My Budget-Friendly Back To School Essentials

If you’re like me and have a soft spot for stationery, you’ll know how delightful it is to find the perfect tools for school.

Whether you’re jotting down notes, organizing your tasks, or just doodling in the margins, having the right supplies can make all the difference.

So, let me share with you my top picks for school essentials that I truly believe offer the best value for their price.

Notebook Essentials

First on my list is the trusty notebook or binder. Specifically, I’m a huge fan of the Muji notebooks. The quality of Muji’s paper is outstanding.

It’s smoother than your average notebook paper and feels almost soft to the touch. Writing on it with a pen is a delight; the ink glides effortlessly, making the whole experience incredibly satisfying.

Plus, Muji notebooks are light and perfectly sized, making them easy to carry around. For a one-semester class, one Muji notebook is usually enough if you write small and use post-its for additional notes.

This compactness helps keep your backpack light and organized.

Backpack Recommendations


Speaking of backpacks, I’ve had my fair share of disasters in this department. For three consecutive years, my backpacks would break halfway through the school year, which was a total nightmare.

That is until I discovered the Kanken backpack. I’ve used it for three and a half years now, and it’s held up incredibly well, even during my heaviest school years.

If you’re considering a Kanken, I highly recommend the Kanken No. 2. It comes with padded shoulder straps and a separate padded compartment for a 15-inch laptop, offering more space and better support for your shoulders.

Recently, I also got a Donut backpack, which I stumbled upon online. Its adorable design caught my eye, and after reading numerous positive reviews about its durability and spaciousness, I decided to give it a try. It’s too soon to tell if it will replace my Kanken, but I’m hopeful it will live up to its reputation.

Optional Essentials

Now, let’s move on to some optional essentials, items that I find incredibly useful but aren’t strictly necessary for everyone. First up are brush pens, specifically the Crayola Super Tips. I was late to the party on these, but they have completely blown me away.

For the price, you get a fantastic range of colors that are perfect for lettering and note-taking. The smoothness of the ink and the ease of blending are remarkable. If you’re new to brush lettering, start with these before investing in more expensive options like Tombow or Mildliner brush pens.

Crayola Super Tips are versatile and user-friendly, making them a great starting point for anyone looking to add a bit of flair to their notes.

Additional Essentials

Moving on to another essential for school—digital tools. While traditional stationery is great, having digital tools can enhance your productivity and organization.

An iPad or a similar tablet can be incredibly useful for taking digital notes, accessing textbooks, and even watching educational videos.

It’s not essential for everyone, but for those who prefer digital note-taking or have a lot of textbooks to carry, it can lighten your load significantly.

Mindset and Work Ethic

Finally, let’s touch on something that’s often overlooked but crucial for academic success: your mindset and work ethic.

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need the most expensive stationery or gadgets to succeed. What truly matters is your attitude toward learning and your dedication to putting in the effort.

With a positive mindset and a strong work ethic, you can achieve great things academically, regardless of the tools you use.


So, there you have it: my top school essentials based on my personal experiences. Remember, you don’t need the most expensive stationery or gadgets to be a successful student.

A positive mindset, hard work, and the basics—a good notebook and a reliable pen—are all you truly need. Whether you’re a stationery enthusiast or just looking for reliable tools to get through the school year, I hope you find my recommendations helpful.

Happy studying!

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