The pen is mightier than the sword, but depending on your writing (or fighting) style, the type of pen you use is up to personal preference. While many of us spend our lives in search of the perfect pen (it’s right up there with finding the perfect pair of jeans), sometimes there’s not just one pen that can fulfill every need. There’s a reason children’s pencil cases are so big. Life needs a lot of different writing instruments.
The world of pens is a vast one, but we’ve narrowed down the list to include our favorite pens for journaling, note-taking, drawing, doodling, and helping to keep us organized. A few of the pens we’ve highlighted come in a wide rainbow of colors, making them great study aids, helping to organize calendars, excellent for school assignments, and featuring fine tips that are appropriate for older kids, teens and adults.
We’ve also included black and blue ink pens that we love for everyday writing and drawing. With quick-drying and long-lasting ink, these pens will keep users going through exams, long nights of studying, and busy board meetings.
Whether you want to add some color to your notes or finally find the professional-looking pen you’ve been searching for, we’ve got you covered with great options.
1. Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
Featuring 12 vibrant colors that are fade and smear-resistant (yay left-handed writers!) Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens are great for drawing, doodling, and color-coding notes. The pens feature a point guard, which keeps the tips from fraying and extends the life of pens.
Pros: The Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens use water-based ink, which means no bleeding through pages, making these colorful pens a great option for notebooks and journals.
Cons: Because these pens are a marker style, they aren’t as fast to write with as a traditional pen. Comes in bulk orders.
2. Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens
Write quickly and cleanly with the Pilot G2 Retractable Premium Gel Ink Roller Ball Pens, an incredibly long-lasting gel ink pen. The Pilot comes in a 12-pack with pens that are ideal for note-taking, bullet journaling, and everyday writing, with the comfortable grip perfect for all-day use. The rollerball delivers a smooth and even finish and we like that the retractable style means there’s no fear of losing your lid.
Pros: The G2 has a plastic barrel, which makes the pen lightweight.
Cons: The 12-pack only contains black pens, although the Pilot is available in 27 colors.
3. iBayam Journal Planner Pens
Color code your journal and calendar with the iBayam Journal Planner Pens, which features a fine tip that creates perfect penmanship and fine lines. Made with acid-free ink, the iBayam has minimal bleed and the pens are stored in a clear vinyl bag for easy transport and quick reference.
Pros: With 18 colors in one set, the iBayam offers the broadest variety of color options on our list. The iBayam has a finer tip than the Paper Mate, which makes them better suited for writing and fine line drawing as opposed to the Paper Mate’s thicker tip, which works well for filling in images with color.
Cons: The pens have a slight drag when writing and may bleed through thin paper.
4. uni-ball Vision Elite BLX Infusion Rollerball Pens
No more exploding or leaking pens thanks to the uni-ball Vision Elite BLX Infusion Rollerball, which is designed to be airplane safe, keeping the ink safely inside the pen even with changes in cabin pressure. Each pen in the 12-pack is made with a bold tip for smooth and clear writing.
Pros: The rich blue/black Super Ink of the uni-ball is protected against water, fading and fraud.
Cons: The pens have a detachable lid that could easily get lost.
5. PILOT Precise V7 Stick Rolling Ball Pens
Get precise, skip-free writing with the PILOT Precise V7 Stick Rolling Ball Pens, which comes in a pack of 12. The PILOT ink features a unique formula that ensures even and flowing ink strokes. Each pen has a detachable lid that features a metal clip, making it easy to attach the pen to a journal, pocket and more.
Pros: Each pen has a clear section that makes it easy to see the amount of ink remaining.
Cons: The PILOT is available in black, red and blue, but the three colors must be purchased separately.
6. Zebra Pen Z-Grip Retractable Ballpoint Pen
With a 1.0mm medium point and low-viscosity ink that reduces skipping, the Zebra Pen Z-Grip Retractable Ballpoint Pen is a durable and long-lasting pen that is ideal for daily use. The affordable pack of 24 pens features metal clips for easy attachment and the retractable design means no more worrying about losing your pen lid.
Pros: Each pen has a rubberized grip that makes for a comfortable and ergonomic writing experience.
Cons: The Zebra pens are non-refillable and must be thrown out once they run out of ink.
7. IDEAPOOL Genuine Rosewood Ballpoint Pen
For a pen that looks and feels high end, we recommend the IDEAPOOL Genuine Rosewood Ballpoint Pen. Naturally handcrafted with an antique wooden finish, the 0.7mm point ballpoint pen comes in a black box, making it a great option for a gift. The elegant and classic looking pen is ideal for use in professional settings.
Pros: The IDEAPOOL comes with one additional stainless steel black ink refill.
Cons: IDEAPOOL recommends using only their ink for refills.