17 School Supplies All Online Students Absolutely Must Buy

Shopping for the right gear this school year just got easier with this list of 17 products every online student needs.
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Updated on January 17, 2023
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As you walk through stores this time of year, you might notice the shelves filling up with back-to-school supplies. But it can be overwhelming to try to figure out what you need, especially if this is your first term as an online student.

Below, we go over important school supplies that can help you find success in your online classes. Read through this list to make sure you have the gear you'll need to start your school year confidently as an online student.

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1. Pens

Our Recommendation: Assorted Paper Mate Gel Pens, 14-Count

Even online students benefit from taking notes and documenting their learning. Taking good notes can help you study and better retain key information. With this 14-pack of Paper Mate gel pens, you can color-code your notes and make them easier to review.

2. Pencils

Our Recommendation: Ticonderoga Wood-Cased No. 2 Pencils, 24-Count

Pencils are useful for taking notes, solving equations, and jotting down ideas — especially if you're worried that you might need to erase a mistake later! Even for online classes, pencils can come in handy. These Ticonderoga pencils are highly rated and inexpensive.

3. Pencil Sharpener

Our Recommendation: Bostitch Personal Electric Pencil Sharpener

Those pencils aren't going to sharpen themselves! This top-rated electric pencil sharpener boasts a compact design and comes in a variety of colors, including blue, gold chrome, and metallic purple.

4. Highlighters

Our Recommendation: Sharpie Assorted Retractable Highlighters, 5-Pack

Sometimes we write in the margins of a page or book. Other times, we might prefer to highlight the main ideas. With the variety of colors in this pack of Sharpie highlighters, you can highlight all the things! You can even set up a color-coding system while reviewing or taking notes for class.

5. Sticky Notes

Our Recommendation: Vanpad Sticky Notes, 8-Pack

Sticky notes are great for jotting down ideas and keeping track of assignment deadlines. With the variety of bright colors offered in this pack, you'll have a color for every online course you're taking.

6. Notebook

Our Recommendation: Oxford 1-Subject Spiral Notebooks, 6-Pack

Quality notebooks to keep notes and coursework organized can help simplify a hectic course schedule. And it's a good idea to get a notebook for each class you take. This six-pack of college-ruled, one-subject notebooks by Oxford comes in various colors, making it easy to organize your notes and deadlines for class.

7. Page Flags

Our Recommendation: Post-it Flags, Assorted Color Combo Pack

Whether you're reading an article you printed or a book for school, it's good to keep track of important information you find in your class readings. Page flags are a convenient way to do this. With this 320-pack of Post-it flags, you can track key passages and create a color-coding system to organize thoughts and themes.

8. Office Clips

Our Recommendation: Sopito Binder Clips and Paper Clips, 300 Pieces

Keeping your school materials organized can be tricky. Grab this pack of colorful binder clips and paper clips to keep your papers, readings, syllabi, handouts, and other important class documents together in one place.

9. Stapler

Our Recommendation: ALSISK Desk Accessory Kit With Stapler, Tape Dispenser, and Staple Remover

After printing out a reading assignment, you might want to staple the papers together to make them more manageable. Therefore, you might be interested in grabbing this handy desk accessory set. This package includes a stapler, a staple remover, 1,000 staples, and a tape dispenser — all with stylish rose gold accents.

10. Desk Organizer

Our Recommendation: Beiz Desk Organizer and Accessories Storage

Once you've got all your school supplies, you'll need a place to store them. Knowing where everything is when it's time to take notes or study can save you time and help keep your desk organized. This office supplies organizer by Beiz allows you to easily store small books, notebooks, pens, erasers, and other supplies needed for your online classes.

11. Mouse

Our Recommendation: ZERU Rechargeable Bluetooth Mouse

For many classes, you'll need to navigate digital assignments, readings, and online learning management systems. Scrolling through and interacting with content may be more convenient with a Bluetooth mouse. You can connect to your laptop via Bluetooth and scroll through assignments without needing to rely on your trackpad or getting tangled up in wires.

12. Keyboard

Our Recommendation: iClever BK10 Bluetooth Rechargeable Keyboard

There are many options for Bluetooth keyboards, from foldable models to split designs. This particular keyboard by iClever boasts an ergonomic design, making it more comfortable to type with than a laptop keyboard. You can pack this keyboard in your backpack to study or attend classes on the go.

13. Webcam

Our Recommendation: Logitech C270 HD Webcam

Your laptop might already have a webcam, but the image quality of those built-in units can be lacking. With a quality external webcam, you can visibly participate in virtual class meetings and record videos. There are many webcam connections to choose from, including USB and Bluetooth. This option by Logitech comes with light correction capabilities and a built-in mic that offers noise control.

14. Wireless Earbuds and Microphone

Our Recommendation: TOZO T10 Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds

A quality microphone can make participating in online class discussions easier. This pair of wireless Bluetooth earbuds comes with a built-in mic, making it easy to ask questions and engage with classmates and professors.

15. Office Chair

Our Recommendation: SIHOO Ergonomic Office Chair

Invest in an ergonomic chair so you can comfortably attend online classes, do homework, and study. You want to keep your body healthy and ensure your positioning at your desk doesn't strain your neck, back, or eyes. This chair offers a high back, adjustable headrest, and lumbar support.

16. Printer

Our Recommendation: HP DeskJet Wireless Color All-in-One Printer

Many online students like to print out readings and other materials so they can highlight passages and write notes directly on the pages. With this wireless printer, you can copy, scan, and print items you need for class. It also comes with six months' worth of ink.

17. Planner

Our Recommendation: BooQool 2022-23 Weekly and Monthly Planner

Like on-campus students, online students need to find ways to stay organized. You can do this by buying a planner. In your planner, you can list due dates for assignments, class meeting times, and more. Stay on top of all your tasks with this useful organizational tool.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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