Are you looking for the best office supplies for your learning space? If so, you've come to the right place! In this article, I discuss different office supplies that can help improve your productivity and studying habits. As an instructional technologist, I’ve created my own learning environment and share with you some of the essential tools I use for lifelong learning. In this article, we will focus on non-electronic items.
When it comes to office supplies, there are many items we don't consider as educational technology tools because they have been around for so long. However, any tool we use for learning is consider a technology and we use these technologies to help learn and communicate. For example, imagine a long time ago when man first started chiseling out images on a cave wall. They had some type of tool to carve the images on the walls. Today, a paper and pencil are tools that also help draw images much easier than carving on a wall. Simply put, part of the field of educational technology is to examine the use of tools and how they can make learning more efficient, engaging, and easier. So, whether you're a student, teacher, parent, or just work from home, you'll be able to find tools for you to create the perfect learning environment.
Personalizing Your Learning Space
The first step in creating a learning space is determining where the learning space will be in your home. The desk is the central hub for most students, and I’ve wrote another article on selecting a desk. In this article, I focus on the basic supplies and tools. This is, by no means, a complete list, because each learner may have additional needs depending on what they are learning. By being prepared with the right supplies, it can help reduce distractions, save time, and provide a space that is conducive to learning.
In this article, I also provide images to products to show examples of the different varieties for each item that I would select or currently have in my learning space. As an Amazon Associate, I may receive a very small financial gain if you click on and purchase the items. This helps fund the cost of my time and web development so that I can freely share my expertise with you. However, it’s more important that you find what is right for you. I recommend you shop around and choose items based on your needs and costs.
It's also important to consider your personal style and preferences when choosing office supplies for your learning space. After all, you'll be spending a lot of time in this space, so you want it to be comfortable and inviting. If you're someone who likes to have everything within reach, desk organizers and paper trays may be a good option for you. Or if you prefer a more minimalist approach, choose items that can be easily stored away when not in use. And don't forget to consider the aesthetics! Choose items that match your personal style and decorate your learning space in a way that inspires you to learn. Display boards are great for posting your favorite inspirational quotes and schedules. By considering your personal needs and preferences, you'll be able to create a learning space that is perfect for you.
Shopping Guide for Office Supplies
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Clips and Fasteners
Clips are useful for keeping documents together when you don't want them stapled. Paper clips are the most common clip and come in different sizes, but they are not good for clipping large quantities of paper together. When clipping together many papers, use binder clips. Fasteners are also used to clip together documents and can make a document more attractive, like a bound book.
Staplers are useful for keeping paper documents combined and in a sequential order. If you often have many pages that need to be combined, consider a heavy-duty stapler. The mini stapler is great for carrying in a bookbag.
There are so many different types of tape available, and each type has a unique value. For a learning space, the clear adhesive tape is often the most common desk tape. But there are other useful tapes for a learning space. Consider double-side tape, which has adhesion on both sides. Those are useful for adding cut out images to another document or posterboard. Colorful duct tape can also be used for decorating the boarder of a posterboard. Masking tape is a paper-like tape used for labeling items, connecting items together and for painting.
A tape dispenser permits you to leave tape on your desk for easy access. Over time, these dispensers are cost effective because the tape cost less than tape that has the metal cutting edge.
Correction Tape and Fluid
Correction tape is a type of tape that is used to cover up mistakes. It is similar to masking tape, but it is thinner and has a sticky side. Correction tape is available in a variety of colors, so you can choose the perfect color for your needs. White correction tape is the most common type, but you can also find it in other colors, such as black and pink. There is also liquid correction fluid that comes in a bottle or pen.
Sticky notes come in a variety of styles and are used for a variety of purposes. The original Post-It Notes are commonly used to leave reminders or messages for others, but they can also be used to remind yourself. Other sticky notes help mark important pages in a book, draw attention to a particular location on a document, or to organize papers. Sticky notes are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes, so you can find the perfect option for your needs. Sticky notes are also repositionable, so you can move them around as needed.
The most common type of ruler is a standard ruler that is 12 inches long. Inches and centimeters are typically marked on rulers to help you measure items accurately. You can also find rulers that are made specifically for drawing straight lines. These types of rulers are called T-squares and they are commonly used by artists. Rulers are useful for more than just measuring the length of an object. Geometry sets with protractors and angled rulers are also useful to keep in your learning space. They are particularly useful tools for artists, engineers, architects designers, student projects, and teachers.
Scissors are another essential need for a learning space. They come in different sizes and sharpness. If you are looking for scissors for a young child, check to ensure they have a safer design for them. The most common pair of scissors that is about 8 inches long. You can also find scissors that are made specifically for cutting paper, fabric, or hair. It's actually good to have one or each. Paper and common items will often dull scissors, so it's actually good to have one common scissor in addition to having your specialty scissors.
Bulletin boards, also known as corkboards, are a type of board that is traditionally used to display important information. Bulletin boards can be made of different materials, such as wood, metal, or even fabric. They are often covered in a material like cork or felt to make it easy to pin things to the board. Some things you can pin to your bulletin board are schedules, color palettes, notes, and inspirational quotes.
Chalkboards come in many different colors and sizes, most common with a black or green background. You use them with chalk and the chalk can come in many colors and sizes. Chalkboards are great for home learning spaces for writing temporary notes, homework assignments, or brainstorming ideas. When you're done, you can simply erase the chalkboard and start again. Some chalkboards are made with a magnetic back so you can also use it to stick up magnets. You can also get removable adhesive chalkboard paper or paint for your walls.
Dry Erase Boards (Whiteboards)
Dry Erase Boards brighten up a room compared to chalkboards. There are many different types and sizes of dry erase boards available. They are considered a more modern type of chalkboard. Dry erase boards are also called whiteboards because of their white, shiny surface. They work with a special type of dry erase marker that allows you to erase the maker. Their white background makes it easier to read and the dry erase markers add vibrant colors to draw attention to particular writing on the board. In a home learning space, whiteboards are great for visualizing your projects or for writing inspirational quotes to motivate your learning.
Binders are a great way to keep your learning space organized and free of clutter. Divide your content with divider sheets to have a multi-purpose binder. This will reduce frustration by organizing your documents into themes or topics. Binders come in different widths and colors. Inside, there are different types of binder rings shapes, from round rings to D-rings. The D-ring helps keep the paper flat when opened and are particularly easier to use for 2" and 3" binders. You can also get binders that have a pocket on the front to slide in a customized cover sheet. The side of the binder usually has another pocket to slide in a label for each binder. Color binders are also great for categorizing binders by topic. If you plan to travel often with the binder, you might want to get one that is enclosed in a zipper with pockets to carry your other accessories.
Desk organizers are a great way to keep your learning space organized and free of clutter. By having a place for everything, you can reduce frustration and time locating things. There are many different types of desk organizers available, so you can find one that fits your needs. Desk organizers can help keep your desktop tidy while making easy access to things you use often. A desk organizer with compartments can help you sort and organize smaller items, such as clips and pens. A desk drawer organizer can help you keep track of small items like pens and paper.
Folders are also a great way to keep your learning materials organized by sorting folders into topics. The standard folder is called a 2-pocket folder. Some even have built in fasteners in the center to attach loose-leaf papers. These folders come in all different colors and even with pictures on them to capture your personal style. There are also folders without pockets. These are used to drop into hanging folders for file cabinets. Whether you're looking for folders to take with you or ones that drop into a desk or bin, you'll be able to sort your paperwork based on your needs.
Paper trays helps sort papers into similar purposes. I use paper trays to sort incoming mail, documents that need to be scanned, and different types of printing paper. You can find many ways of sorting based upon your needs.
Paper is an essential part of any learning space. It allows you to take notes, write down ideas, and complete assignments. They also come in both college-ruled and wide-ruled and are typically 8.5" x 11". I explain the difference between college-ruled and wide-ruled below. To organize loose-leaf paper, use binders with dividers for each topic or sub-topic.
Printer paper comes in a variety of brightness, thickness and coatings. The standard size is 8.5" x 11" with the legal size as 8.5" x 14". Cardstock is a thicker type of paper that is often used for projects or presentations. Colored paper can be used to add a pop of color to your document. Color paper is also great for color-coding similar documents. For instance, if you have five subjects you are studying, you can select one color to represent the syllabus for each subject while using another color to represent all homework assignments. They also sell recycled paper, which is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Three considerations for purchasing printer paper is the brightness of the paper, the coating, and the weight. The brightness is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. Typical printing paper is between 80 and 90. The brighter paper tends to cost more but is aesthetically more pleasing.
Coated vs. Non-coated Paper:
Coated Paper Uncoated Paper
• Gloss • Woven (smooth)
• Satin • Laid (texture)
• Matte • Linen (finer texture)
The linen paper is often used for business stationary and resumes because of the higher quality and impressive appearance.
Weight for Printer Paper
The higher the number, the thicker the paper. Typical printer paper is 20 pounds, with an optional 24 pounds having a thicker quality. The difference is in the appearance. Go with 24 pounds if you want to make an impression, such as if you are submitting a written report.
Spiral notebooks provide plenty of space for writing and they're easy to carry with you, since the notebook paper is connected together through the spiral bind, unlike loose-leaf paper. Both college-ruled and wide-ruled spiral notebooks are perfect for taking notes in class or working on assignments. The difference between college-ruled notebooks and wide-ruled notebooks is the space between the lines. College-ruled paper has 9/32" space between each line while the wider-ruled has 11/32" of space between each line. College-ruled notebooks enable you to write more on a page, but are better for students whose handwriting is smaller. And if you prefer a more minimalist approach, choose a notebook that has a smaller page size.
Hole punchers are useful for placing holes in plain printer paper to place in binders or use with fasteners. They are also useful for crafts and projects. Determine how and when you would use a hole puncher before selecting one. You may find that you need more than one type of hole puncher.
There are many different types of chalk available. White chalk is the most common type, but you can also find chalk in other colors. Color chalks add pizzazz to your chalkboard. Sidewalk chalk is another type of chalk that is made specifically for drawing on sidewalks or temporary wall murals. Liquid chalk is a type of chalk that comes in a pen and can be used to write on many surfaces. Liquid chalk, also called chalk markers, is perfect for writing colorful quotes on your chalkboard that pop out because they are bolder and smoother colors that look like markers but wipe off just like chalk. I even use them for home remodeling because they wipe off of many different types of materials and are easier to see (imagine hanging a TV mount on a wall).
A highlighter is a pen-like tool that is used to draw attention to a particular section of text. Highlighters are designed to be transparent to see the text underneath it. They come in a variety of colors, so you can choose the perfect color for your needs. Yellow is the most common color for highlighters, but you can also find them in pink, green, blue, and orange. Highlighters are perfect for drawing attention to important information in a book or on a document. A word of caution, when using bold highlighter colors, they can sometimes make the text difficult to read. There are many different types. The multi-colored or pocket one is great for carrying to school. Having a set of highlighters at your home learning space enables you to have many different colors to color code words, such as keywords, definitions, and facts.
There are also many different types of markers available. Some markers are permanent while others are temporary. Permanent markers are great for labeling items that you don't want to forget, such as books or notebooks. Temporary markers are perfect for writing notes or reminders that you'll need to erase later. Dry erase markers are also a type of temporary marker that can be used on dry erase boards. Dry erase markers are easy to erase and don't leave behind any residue.
Pencils are an essential item in your learning space organized and home. It's good to have a place for pencils throughout your house to easily grab and jot down something. There are many different types of pencils available; thicker ones for your kids just starting to use them, mechanical ones that always stay sharp, graphite ones for artists, and colored ones to colorize your writing. Whether you're looking for pencils that are easy to grip or pencils that have built-in erasers, you'll be able to find the perfect option for your needs.
Pens are an essential part of any learning space. They allow you to take notes, write down ideas, and complete assignments. While there are several different types of pens available, it's important to choose the one you like to use. Consider the type of paper you'll be using, the frequency with which you'll be using the pen, how neat your handwriting is with the pen, and your budget. Below we will wrap up this article by looking at a few options for pens.
Gel Pens are becoming increasingly popular for several reasons. The benefits of using gel pens: smooth writing experience, don't bleed through paper, less likely to smudge, longer life span, and some are erasable. Drawbacks of Gel Pens: more expensive, some require special paper, and they take longer to dry.
Eraser pens are a type of pen that has an eraser on the end. This can be beneficial if you make mistakes often or if you like to have the option to erase your work. They are also great for class notes because you may need to restructure your notes as you are writing them. However, there are some potential drawbacks to using eraser pens: they may smudge easier than other ink pens and the eraser wears down quickly. Gel pens are the more modern choice because they don't have erasers that wear down.
Ballpoint pens are the most common type of pen. They're affordable, easy to find, and offer a smooth writing experience. However, there are some potential drawbacks to using ballpoint pens: the ink can take longer to dry, and the ink may smudge more easily than other types of inks.
Felt Tip Pens
Felt tip pens offer a smooth writing experience and come in a wide variety of colors. However, there are some potential drawbacks to using felt tip pens: the ink may bleed through paper, may take longer to dry, and the tip may fray over time.