I think there is a big reason why the planner world has a lot of teachers in it, and vice versa. Both are often hoarder-types with a particular eye for stationery. I know that once my full-time study days were behind me (I started a second Masters degree last year! It seems I can never truly give up study) I focused on developing a new stationery setup for the world of the working mother. And, for me, the most important part of this was finding the right pen
My experiences in the planner community served as a great way of narrowing down this needle-in-a-haystack style search. Nevertheless, it seemed like something of Tolkein-like proportions.
The Muji Gel Ink Pens
Thought by some to be the only way to go as far as planner-pens are concerned, I think that they are also an excellent choice in the classroom. As a teacher I don’t like being bound to one colour, and the inks in these pens are sublimely rich in colour. I’m not going to lie, aesthetics are important to me in pens almost as much as the actual writing capabilities, and the Muji pens are the most beautiful around. However, they are not the easiest to get my hands on I am discovering. Beautiful, but not particularly accessible in my corner of the world.
The Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
For ages Staedtler was my go-to for “sharpie” style laundry markers which I seem to always need a ready supply of. But these glorious pens (which come in an alarming number of colours) were a discovery of mine when I entered the world of ever-fun adult colouring in about a year ago. I love these pens, and their consistency at producing the “right” line is something I value really highly. Is the fineliner point a little too “fine”? I’m still not sure yet, and I’m probably just being a little finicky.
The Papermate Flair
The Papermate brand has served me well. Countless exams, essays, note taking sessions and more have all been covered by Papermate. When I really think about why I’m always such a continued fan of theirs, I’m realising that it has more to do with being able to find them at the supermarket easily than anything else. But being affordable and easy to purchase is important, and not to be played down! I’m also a fan of the colours (always) but the fact that they feel like pens instead of textas, which reminds me that I am the teacher and not the student (ha!) and make me feel “grown up” where needed. But also, much more practical for writing annotations to assignments, scribbling out lesson plan ideas in notebooks, and looking sensible in meetings (apparently this is my world now). Due to having 2 children under 4, I have an abundance of textas, so colourful pens which are decidedly NOT for toddler use is a novelty for me.
Probably the pen that most people picture when I’m talking about functional high quality every day colourful pens for planners, writing notes, and even adult colouring, would have to be Stabilopoint I imagine. Difficulty in spelling and pronunciation notwithstanding (I have retyped the name at least 3 times every time I write it!) it is a beautiful pen. My grandparents had a set at their house when I was a child for crosswords and things, and I always attributed them to something special and fancy (even though their price tag tells me otherwise). For me these are for the “serious” planners, the “artistic” people and the “proper” writers. Oh! How wrong am I! These pens suit the gloriously average like me just as well as those whose beautiful penmanship and calligraphy I admire. Another case where they feel a bit texta-like and their point can be a bit on the teensy side, but these always remain as pens I admire.
And the winner is…
Well, for me, I stuck with the tried and true Papermate for now. Their affordability and reliability in many an exam and essay was what sold me to be honest. And yet, I remain forever on a journey to find my perfect pen, and I’m still not sure if I’ve found my pen soul mate. Which pen is yours? What factors are important to you? I would love to hear your thoughts below!