RN2writer Picks: Top Home Office Supplies for Nurse Writers

amazon storefront home office items office supplies Nov 09, 2021

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One of the ways I managed to earn $100,000 per year for multiple years as a freelance writer was by cultivating efficiencies in my workflow and even in my physical office. It’s that latter piece of the puzzle I want to talk about today.

I started up my freelance writing business on a shoestring, which means I didn’t buy lots of fancy office supplies (or even business cards!), yet I still managed to put together a well-equipped office that helped me serve clients efficiently. You can do this on a budget, too. Let me share my favorite home office supplies for nurse writers. (By the way, you can view all these recommended supplies at once, in the new RN2writer storefront on Amazon, our official supplier.)

1. Pens

I’ve yet to know a professional writer who wasn’t a pen geek. We writers wax lovingly about our favorite writing instruments, and I’m no exception.

I use two types of pens in my home office: Bic Round Stic pens and Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pens.

I love the smooth writing afforded by Bic Stic pens. They simply work. And they’re about as cheap as you can get. Bonus: You can get them in blue, black, and red ink.

I love the Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel pens for a different reason: mainly because I dislike pencils. Sure, pencil marks can be erased, but they also can smudge. Easily. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve jotted down a source’s phone number in pencil, only to find it illegible at the appointed interview time. Gah.

So when I discovered the erasable gel pens from Pilot, I immediately gave them a try. And loved them. My one criticism is that the ink doesn’t flow so smoothly from them. But they erase like a dream and never smudge, so I can ink-in appointments to my calendar and subsequently erase them if the appointment time changes. Easy-peasy. Just remember never to sign a contract with one!

2. Post-It® Brand Notes

Honestly, 3M Post-It® Brand Notes represent one of the most crucial supplies in my home office. And, in this instance, I insist on buying only the genuine 3M brand. I’ve tried many different cheap, knock-off “sticky notes” over the years, but they all either curl up at the corners (sticking to other items and objects along the way) or they fail to stick at all (falling off my monitor frame in the middle of the night, not to be seen again until my semi-annual office cleaning, when I find one and mutter, “Oh, was I supposed to call that editor back five months ago??”). Sigh.

Personally, I like the classic 3x3 Post-It® in various colors, though, of course, you also can get the Super Sticky variety, and you can even get them in larger, ruled versions for taking precise notes.

3. Manila Folders

As part of my client onboarding process, I always created a standard manila folder to hold all the paperwork I received from them: contracts, writer guidelines, etc. I primarily use Amazon Basics brand for this because manila folders need not be fancy to be effective.

Over the years, I’ve found manila folders handy for holding all manner of information temporarily needed to complete an assignment. Take interview notes. I know many writers who (like me) prefer to jot handwritten interview notes rather than typing or merely recording during an interview. When you have a client or project folder to subsequently stuff those notes into, it becomes much more efficient to find and use them afterwards.

Aside: Woe betide the writer who relies strictly on any kind of voice or video recording technology to capture an interview. I can’t tell you how many times I – and many other writers – have been burned by technology that appeared to be functioning during an interview, only to reveal later that, nope, it had recorded nary a sentence. Always take handwritten notes, as well!

4. Letter-Sized “Legal” Pads

Speaking of handwritten notes, the best way to take them, in my experience, is on an old-fashioned “legal pad,” though I always use the letter-sized version. Again, I exclusively use Amazon Basics brand for this. No reason to spend a lot of money when a cheap product will do! For the record, I prefer to use white legal pads for note taking. I feel black ink against white paper makes for the most legible notes.

5. Mini-Sized Writing Pads

I have no idea how I would conduct business without a stack of 5x8” ruled writing pads at hand. Seriously, I use these for everything!

I use them to jot down project notes, which I then stuff into the client’s manila folder. I use them to jot down small bits of information – like someone’s email address given over the phone – until I can record it in the appropriate place. I use them to jot down quick ideas for blog posts or YouTube videos or any other creative concepts (and then stuff them into my “creative” folder).

Again, I just use the Amazon Basics brand for these, but I do get them in pastel colors. What can I say? Some days I’m in a lavender mood, and other days I feel more teal.

So there you have it: My five essential office supplies that allow me to work in an organized and efficient manner. View all these and more in our new Amazon storefront. I hope this post inspires you to think about how you can use your office supplies to help you maximize your effective hourly rate and serve clients even better!

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