The Most Popular Office Supply: Revealing the Top Choice Among Professionals

Choose the office supply you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 29, 2024 06:21
Step right up and cast your vote in our latest thrilling ranking - "What is the most popular office supply?"! Join legions of office aficionados and stationery enthusiasts who have flocked to StrawPoll to make their voices heard. Will the mighty pen reign supreme, or will the humble paper clip seize victory? Perhaps the notorious sticky notes will pull off an upset, or a wildcard contender will steal the spotlight. Don't see your go-to office supply on our list? Fear not - you can suggest your own missing option and rally the masses to its cause! The power is in your hands, so sharpen those pencils and flex those staplers - it's time to determine the ultimate office supply champion!

What Is the Most Popular Office Supply?

  1. 1


    A pen is one of the most popular and essential office supplies. It is used for writing, signing documents, taking notes, and more.
    The Pen is a writing instrument designed for everyday use and is considered an essential EDC (Everyday Carry) item. It is typically compact, portable, and features a retractable or capped design to protect the ink. The Pen is commonly used for jotting down notes, signing documents, and various writing tasks.
    • Type: There are different types of pens, including ballpoint, rollerball, fountain, gel, and mechanical pencils.
    • Materials: Pens can be made from a variety of materials, such as plastic, metal, wood, or a combination of these materials.
    • Size: Pens usually range from 4 to 7 inches in length, making them compact and easy to carry.
    • Ink type: Different pens use different types of ink, such as oil-based ink for ballpoint pens, water-based ink for fountain pens, and gel ink for gel pens.
    • Refillable: Some pens have refillable ink cartridges, allowing users to replace the empty cartridges and reuse the pen.
  2. 2
    Paper is another essential office supply that is used for printing, writing, and taking notes. It comes in different sizes, colors, and weights.
    Paper is a versatile and widely used art supply that serves as a blank canvas for various forms of creative expression. It is made from fibers extracted from plants, rags, or wood, which are processed into a thin and flexible sheet material. The surface of paper can vary, ranging from smooth to textured, allowing for different artistic techniques and effects. It is available in various sizes, weights, and colors, making it suitable for various art forms such as drawing, painting, printmaking, and collage.
    • Weight: Paper weights are measured in grams per square meter (gsm), with lighter weights being around 60-90 gsm for sketching and heavier weights of 300+ gsm for watercolor and textured works.
    • Size: Paper comes in different sizes, including standard sizes like A4 (8.27 x 11.69 inches) and A3 (11.69 x 16.53 inches), as well as custom sizes based on specific artistic requirements.
    • Texture: Paper textures can range from smooth (hot-pressed) to rough (cold-pressed) and offer varying levels of tooth, which affects how media is absorbed and applied.
    • Color: Paper can be produced in a wide array of colors, from traditional white and off-white shades to vibrant hues and even specialty colors like black or toned papers for specific artistic effects.
    • Acid-free: Many papers are acid-free or have acid-free options, ensuring long-term preservation of artworks by minimizing yellowing and deterioration caused by acidity.
  3. 3
    A stapler is used to join papers together by punching staples through them. It is an essential tool for organizing documents.
    A stapler is a manual device used for binding sheets of paper together by inserting metal staples into the papers. It is commonly used in offices, schools, and homes for various purposes such as document organization and presentation.
    • Type: Manual desktop stapler
    • Size: Varies; commonly used sizes include full-strip and half-strip staplers
    • Capacity: Can hold up to 20-50 sheets of paper depending on the model
    • Staple Size: Uses standard size 24/6 or 26/6 staples
    • Material: Typically made of metal or plastic
  4. 4

    Sticky Notes

    Spencer Silver and Art Fry
    Sticky notes are small pieces of paper with adhesive on one side. They are used for writing short notes and reminders.
    Sticky Notes are small pieces of paper with an adhesive strip on the back, allowing them to stick to various surfaces. They are commonly used for jotting down quick notes, reminders, and messages.
    • Size: Usually in a square shape, measuring around 3x3 inches (76x76 mm)
    • Adhesive: Features a light adhesive strip on the back that allows it to stick and be repositioned easily
    • Colors: Available in a variety of vibrant colors
    • Paper Type: Made from lightweight paper that is easy to write on
    • Portability: Compact and easily portable
  5. 5
    A highlighter is used to highlight or mark important text in a document. It comes in different colors and is an essential tool for studying and research.
    Highlighter is a versatile beauty product designed to enhance the complexion and create a luminous glow. It is typically applied to the high points of the face, including the cheekbones, brow bones, and cupid's bow. The product illuminates the skin by reflecting light, giving it a youthful and radiant appearance.
    • Formulation: Highlighter is available in various formulations, including powder, liquid, cream, and stick formats. Different formulations offer different levels of intensity and finish.
    • Shade Range: Highlighters come in a wide range of shades, from champagne and gold to pink and bronze, allowing users to choose the color that complements their skin tone best.
    • Pigmentation: Highly pigmented highlighters deliver a more intense glow with just a small amount of product, while less pigmented formulas provide a subtler and buildable effect.
    • Finish: Highlighters can have different finishes, such as shimmer, metallic, or dewy, to suit individual preferences and desired effects.
    • Application: Highlighter can be applied with fingers, brushes, or sponges, depending on the desired result. Different application techniques can create various effects, from a natural glow to a blinding highlight.
  6. 6
    Binder Clips
    Bonhemurt · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Binder Clips

    Louis E. Baltzley
    Binder clips are used to hold papers together. They come in different sizes and are an essential tool for organizing documents.
    Binder clips are a type of office supply widely used for securing and organizing papers together. They consist of two flexible metal or plastic prongs attached to a metal or plastic clip mechanism. The prongs are bent inwards to secure the papers, and the clip mechanism can be easily squeezed to release the papers. Binder clips are known for their durability and versatility.
    • Sizes: Available in various sizes ranging from small (0.75 inches) to large (2 inches)
    • Material: Made of metal or plastic
    • Capacity: Can securely hold a varying number of pages depending on the size (e.g., small binder clips can hold up to 50 pages)
    • Design: Consists of two prongs and a clip mechanism
    • Reusability: Can be reused many times without losing functionality
  7. 7
    A whiteboard is a smooth, glossy surface used for writing and drawing with special markers. It is an essential tool for presentations and brainstorming sessions.
    A whiteboard is a flat, smooth surface typically made of white melamine or porcelain, used for writing, drawing, and visualizing ideas in offices, classrooms, and meetings. It serves as a reusable and erasable writing surface that allows individuals or groups to brainstorm, collaborate, and interact during presentations or discussions.
    • Size: Available in various sizes, ranging from small portable ones (e.g., 2ft x 3ft) to large wall-mounted ones (e.g., 6ft x 4ft)
    • Material: Melamine, porcelain, or glass surface
    • Marker Compatibility: Designed for use with dry erase markers, which can be easily wiped off the surface
    • Magnetic Surface: Some whiteboards have a magnetic surface, allowing users to attach documents, notes, or magnetic accessories
    • Frame: Comes with an aluminum or wooden frame for stability and durability
  8. 8
    File Folders
    Rico Heil (silmaril) · CC BY-SA 3.0

    File Folders

    Louis Leitz
    File folders are used to organize and store documents. They come in different sizes and colors and are an essential tool for keeping documents safe and easily accessible.
    File Folders are essential office supplies used for organizing and storing documents. They are typically made of durable, heavyweight paper or plastic and feature a tab for labeling. File Folders are designed to fit standard-sized papers and are commonly used in filing cabinets or portable file boxes.
    • Sizes: Letter (8.5 x 11 inches), Legal (8.5 x 14 inches), A4 (8.27 x 11.69 inches)
    • Material: Heavyweight paper, Manila, Kraft, or Plastic
    • Tab Types: Top tab, End tab, Hanging file folder tab
    • Tab Positions: Left, Center, Right
    • Expansion: 1/2 inch, 1 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch
  9. 9
    Pencil Sharpener
    Kaldari · Public domain
    A pencil sharpener is used to sharpen pencils. It is an essential tool for drawing, writing, and taking notes.
  10. 10
    Scissors are used to cut paper, cardboard, and other materials. They come in different sizes and are an essential tool for crafting, cutting documents, and more.
    Scissors are hand-operated cutting tools with two sharp blades pivoted at a central point. They are primarily used for cutting various materials, including paper, fabric, and cardboard.
    • Blade Material: Stainless steel
    • Handle Material: Plastic, metal, or rubber grips
    • Size: Various lengths ranging from a few inches to over a foot
    • Design: Symmetrically shaped with two pivoted blades
    • Sharpness: Razor-sharp blades for precise cutting

Missing your favorite office supply?


Ranking factors for popular office supply

  1. Functionality
    The office supply must serve a purpose and provide value in terms of improving productivity, organization, or efficiency in the workplace.
  2. Durability
    Items that are built to last and withstand regular use in an office setting are more popular.
  3. Cost-effectiveness
    Affordability and value for money are critical factors for businesses when considering office supplies.
  4. Availability
    Products that are readily available, easy to find, and can be easily sourced from local or online retailers tend to be more popular.
  5. Brand reputation
    Office supplies from trusted and reputable brands are likely to be higher in demand and more popular.
  6. Ease of use
    Items that are user-friendly and straightforward to use tend to rank higher in popularity among office workers.
  7. Environmental impact
    Office supplies that are eco-friendly, made from recycled materials, or have a lower environmental impact are becoming increasingly popular.
  8. Versatility
    Supplies that can perform multiple functions or serve various purposes in the office are generally more popular.
  9. Compatibility
    Office supplies that are compatible with other commonly used items or equipment in the office are more desirable.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular office supply. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or supply is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 234 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each supply once every 24 hours. The rank of each supply is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular office supply

When it comes to office supplies, there are a plethora of options to choose from. From pens and pencils to staplers and paper clips, these items are essential for everyday office work. However, when it comes to determining the most popular office supply, there are a few factors to consider. Firstly, functionality plays a big role. The most popular office supply is one that can perform its intended function efficiently and effectively. Secondly, affordability and accessibility are also important factors. Office supplies that are readily available and affordable are more likely to be popular among office workers. Lastly, personal preference and brand loyalty can also influence popularity. So, what is the most popular office supply? The answer may vary depending on who you ask and the specific needs of their workplace. However, some of the most commonly used and well-known office supplies include pens, pencils, paper, staplers, and sticky notes. These items are versatile, functional, and easily accessible, making them staples in any office setting.

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