Sunday, January 18, 2015

choosing the best colored pens

I want to start incorporating some more product reviews on this blog and so I'll start with a product I've used for years, like almost twenty. In fact, since my occupation is a student and after so many years I can consider myself a "professional note taker" I suppose that would make me an expert on this topic: colored pens. 

What could be the differences you ask? Why does it matter?? It matters if you practically spend your entire day writing, and it matters if you don't want to waste money on a bad product.

This will not be a review on fancy scrapbooking, art, nor planning pens, I'll be reviewing the classic Target/Walmart/Office Max selections. I also will not be reviewing blue and black ink writing pens, because those are a separate category too.

Let's get started! I've always purchased colored pens for note-taking, here's the current stash that I'll be reviewing in addition to a few more collections that I've used in the past. 

colored pen review

colored pen review


  • BIC Atlantis - $3.15  

    • If you like bright colors, these are not for you. The price tag is appealing, and they look like fun pens, but the ink does not pop from the page and they are hard to read compared to darker staining inks. They last a long time though.
photo from here
  • BIC Multipen - $3.79 for two. 
Like the BIC Atlantis, the colors don't "pop" on a page and the thickness of this pen is sometimes annoying to write for long periods with. This pen was my favorite pen during undergrad and of course I liked the convenience of having all of the colors in easy access, but the blue and green barely showed up on notebook paper so I often found myself using up the purple ink, then using the pink, and then never touching the pen again.
BIC multipen review


  • Papermate InkJoy Retractable Ballpoints - $3.00 for 10. 
These pens are not wonderful, but the colors for the price and the quality are a good deal. They last a long a time and although the colors don't stand out tremendously on paper, they are easier to read then the BIC ones mentioned above.

  • Pilot G-2 - $8 for eight. 
These pens have a thick gel ink that looks great on paper. I have no big complaints about these pens, they are only in this category because my last two selections are better


  • uni-ball Signo Gel 207-$6 for four colors is the only online price I could find but they come in larger packages as shown below. Office Depot sells the entire set, but they are also available at Target and Walmart in less colors. 

The ink in these really stands out on paper and makes you actually want to look at your notes, it's a thick ink like other uni-ball pens. The neon colors are my favorite, and they aren't too neon to read - these are the pens I wrote "these are so fantastic" with in the photos above. They glide smoothly, and every color shows up well.  The only downside is that the gel ink does not last as long as the less impressive pens' ink do. Or maybe I just use these too much.

uni-ball Signo Gel 207 review

  • Staedtler triplus fine liner .3 mm - $10 from Staples and $13 from Target. Office Depot has the 20 piece set for more color options. 
A couple of my friends in class have these and one told me that "they make studying fun!" and she was right, they do! They write like a very, very thin marker so you can fit a lot of information on a page or write easily in margins. They come in their own plastic carrying case and the case even sits up as a little stand. 

These are my very favorite pens for class. They are also good pens to have around for writing in my planner, making grocery lists, and writing notes and letters. 

Staedtler triplus fine liner review

1 comment :

  1. This is awesome:) I'm gearing up to study my life away come august, so I'm definitely going to have to go get some of these pens! I already use the Pilot signo gell pens and they are great!


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