My absolute favourite pens – gel pens

Let’s get it out of the way – I like the look of pencils but I don’t ever use them. I went through a stage, maybe 10 years ago, where I bought some coloured pencil lead – pink and blue – which gave me some joy, but certainly not as much joy as my absolute favourite pens – gel pens!

I have three favourite gel pens and they all have three things in common:

  1. They’re point 0.7 mm
  2. They’re colourful (no black and boring blue; I do like a nice navy though)
  3. They all have retractable points

I started out with Pilot G2 0.7 – hunter green, sky blue, dark red, metallic colours, they’re all so good

then Pentel brought out such amazing colours in their energel brand – purple, pink, orange in addition to the green (I’ve been using them for 7 years)

and then my friend, Suzy, sent me a full set of Papermate Inkjoy Gel pens in the most delicious colours. At the time we couldn’t get them in South Africa. Now we can get them, but they’re R53 per pen! (see the pics in this post for the Papermate pens)

Which are your favourite pens? Or pencils, if that’s more your thing?

My favourite work notebooks

I’m fussy about my stationery but even I’m surprised at how specific I like my various items of work stationery to be! These are called campus notebooks by Typo and I pay R69,99 each or R100 for two (they have them on special a couple of times a year). They’re spiral-bound, a little wider than A5, have 4 sections (more on these sections later) and have lined paper.

They are my favourite notebooks which I use in the following way:

  1. I keep about 4 pages free in the beginning of the notebook for a few lists: lists of my clients, lists of new business I’m working on and any other lists I might need (sizes of meeting rooms are current favourites because I book enormous meeting rooms during these times, current work projects, and so on)
  2. I then make a daily eat the frog list, and my ta-da list and goals for the week at the end of each week. It’s my whole end-of-work week routine.
  3. I start each day with a daily list, make meeting notes and actions, both in preparation for the meetings I run and when I’m a participant. One day can use up anything from 3 – 8 pages, depending on the types of meetings.
  4. These notebooks used to last 6 months each but during these pandemic times where we work mostly from home and have far more meetings than ever before, they’re stretching to 3 months if I’m lucky. (I just checked my current notebook – I started it on 18 May and looks like I’ll start another one on 18 August).
  5. I completely ignore the partitions. I know some people like to use one section for clients, one for team meetings, one for something else and one for to-do lists. That’s not how my brain works – my brain works strictly in chronological order. E.g. “when was that client meeting? oh, 4 August.” I then flip to 4 August and find my notes. So I (horror of horrors) just cut out those partitions and I keep just one for a few post-it notes.

And now for the enormous disclaimer…

There is absolutely nothing special about this notebook or any other notebook.

The best notebook is the one that works for you!

Confession – you don’t even need a fancy notebook. An A5 exercise book that school kids use will do.

I would say you need a system to keep up with your work actions, a place to hold the thoughts in your mind, a place to plan the important and not urgent matters (quadrant B items) and a place to reflect back and refer to notes.

If you have that, great!

If not, perhaps try my system – who knows? It might just work for you too. If not, keep the bits that work and start tweaking the other parts.

Which is your favourite notebooks to use for work?

PS Whenever I post something like this, people always say, “why should you use pretty stationery for work?” To that I say, I spend 50+ hours a week on work; I definitely want to use that time and make my environment and tools ones that spark extreme joy for me ๐Ÿ™‚

How my bullet journalling has changed over the last 3 years

I’m always fascinated by how things change in my own life and in other people’s, especially with regard to how we do things.

Today I want to talk about bullet journalling.

Yes, I’m still bullet journalling and to be honest, even when the craze ends, I’ll still be using a bullet journal simply because I was bullet journalling long before it became a thing. In those days, I just had a notebook I carried around with me for my lists ๐Ÿ™‚

I have noticed that the way I use my bullet journal changes according to the diary I have for that year.

This year I have a diary with lots of monthly goals space so I use my diary for my goals instead of the bullet journal. I still use my bullet journal for my monthly review though (you can download your monthly review free printable page here)

So which pages am I still using?

  1. Weekend to-do list
  2. WFM Daily to-do list (once a week)
  3. Podcast club notes (podcast club does not happen as often as it used to, though)
  4. list of blog posts to write (this is still a permanent page in my bullet journal)
  5. brainstorming specific blog posts or what needs to go in my monthly newsletter
  6. monthly project life photo planning (I do a mindmap and ask myself what happened that I want to remember, and then I look for a picture. It’s much less overwhelming than looking at 300 pics trying to whittle them down to 6)
  7. daily journalling from holidays, when they happen.
  8. People interested in the Four Tendencies workshop (I keep a list and update it after every workshop) – this has been a strange thing and I should write down some learnings after the workshop on 1 June happens.
  9. Life admin list – granted, at certain times of the year, this list is WILDLY busy but most months there are only one or two things on there at most, which is how I prefer it.

Are you still bullet journalling?

Which are your favourite pages in your bullet journal?

PS I have a separate bullet journal for all my reading. Read more about that one in this post.

What’s in my pencil bag?

I have this thing where I really don’t like to be without things I like to use.

Some may call that crazy; I call it being prepared ๐Ÿ™‚

Some may think I carry too much around with me (that may be true) but I just really like knowing that I have exactly what I want or need.

Today I’m going to show you what I keep in my pencil bag.

It is true that the bigger your pencil bag, the more junk you’re likely to carry around with you.

(have you seen those enormous A5 pouches? They actually call them pencil bags!)

This pencil bag is actually a makeup bag I bought at the end-of-year cosmetics sales.

I manage to squeeze quite a bit into it:

  • 2 small post-it pads
  • a flash drive with photos I need to print next time I’m near a photo print place
  • flags for reading or writing a short note
  • Fitbit charger
  • permanent marker
  • wax highlighter
  • 6 pens – yes, I do need them all. How will I know if I feel like making notes in blue, green or pink?

Let’s take a look at those pens:

And that’s it – my standard daily planning arsenal – pencil bag, Moleskine weekly planner notebook and my bullet journal.

Do you like stationery? Do you carry a pencil bag with you?

5 favourite posts about…. stationery!

I’ve always had a huge love for stationery so this time of year is one of my favourites because of the back-to-school sales.

Flipfiles? Yes please!

Pens? Ooooh definitely yes.

Basically I justify things to myself to get some stationery.

By the way, a tip. If you want the kids to take care of the stationery, announce that it is all yours! They need to ask to use it (always say yes!) and pack it away in its place afterwards (separate from their stuff).

I do this and all the nice stuff lasts forever because it’s “my” stuff. It’s not really but it just means nothing goes missing or has caps left off the markers ๐Ÿ™‚

Moving on.

My kids’ favourite stationery items

Favourite stationery for kids |


My favourite highlighters ever

I wrote this post in 2014 and I’ve been using those same 5 highlighters for the last 2.5 years. I’ve just started a new box.

I love stationery - neon twister highlighters


The best pens in the world

These are still my very favourite pens. Pick and Pay has the pink ones for R20, and blue and green ones for R17 each.



My 5 favourite stationery items

and I still love these pencils. I washi’d them to make them even more fun ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Recently I bought myself some of those WOPEX pencil crayons (colouring pencils) too and they are so lovely to the touch.

favourite stationery finds |


My kids’ favourite stationery items – part two

Fun fact – each kid needed 48 pencils for school. I bought a combination of Staedtler and Bic, purely because CNA ran out of the Staedtler pencils. Ha!

Favourite kid stationery |

Now tell me, do you have a favourite post?

Did you see something you want to try? Tell me in the comments and I’ll tell you where to get it at the best price.

Tell me about any stationery finds you’ve discovered and loved in the last while.

My current 5 favourite stationery finds

favourite stationery finds |

Today let’s talk about my favourite 5 stationery finds.

I have written about three of these on the blog before but it’s nice to know if someone is still using the thing they recommended two years ago, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

Right, let’s get to it:

  1. Pentel 0.7 mm liquid gel pens

I spoke about them here and I included one in each Let’s Do This workshop pack, and the delegates agreed with me – these are indeed the best pens in the world.

I still love them.

Warning – if you use them at work, label your pens because they might find feet.

My favourite colours are the pink and orange, and the sky blue.


2. Staedtler Wopex pencils

favourite stationery finds | www.organisingqueen.comfavourite stationery finds |

I’m not really a pencil person but I bought this pack because the colours were bright and happy, and then once I opened the pack, I realised they feel amazing to the touch.

I’m a very tactile person and these pencils have a bit of stick to them and they almost feel magnetic when you grab the whole bunch.

Not that that’s a reason to buy a pencil, but if you like pencils, then I think you’ll love this part.

And then they write really well – dark colour, soft and smooth lead, and still strong.

I bought my pack at CNA for about R25.

3. Bic wax highlighters

I wrote a whole post on these and I still love them, so read all about them here.

favourite stationery finds |

4. Staedtler triplus fineliners

favourite stationery finds |

I see people colouring with these pens but I use them for normal writing of lists in notebooks and in my diary. My favourite part? All the bright colours…. and apparently they’re dry safe. I don’t know if that’s true but I’m not taking a chance.

5. Staedtler metallic markers

favourite stationery finds |

I wrote about these too before and they are still one of my favourites. I “play” with the kids when they draw and craft, and I doodle with my metallic markers, make cards, etc.

I found these recently at Pick and Pay on sale for R20 a pack – a bargain, I think.

Tell me, what are some of your favourite stationery finds?

Our 5 favourite items of kids’ stationery – part 1

Favourite stationery for kids |

A friend once joked that visiting my house was like visiting a stationery shop. It’s kind of true – the kids even ask if they can “shop in my cupboard” ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve always loved stationery and they love it too.

I think because of that I like to buy new things “for the kids” ๐Ÿ˜‰ If I like the stuff, we keep buying it; if not, we move on.

We’ve tried all sorts of crayons, markers, pencil crayons, pastels (oooh, pastels – we all LOVE pastels) and these are our absolute favourites:

Favourite stationery for kids |

  1. Staedtler markers

Favourite stationery for kids |

We received our first pack of these (12-pack) at the end of 2012 and we have about 6 left that still work. These things never go dry. The big packs cost R70 at Pick and Pay and are WELL worth it. I tell everybody to not waste time with any other markers – buy a big pack of these.

Obviously the packet is long since in the bin but because we’ve lost/ dried some of ours, I saw these small packs of 6 at CNA the other day for R20 each. A bargain. Go get some!

2. Bic soft colouring pencils

Favourite stationery for kids | www.organisingqueen.comFavourite stationery for kids |

I discovered these about three years ago and guys, the heavens sang. They are delightful to use – soft and so easy. You won’t want to stop.

I love that they’re nice and wide for little (and my) fingers and they come in a box with a pencil sharpener which I appreciate. They’re R17 a box and if I give a colouring book for a present, I usually add one of these boxes too.

Go get yourself a box – and come tell me how much you love using them.

We’ve had fancy pencil crayons (Melissa and Doug), and everything in between, and these are the ones my kids love the most.

My one and only gripe is that they only come in boxes of 8.

3. Oil pastels

Favourite stationery for kids |

I personally like Staedtler’s three-sided pastels the best but my kids used these Colleen ones at school last year and so my Staedtler ones have been rejected (left to me!)

The kids tell me they like the way they shade without making their fingers dirty ๐Ÿ™‚

4. Roll-up crayons

Favourite stationery for kids |

My kids aren’t fussy about these crayons – they like any brand.

I’ve bought sets of 8 in a pack and bigger packs like these – they like them all. This set has gold, silver crayons too which particular delighted my two.

You need to put strong boundaries in place because my children like to twist the entire crayon out, the crayon breaks and then you can’t roll it back in again.

5. Marlin metallic pencil crayons

I’ve only ever seen these Marlin ones at a small stationery shop in an even smaller shopping centre. I bought my box for R12 which was a mistake because next time I went back they were about R30.

These go very nicely with the metallic markers from Staedtler or Rolfes.

Remember you can buy a pad of black paper or cardstock and suddenly the world is a happier place because you’re writing in fun colours that stand out so beautifully on the dark paper.

Favourite stationery for kids |

Now you can see I can talk about stationery all the day long. Would you like me to do more posts like this?

Chances are if it exists, I’ve tried it ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I do have one more planned for kids – a part 2 to showcase some more stuff we love and basically how I keep them entertained a lot of the time. And maybe one with MY favourite stationery ๐Ÿ™‚ We might need a part 1 – 3. Ha!

What are your kids’ favourite stationery?

PS do you know how you remember if stationery is with an e or an a? Envelopes start with an e ๐Ÿ™‚

{Lovely stationery find} Metallic markers

Guys, next week I’m writing about MBTI and Konmari, and I can’t wait to wrap up the series.

So today I decided to show you a gorgeous stationery find.

I do have the gift of spotting anything new and funky in the stationery aisles…..

I’ve shown you Rolfes metallic markers before; these ones are from Staedtler. I like the Staedtler ones more because they seem to have a thinner point (but both are 1.2 mm) but my 6-year-old, Kendra, still loves the Rolfes ones more (maybe because the pink is sparklier?).

{Lovely stationery find} Metallic markers | {Lovely stationery find} Metallic markers | {Lovely stationery find} Metallic markers | {Lovely stationery find} Metallic markers | {Lovely stationery find} Metallic markers |

These go well with…

  • a pack of 50 sheets of black paper
  • a pack of 10 black cardstock
  • Marlin’s metallic pencil crayons (I found mine in a tiny, tiny stationery shop but I haven’t seen them at the bigger retailers yet) – I posted a pic of them on Instagram here.

Make cards with your kids using metallic markers

If we use A4 project board, I simply fold them in half but if we use paper, I fold them in half twice. The paper is easiest to draw on with the pencil crayons.

Depending on your kids’ creative styles, they might want more or less space to create.

Happy creating this weekend!

{I love stationery} My new favourite pens

I’m that person who oohs and ahhs about beautiful and yummy stationery. I say that so you’ll forgive the gushing.

I’ve mentioned on the blog before how much I love my gel pens.

Until January this year, I was a big fan of Pilot G-2 0.7 mm pens. Well, to be honest, I still am, just not a fan of the price. They’re currently R38 each at CNA. Well worth it because they used to last about 2 months each or longer if I was alternating between the different colours.

Then….the back-to-school sales happened in January. And I went to Pick and Pay to have a look at anything new. The stationery aisle is very definitely my happy place; I like looking at all the new products so I can test them out ๐Ÿ™‚


I saw these Pentel gel pens for R10 each so I bought one just to test it out. There’s nothing worse than a horrible, sticky pen and I wanted to make sure before I went “wild” as I normally do.

Well, I got home, tested the pen and…. the heavens opened and the angels sang because it was wonderfully smooth and perfect. Seriously perfect.ย  IMG_4576

So I went back and bought 10. Yes, no half-measures here.


I’ve used up about 5 since January because my 4-year-old son also loves them. He’s already made me promise to buy him his own set for his birthday (sweet child!). They’re back at their normal price of R16 but it’s still R22 cheaper than the Pilot pens and even yummier to write with.

In the old days, I used to use a medium point ballpoint pen so I like a nice, fat nib (is that what they call it?) and the transition to gel pens has been lovely IF they’re 0.7 mm, which is just the perfect pen tip for me.

If you like a thin point, you won’t love these as much but at R16, give them a try. They are DIVINE!

Which are your favourite pens?

Have you tried these Pentel gel pens?

PS this is not a sponsored post but Pentel is very welcome to send me (and Connor) new stuff to try out.

Favourite shopping in the USA? Stationery!

I’ve been meaning to post about stationery I bought in the USA for awhile now.

I loved loved loved all the things I saw but had to choose fairly light items that were 1) extremely cost-effective and 2) I wouldn’t be able to get in South Africa.


Some of the things I bought (starting bottom right and working clockwise)

(I know I could have put numbers… but I’m letting go of perfectionism one habit at a time)

  1. Jonathan Adler notebooks and little bookbag – Barnes and Noble. The bookbag was $10, can’t remember the price of the notebooks.
  2. 5-pack set of my favourite pens in the world (Pilot 0.7 gel pens) – this set was $5 (R40 at the time – I pay R30 for one pen here)
  3. iDevice USB connector ($10 at Bath and Beyond) in a cute frog shape
  4. cute envelope (Staples) – about $2?
  5. paper clips (not normal ones but these also hold paper together) and matching rubber bands to hold your place in a notebook (Target) – you all know I love my spiral-bound notebooks so I use these a lot
  6. packing tape and washi tape pack from Target (gift from a friend)
  7. Martha Stewart gift tags (about $5 from Staples) – I found these expensive but wanted something cute… and Martha Stewart
  8. green and blue little plastic envelopes from Staples – this is my one regret – that I didn’t just bring 10 home – they are SOOO useful – receipts, I use one for that frog connector and a flash drive I take to work – and they were only 50c each in the clearance bin.
  9. pencils (also Staples) – the best thing about these? they look like real pencils but actually take lead ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I bought a pack of about 20 and gave one each to my whole team at work and a couple of extra friends, and anyone else I saw within that first week. Great purchase. I think they were only about $10 and the cuteness plus usefulness factor made them well worth my while.
  10. 3-pack of purple glue stick – Staples. We can get coloured glue stick here but it’s still very expensive. I think these were $3.
  11. Cord organiser – $10 at Staples – to keep all the computer cords neat – I love mine!

I bought some more things but I forgot to take those out so there might be a part two to this if I can get myself organised.

Yes, stationery is my love language ๐Ÿ™‚

and yes, I spent a lot of time in Staples. I think I went three times while I was in NYC ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you like stationery too?

Which is your favourite item?



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