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03/02/2024 11:06 pm GMT

Let’s talk about something super close to our hearts (and hands) – pens.

Don’t get me wrong, any old pen can get those thoughts down on paper – and if all you’ve got is a dented up Ticonderoga No.2 for journaling – that’ll do.

But, have you ever written with a pen that just feels right? It’s like that perfect cup of coffee in the morning. Sure, it’s not a must-have for journaling, but boy, does it make a difference!

A great pen can turn your regular-old journaling practice into something you actually look forward to. It’s not about fancy or expensive; it’s about how the time makes you feel. That smooth ink flowing across your page can make writing feel less like a chore and more like you’re chatting with an old friend.

So, let’s dive into why picking a pen you love can be a game-changer for your journaling routine, and walk through some of our favorite pens on the market.

Different Types of Pens

Alright, pen pals, let’s dive into the world of pens. There are so many types out there, and each one brings something special to your journal pages.

  1. Ballpoint Pens: These are the reliable old friends that you find everywhere. They’re great for quick notes and don’t fuss about smudging. Plus, they last forever. But, they’re not always the smoothest writers. Perfect for when you just need to jot something down fast.
  2. Gel Pens: Oh, the colors! Gel pens are like the life of the journaling party. They slide onto your page with ease, and that ink – bright and bold. They make your pages pop and are super fun for doodling or adding a bit of flair to your writing.
  3. Fountain Pens: Now, these are the fancy dinner party of pens. They scream elegance and have this old-school charm. Writing with them feels special, like you’re creating art. But they need a bit of care and can be a bit picky with paper.
  4. Rollerball Pens: Think of these as the cool cousins of ballpoint and fountain pens. They’re smooth like fountain pens but without the high maintenance. They’re great for longer writing sessions because they just glide over the paper.

Each pen has its personality, right? Some are no-nonsense, some are all about fun, and others are total class acts. The best part? You get to pick what works for you! (And you’ve got a lot of options out there.)

What to Look for in a Journaling Pen

Okay, so you’re on a quest to find the perfect journaling pen. It’s a bit like dating – you’ve got to know what you’re looking for!

Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  1. Comfort and Ergonomics: This is huge. If your pen isn’t comfy, your hand will not be happy, and that epic journaling session will turn into a chore. Look for pens that feel good in your hand. Test out a few – how they fit, how they feel as you write. It’s like finding the perfect pair of shoes, but for your hand!
  2. Ink Quality and Consistency: Ever had a pen that skips or blobs ink? Annoying, right? A good journaling pen should lay down ink smoothly and consistently. You don’t want to be battling with ink blobs or empty spots when you’re in the flow of writing.
  3. Durability and Maintenance: Consider how long the pen lasts. If you’re going with something like a fountain pen, there’s a bit of upkeep, like cleaning and refilling. But hey, for some, that’s part of the charm! If you’re more of a ‘grab and go’ type, maybe a ballpoint or rollerball is more your speed.
  4. Style and Personal Preference: This is all about you. Do you like sleek and modern, or classic and vintage? Your pen is a part of your journaling identity – it should reflect who you are. And don’t forget about the ink color – it’s not just about blue or black anymore. The sky’s the limit!
  5. Price Point: Pens can range from super affordable to ‘is this pen made of gold?’ prices. You don’t have to break the bank for a good pen. There are plenty of great options at various price points. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between quality and what you’re comfortable spending.

Remember, the right pen can make your journaling experience go from meh to amazing. It’s about how it makes you feel. When you find that perfect pen, it’s like it speaks your language and understands your journaling journey. So take your time, try some out, and when you find ‘the one’, you’ll know!

The 6 Best Pens for Journaling

Best Overall

Uniball Jetstream RT Pen

$20.88

The Uni-ball Jetstream RT pen is one of the best pens on the market bar none. Not too fancy, well-priced, fast drying, and as quality as they come.

  • Pen Style: Ballpoint
  • Tip Widths Available: 0.7mm, 1.0mm
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Red, Blue-Black, Brown-Black, Green-Black, Red-Black
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03/02/2024 11:06 pm GMT
Best Ergonomic Pen

PILOT Dr. Grip Center of Gravity Pen

$8.43

If you ever experience pain or strain in your hand while journaling, this is the pen for you. It's soft grip makes writing much more comfortable compared to using your everyday pen. As its name suggests, the pen's weight is more balanced than most pens, making writing a heck of a lot easier.

  • Pen Type: Ballpoint
  • Tip Widths: 0.7mm, 1.0mm
  • Colors: Black, Blue
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03/02/2024 11:19 pm GMT
Best Fountain Pen

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen

$143.24

If you're looking for a fancy (and high dollar) pen, the Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen is for you. It's been time-tested since 1966 and there's a reason it's been seen as one of the best pens on the market since then. It's got a stainless steel grip and a semi-hooded nib to prevent ink drying.

  • Pen Style: Fountain
  • Tip Width: Fine
  • Colors: Black, Silver
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03/02/2024 11:12 pm GMT
Best Rollerball Pen

Pilot, Precise V5 RT Refillable & Retractable Rolling Ball Pen

$20.67

The Precise V5 is one of the best rolling ball pens out there. Made with a durable tungsten carbide extra fine tip, it glides smoothly across most types of paper. If you're into rolling ball pens, this is the one for you.

  • Pen Style: Rolling Ball
  • Tip Width: 0.5mm
  • Color: Black
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03/02/2024 11:53 pm GMT
Best Gel Pens

Pentel EnerGel RTX True Colors United

$29.40

Pentel's EnerGel RTX pens are our top pick if you're looking for a great gel pen for journaling. It offers a smooth, good-looking pen that comes in a wide variety of colors, this is the gel pen for you.

  • Pen Style: Gel
  • Tip Widths Available: 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 1.0mm
  • Colors: Blue, Red, Black, Green, Orange, Brown, Sky Blue, Gray, Lilac, Pink, Lime Green, Violet, Yellow, Magenta, Turquoise
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03/02/2024 11:30 pm GMT
Best for Art & Drawing

SAKURA Pigma Micron Fineliner Pens

This is a really satisfying pen to use while journaling – especially if you like to doodle or draw art as part of your practice. It's so smooth, doesn't bleed, and isn't scratchy. It's also just really nice to hold. The perfect fine-tipped pen for journals.

  • Pen Style: Fineliner
  • Tip Widths Available: 0.15mm, 0.25mm, 0.3mm, 0.35mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.6mm, 0.7mm
  • Colors: Just black
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How We Chose This List of Pens

Our criteria for selecting these pens is based mostly on first-hand experience.

I (Brooks) have used the majority of these pens, but I’ll be honest, I don’t own any fountain pens, and have never had the pleasure of using the Lamy 2000. For the fountain pens portion of this list, I relied on third-party product reviews.

If you know of any pens I should check out – hit me up! Email in footer.

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