Students are well underway their first days and weeks of school across the country from public ed to college.  This semester our youngest bro starts up his first month at community.  I’m familiar with school supply budgeting whether for supplies I bought myself during my school years or for my younger brothers throughout their school years.  At the same time, while looking for the most cost effective deal it started to become important to me to look for the best quality deal too. I’m real particular about the supplies I buy since I see every tool I’m going to use as an investment to a long term goal these days.  So It’s not just a notebook for the semester, it’s a notebook student’s need to hold onto to reference for future study, planning, and note taking.  To me, notebooks are like non-disposable scrapbooks.  I didn’t always think like that until I started realizing early on in my undergrad years that I wasn’t paying enough attention in class to really capture anything worth writing notes about.  At the time, supplies were more about meeting the instructor’s requirements solely for that semester and then trashing everything once I confirmed I passed.  It wasn’t until I started taking classes I really cared about and engage in research projects and activities that I started to accumulate a lot of stuff, including notes, old notebooks, tons of books, technology (CPU’s, laptops, digital UBS’s, external hard drives, etc.), and other items.

This past week I offered to help my brother look for some supplies.  I decided to make my first stop at Office Depot which is where I’ve discovered a lot of useful supplies for work.  While I know the cost is higher, there’s also good quality, especially when it comes to binders, sheet protectors, dividers, etc.  Going through the shelves at Office Depot this past week though I couldn’t believe how outrageous the prices have become.  Whether we’re talking about post it flags, binders, dividers, sheet protectors, even paper and other standard materials, everything was hiked up to Doom’s Day prices… there was literally no point shopping there.  Especially when I discovered the difference comparing prices as I searched through Amazon using my mobile phone.  It seemed like two different worlds.  I was relieved we at least had options and walked out.

Here’s goes the supplies we’re picking up:

Post-it-flags: click here 

This supply is all about reading comprehension.  It goes back to reading for a purpose and tracking the most important and relevant parts of a text.  It’s the sort of supply that I hope finds its way into e-book reading, along with bookmarks (if it hasn’t already). These kinds of tools are intended to foster a serious approach to reading.  I was inspired to use post it flags after observing a classmate during my undergrad years handle her presentation with ease able to locate and reference back to key points in her text.  Being able to create a trail or a map back to what I was reading improved my reading comprehension and gave the time I was investing in reading more purpose since you tend to interact more with a text if you want to track words & thoughts that matter to you.

Wilson Jones 1.5 Inch Binder (Pack of 4): click here

Starting out a semester is all about organization.  Especially for students that are transitioning from public school ed into higher learning.  I take binders serious today because of my childhood collecting trading cards.  Back then, it was the best way to preserve your most prized trading cards.  Today, its the best way to treasure what we’re learning.  Wilson Jones are a preferred brand because of the sheets you could place inside the plastic covering, including the spine identifying course work/subject.  Wilson Jones is the way to go and the Amazon site includes white or black.  At store retailers you’re bound to find other colors as well, though far more expensive.  We’ve selected 1.5 inch to ensure we’ve got the space needed to cover the whole semester.  I have Wilson Jones binders that I’m still using after several years, long lasting item here.

Wilson Jones Tab Dividers (8 per pack): click here

Again, its all about organization.  Whether a student is dealing with notes, graded papers, assignments/guidelines, and other handouts.  Dividers go back to those lessons we picked up in public school when teachers were reviewing notebooks and expecting to see that students were retaining what they were learning.  It translates over just the same when we’re dealing with how we organize items on our computer.

Avery non-glare Sheet Protectors (100 pack): click here

I never liked when important documents I had were ripping out of the three ring holes I’d punch into em to place in a binder.  Sheet protectors don’t come cheap but they’re totally reusable over time.  Utilized specifically for the most important of documents, including syllabi, guidelines, and so much other paperwork students receive related to their course plan.  I choose the non-glare cause it’s much cleaner and much more legible under the lights of an office or classroom.

Zebra Cadoozle Pencils Fresh Design (28 pack): click here

You won’t be pencil fighting with these.  The coolest pencils on the market.  Ideal for note taking to avoid the smudging of ink and what’s cool is the standard Zebras look like old school pencils too.  This is the first time I’ve seen the design we have linked above.  I’ll have to steal one of the record designs from my brother’s pack.  28 pack is more than enough to last, unless you’re the type to always lose pencils.  Recommending a pencil case or binder pouch if that’s the case.  Ever since discovering Zebra pencil’s brand I haven’t dealt with any other brand of pencil since.

Pentel Super Hi-Polymer Lead Refill (90 piece): click here

For when its time to reload!!  Between the lead refills and the Zebra pencil, you have a long term supply for writing notes or jotting down notes in text books.

Pentel Clic Eraser Grip (3 Pack): click here

A resource to go along with the Zebra pencil and lead refills.  I haven’t run the eraser down to it’s end since.

Post it Super Sticky Notes (300 sheet lined): click here

Sticky notes are listed as a requirement in my brother’s English class.  Lined to write on, a preference from what’s available.

Altra Parsons Study Desk w/ Drawer: click here

One thing my father set up for me growing up is a work space.  Especially as I got closer to high school graduation, Dad made sure I had a desk to write on and use my computer.  Space is critical for student concentration, especially as the information age and digital world continues creating tools of mass distraction.  For my brother there is not a lot of quiet space in the house so this desk w/ drawer is economical for the space he needs to concentrate and focus.

Mead Spiral Notebook (4 Pack): click here

I like loose leafs personally since I end up scanning everything. In the past few years I’ve started digitizing just about everything I write after accumulating far too much stuff years prior.  It’s created some challenges when its time to access stuff that’s stored in boxes and difficult to locate.  To have the information scanned and organized digitally allows quick access.  Nevertheless, for those basic courses, having those spiral notebooks are a good compliment with the 1.5 inch binders.  For quick note taking.

We’ll be sharing more on supplies for school and work on our Twitter page @every1plays.

All best to students this Fall!