And we are back for round 2 of the back-to-school stationery series. I’m aware it’s already the end of August and some of you are even back in school already, I apologize for the tardiness, but I’ve been out searching high and low (okay, not really) for the best items to recommend. This time, I’m combining mechanical pencils and highlighters into the same article. Most people don’t realize this, but these two items can really make or break your notes in school. Uncomfortable mechanical pencils make your fingers ache and discourage you from actively noting down the things your teachers have to say, and even your thoughts on the subject as the lesson goes. Highlighters have been the bane of my note-taking life for a long time, because most of them are too wet and will soak through pages of your notebook and even smudge all the ink and lead around. But with the right stationery on hand, you might even be encouraged to take notes because of how comfortable it is now. Pay attention in class, kids. Being smart is cool.
This time, all the links are going to jetpens (because I am lazy), but we are not sponsored or affiliated in any means. I do recommend you search around for the best price and shipping before you purchase them.
- Comfort: The grip is soft and squishy, which is great for people who tend to hold their pens tightly when writing (me)
- Size: Other Alpha Gel products tend to be thicker than the normal pen, and I prefer thinner/slimmer ones
This is probably my favorite mechanical pencil right now. I often find myself reaching for it out of the tens of thousands I own, mostly because of its soft grip and thin silhouette. I grip my pens and pencils very tightly and press down super hard when I write, so I often get cramps and soreness. I still get cramps and such, but the grip on this helps a lot. Although this pencil doesn’t have kuru toga properties, it’s not something that bothers me, because I’m used to adjusting the position of my pencils on my own (more on this in the next item).
- Comfort: The grip on this is even softer and squishier than the first item, perfect for fidgeting in class
- Functionality: Has the famous Kuru Toga self-sharpening function, so the lead stays sharp and on point when writing
If they ever made a thin version of this pencil, I’ll definitely buy it. There are Kuru Toga mechanical pencils out there, but I don’t like them much (my stationery hoarder friend disagrees). So I would recommend you buy this instead, because marrying Alpha Gel with Kuru Toga is the best idea in the industry right now. This is especially great for those who like to write and draw in thin lines, because as the lead is used up, it tends to turn drawings and such into huge blobs of gray. Clean notes are better notes.
- Convenience: No need to press the button up top, just shake it up and down to get lead out
- Packaging: They are constantly doing limited edition packaging with brands like sanrio and san-x (as seen above)
The grip on this is not as soft as the Alpha Gel ones, but it’s not bad. In terms of size, it’s the same as the Alpha Gel Kuru Toga one, so I only use this when I’m too lazy to get the lead out the traditional way. It does make a sound when you use the shaker, but it’s pretty quiet and no one would really notice it in school. So if you have a teacher that speaks super fast, this is the pencil to go for. Every wasted second can be detrimental, and yes, I am speaking from experience.
- Colors: The most unique color range in highlighters; my favorites are Gray and Gold
- Functionality: Apart from being highlighters, they can also easily double up as markers for the darker colors
These are not my go to favorite highlighters for highlighting my notes (the next item is), but I do have a lot of them because of their color range. Instead of sticking to the neon colors, they also do brown and burgundy and a few blues that make them perfect for making color markings beside your notes. They aren’t as wet as usual highlighters are, but because I use gel pens, sometimes they do smudge a little on top of my writing. They are, however, a studyblr favorite from what I’ve seen.
- Functionality: The window in the thicker side lets you see what you’re highlighting, so you know when to stop
- Saturation: The least wet and saturated highlighter I’ve used, which is perfect for going on top of your writing.
There are 5 colors in the range, but I only like Aqua (blue, in photo) and Sakura (pink). Besides its functionality and saturation, these 2 colors are rather unique in the world of highlighters, because they aren’t neon. I would consider them more along the lines of pastel. In the photo below, you will be able to see the difference in saturation between the two highlighter brands. While this particular one is my favorite, it doesn’t mean that you’ll dislike the Mildliners.
Stationery items can spice up your school life and encourage you to take better, cleaner notes, which in turn have a chance of giving you a boost in your academics. Of course, you can’t just simply rely on having aesthetic looking notes and items, but do use it as a way to inspire you to learn, understand, and retain information better. The next article will be covering erasers and correction tapes/pens, so keep an eye out for it. If you have any particular stationery items you’ll like me to do my research on or talk about, do leave a comment or message us.
Photo Credit: tokyopenshop, pens_n_more, japan_variety_shop, studyblurb files, Ashley Lau
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