National Stationery Week 2016 is Coming!

National Stationery Week 2016 will soon be upon us and I’ve been reviewing a bundle of great goodies from NSWs official sponsors lately.

NSW is all about promoting writing this year, with opportunities to get involved, and promotions and events to get us all thinking about why writing matters.

This is quite a personal theme for me, as a researcher I spend much of my time coding data, making sense of complex themes and theories and trying to manage large swathes of qualitative data. Coding for me means colour coding and mind mapping, so I prefer to work with paper and pen and put the laptop to one side; working with coloured pens, highlighters and pencils to help me map out ideas.

NSW is a great opportunity to get back into writing, whether at work or play, or in encouraging your children to get writing too. Perhaps you’ll spot something you like in this review post, there’s something for everyone!

Untitled

I am mad on grown up colouring books, they fit so well with my mindfulness practice that I always have a book on the go.  These Staedtler Noris colouring pencils are superb, I have to say I was very happy to receive two packs of these because I had my suspicions that little miss might have her eye on them and lo and behold I lost a pack to her pencil case!  Great for young and old they’re lovely quality, vibrant and very soft, I’m really pleased by how rich the colours come out.

Natstatweek pencils

BIC pens are the ultimate convenience pen for me, quality ink, they dry fast and I see them as a ‘scribbler’ – great for when I’m writing up an interview or minuting meetings. At the moment I both chair and take notes for some quite long meetings so I like to colour code actions and my own actions particularly. Speed and convenience is key so the new BIC 4 colour pens are perfect for quickly switching colours. I think colour switchers still feel very 80s, so I like the retro colours too!

natatatweek writers

A Sheaffer Sentinel is always gratefully received by me, I was given one when I left a job a few years ago, weighty but still great value at less than a tenner this is a brilliant everyday pen for in my work bag, that bit more special than a workhorse biro it’s a great value rollerball and would make a lovely gift especially with the colour choices now available; there’s something for everyone.

Natstatweek pen

Next up the Maped twin tip, source of much fun this week, I could not get the hang of this at all, but it was good fun and writes beautifully! Essentially the colour switches are at each end of the pen so it writes from both ends, I’m giving this the thumbs up because it does write really nicely, a lovely flow and great grip, I think I’ll grow to love it for coding research papers but it might take another week or two to understand which colour is connected to which end of the pen, it just didnt come intuitively to me!

Natstatweek pen 2

NuCo Notebooks are a staple of mine now, I like the tactile covers and perforated sheets, a great workhorse notebook, compact but chunky for lots of use and the elastic close handily keeps everything together. I have these in different colours for different projects, the paper is great quality 120gsm and at roughly a fiver these are great value too.

natstatweek nu

Finally the Maped Kidy Board, truly one to help get kids writing, J absolutely loves this and I do too, it’s really innovative and fits so well with her current learning phase. At preschool she’s learning to write numbers and letters, the Kidy Board has a great grid for helping to keep writing straight and there are printables available for download to slip under the frame to practice writing and drawing. The soft non slip frame helps encourage a steady hand and it’s also come in handy for me to write up the odd shopping list too! Creative, fun, and educational, this is a brilliant addition to the home of any young budding writer!

Natstatweek maped

I’d love it if you’d consider voting for this blog in the NSW Blogger of the Year awards!

What are your plans for National Stationery Week? There are some great ideas to help you get involved here!
NSWbloglogo2

Why I support #natstatweek #writingmatters each year

I have a confession to make, I have terrible handwriting, always have, and probably always will.

But writing still matters to me.  I think ideas flow more naturally on paper and I like to map out thoughts, linking ideas and colour coding, it’s something the researcher in me loves about working on a big blank sheet of paper!

This year National Stationery Week is running from 25th April to the 1st May, and it’s my third year supporting as a #natstatweek blogger.

I love to get involved as it takes me back to the beginning of every school year, the promise that came from a new pencil case, new colouring pens, and later even the boring stuff, the maths sets and protractors; I always have and always will love shopping for stationery, I know it doesn’t set everyone’s world on fire but I find it utterly joyful!

Over the coming weeks I’ll be reviewing a selection of products from Staedtler and Scheaffer to Maped and NuCo, here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come, and I’d love to hear about your must have products too!

Untitled

Day One National Stationery Week – Pen and Paper Day

natstatweek

National Stationery Week kicks off today with Pen and Paper Day and I’m working from home using these Cath Kidston pieces and writing a training plan for work I’m starting this summer.

I made some notes earlier this week mulling over why I think it’s really important that we continue to value the handwritten over word processing and I think I’d sum this up by saying handwriting brings a personal touch, allows me to be more reactive as I always have a pen and paper to hand and keeps my mind sharp too.

There are five things that I think we can all try to #keepbritainwriting

natstatweek1

1) Keep a paper diary

I write in a journal most days, reflecting on the day, hand writing this means I take the time to think about the words before I write them down, mulling over the positives and negatives of the day, counting my blessings and planning for the future

2) Sending handwritten notes

I love nice note paper and these Project Life cards in the photos above are a new thing for me, I use the double sided ones to send notes to friends, leave notes for the family and it generally brings me joy to work with nice paper, so they bring colour to the mundane too!

3) Write notes for work/study by hand

I never make meeting notes onto a tablet or laptop if I can help it, I write quicker capturing more by hand, the nuances of conversation are missed when I type too, so I like to note interviews down on paper with a trusty biro

4) Write for your children

J can’t write yet but is interested in letters and numbers, we draw together but I also write for her too, it’s a lovely bonding exercise as I want for her to love to read and write too

5) Use a paper planner

More on this later in the week, but since returning to an old fashioned paper planner with stickers and colour coding I feel much better organised and I definately keep it better updated than the days where I kept scrappy notes to pop into Outlook at a later (never!) time

Do you value the handwritten? Why?

National Stationery Week: Get Writing! #NatStatWeek #GetBritainWriting #GetKidsWriting #WritingMatters #WritingisForever #lovestationery #stationeryaddict

Next week is National Stationery Week and I’ll be blogging all week about the stationery I love to use.

I thought I’d share a couple of favourites from the last few weeks; firstly this stash of goodies arrived to help me in my role as a National Stationery Week blogger – I love getting papery post!

natstatweek2

I have been working away a lot at the moment, generally I am back for bedtime but I am not always lucky to be there first thing in the morning to greet J; I have started leaving a special note for her and stepped it up this week using these Maped Colorpeps – they’re a watercolour crayon, you can draw with them, then use a damp paintbrush to mix your colours just like watercolour paints – so this is the note I left for her this week :)

natstatweek

And finally, the Colorpeps also got J interested in drawing again, and boy am I a proud Mama; this is her drawing of her beloved Totoro this week, the first drawing she has produced (OK, well she draws daily but it’s the first where you can really tell what it is!)

natstatweek1

See you over on the blog for #Natstatweek next week folks!

Sheaffer Sagaris Metallic Fountain Pen Review

This beauty was a total treat from the folks behind National Stationery Week – I love to write with a proper pen, there’s something really nice about the weight and the ritual of writing with fountain ink! I remember my first Sheaffer fountain pen, it was given to me by my Aunt and I used it all the way through my GCSEs and A Levels, it became my lucky pen until I moved onto university and switched to their rollerball pens.

IMG_4236

In gorgeous metallic blue this is a serious writing implement! Presented in a hard case presentation box complete with cartridges but also the option of filling from an ink pot this would make a lovely gift, it certainly blew me away to receive it as a review item!

I think writing with a proper pen improves my handwriting and makes me take my time about writing too, that’s important in journalling and planning as those tasks require a bit of thought and extra attention.

Do you have a ‘lucky’ piece of stationery – I’m hoping this one will serve me well as I am about to start a new job!

NSWbloglogo2

Zebra Z-Grip Pens Review and Giveaway

I was delighted by this bundle of goodies from Zebra; I’m really enjoying my role as a National Stationery Week blogger!

pens

I do a lot of handwriting when I’m writing up research reports and I colour code each theme as I read through my research notes.

These new Z-Grip Smooth pens are lovely smooth writers in a wide range of colours, violet is my favourite and I love having a wide choice for coding data.

These are a brilliant everyday pen, and if you want something a bit more fun look no further than the Z-Grip Funky Brights, with fun animal print barrels bring a bit of humour to your writing with something a bit bright and jazzy!

z pens

Zebra Z-Grip Pens Review and Giveaway

If you’d like to jazz up your pencil case and write with something a bit different I have a treat instore for you, I have eight of these great pens to give away to one lucky reader, just enter via the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NSWbloglogo2

Kokuyo Staple-Free Stapler

I am delighted to be a National Stationery Week blogger, as a recent student and self confessed stationery-phile I love to try new products to the market. Kokuyo ’s staple free stapler is a revolution in stapling, it has no staplers but holds papers securely, magic!

Kokuyo Staple-Free Stapler

This little beauty makes two incisions in your paper, folds them back, then ‘staples’ the paper together using a special punch action – how handy is that!

I deliver a lot of training courses and frequently staple the materials for handouts on the train, this negates the need to take lots of additional stationery with me and can staple up to four sheets of paper at a time making it perfect for those powerpoint presentations and evaluation forms! As you guys know I also love anything that reduces waste so this is a pretty eco friendly option for smaller stapling jobs too.

I was sent the Kokuyo staple free stapler in green and couldn’t wait to give it a go, as well as securing my work it made light work of attaching some paper bunting I made for a blog background and the little arrow design is pretty unobtrusive for craft projects too!

IMG_4233

I may have also had a few other bits make their way into my stash this week, Project Life cards, new washi tapes and an eBay accident in which I thought I bought a single Totoro bookmark but 52 arrived instead!

stash1

What do you think? Will you be trying the staple-less stapler?!

NSWbloglogo2