In my previous post I highlighted the top 10 office supply reviews from 2009, based on the number of visitors to each review. Today, in what I hope will be an annual tradition, I wanted to highlight those items that I personally thought stood out from the pack. I try to make sure that all of the reviews here are reviews of really cool office supplies that arent the type of thing that you might find in your standard office supply cabinet, so to pick the cream of the crop from this already unique group wasn’t easy. Id love to hear your thoughts in the comments section, if you would have picked different items.
I’m going to keep the list small, because I think that if I make the list too long, it probably dilutes the significance of being selected. For each of the following categories there will be one winner: Best Pen or Pencil, Best Special Purpose Writing Tool, Best Notebook, Best Organizational Tool, Best Green Office Supply, and Best New Product.
Best Pen or Pencil – Although there were 3 different versions of the Sharpie Pen to select from, the Sharpie Pen Grip outdid the other two versions in terms of style, functionality, and writing comfort. The Original Sharpie Pen got a ton of recognition and praise, but quickly people started to find some minor issues with it, and provided some feedback for other things they would like to see with the pen. Eventually Sharpie came out with a Retractable Sharpie Pen, and finally what they called the Sharpie Pen Grip which managed to combine the best features of both previous versions of the Sharpie Pen. Kudos to Sharpie for not only producing such a great product, but for also listening to customer feedback to even further improve upon the Sharpie Pen. (Buy)
Best Special Purpose Writing Tool – Next up is a category that can encompass quite a few different products. One of the most useful, nicely designed, and practical items that I reviewed this year was the 3M Post-it Brand Flag Plus Highlighters. These thick and chunky highlighters provide a vast storage of ink, while also neatly fitting in a nice stack of Post-it flags to super charge your highlighting and note taking sessions. In addition to the nicely integrated design of this product, you can also tell just from holding them, that quality construction was a focus on these. You probably cant do any better than these highlighters for your note taking, studying, or reasearching, so go ahead and check them out. (Buy)
Best Notebook – There was some good competition in this category, but the high quality and amazing writing experience provided by Rhodia’s Web Notebook with 90g paper far surpassed that of any other notebook that I used this year. Between the fantastic paper that makes for a super smooth writing experience with no feathering, bleed through or show through, and the high quality cover and elastic closure, this notebook is one that nobody should be without. (Buy)
Best Organizational Tool – Good looks, multiple functions, and a unique green twist make the Bamboo Dry Erase Entry Butler from Three by Three one of the most functional and helpful organizational tools that I had the privilege to try out this year. I saw this item at the 2009 National Stationery Show, which has me excited about hopefully attending the 2010 National Stationery Show to find even mroe great products to share with you here. Anyway, if you are looking for a great looking dry erase board that uses sustainable resources, provides all kinds of space for storage and hanging things, is also a dry erase baord, and just looks great, this is the one for you. (Buy)
Best Green Office Supply – Quite often Green Office Supplies lack a certain quality or functionality that is sacrificed in order to meet the goal of being environmentally friendly. The Ecosystem Environmentally Friendly Journals and Planners that I reviewed not that long ago were quite surprisingly some of the better notebooks I used this year, regardless of any environmental claims. The paper was great to write on, the overall quality of construction was superb, and its all made from post-consumer recycled paper, and completely made in the US. Hard to go wrong with this fantastic line of green office supplies from Ecosystem. (Buy)
Best New Product – Out of all the new office supplies that were introduced this year, it was actually the re-introduction of an old favorite that captured the attention of this Office Supply Geek. The Stainless Steel Sharpie Permanent Marker that was introduced this year, really impressed with its amazingly good looks, and high quality feel. The folks at Sharpie managed to take what has long been viewed as a more of a strictly functional tool, and turn it into a luxury product over night. Not a simple feat, but I think Sharpie really nailed it with this one, which is why I’ve decided to make it my Best New Office Supply of 2009. (Buy)
So there you have it, those are my picks for the best office supplies of the year. Now we have a 2010 to look forward to that is full of more fun, unique, and cool home office supplies, and I’ve already got a few new giveaways lined up for all of my fantastic readers. Make sure to sign up for my RSS feed so you don’t miss any of the new products or giveaways!