I’d be going against my true nature as a planner nerd if I didn’t put together a gift guide for stationery lovers. But beware, if you’re like me, you’ll just end up shopping from it yourself.
For your viewing pleasure, prepare for plenty of pics (click on them to view them full size), and some video reviews.
And for your pocket's pleasure, I've included discount codes where applicable. 😀
As an FYI, most of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission from the company for referring the sale. (It doesn't cost you an extra cent.) Your support means the world to me and is what keeps this HowToGYST train powering down the tracks.
The Ultimate Gift Guide For Stationery Lovers
First up is my favourite – notebooks. I’ll admit that, when it comes to day-to-day planning, I’ve gone over to the
dark digital side. But I still use good old fashioned pen and paper for so many things – journaling (see below for a video flip-through of my first completed journal), brain dumping and mind sweeping, and any time I feel I really need to concentrate on something or work something out, like a major brainstorming session. I especially turn to it when I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed and I want to clear the decks and get back to basics. In those cases, I close down my digital to-do list and start from scratch on a sheet of paper.
Notebooks don’t have to be fancy or expensive, but you’ll definitely want to err on the side of quality if you’ll be using a fountain pen, watercolours, etc. Otherwise, even something as simple as a composition book will get the job done.
Here are just 4 of my favourite notebooks (these are ones I’ve personally used but there are an infinite amount of pretty, quality notebooks out there):
The cover on this really clinches it for me. You can get them in a plain cover too, if that’s your thing, but I just think this one is so fun. I’ve done a full review of it (you can check it out below) but it’s worth noting that, since then, they’ve been made even better, with extra paper, new colours, and bigger sizes. They’re also an incredibly friendly bunch on Instagram (pop over and say hi to them) and actually listen and respond to their audience. I find that so refreshing.
Click here to pick up a Scribbles That Matter notebook from Amazon US (or here for Amazon UK) <- affiliate links
ii) Mint Printcess
This notebook was sent to me by the lovely lady over at Etsy store, Mint Printcess, and I’m so impressed. They can be personalised if you wish, and there are several options for coil colours, paper colours, and cover images (though, come on, this rainbow one is stunning).
It measures approximately 8.5 inches high, 7.5 inches wide (plus 1 inch for the coil), and about 1 inch thick so, size-wise, it’s possibly not something you’re going to carry around with you, but I adore the wide spread (and lord knows I love a chunky monkey) so I think it’s perfect for brainstorming, planning, or lettering.
The fact that you can customise it in so many different ways (seriously, go check out all the options – hello mermaid cover and pink paper) easily earns this a spot in my favourites.
And Mint Printcess is offering HowToGYST readers a 15% discount from now until December 30th 2017. Use code GYST1 to nab one of these beauties. (I don't earn anything out of this one, I'm just passing on the goodness.)
Ah, ol’ faithful. If you’re a Bullet Journal enthusiast, you’ve probably owned at least one of these bad boys. They come in a wide range of colours and sizes, the paper quality is great, and, unless I’m very much mistaken and totally hallucinated a recent social media post from them, they’re finally going to include pen loops as part of the notebook. Hurray for progress.
The one pictured is the official Bullet Journal edition, and I've done a pretty comprehensive review of it here:
You can’t really go wrong with this tried and trusted brand. Like the Leuchtturm1917, they’re available in a variety of sizes and colours, with a few accessories to boot. Also, they often come out with limited edition covers, so you can grab a Game of Thrones one, or a Batman one, for example. (The only downside to the limited editions is that they’re only available with lined or plain paper, whereas this gal's a dot-gridder for life.)
I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t benefit from a notebook, whether it be for journaling, writing a novel, keeping lists, drawing or doodling, storing recipes, brainstorming a business plan, jotting down notes and ideas… The possibilities are pretty endless, which is what makes them one of the best gifts you can give.
When it comes to my everyday scribblings, it’s a black Bic pen all the way. No matter how many other writing utensils I try, this is the faithful friend I come back to time and time again. But there’s no denying the lure of a colourful fineliner, or the satisfying weight of a fountain pen, or the frivolity of a fluffy ballpoint.
After the trusty Bic, here are my recommendations for pens I personally own and love:
The colours are vibrant and the writing is a lot smoother than some other fineliners I’ve tried. And the roll you get with the larger amount is so convenient for keeping them all corralled. It even has a little zippered pouch on the left side for keeping some extra bits and bobs, like maybe a ruler, or some washi tape samples.
Though Bic will always be my best friend, if I need something a little more colourful, I turn to Papermate’s Inkjoys. These also come in a gel version, of which I've heard rave reviews, but haven't tried them personally.
iii) Sharpie pens
Ah, the lesser-known sibling of the ubiquitous Sharpie marker. These pens write incredibly smoothly and, if the colours were a little more vibrant and came in a greater variety, these would quickly overtake Stabilo’s as my favourite fineliners.
iv) Novelty pens
Most of my fluffy friends are from UK company Paperchase. I can’t say I use them all that often but they sure do cheer up my desk and put a smile on my face every time I see them. And they make great props for Instagram photos, if that’s your thing. 😉
Click here to shop novelty pens on the Paperchase US site, or here for the Paperchase UK site. (Not affiliate links.)
Back in my paper planning days, I amassed quite the collection of planners. Most were Filofaxes, but there was the odd “outsider” in there too. Fast forward a few years and, because most of my planning is done digitally now, I’ve managed to whittle down my collection. Still, there are some I just can’t part with because the ‘pretty’ wins out over the ‘practical’.
Here are the ones I kept:
Long gone are the days of the basic black binder. Filofax planners now come in a riot of colours, patterns, textures, sizes, and styles. My 3 favourites, in order of increasing cost, are the Charleston (which I used as a wallet for a long time), the Original (the green was my first true planner love and I’m still gutted they’ve discontinued it in that colour), and the Malden.
Click here to buy Filofax planners and accessories on Amazon US (or here to buy them on Amazon UK) <- affiliate links
ii) Kikki.K planners
The mint with gold dots was one I coveted for a long time. Too long, in fact, because while I was busy humming and hawing about pressing the ‘purchase’ button, they discontinued it. It took me a long time to track down a second-hand one that was in great condition, but I eventually managed it and, now, I’d never let this baby go.
While you’re probably unlikely to be able to get your hands on this particular one at this late stage, Kikki.K stock some beautiful planners in gorgeous colours. If Filofax just isn’t floating your boat (particularly their inserts, which continue to be pretty bland), Kikki.K might be the answer you’re looking for.
To purchase a Kikki.K planner or accessory, head over to their site here. (Not an affiliate link.)
iii) Ban.do agendas
If a ringed planner isn’t to your taste, but you still want something with a little more pizzazz than a bargain basement diary, Ban.do is your best friend. The smaller sizes are book-bound, while the larger are coil-bound. They’re a perfect mix of fun and function, with a reasonable price point to boot.
Or check out the full Ban.do site here. (Not an affiliate link.)
iv) The Path planner
This was sent to me for review a few months ago and I absolutely love it. It's undated, so no waiting 'til January 1st to jump in. The planner focuses on goal setting and achieving, with plenty of exercises to help you do just that. I love how it’s a step above the ordinary “fill in your day” set-up, and the gold ink and overall look certainly doesn’t hurt!
As well as the planner itself, you'll bag yourself a little to-do notepad and a link to free printables and a free eBook. AND, having spoken to the owner, I'm super exited to announce that it now ships internationally. Hurray! Here's a flip-through and review I did of the gorgeous white & gold (ignore the code in the video though, there's a new one listed below):
They’ve also just brought out a black, vegan leather version in a larger size, which I'm very excited to get my grubby little mitts on as soon as it arrives in my mailbox.
Bag yourself one of these beauties on Amazon US (the new black version is now up there too, and you'll get international shipping) <- affiliate link
AND if you use the code GYSTXMAS at checkout, it'll knock 15% off.
The one pictured is the full, coil-bound 12-month, and it's a proper chunky monkey so steer clear of that particular one if you’re looking for something slimline and easily portable. (Fear not, though, they do have smaller, book-bound options in their shop, as well as other colours if the mint and gold doesn't float your boat). BUT I absolutely love all the extras that come with the large version. From clips to goal-planning sheets to a beautiful pen, I definitely feel you’re getting bang for your buck with this one. Here's a look at all that's included:
4. Planner Paraphernalia & Office Supplies
From stickers to stamps, from staplers to sticky notes, from hole punches to planner charms, from covers to clips… There are a tonne of ways to trick out your planner, notebook, or desk. For cheap (and plentiful) supplies, hit up eBay. For other options, or to buy something a little bit more bespoke, Etsy is the place to be. For those in or near Ireland who are looking for something a little chicer (think Kate Spade acrylic magnificence), hippenings.ie has you covered.
All of the above can easily be sourced online and delivered direct to your doorstep. If you’d prefer to visit a physical store (because, unlike me, you don’t actually mind leaving the house), there’s little you won’t find at Michaels. Other great places include TK Maxx (or TJ Maxx as it’s called in the States, though I’ve no idea why) and Target (especially the Dollar Spot).
And there you have it, a bajillion potential gifts for the loved one in your life who geeks out over patterned paper and pretty planners.
Or for yourself. No judgement. 😉
If you know of a great source of stationery deliciousness, or if you yourself own a shop that sells it, link it below and let’s all feast our eyes on the loveliness.
Do you swoon over stationery too?