23 Aug 2013

preparing for university: diary, books and stationery

With a new school and university year fast approaching, I thought I'd write a post on how I am preparing to go back to uni. In this post, I will be covering three things: diary, textbooks and stationery (of course). I previously talked about finances, forms and accommodation in this 'Preparing for University' series and next week, I will cover timetabling.


So, first up: the diary. In my first degree, I managed fine with Filofax cotton cream 'week on two page' (WO2P) inserts because all I had to write in were lectures, tutorials and the odd assignment or two that needed planning. However, with my new course being medicine, I am anticipating that a lot more space will be needed. In my new course, there will be a lot more independent and group learning and this will require more planning and space.

As a result, my plan is to stick with the WO2P inserts I am currently using (the Smythson ones - I really don't want to move out of them if I can help it) and to either use a DayTimer hotlist alongside each week or place a sheet of notepaper in between, like Josh LaPorte does.

After a term, I will either stick with WO2P inserts, or upgrade to 'two days per page' or 'day per page' inserts. I already know that 'week per page' inserts are too small so that's not even a possibility.


For my first degree, I made the mistake of buying textbooks within a week of term starting. I was lured into the trap of 'You will need this', etc that older students were telling me! This time, I'm not buying any textbooks. The library will be my resource, as well as journals; and until I use/take out a book a certain number of times (probably five), I won't even consider plonking down £££ for my own copy.

If only Grey's Anatomy had as much educational value as Gray's Anatomy...
Textbooks are expensive and I don't get much in terms of a maintenance loan so I need to make every penny count. I already know that a considerable amount of my loan will be going on a travelcard so I can't be wasting money on books I never touch or only use once.


Finally, stationery is an important part of study. Refill pads, pens and highlighters all play an important part in note-taking and revision.

In order to ensure I have enough folders, I added to my collection with these two beauties from Staples:

Laura Ashley A4 folders. They were just sat there looking pretty so, why not? :)
I also have a number of notebooks to aid my study (I go through those like crazy) and in terms of pens, I think my Muji gels will stay as my best friend! 

Now that we've got the trivial things out of the way, I can concentrate on timetabling (which will be covered in the next part of this series) and mentally preparing myself for the rigours of the course itself (just under two weeks to go now!).


  1. oooo I just love new stationery... one of the perks of back to school! The ring binders are so pretty :D x


    1. New stationery is definitely one of the best bits of going back to school :) Not that I'd need a reason to splurge on stationery anyway hehe x

  2. I've been dropping by your blog on and off since before your first Week In Review post - I just love your writing style & photos. Anyway, in all that time I never noticed.. We have the same birthday! Random. Not sure if we're the same age, I'm 21.

    Anyway, I just thought it was funny that we have enough in common for me to find and read your blog (of all the thousands of blogs) - stationary, minimalism, university, living in London etc - and then we have the same birthday as well.

    1. Hi! Thank you for your lovely comment :) I'm 22 so a year older than you :)

      That is quite funny in that we have so much in common! We could almost be the same person hehe x

  3. You're right about not buying text books straight away. Another thing you might want to think about when deciding if a text book is gonna make your to-buy list is how good the online resources are. A lot of text books have a corresponding online pack (only if you buy the most recent ed, though) and from what I've seen of my boyfriend's work, the diagrams can be really useful if you just want the diagram in your notes without having to draw some really obscure picture! Obviously you could scan, but some of the books are massive and getting them onto the scanner bed and positioning accurately would be haaaaard! ;) Good luck! :)

    1. With textbooks, I'm planning to get the eBook versions :) I think I'd prefer drawing things out whenever possible as that helps me learn better (and cos I kind of like drawing hehe) :)

      Thanks - I'm so scared for Tuesday! x