Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I'm a Pen Snob & You Should Be Too

I love writing with a pen and paper. There's just something that feels really good about putting some ink on a new page. I can let my whole mind flow freely right out through my hand; creating words and sentences; paragraphs and then stories. My One Little Word for 2013 is 'Write', and I've been looking for ways to incorporate my word into my life and to use my word as a chance to inspire others. 

It all starts by picking up that special pen. 

That special pen can be any kind of pen you want it to be -- no judgments (even if you're a ball point pen person). But your special pen should make you excited to write.

There are plenty of times where I'll get a new pen and then just make up pretend to-do lists or write 'i love you' fifty times. A pen for me is like a brand new chew toy for a puppy, I just want to play with it -- I don't even care if I'm doing it right.

Do you have that special pen that speaks to you? If not, maybe its time to find a new one. I've reviewed a couple of my favorite pens in hopes that one or two might become your favorite too. 

Here are a couple of my favorites: Compare the pen recommendations below to the names of each of the pens in my image for a closer look at how they write (journaling card available here). 

Sakura Pigma Micron

Pros: This is has been my general go-to pen for a couple of years now. It's acid-free and doesn't smear after its dry. You can pick them up pretty much anywhere. The Pigma Microns come in a variety of different sizes -- including the tiny .005 point that I love for detail work and tiny handwriting.  
Cons: They can be pricey, especially for an everyday pen. So its best to buy them in bulk or when you have a coupon.

Sakura MicroPerm
Pros: This is my new favorite pen. Its a permanent/waterproof marker from Sakura with the same pen nib as the Micron pens. The nib gives you a lot more control than most permanent markers. It writes perfectly on photos, transparencies, etc. I've found that it also feathers (where paper fibers soaks up the ink) less than other permanent pens; so its much better for paper than any other permanent marker I've come across. 
Cons: It will bleed through paper, so you don't want to use it in notebooks or on anything where you don't want the ink to show through the back.

Alvin Penstix
Pros: This is a great writing pen. It writes smooth and will continue to write forever. This is the pen I use for journaling in my notebook; or writing out essays or blog posts. It also has more of a muted black tone, which can be great when you don't want a stark black ink standing out against everything else. 
Cons: The ink is muted and the pen is not as accurate as the others, so it isn't good for doodling or fine detail work. 

Zig Writer 
Pros: Dual tipped and acid free, the Zig Writers are specifically made for scrapbooking. They come in 48 different colors. They have an .05 tip and a 1.2 tip so you can create fun bold titles and thin detailed text. 
Cons: I personally don't think these pens are comfortable in my hand. I have a hard time writing as accurately as I want to with them. They are also a little bit on the pricey side.

Sharpie Ultra Fine

Pros: Sharpie Ultra fine pens are finally out in multiple colors. It's pretty much everything awesome about a sharpie with a fine point tip. They're permanent on pretty much anything, acid-free, etc. They are one of the only permanent markers that come in a variety of colors. They are also some of the most reasonably priced pens on the market -- especially if you buy a multi-pack off Amazon, you can get them for less than a dollar per pen. 
Cons: The permanent ink in the Sharpie does feather on paper. So it doesn't make a very good paper-journaling pen. I also recommend testing out the colors before you start writing on your final project. The cap color can be a little bit different from the ink color, especially on different surfaces.

Uchida Le Pen by Marvy

Pros: These are fun pens. They come in fabulous and unique colors. They are small and comfortable to write with. They are acid free, so you can journal with them all over your scrapbook pages. They are also very reasonably priced, so buying a bunch of colors won't set you back an arm and a leg. 
Cons: They don't have a ton of ink in them, so you will run through them quicker than other pens. But honestly, they're priced well enough that I think they are still worth it. Especially for the really unique colors like teal and lime green.

What's your favorite pen? What are your go-to pens? Do you use a variety of pens like I do? Or do you have a tried and true pen that you don't stray from.

Interested in writing a little bit more this year? Check out some of my other One Little Word: Write projects: Currently, 30 Days of Lists, & One Year of Journaling