I have been a part time distance learner with the Open University for three years now. This is where my analogue and digital worlds merge. I have a series of set books which I read from each week which requires not taking and annotation. I also have a set of online tools that include audio, video, online exercises and e books, publications and historical articles. My study time is spent between both worlds.
My next 'school year' is about to start with a new course so my inner stationary geek has been indulging in new writing tools in order to ensure that I have everything I need. It's like a grown up version of choosing your back to school gear but without a low budget from my parents. I have carefully selected a set of tools that have to last me for 9 months, there can be no whimsical decisions.
The Baron Fig Confidant notebook will be my main analogue note taking system. I have not used this notebook before, however I have read numerous reviews on this product so I am confident that I will enjoy it. I am using a very watered down version of bullet journalling in order to keep track of my notes and keep some form of order. The full version of bullet journalling for my studying is too specific and therefore would not be suitable. However there are elements of the bullet journal system which are useful tools and I will be incorporating these into my note taking.
For reading my set books pencils are very important. I don't like editing or marking my books in pen in case I make a mistake or change an opinion. Pen in a text book is so permanent and to be honest it kind of scares me. Therefore I use pencil and only pencil in the text books. This year my main go to's will be the Blackwing 602, Palomino Forest Choice and the Staedtler Wopex. I don't like any smudging or too dark a line, just something light and subtle and these pencils fit the bill perfectly.
With pencil, comes a rubber. I have only ever used one rubber for years now and that is the Staedtler Mars Plastic. It just gets rid of everything, doesn't tear the page with use or leave behind any nasty marks. This rubber will constantly be at my side and more than likely outlast the course.
Normally I wouldn't use a highlighter but for print outs and annotations these come in handy. This year I will have the Kokuyo Beetle Tip 3way marker. This highlighter is like the all singing, all dancing highlighter. 3 different ways of highlighting my work - I'm sure that will distract me when I should be making notes. I am yellow highlighter girl too. No funny colours here, keep it traditional.
Of course there will be pens being used at the same time but these are not specific and will vary depending on what I am enjoying using at the time or what new toy I have.
The materials I have listed above for me are essential and probably won't change as I need them on a daily basis all the time. Some of these products are new to me and reviews will follow after a period of use. But on the whole this looks like a fairly fool proof study tool kit.