For many people, September brings the start of another academic year, and so this September there is a new series on amyjanealice, the “Back to School” series. It will be suitable for all students, school, college or university and you’ll find posts on a range of things, from stationery to snacks to makeup looks. The first post in my “Back to School” series is a roundup of all the supplies you will need during your academic year. I’m about to start my second year of university, and have now got everything that I could possibly need. It can’t just be me that gets excited at the thought of buying pens and notebooks and diaries? Well I hope not anyway…

First up, the obvious ones: pens and pencils*. I say they’re obvious but the amount of times I’ve turned up to a lecture and have had to frantically search my Mary Poppin’s bag for any sort of writing tool is embarrasing really. Though this year I’m determined to stay organised! A good pen is the difference between useful notes you can look back on in a few months time and a piece of paper with scrawls on you spend 15 minutes trying to decipher. I also like to have pens in different colours to make lecture notes a little prettier and more organised, so these super cute Papermate coloured pens from Viking* are perfect! Highlighters were really useful for me last year, especially when writing assignments as I could highlight important notes for future reference, and Tipp-Ex* is a must if you’re a bit like me and hate having to cross things out. It just ruins the whole page, right?! Rulersrubbers and sharpeners also kind of go without saying. Of course for all these little bits and pieces, you need a pencil case to put them in.

In school you’re usually provided with books to write in, but for those of us in college and university, a good notebook is super important! I like to use project books as they usually have dividers in, which means I only need to take one notebook to uni with me and I can easily flick between modues. I tend to buy Tesco’s version as they’re a bit cheaper. Pukka Pads are also great to carry around with you, especially in A5 size as they fit in most bags and don’t weigh a lot, for those days without many lessons. Plain A4 paper is really convenient to have around, especially when you’re writing assingments; you can use it for note taking, drawing mindmaps or for printing work off. This A4 paper* is such great value for money, as it can sometimes be quite expensive. Post-It Notes are also a great desktop essential. I used them a lot when I was revising for exams and they’re always handy to keep on your desk in case inspiration strikes and you need to write it down fast! Similar to Post-It Notes are these tabs*. I use them to stick on certain pages of my textbooks, as I hate folding corners. It means you can always find your place again quickly and you can even get arrow tabs to point to a specific paragraph or word!

Now for organisation! Diaries are always an essential took in organising your academic year for keeping track of homework, assingments, exams and appointments, and keep your eye out for an exciting opportunity coming up involving a personalised diary… If you’re spending a lot of time writing your nice, neat notes in your new notebooks, you need to make sure you store them properly so that they don’t get damaged or lost. I use Tesco lever arch files and plastic wallets* to put my lecture notes in, with the date clearly written on so that when it comes to future work, I can find exactly what I’m looking for you. You could even go one step further and create a contents page, or use dividers like me so that you can find a particular lecture’s notes fast. Document folders are also a great way to present your assignments in. Last year I bought a pack from Tesco for a fairly low price, and used them all. They made my work look a lot more professional too! A different type of storage but just as important, is a USB flash drive. I don’t need to be patronising and explain how one works, but I will say that mine was so handy last year, especially for presentations. This 8GB USB* is so cheap but is actually really great – bargain! Staplers and holepunchers are also quite useful, but I didn’t use them much last year if I’m honest. The plastic wallets took care of any holepunching needs and I use clips like these* to keep any papers together.

I love buying stationery, as I mentioned before, and Viking are a great online store that quenches any stationery lovers thirst. I also buy a lot of things from Tesco, because it’s convenient, and occasionally from Wilkinsons as they have some really cute bits. I’ve tried to include everything you would need, but if there is anything blindingly obvious that I have missed out, please do comment!

Some of the items featured in the post were sent to me for consideration, and are marked with an asterisk.