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I have got a lot of pens and stuff, which I also need, but not only due to my delibarate oversupply of pens, but also the lack of organisational system for them my question is now:

How can I more efficiently store and organize my writing implements?

For the most part I just got two round pen cones from Blomus and Sigel where I just drop them in, as well as one tray in my small BISLEY container where I drop some of them. Then I got my "to go" pencil case. But frankly, it's a total chaos as I got more pens (esp. text markers) than can be held by these items.

I throw away all empty or otherwise disappointing writing utensils, so I don't hold on to any junk. I refuse to throw away functioning, basically new and sometimes expensive items, just because I have no proper space to store and retrieve them from.

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8 Answers 8

Keep what you actually need/use out and everything else away.

For example, at home, I have two pens on the fridge, one by the phone and one on my desk. I then have a couple dozen pens in a rubber band in the closet. Similarly for markers. Two whiteboard markers (different colors) by the whiteboard and the rest in a rubber band in the closet. Three highlighters (different colors) on my desk and the rest in a rubber band in the closet.

At work, I have out one pen, the stapler and the tape. Everything else in in the pencil drawer organized by type. Since I don't have to get up to get to the drawer for the things I use less (highligher, pins, rubber bands, etc), I don't need the clutter. In some ways that drawer is a cache between me and the supply cabinet! The cheap pencil drawer organizer I got at Staples really helped me organize the drawer.

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I kinda have the "rubber band" method already, the question is, is this really different to my setup? It's not about storing it AWAY somewhere (which I do & feel like it's rather a burden and a waste!), but how to store the pens I indeed use (because I use more than three pens! I write so much I need more to not run out of ink mid-session.) and how to not only reduce my stock (ideally ;)) but make it more "transparent" and organized. –  grunwald2.0 Jun 26 '11 at 11:27
    
How many do you use in a session? If more than five or so, I think Tom's method is the best. –  Jeanne Boyarsky Jun 26 '11 at 18:39

The good old trick is to store them in a box or in a drawer and whenever something get's empty in your current set you would get it out of the drawer. This might not be entirely practical if you are a mobile user or want things to look more organized than a part of a drawer (or pen drawer) to be full of pens.

Unorganized, a lot of "stuff".

Organized, although "limited in space".


In this case, you might want to look for a pen case that supports a big quantity instead.

A more mobile solution.

What pen will I write with next? :)

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And now my question would be, where can I purchase such a pencil case? Actually I'd prefer such for usage at home. Going around with such a case would be too nerdy though. And I already use the "unorganized" version, kinda. That's why I asked this question. ;) –  grunwald2.0 Jun 26 '11 at 11:21
    
@grunwald2.0: That's a bit too localized to ask, try to use your local Google for Pencil Cases. Add your state/country in the query, look around what options come up. Look into magazines from shops that are specialized in bureau material... –  Tom Wijsman Jun 26 '11 at 12:23

When storing the stationery in a drawer, use a drawer divider/plastic bin. This will help you put them in the right place by organizing the similar ones together by colour or type etc.
plastic bin


When bringing them around, try using multiple pencil cases. Separate them and organize them according to type. With this amount of pencil cases I would also recommend you to carry a bag for the stationery.

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+1 We have a drawer divider that splits it up in a lot of section, didn't know how it was called... :) –  Tom Wijsman Jun 25 '11 at 9:30
    
Thanks for the tip. Actually I don't have many drawers ;) and my bisley is already full with dividers for other stuff. And there were severe issues with my BISLEY order back then, so I still lack the proper dividers, but that is of course bad luck / my fault. But good you mention it. –  grunwald2.0 Jun 26 '11 at 11:20

I used to keep a box full of pens...the problem is, they had a tendency to go dead before I got around to using them. Which is a shame, since I had some pretty nice ones.

These days, I just use a nice combo pen I like (the PhD pen/pencil/red pen) and keep one in my jacket pocket, one on my desk at home, and one on my desk at work. Then I just use those, rather than collecting dozens of cheap ones. (Of course, it helps that I don't like regular pencils anyway)

When I have markers I generally keep them in the case they came in so they stay organized.

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Right, this is indeed the problem arising with this kind of "organizing", which I also notice! If I just drop everything in there, it's too easy to neglect. ...which exact pen do you use William? I would really love to stick to one (type of) pens, but even the "Pentel EnerGel Liquid Gel Ink" pens defaulted on me, as I thought to have found the perfect pen they refuse to write even with new refills...Thanks in advance! :) –  grunwald2.0 Jun 26 '11 at 11:24
    
I use this one: amazon.com/Paper-Mate-Retractable-Ballpoint-69072/dp/B001B0EXDI I find these pens to be a lot more comfortable to hold than the cheapies. They make a pencil-only as well, but I like having both pen and pencil available. –  William Jun 29 '11 at 13:45

As new pens are acquired, they go into a drawer in the kitchen, or a drawer in my office - as I get given a lot more pens than I would ever need.

  • I keep one in my suit jacket, and one in my organiser.
  • When one runs out it goes in the bin and I grab another from the drawer.

Pretty simple, really - no need for anything more complicated, or any sorting system, and this system copes well with wives/kids randomly borrowing pens from the drawer.

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To help prevent dryouts and to organize, I bought ziplock style bags - either the sandwich or the quart size (the freezer bags appear thicker if you need it.) Since they're see-through, there's no question on what is inside. I seperate the pens out and put them in and then roll the bag up and tuck them away inside one of the file drawers. So, several bags - black pens, red pens, dry-erase markers... all rolled up like socks or ties inside the drawer. They tuck away relatively small. I don't believe in rubber bands - too many break and then everything goes everywhere. Here in Hawaii they just don't last.

I keep only a single set of pens/highlighters... in a pencil case either on the desk or in the pencil drawer of the desk.

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Interestingly, I only use one type of pen for black ink, and for that, I buy in bulk (10 in a box.). I usually only use one at a time so I keep it with me all the time.

For the other colours (Red and blue, as well as pencil, but I rarely use pencil nowadays.), I keep them in a minimalistic plastic case from Muji (set upright, to save space, minimalistic, to prevent and decrease distraction by looking at it.)

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Keep one pen of each type you actually need for your work (i.e. black ink, felt-tip, etcetera). Maybe two for things like sharpened pencils. Put everything else away, because any more than that is superfluous and is just a distraction.

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