tips for studyblrs on a budget
While there are a lot of good things about the studyblr community, a lot of people (myself included) have noticed that the goal of many within the community is often having the most perfect, beautiful notes and supplies. For a lot of people, this is just far too expensive to be justified. There’s obviously nothing wrong with if you have the money for the “studyblr best” supplies, or if you just want to treat yo’ self, but here’s some tips to help you get nice study supplies without breaking the bank!:
1. Dollar stores! They generally have a decent selection of office supplies (as well as a lot of other basics), and some stores stick to an “everything is $1″ policy. I tend to buy pens, sharpies, and notecards from dollar stores. Though a tip is to go for the sets of pens/sharpies, because those are likely to be cheaper than buying them somewhere else (individual pens aren’t necessarily cheaper at a dollar store). I also have a nice set of highlighters, and my mom got a set of gel pens that seem to be similar to the Pilot Juice pens.
2. Speaking of pens… if you want to keep a good variety of pens, my general rule of thumb is this: ~4 black pens in two different sizes (My most-used are my Pilot G-2 in the 1.0 size and the Muji 0.38) - this way you have a thicker pen when you want/need that, and a thinner pen when that’s preferred. If you only use one size, more power to ya. I like to use a thicker black pen for headings and use the thinner for details when taking notes.
As for colors, I recommend just having one of each color that you use. If you’re not going to use 5 shades of yellow pen regularly, you don’t need that new set with a cool shade you don’t have yet. Find a brand/type of pen you like, and stick with one or two colored sets at most (I learned this from experience).
3. Highlighters: Don’t get them if you know you don’t use them. Don’t get different varieties if you don’t use them. If you love the look of neon highlighters, you don’t need to splurge for something like the Zebra Mildliners. If you don’t like the neon ones, but think you’d use the Mildliners, go for it. Most of the time, I don’t use highlighters when taking notes, I just write the words I would have highlighted in a different color from the rest of the notes (this works best when you’re taking notes from a textbook or copying notes over).
4. Just get a decent backpack. One that’ll hold up and hold all you need, but don’t feel like you need a specific brand or style of backpack. It’s literally on your back half the time, it doesn’t need to be cute.
5. Cheap notebooks work just as well as expensive notebooks. Get the off-brand notebook on the bottom shelf at target. Don’t feel like you can’t use the remaining pages at the end after your class ends. You can start a new subject in an old notebook. You can practice handwriting in an old notebook. You can use an old notebook as scratch paper or to jot down random things you need to remember. Hell, make a hundred paper cranes with the extra paper if you like to. You don’t need to let the extra paper go to waste.
If you know you’ll only use about half a notebook for one of your classes, get one with less paper or get a 3- or 5- subject notebook for your classes. Each subject generally has less paper than a regular 1-subject notebook, and it helps keep everything together.
If you want to keep a bullet journal, that doesn’t mean you need a fancy notebook for it. You can make the inside look just as good or be just as useful as any Moleskine.
6. Study with a whiteboard. I’m one of those people who has to write something down ten times in order to remember it. Now I could use paper to write it all down, but that’s a lot of paper that I’m wasting over the course of a school year. I decided to get a couple whiteboards instead. I have one small one, about the size of a piece of paper (I don’t exactly remember the cost but I think it was somewhere around $5 maybe? Could have been another dollar store find), and I have a bigger one that I keep on my wall (this one was from Sams Club and cost around $12 and included markers, a tiny eraser, magnets, and a cork board section with push pins - I use this for reminders and holding up my wall calendar, but before exams I take it down and use it to review)
7. Don’t buy the pretty planner if you know you’re not going to use it. If you already have a bullet journal, you probably don’t also need a planner, and vice versa. You can generally use both in the same way, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you.
9. Don’t fall into the studyblr aesthetic trap. If you know you won’t use something enough to make the purchase worth it, don’t feel like you have to get it.
If you really want to get something, go for it. But don’t feel like you have to have certain supplies to succeed or to be studyblr famous. I’ve been a stationery lover for much longer than studyblrs have been around, and these are just a few things I’ve learned. Now, go tackle that homework!