What do you write with?

Post Comment

Thanks to everyone who responded to my post about what issues should I bring to this week’s North American meeting.   I plan to print out your suggestions and bring them with me to Montreal.   (Note: it’s not too late to write – everyone is welcome to add a comment to my May 26th post!)

I have one more question for the group… since we will spend time discussing paper selection – color, weight, texture, etc.  – it would be helpful to know what do you use to write in your planner or notebook:   fountain pens? pencils? ballpoints? mechanical pencils? rollerballs? highlighters? colored pencils? All of them? Something else? Do you like to sketch as well as write?


Personally, I have given up writing in planners with  fountain pens since I make so many changes.   I usually write with a #2 pencil, although I have a yen to try some antique pencils my grandmother collected and used to use.    I gave up using them  years ago when I kept snapping off the lead nib when I was writing.

Your thoughts on paper and writing instruments would be appreciated.

16 thoughts on “What do you write with?

  1. I use fountain pens in planners, notebooks, and journals. If I’m reasonably careful, smearing and bleedthrough aren’t issues, especially if I pick the right paper. When it’s necessary, I’ll use waterproof inks like Noodlers, otherwise my favorite ink is Waterman, which is compatible with the vintage fountain pens I prefer. My favorites are the fine-medium nibbed Parker 51, Vacumatic, Striped Duofold, Namiki Vanishing Point, and a variety of other mostly vintage pens. I also like the Platinum Preppy, Ohto Tasche, and a few other inexpensive modern pens for notebooks and travel. I wish I had some artistic talent so I could sketch too! 🙂

  2. I never use ink in a planner; I use a mechanical pencil with 0.5mm F lead. In journals or notebooks I like to switch pens and inks a lot. I use fountain pens (F or EF nibs). Most of my inks are J. Herbin or Private Reserve. If the paper doesn’t work well with fountain pens, then I use gel pens, usually 0.4mm Slicci.

  3. I use lots of different types of writing utensils! For my to-do lists, meeting notes, etc., I use gel pens, fountain pens, ballpoints (ugh), rollerballs, felt-tip markers, or mechanical pencil–whatever I have handy!

    For my journals and class notebooks, I primarily use fountain pens, from ~0.1mm-0.3mm. Mostly J. Herbin ink (great flow AND most of them dry quickly!) or Noodler’s ink (for extra permanence).

    I primarily write, I don’t usually sketch, so I don’t use colored pencil, paint, etc. Wish I had time to pick up that hobby!

  4. For daily use I use an Uniball Signo Micro. I also use a fountain pen (Lamy Safari an turquoise ink)and a red Pilot VBall in Extra Fine. For fun, a Pilot Hi-Tec C Coleto in orange and purple.

  5. For journals, letter writing, lists, etc., I use fountain pens, currently ranging from an XXfine nib to a medium/fine. (I have arthritis in my hands and since getting interested in fountain pens last December I’ve been able to write more than I had in the past 20 years. They’re so much easier on my hands than any other sort of pen.)

    I use pencils for sketches or markers for marking cloth for sewing, but they’re both more painful; I avoid them as much as possible.


  6. almost always fountain pens, sometimes whatever gel pen is at hand.

    i never write in pencil because i hate the smudging that occurs. i only write in pencil when i know i will need to erase, i.e. doing math problems for a class, or homework. that happens generally in a spiral notebook separate from my planner.

  7. I use whatever is at hand, but prefer fountain pens, wide nib generally, with a variety of inks, including J. Herbin.

    I also doodle and draw in my notebooks and planners and would like to think there is a way to incorporate all media in one sleek paper product.

    Good luck at the meeting.

  8. I tend to use fountain pens (Lamy Safari, Waterman, or Pilot Prera) for my planners. Once in a while I’ll use a gel pen. For notebooks and journals, it is pretty much the same things although I’ll often use pencil if I’m trying to do sketch notes (a skill I’m trying to learn) or doing garden planning.

  9. I usually use gel pens or liquid ink pens in my planners, so the only request I have for you is to make the pages very smooth. My pens are all sub-.5mm and I hate using them on rough paper as it feels terrible and can cause cloging.

  10. I am not so fancy with my planner – I’m out and about with it, so whatever is handy is what I write with. Usually a ballpoint pen or a pencil.

  11. Fountain pens – BROAD nibbed fountain pens – so consider paper that’s extremely fountain pen friendly. Also pencils – mostly #2 – as it seems most mechanical pencils have lead so hard it punches through or leaves grooves in the page. Finally highlighters in assorted colors, including the darker purples, blues, and greens. Lack of bleed through onto the other side of the page is extremely important to me.

    Of all these, the most important is fountain pen ink, as that is the majority of my writing and, in the case of notebooks, solely the instrument used.

    When I’m not using Herbin ink, I use super saturated and wet flowing inks such as Private Reserve Tanzanite, MB and Visconti Black, even Noodler’s FPN Black Tulip.

  12. Hi.
    I really like to write using fountain pens. I have a lot of them in a beautiful »Berlinale«-cup waiting on my desk. There are some older Parkers, Lamy Safari, a Caran d’Ache, a Pelikan 600 and a Montblanc Meisterstück. Some remain empty (two Parker), because they seem to be dry anytime when I try to use them. The Montblanc is filled with Noodler’s Black, the Pelikan with Lamy’s Blue and others with that curious color Noodler’s call »Prussian Blu«. It’s some kind of green with a sip of blue.

    Second I like pencils (HB). I favour the Faber Castell Grip 2001. I buy them as a bunch of 12, put them in a cup as well and next day there are only 8 left. If I wanted I could recollect them from my collegue’s desks.

    So for me a good paper has to be »in love« with good old ink and pencils too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.