing would make me happier than page dividers, pretty sticky notes and tabs, colourful pens, pastel highlighters, revision cards and an organised workspace. Not to mention, studying and working from home becomes SO much easier when you have the right resources (and doesn’t feel like such a task sometimes!)
The stationary essentials I list below are ones that I relied upon myself religiously throughout my studies. They are what has worked for me and ensured I could not just make those pretty revision notes, but also ensured I kept organised and smashed my exams.
If you buy your stationary online, I’d recommend ordering multiple items from the same website as you could be entitled to free delivery if you spend over a certain amount, and then you’re also not paying for delivery for multiple different sites! Paperchase seems to stock most of the things I suggest, and are also the company I shopped with most during my studies. Although some items can seem a little expensive, they are so worth it.
I could have made a list on the top 10 pen products alone, but I thought I would try and make this list cover a vast variety of products. Maybe watch out for that post soon! But for now, keep scrolling to read my top 10 stationary essentials you need.
And don’t forget to claim your student discount! Paperchase offers students 20% off and Ryman offers 10% discount. This makes their products super affordable.
1. Revision Cards
Revision cards are so handy for on-the-go revising. I would even take mine on walks with me just because they’re so handy! I mainly used the ‘Revision Cards with dividers and stickers – pack of 40‘ from Paperchase. I absolutely loved using these during my LPC because I would associate a different coloured revision card to each different topic (colour coding is my best friend). And, with 4 subjects, these revision cards were perfect. Each individual revision card has a slightly different design too (some are lined, some are graphed, etc!)
They tend to go out of stock pretty quickly, so if they have then I suggest buying the ‘Mixed revision cards – pack of 40‘ where you receive the same style revision cards, just without the holder.
The best ones I have used are by Stabilio. I’m a huge pastel fan, so anything pastel coloured is an instant buy for me. These won’t only make your notes look lovely but will make writing your notes not feel like such a task. You can buy them through Paperchase here. Or, Ryman sell the larger packs which can stand up by themselves (it’s the little things… ;)) which I found on their website here (at the time of writing, they’re on sale!). Otherwise, I’m sure you can find them through Amazon and your local supermarket too.
A little tip for you – I wrote all case law and statute in pink, so when I was going over the reading again or was trying to find information quickly, it stood out to me on the page and was a different colour to the rest. This helped with memory recall in my exams too.
3. A Diary
A good diary really helps you to keep on track with your days and, therefore, your revision. Being organised with your time and ensuring you’ve written down when your classes are, any meetings are that you may have, when you’re working, etc, will really help you to keep organised.
If you’re still looking for a diary to carry with you in 2021, I would suggest the Medium Agenzio White Flower 2021 diary. I purchased this recently (on sale!) and it’s brilliant as it gives you separate dates with a notes section on the opposite page. Plus, the quality is amazing. If you’re anything like me (which I know you are!) I find the diary’s with the ring binders often break easily and pages can easily fall out. So, you’ll want to get a diary that keeps all your pages secure, so go and grab it now!
4. Sticky Tabs
Sticky tabs are absolutely key in keeping your files and books organised. I tended to use the Rainbow sticky tabs from Paperchase as they were large enough to write information on and small enough to not overpower the work. However, closer to the exams (if you’re tabbing your books and folders), you’ll realise how easily the sticky tabs can rip if they are hanging out of your books and folders. So, using plastic ones might be a better choice. I tended to use the plastic ones called Kraft multi sticky tabs – pack of 600. They’re harder to write on but you can either get white stickers yourself to put over them or use a pencil to write on them instead of pen – a great little tip! Amazon also sell them (I’m not sure of the quality) but they’ve got great reviews and they’re a good price for how much you get! You can find the best ones I found here.
Paperchase also sell arrow sticky tabs called ‘Neon arrow 100 page markers‘ which are great for easily locating certain information.
I also purchased slightly larger ones from Paperchase which I stuck at the beginning of each workshop in my files and listed some of the main points/legislation from the workshop. Although they no longer sell the ones I bought, the Coloured sticky tabs are great (slightly small though) or the Pastel sticky notes set.
5. Pastel Highlighters
I use the Stabilo BOSS Pastel Highlighters and the cheapest I can find them is through The Office Supplies Supermarket here, or you can get them through Paperchase with a few extra colours in the pack here. Other places to purchase them would be places like Rymans, or even your local supermarket! I tended to go a bit crazy with the highlighters when I was completing any reading during the LLB and the LPC, so ensure you are highlighting carefully and not highlighting the whole page.
A little tip for you – As I have mentioned above with writing down all case law and legislation in pink, I also highlighted all relevant case law and legislation in pink, so when I was going over the reading again or was trying to find information quickly, it stood out to me on the page and was a different colour to the rest of the page. his helped with my memory recall in my exams too.
6. Page Dividers
Page dividers are key to keeping your files and notes organised. I used a page divider to divide every lecture/workshop I had to keep them all separate and keep my notes as organised as possible throughout my LLB and the LPC. I tended to use the Paperchase ones ‘Coloured A4 subject dividers – set of 10‘, as they’re plastic and come with some stickers to tab the page dividers (as you can’t really write on them), and also a contents page that you can pop into the front of your folders so you know where to find relevant materials and information. This saved me during exams and also encouraged me to keep my notes super organised. I found that these plastic ones were much better quality than any paper ones I bought, as the paper ones can easily rip (unless you take super good care of your folders and don’t shove them into your bag… like me). I did however buy a few paper page dividers from Paperchase called “Grey A4 divider inserts – pack of 10” and also WHSmith called “Extra Wide 10 Part A4 Card”. Click the links to take you to the products!
7. A Printer
Not ‘stationary’ as such, but something you definitely need as a student. The one I purchased was from Currys, specifically the HP Photo ENVY 7134. The printer is not only aesthetically pleasing (which sometimes makes buying something so much better), it really is super easy to use and SUPER convenient. You can scan documents directly to your email, print, photocopy, and much more. I set this printer up all by myself (like a proper adult) and didn’t struggle whatsoever, which is a first for me! (no judgement please).
Plus, right now, the printer comes with a 9-month ink subscription trial. Let me tell you – I SERIOUSLY relied on this as a student. (I swear you never realise how expensive ink really is until you have to do your own printing, huh?). You get free ink sent to you whenever yours runs out for 9 ENTIRE months. I bought mine around the time of exams last year and this was a real life saver to me when I had to print off my notes for my folders. There are multiple plans to choose from, but as you get the free trial, you can sign up for the most expensive plan for that 9 months. I personally utilised this and signed up for the Business Plan (usually £17.99 per month) and was able to print up to 700 pages per month. Go grab yours now!
8. Lever Arch Files (2 per module!)
It really doesn’t matter where you buy yours from (I usually bought mine from the Range or WHSmith – whichever are good quality that will hold your notes together well). The one pictured below is one I bought from The Range for £1.99 for my studies, and it has a locking mechanism to secure your work. I find that they’re a little expensive through Paperchase, but if you’d rather get all your folders from the same place as the stationary you may want to get that I’ve mentioned, Paperchase do great quality ones which you can find here, but they’re plain. I would highly suggest buying a different coloured one for every module It really helps me associate different colours to different modules, so if this is the case for you too make sure all your folders are different colours!
How I did mine during the LPC, was in the first exams I had:
- Purple for Business Law
- Red for Real Estate
- Blue for Dispute Resolution
During the second exams I had:
- Yellow for Mergers and Acquisitions
- Light blue for Law and Business
- Pink for Employment Law
- Grey for Intellectual Property
I also had 2 Lever Arch Files for each module on the LPC. One of the files had all the paperwork in such as the workshop bundles and points to note and any articles I had printed off for reading, and the other was a condensed file of notes where I had key information in such as my prep task and consolidation notes, workshop notes and anything I thought would benefit me in the exams such as graphs and tables I had either printed or made myself.
For every workshop I would condense the notes onto a brief A4 page of notes and put it at the front of the workshop in my File in my condensed folder of notes. This was so I was consolidating my understanding and was making sure I went over the entire topic for revision.
Places like WHSmith usually have great 3 for 2 deals or other deals on their files, so maybe check them out too!
As studying is currently mainly online, I understand that not everyone will still be using notepads to write their notes and instead may use their laptops or use their iPads/tablets, for example. But, I’ve found that writing down my notes in a notepad always helps me to retain the information easier. I think it’s so easy nowadays to quickly type something and forget about it. Whereas, if you write your notes down in a notepad (which you can also do now on your iPad), not only can you use your Fineliners and highlighters (suggested above ;)) but the information will be easier to remember. According to an article by Life Hack, when you start writing with a pen, complex processes start happening within the brain which results in you remembering information for longer.
I always tried to match my notepads with the colour of my files for that particular module (for example – yellow notepad for Mergers and Acquisitions as my lever arch file was yellow too). Colour coding REALLY helped me and this was just another way that helped me to retain information and recall it better (by thinking of the colour for that module!).
10. A Hole Punch
Something so simple but something so handy. Especially as we’re mainly working and studying from home, you’ll presumably be doing lots of your own printing. Gone are the days we can use University printers. Having a hole punch is something you definitely need if you want to get your notes organised and put into your own file. Hole punches are also great to have if your notepads don’t come with pages that are hole punched already. You can buy hole punchers from pretty much anywhere and they’re super cheap. I think I got mine from the Range for only £1! The Range do however also do pastel ones (whaaat!) which you can find here. They do tend to sell out super quickly, so make sure you enter your email to be alerted when they’re back in stock.
During the LPC, I swore by the LPC Answered book that is sold by LawAnswered.com. As we were only allowed to take in 2 Lever Arch Files of notes into our exams, I would photocopy the pages out of the LPC Answered book and hole punch them into my own notes. I know it’s different this year as you may be sitting your exams virtually, but having all your notes as organised as they can be will really help you in the exam! Law Answered also sell revision guides for LLB, GDL and PGDL too! You can find all of them on their website here.
Thanks for reading! I hope my suggestions are helpful to you and can benefit your revision and studies. I’ll be doing a ‘Top 10 Desk Essentials’ post VERY soon, so keep an eye out for that!
*Please note, this post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you purchase some products using my link, I may receive a small % of the money you spend.