By Michelle Woo for Lifehacker
Just because ‘there’s an app for that’ doesn’t mean you have to use it. This week we’re going analog, reminding ourselves that we can live—and live well —without smartphones, and seeing what’s worth preserving from the time before we were all plugged in 24/7.
My husband works with steam process equipment and often brings home these big catalogues of products. Only one person in our home has ever had any interest in what was inside (that person would be him)—until we had a kid. Our daughter gets excited whenever she sees “Daddy’s work books”, asking to have the ones he no longer needs so she can circle various items as if she were a real buyer.
Wait, why do we buy toys again?
Hearing from other parents, I learned that little kids love “grownup” work stuff, especially if it lets them pretend to be on the job. You might have some of these items, or you can buy most of them at office supply stores for cheap
Joanna Goddard of Cup of Jo writes that guest checks, like the ones restaurant servers use, have been a huge hit with her son: “Toby got these for Christmas and has played with them one million times since then. He’s always taking our orders for elaborate breakfasts, dinners and desserts.”
Kids like playing doctor, so let them write prescriptions on a legit prescription pad. Just know that they’ll probably write themselves a prescription for three scoops of ice cream and that new Toy Story 4 Lego set. Don’t fall for it.
Piriya, a member of the Offspring Facebook group, writes: “Both kids love our old ID lanyards from work. Bonus if the lanyards have the retractable badge holders on them.”
They can play librarian or mark the date on their artwork.
Old business cards
Don’t toss business cards after you’ve digitized the info. My kid used to love putting the cards in her wallet. Same with old hotel key cards, which she calls her “credit cards.”
Kids love all types of tickets—carnival style, tear-away stubs, or the ones that come in those take-a-number dispensers. My daughter has created ticketing systems for all of her living room singing performances and storytelling sets. Everyone needs a ticket.
These office envelopes help make kids’ letters feel much more official.
By Taizo Wada for Nikkei Asian Review
Japanese stationery maker Kokuyo has indirectly taken a 37% stake in compatriot pen maker Pentel through an investment fund, the company said Friday.
Kokuyo, the country’s leading maker of stationery products with a strength in notebooks, will invest 10.1 billion yen ($92 million) in a fund operated by Mercuria Investment, which currently serves as the largest shareholder of Pentel. Kokuyo will become the fund’s, and through it, Pentel’s top shareholder.
Pentel is an unlisted company known for producing the world’s first modern mechanical pencil in 1960. More recently its colorful gel ink ballpoint pen has won a devout following around the world.
Kokuyo aims for growth in Asia, where stationery demand is expected to increase, and other markets by tapping Pentel’s overseas sales network.
Kokuyo only makes about 20% of its stationery-related sales overseas, while Pentel generates over 60% of its revenue abroad through roughly 20 foreign sites. The companies’ products are also complementary, given Kokuyo’s strength in notebooks and Pentel’s know-how in writing instruments.
The fund operated by Mercuria, a private equity company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section that counts the state-run Development Bank of Japan as an investor, acquired Pentel shares from the pen maker’s founding family last year.
Mercuria will continue to contribute to Pentel’s management after Kokuyo’s investment.
“We do not know any information other than what was in the disclosure. We will explore a response going forward,” Pentel said.
Pentel booked sales of 40.9 billion yen in the year ended March 2018. Kokuyo has sales of 315.1 billion yen.
By Mindy Weisberger for Live Science
A type of blackboard chalk that was produced for decades by just one factory in Japan was so highly prized by mathematicians they referred to it as “the Rolls-Royce of chalk.”
And when rumors surfaced about the chalk being discontinued, some academics resorted to stockpiling as many boxes as they could get their chalk-covered hands on.
The tale of Fulltouch chalk, manufactured by Hagoromo Stationery in Nagoya, Japan, and thought by many to be the finest chalk in the world, was recently featured in a short video.
Hagoromo made chalk for more than 80 years, and for those who weren’t lucky enough to live in Japan, Fulltouch was always difficult to get. Then, as Hagoromo prepared to shut down in 2015, many dedicated aficionados began grimly preparing for a world without Fulltouch. They bought dozens upon dozens of boxes, some hoarding enough chalk to last through the end of their careers, according to the video.
What is so special about this chalk? Mathematicians in the video described Fulltouch in glowing terms. The chalk is long-lasting, virtually unbreakable, bright and easy to read on a chalkboard, smooth as butter to write with, and practically dustless, Jeremy Kun, a Google engineer with a Ph.D. in mathematics, wrote in a 2015 blog post bidding farewell to Fulltouch.
So renowned is the chalk among mathematics professionals that it is accompanied by its own legend: It is impossible to write a false theorem with it, David Eisenbud, director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Oakland, California, said in the video.
When the news broke that Fulltouch’s maker was ceasing production and closing its doors, it launched a “chalkapocalypse” among mathematicians, said Brian Conrad, a professor at Stanford University in California. In the video, Conrad and others recounted their responses to the chalk emergency, stocking up on enough to carry them through as much as 15 years in a chalk desert.
However, there is a ray of hope for those who didn’t have the foresight to fill their closets and cupboards with Fulltouch when they had the chance. Hagoromo sold the Fulltouch recipe — and two of the factory’s original chalk-making machines — to the Korean company Sejongmall. The chalk is being manufactured again under its original name, and is available to buy in the U.S. on Amazon.
By Jess Young for SWNS
When it comes to planning a wedding, there is a lot to think about and you’d be forgiven for forgetting how important stationery can be. From invitations to menus and everything in between, it can all be a bit overwhelming.
Yet, wedding stationery is a relatively simple, affordable and important way to add style to your big day.
In this post, we will consider where you can make savings, things that can be done at home and the items that are definitely worth spending money on.
Programmes: get a professional to design them
In our opinion, these are an important and worthwhile investment for your big day, and they are something that should definitely be outsourced to a professional designer. It’s a quick and easy way to organise your day, introduce people to the running order and even introduce the key members of the wedding party.
If done correctly, they can provide a beautiful way of telling your story and of ensuring that everyone is on the same page. What’s more, they offer a beautiful keepsake for guests to take home and can help the wedding magic to last that little bit longer.
Menus: can be side-stepped
Yes, it’s nice to have menus on your wedding day, but in the grand scheme of things they really don’t matter. This is one option that could easily be omitted from your ever-growing to do list.
Why not consider putting your menu inside your programme – that way you are killing two birds with one stone.
Escort and place cards: these can be made at home
Escort cards are definitely another optional, but place cards are very important. Unless you’re having a small wedding, place cards are going to save you a lot of hassle on your wedding day. However, they’re not something that are worth spending a fortune on.
In fact, these can both be made at home and even supermarkets sometimes stock pretty and appropriate offerings. If you have pretty or neat handwriting, then use your creative spirit to do them yourself. Alternatively, ask a friend who has beautiful writing. This will save you time, money and make them more personal than any ordered place cards would ever be.
Wedding timelines: optional but cute
This is a relatively new trend in the wedding world but one that we are definitely fans of. There are some really cute examples of wedding timelines online and they’re a fun, time saving and quirky new tradition.
Again, these can be made at home but if you have a theme, we suggest asking your stationer or a graphic designer to create this for you. As it can be a playful way to tie your theme together.
Whilst it might initially feel like a chore, wedding stationery offers a creative and fun way to show the intended character of your wedding. Using these tips, tricks and advice, wedding stationery will be fun and something that all parties can be involved in.
Source: Study International
Move aside standard-shaped erasers and scentless highlighters and welcome to the stationery of today’s generation.
With its extra glitz and glamour, school apparatus that stands out like this is referred to as fashion stationery.
Taking the school market by storm, educators and companies are desperate to the get their hands on global market reports that sum up the trends, forecasts and analysis of the global stationery scene so they can gain the upper hand.
The demand for fashionable stationary is so huge that even the premium brand, Louis Vuitton, has cashed in on the trends with a stylish set of monogrammed pencils and portable cases.
Are these flashy stationery items distracting students from their work?
Let’s be honest – if you’re at your desk and you’re not paying attention to the teacher, then of course your set of animal-shaped erasers or yummy smelly scented ink pens are going to provide the perfect distraction.
That’s why two years ago, this British teacher requested a ban on fashion stationery.
In his opinion, “Some of this stationery should not be allowed in the classroom because it’s really only a distraction. Nobody really needs a pencil sharpener that’s shaped like a nail varnish pot and nobody really needs a pencil case with six different compartments.”
However, some students may disagree.
With so many fluffy and fun school items to choose from, how can young learners resist?
At the age where anything seems possible, it makes sense that kids want to take abstract backpacks and glow-in-the-dark apparatus to school – especially if ‘show and tell’ is a regular occurrence.
Distraction or not, wouldn’t it be odd to ban a student’s personal stationery in an age where K12 education is being steered towards conducive and creative learning environments?
It’s easy to see how the eyes of young learners move away from the whiteboard and onto kitsch stationery items, but there are ways of integrating both.
For instance, matching the scented highlighter up to the picture of the fruit on the page and asking elementary students to join the two together by colouring it in, or using fashion stationery as a prize for the weekly quiz.
There are many ways for teachers to engage with this trend – go ahead and even embrace it.
By Jason Felix for EWN
The Democratic Alliance (DA)-led City of Cape Town has been questioned by one of its own councillors why close to R47,000 per month was spent on printing and office stationery for the management entity of Cape Town Stadium.
The amount reflected were for the 2017/18 financial year which started on 1 February 2017 and ended on 30 June 2018.
Details of the figures were contained in reports of the city’s public accounts committee.
The total cost for printing and stationery is R234,550.
DA councillor Errol Anstey questioned why so much money had been spent.
“What possible printing and stationery can cost R47, 000 a month on average for the Stadium?”
The city’s chief financial officer Kevin Jacoby says besides the ordinary day to day printing and stationery cost, the Cape Town Stadium serves as a secretariat for the board of directors and all sub-committees.
“The printing of agendas, minutes etcetera were done on a regular basis as a number of board and sub-committee meetings took place during the financial period. More meetings than usual were held by the board and sub-committees as the municipal entity was newly established and they needed to obtain an understanding of the business. The printing and stationery costs also include printer related parts, some of which are high-value items.”
In total, the stadium spent R2.1 million on general expenses.
By Jade Scipioni for FOX Business
Accidentally slip some of those new office pens into your bag to save a couple bucks? Discretely tuck some of your employer’s new manila folders into your briefcase?
If so, join the club of office thieves whose numbers have been on the rise over the last 15 years.
According to data from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner, office stealing of non-cash items – ranging from scissors and notebooks, to staplers and paperclips – has ballooned to 21% of corporate-theft losses in 2018 from 10.6% in 2002.
The Atlantic, which was first to report the trend, added that most workers aren’t even coy about it, with more than 52% of workers admitting they steal company property in a survey from 2013.
Hot items include scissors, notebooks, staplers and tape, especially during the gift-wrapping holidays.
The uptick has even forced managers to routinely stock up on 20% more supplies in order to account for lost items right off the bat.
Mark Doyle, the president of the loss-prevention consultancy Jack L. Hayes International, told The Atlantic that there are a few factors to blame for office ransacking.
He points to the decrease in supervision and the uptick in employees working from home for the increase.
Source: Cape Talk
Stationery supplier Bidvest Waltons has responded to service complaints from Cape Town parents who did not get their back-to-school orders on time.
Some parents complained about failed deliveries, lack of communication and poor customer service.
Tessa Dowling, Cynthia Makwenyaa and Andrew Williams were among those affected by the delays.
They all described to consumer journalist Wendy Knowler how the stationery supplier had no boxes prepared despite their preorders.
When they arrived to collect the stationery sets, boxes were not labelled and many parents had to wait hours or return later for assistance.
Waltons says it will refund orders that were paid for but not received by customers.
Knowler says parents should use their collective power to push schools to review their agreements with stationery suppliers that don’t deliver.
If a school recommends a system that doesn’t deliver and fails to communicate, it’s up to the parents [to ask the schools] about what pressure they are putting on the service provider to up their game.
Below is the statement consumer journalist Wendy Knowler received from Waltons:
“We accept and sincerely regret the frustrations suffered by this customer but unfortunately, we do sometimes have glitches in a logistics operation of this nature and magnitude of the back to school one. While the issue is now resolved, we have also contacted our customer to apologise for the poor experience.
We assure you that we are committed to resolving all issues brought to our attention. To this end we have a dedicated mail address for customers to communicate with us which enables us to personally deal with queries:
In addition to our normal planning for this important part of our business which starts after the end of the current season, we review any issues which arose during the last season and also share experiences with other regions in order to continuously improve our service levels. Should any boxes or items not have been received but been paid for, we would obviously refund these amounts.
We are very proud of our involvement over so many decades in the back to school market and would thus like to express our thanks to all our customers for their continued support. We try to learn and so get better every year.
Thank you too for bringing this matter to our attention as any service let down is not acceptable to us.”
Source: Jacaranda FM
It’s back to school which means parents are expected to buy a list of school stationery as long as their arm for their kids.
Stationery can be costly and because of that, it needs to last. These tips below will help you ensure that your child’s school stationery lasts longer and will save you some money.
Buy good quality stationery
Good quality products last longer. Avoid buying things just because they are cheaper. It’s better to invest in quality stationery than finding yourself having to buy more stationery during the year, which might turn out to be costlier.
Remember to compare prices from different stores. You might get good quality products for less by comparing prices.
Organise your stationery
There is nothing worse than coming home to find your child’s stationery scattered all over the floor or in multiple rooms. Not only does this make your house untidy, but it can also result in your child losing some of the stationery. So, teach your children how to organise their stationery and to pack it away tidily.
Make a list
Keeping track of the stationery will ensure that your child doesn’t lose items without realising it. Set aside time for them either daily, or weekly where they check the list and ensure they haven’t lost anything
Ensure your child’s stationery is marked
Children often misplace or get their stationery mixed up. Marking your child’s stationery will ensure that they can easily identify it.
Buy a big enough school bag and space case
If your child’s school bag or space case is too small, they might end up damaging their stationery. Buy a big enough school bag that has the compartments they need for different items. Also get a space case so that they can pack all their stationery in one place.
Take proper care of stationery
Teach your children to handle their stationery with care. This means teaching them the importance of replacing tops on pens and markers, replacing the top on their glue sticks and keeping crayons and colouring pencils packed in the box.
By Devon Koen for Herald Live
While nothing signals the end of the festive season more than the onslaught of back-to school advertising and with parents feeling the financial pinch after splurging over the past two weeks, The Herald conducted a flash price comparison on a number of school supplies.
With most retail shops dropping the price of school stationery staples drastically this week before the first term starts, items on the shelves at selected shops may change in the coming days.
Major shops visited this week included Pick n Pay Hypermarket at William Moffett Park, Game The Bridge, and Shoprite and Checkers Hyper at Greenacres.
All the shops visited have specials on various school stationery items, including those listed.
Eight generic items have been selected which are listed on most schools’ stationery supply lists issued to parents.
While you can expect to pay more than R200 for the items priced, Shoprite shows a marginally cheaper offering with a basket full of basic stationery adding up to R208.42, while the most pricey of the shops is Game at R255.92.
Below is a breakdown of the selected items and their pricing at the various retailers:
Staedtler HB Tradition pencils (3 pack)
- Pick n Pay – R13,95
- Shoprite – R14,99
- Checkers – R28,99
- Game – R14,99
Pritt glue stick (43g)
- Pick n Pay – R35,95
- Shoprite – R29,99
- Checkers – R42,99
- Game – R38,99
Butterfly A4 pocket file (30 pages)
- Pick n Pay – R20,95
- Shoprite – R32,99
- Checkers – R21,99
- Game – R22,99
Staedtler retractable wax crayons (12 pack)
- Pick n Pay – R32,95
- Shoprite – R33,99
- Checkers – R33,99
- Game – R38,99
A4 Office Paper White (500)
- Pick n Pay – R61,99 (Rototrim)
- Shoprite – R52,99 (Typek)
- Checkers – R52,99 (Typek)
- Game – R64,00 (Typek)
BIC ballpoint pens
- Pick n Pay – R21,95 (3+2 free)
- Shoprite – R13,99 (3 pack)
- Checkers – R15,99 (3 pack)
- Game – R20,98 (4+3 free)
Staedtler colour pencils (12)
- Pick n Pay – R18,95
- Shoprite – R18,99
- Checkers – R18,99
- Game – R41,99
A4 hardcover books (each)
- Pick n Pay – R10,95
- Shoprite – R10,49
- Checkers – R11,99
- Game – R12,99