With office technology advancing constantly with tablets, projectors, smart phones and watches, it can sometimes get a bit draining constantly looking at screens, prompting you to reach for a good old pen-and-paper combo. Sometimes, it’s nice to write notes, colour-code and categorise without the continuous tapping on a keyboard or click of a mouse as an accompanying soundtrack. The importance of office stationery is still strong, with many - while still appreciating the assistance from technology - going for the old-fashioned route to add variation and keep productive.

A significant reason for using stationery is the organisation properties it provides. While computers and online databases like the Cloud allow folders to categorise files, physical copies and notes laid out in-front of you can be easier to navigate through.  Having separate, labelled notebooks or ring-binder folders for materials currently needed, visually categorised is a great way to keep all information at easy reach.

This avoids waiting for downloads, or any potential technology malfunctions like a broken printer or lost internet connection – having physical copies is reliable, as long as everything’s in its place and nothing gets lost, which shouldn’t happen with a good stationery system.

Many work well with colours, and it’s much easier to pick up a pink ball-point pen or colourful post-it notes from your local supermarket than going through the process of digitally changing colours on slideshows or Word documents. Colours allow categorisation, highlighting or generally, making notes look nicer and interesting than a standard printed monochrome document.

Whiteboards or wall displays of lists or mind-maps are another way to use stationery in the office, away from technology. While projectors onto walls of images or quotes look advanced, making walls whiteboards with functional paints allow for annotation and extra creative freedom – more about whiteboard walls here.

The stationery a company has may also be branded with the name and associated colours, portraying a level of professionalism and uniformity. It also offers subtle advertising, with clients who may take away a company pen taking it to future meetings with other potential clients, making people ask questions about your services etc.

Despite the benefits of stationery in the office, they can bring clutter. Having a good, organised set-up of pen pots and good, but controlled set of filing storage is important to ensure everything has a place. Where digital storage like the Cloud comes in handy is where you no longer need the files to hand - you can recycle physical copies to save clutter building up and keep filing condensed, but still have a backup copy for records.

Where it seems like technology is killing off stationery, they still bring significance to the office, and often go unnoticed as valuable tools. Ensure, at the very least, writing materials are available to employees, with other stationery pieces like post-it notes, colour-coding equipment and whiteboards on offer, which may or may not be needed, depending on employee’s working preferences.

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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