When you were a kid, were you the type who obsessed over school supplies? I definitely was. I mean, who has time to mourn the start of the school year when there’s the possibility of a new Trapper Keeper?
So, here’s my confession: I never outgrew this particular quirk. I still love collecting (yes, collecting) unusual notebooks, funky pens, and odd office supplies. And, in my quest to collect them all, I’ve come across some pretty interesting items.
For those of you out there still quietly fascinated by unique office supplies, I’ve made this list for you.
I don’t really use wooden pencils anymore, but in case you do and in case you have an intense desire to use the entire pencil all the way down to the eraser, boy, do I have the tool for you. This pencil extender fits most wooden pencils and attaches so that when your pencil gets too short to hold properly, you can just pop it on and keep writing. Problem solved.
Erasers are great. They let you change what you’ve written and make edits, but they also do this really annoying thing where they leave behind little bits of dust. Well, this will no longer be something that mildly inconveniences you! With this mini eraser dust cleaner, you can roll right over the mess and its little bristles will pick those bits of eraser right up. Rest easy. Your tiny desk vacuum has it under control.
Let’s be real. I wouldn’t make it 24 hours without the internet, but I do pine for the days of the typewriter. Yes, I may have mildly romanticized what it must have been like to write on one, but now I finally get a chance to experience it for myself without the pesky issue of needing to retype everything on a computer. The Freewrite aspires to be a distraction-free typewriter. And it lets you save your drafts to the cloud after you’ve written them. One day I will have one.
Do you get the feeling that everything I’ve written about so far is unusually specific or even kind of useless? Well, I’m not about to move away from the trend now. This is a mini microscope that you can carry around in case one day you suddenly need, um, a microscope. Handy.
Not to say your co-workers would ever steal from you or that you have anything to hide, but if, you know, they do or you do, you can hide your precious items in this inconspicuous book. No one will look there. Or, search for “spy bolt secret safe” or “secret can safe” on Amazon and you’ll find some alternatives.
I probably use my stapler more for bulletin boards and corkboards than I do for stapling papers together. So, Quirky’s Align stapler with its detachable bottom really speaks my language. It’s mini, teal, and magnetic! I love it. I refuse to use any other stapler. (Unless I can’t find this one. Then—fine.)
Technically a book light, but really this little guy can light up any area you think needs some extra illumination. Since it’s flexible, you can also use it to prop up your phone or business cards or some other office supply. If that doesn’t convince you this is a strange one, then maybe the fact that all the different colors come with different facial expressions will help.
If you’re a private person, you’re going to love this. This is a rolling stamp specifically designed to obscure personal information on envelopes, magazines, packing slips, or anything with your address on it. Yes, it’s an oddly specific tool. Yes, I want one.
Loud construction can ruin any office environment, which is why I think including these high tech earplugs in this list is perfectly acceptable. Reusable, discrete, and not weirdly muffling like regular earplugs, DUBS will make the noisiest office environments tolerable without preventing you from knowing what’s going on. Fancy.
Does your office have a serial scissors stealer? Never lose another pair of scissors with this neat pair that collapses down to the size of a pen. The serial scissors stealer won’t even know there’s something worth stealing. Or, if you want to be extra careful, you can even carry it around with you everywhere. Ha! Take that scissors stealer!
Do you really need to mark important pages in your books, notebooks, and planner with cute animal stick flags? Absolutely. Just look at them!
I’ve saved the best for last. This is another one of those items that might not necessarily be categorized under “office supplies,” but it would still be unbelievably cool to have one in your office. It’s a contraption that turns your favorite book into a hidden light switch! If Bruce Wayne were real, he would have this in his office.
Lily Zhang serves as a Manager of Graduate Student Professional Development at the MIT Media Lab where she works with a range of students from AI experts to interaction designers. When she’s not indulging in a new book or video game, she’s thinking about, talking about, or writing about careers. Follow her musings on Twitter @lzhng.More from this Author