We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

In our Shopping Buddy series, we ask our favorite in-the-know authors, actors, musicians, and tastemakers to share their most coveted home purchases, from kitchen essentials to entertaining must-haves, so that you can shop along with confidence. 

Just when we thought we couldn’t love actor and screenwriter Mindy Kaling more, she starts our interview like this: “Domino is my favorite cover I’ve ever done.” (We’re blushing.) “It’s the only one I’ve ever done in my own space, and it just captured me and my office so well.” It’s true that in 2015, we featured Kaling on our cover in her Los Angeles office, and it’s even more fitting that she brings it up when we’re about to talk about her favorite office supplies. 

Kaling, who recently partnered with Paper Mate and Sharpie, has serious opinions about her pens and laptop stands—even when certain friends (ahem, B.J. Novak) aren’t as enthusiastic about the same items. Here, she shares her favorite office supplies.

The Best Pen

It’s a little bit of a toss-up. One is the Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Bright pen because they have the most on-trend Barbie pink. But I also love the Sharpie Creative Markers because they’re great for addressing envelopes in a fancy way, and my kids really love them. But as a writer, probably the Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Brights win. They’re great because you can write really fast with them, which I love, and they elevate my chicken-scratch handwriting.  And they don’t bleed—they’re the best. 

My Notebook of Choice

A lot of teenagers like my shows, and they would sometimes ask for a memento from me, so I got these spiral-bound notebooks from Paper Source that are lined—I can’t do a not-lined notebook; it’s too unstructured for me—that say “Mindy Kaling Gave Me This Notebook.” And as soon as I got them, I feel like I stopped getting requests, so now I narcissistically have 30 of these notebooks with a unicorn on them. It’s a weird thing for a 44-year-old woman to be using.

The Water Bottle aka Beer Glass Always on My Desk

I should drink more water, but what my assistant, Kate, will make for me is a delicious fruit and protein smoothie with nut butter in it—only she has the recipe—and she’ll put it in a giant beer glass. So I’m drinking it out of this giant beer glass, and that’s what I use every day.

Libbey large beer glass
Libbey Glassware Giant Beer Glass, Set of 12, Amazon ($87)

The Old-School Desk Item I Still Use

My dad is an architect, so growing up there were always so many of these very specific rulers that he would use—the ones that have three points on them. They’re shaped like a Toblerone. I use one when I’m wrapping presents to make sure that there’s a really clean line. 

12"Architectural Scale Ruler
12″ Architectural Scale Ruler, Amazon ($5)

How I Prop Up My Laptop for Video Calls

I use this very inexpensive little wood tray that I’ve had for years and years. I love it so much that I gave it to B.J. Novak as a birthday present one year, and I have never seen a look of such candid disappointment on his face. I’ll admit it does suck as a gift, but this was during COVID, and I was like, This is like one of the best things you could use! I can put my food on it, my laptop—I thought it was a great present! 

Then I saw a mutual acquaintance of ours who had it and loved it, and it was so clear to me that B.J. had regifted it to them and they clearly had been told, “Don’t tell Mindy I gave it to you.” So I know he hated it and rejected it, which is honestly his loss, because it’s a great item I use every day.

VaeFae Acacia Bed Table Tray
VaeFae Acacia Bed Table Tray, Amazon ($20)

The Stationery I’m Obsessed With

Cheree Berry is really fantastic. They did this Barbie-inspired stationery for my daughter, and I was so jealous of my 6-year-old’s age-appropriate stationery that I angled hard-core and they gave one to me. But since then a lot of my grown-up friends have also ordered it, so I think maybe it’s more universal.