The most stylish stationery that won't break the bank

Ranging from well-known names to tiny independent brands, these are some of the best office supplies to help you update your workspace – whatever your profession.

By Cat Byers on 30/05/2019

Desk organisers keep your workspace looking minimalist and stylish

It’s no secret that having a sophisticated, organised office space can make a big difference to your workday, from boosting to projecting professionalism when clients stop by. But despite the many painfully expensive designer office supplies on offer, investing in stylish, minimalist materials doesn’t need to break the bank.

So, whether your style is loud and proud or quiet and reserved, these are the office supplies and stationery to make your work day creative and productive.

Write

Studies show that writing things down rather than typing them is much more effective for memory recall and critical thinking. But with a myriad of different options out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Think about what kind of materials work best for your style of working, including different sizes and types of paper and writing materials. Do you need the freedom of plain page and an easy-to-erase pencil, or do you prefer square blocks and an old-school fountain pen?

Rhodia and Muji are always reliable brands for every type of notepad and stationery to match. If you prefer something a little more unique, Italian brand Write Sketch & offer colourful notebooks (below) with alternative back and front covers. For pens, pencils, rulers and other accessories, it’s hard to go wrong with Paperchase, where you’ll find everything you need to replace those half-chewed biros currently lingering on your desk.

Write Sketch & offer beautiful, colourful stationeryAll photography by Cat Byers

Plan

It’s hard to conquer the world without a solid plan, so make sure you have everything you need to set it out in action. Daily planners can vary hugely, but these simple planning sheets from MUJI are a great option if you don’t have too many things to schedule in, and can be pasted into a notebook page or kept on the cover for easy reference and swapped out weekly.

If you prefer your day broken down into hourly slots, check out this weekly planner from innovative French brand Papier Tigre (below), which also includes a built-in ruler along the bottom. On the other hand, if you prefer to think big (or have a tendency to change plans frequently), adding a whiteboard to the wall and drawing up your schedule there is an easy way to keep track of key meetings coming up in the diary. Popular office supply brand Rymans has a selection of affordable options, and they can also be found on Amazon.

Prefer to plan in a more haphazard way with a wall of post it notes? Move away from traditional yellow with these mint green speech bubbles from HEMA, or add some imitation greenery with ivy-style sticky notes from Leaf It.

Stationery to plan with is key to strategic business thinking

Connect

Between laptops, tablets, printers and other tech, your desk can quickly become cluttered with cables. Keep things simple and streamlined with this ingenious octopus multi-cord adapter (below), which includes a USB, micro USB, lighting and 30 Pin connectors, meaning you always have a charger to hand for all your electronic needs.

If you’ve got bulky chargers that can’t be streamlined, consider adding cable clips, a wire basket attached under your desk or a cable management box to keep them out of view. Investing in a wireless phone charging block is another sleek option, taking up minimal space on your desk and ensuring your most important gadgets are always good to go.

A muilti-cord adaptor can keep your business online

Organise

‘Tidy desk, tidy mind’ as the catchy saying goes, a simple reminder that keeping your workplace free of clutter can make a huge difference when it comes to boosting productivity and feeling in control. While many of the cool, minimalist organisers can be prohibitively expensive, ever-trusty IKEA has a wide selection of options on a budget, and HEMA’s wooden organiser (below) with space to keep a phone charger connected is a brilliant affordable alternative.

HEMA’s wooden organiser is perfect for a tidy business office

Network

Whether you’re heading out to meetings or mingling with potential new clients at a networking event, having your business cards to hands means you’re always ready to create connections. Keep them safe and free from marks in an elegant card case, such as this lightweight aluminium option from MUJI (below). It’s easy to slip in a trouser pocket, and can also be used to store cards you receive until you’re ready to file them away back at the office.

Are business cards still needed? You decide

Store

Having the right storage materials is essential to maintain this much-needed tidy desk, so finding the right solution to file and store key documents and urgent correspondence is a priority for any well-organised office.

But when thinking of storage, don’t be afraid to look for less traditional options than the usual boxes, file holders and plastic wallets. This gold holder from H&M (below) was designed to hold napkins, but works perfectly for invoices, letters and postcards, keeping your important papers to hand, while remaining tidy.

Keep your office tody with stylish storage

Inspire

While minimalist stationery can transform your desk into a sleek, stylish space, it’s important to have some inspirational accessories to hand too, reminding you that it’s always good to think beyond the status quo. Think fun paperclips like these lighting bulb ones from Letterbox (below), giving you an easy way to trigger bright ideas.

It’s also worth finding away to add plants to your workspace, as studies have shown a huge range of benefits offered by indoor plants, ranging from cleaner air to improved concentration.

Letterbox paper clips for a smart office

Dream

If you’ve got big ambitions for your business, it’s important to have the tools at hand to help you track your goals. Where do you want to be in five years? What steps can you take to help get there? Having a specific notebook or journal dedicated to this can be a great aid at figuring out the answers to these questions, whether you choose to try the bullet journalling method with a Leuchtturm1917 notebook, or try a classic Moleskine - after all, it was good enough for Hemingway. If you want to combine your weekly schedule with your future planning you could also try a Moleskine diary (below), which offers weekly page slots with space to reflect on your thoughts on the other side.

Business brains need books for ideation