I Killed a Pen, and I Liked It.

In the Great Pen Graveyard in the Sky, there are a few new residents. Many consider writing by hand a dying art. Kids use pens and pencils in school, businesses use them to varying degrees–various, decreasing degrees. Pens are a daily part of my life, and it seems appropriate for me to introduce myself through my tools.

I killed a pen, and I liked it. Actually, I killed three pens, and all of them were purple. I take a lot of notes by hand, using Levenger’s Circa system to store them. I want to write great books, and in order for me to do that, I need to take notes. I need to take lots of notes. Opening the Dae Portals isn’t easy, and I have the memory of swiss cheese at times. So, I write notes.

I use a pen to write notes. A lot of authors use computers to write their notes, and in a way, I’m kind of jealous of them! I type faster than I write by hand, but I just can’t get over the thrill of writing things down on paper. Bugger.

So, since I somehow still have your attention, I’ll show you the really cool pens I use. Pilot FriXion pens use a gel-type ink, but unlike regular pens, they erase. However, unlike normal erasing pens, there’s no residue left after erasing, and it actually erases. What is this sorcery?! What is this sorcery?!

It’s invisible ink sorcery, apparently. Pilot took the idea of invisible ink and turned it into a viable writing tool… only turning the ink invisible when a certain amount of friction (or heat) is applied. Yeah, that’s pretty freaking cool science right there. It even comes in all sorts of colors. I killed three purple pens, and I’m well on my way to murdering a blue one. I have pink pens, blue pens, red pens, and green pens waiting for their turn to go to the great pen graveyard in the sky.

They come in two types: classical ‘ballpoint’ style and needlepoint. They come in .05 and .07 tips. Needlepoints tend to last longer since it uses less link to write with, but the .07 ballpoint style writes smoother. I’m seriously in love with both variants. My wallet is currently curled in the fetal position sobbing at the damage these pens have done to my finances. (Okay, it hasn’t been that bad, but at $3 a pop, at the rate I go through them, I’m going to need adult supervision and fast.)

What kind of pens do you like best? Do you have a favorite brand? Do you belong to the secret cult of pen and paper lovers? Don’t worry–your secret is safe with me.

Pen Review

If the above rambling wasn’t review enough, here’s a quick and dirty review of the pilot friXion pens.

Pros: Write really well, erasing actually works, smooth, consistent ink. Come in three styles: Click pen, capped ballpoint, capped needlepoint. Cheap. Needlepoints provide best bang for buck. Loads of colors. Can be purchased almost anywhere, from pharmacies to staples to art stores.

Cons: You will go through the pens really, really fast, especially the .07 ballpoint variant of them. Most expensive cheap pens ever. (You pay for their cheapness in how quickly they must be replaced.)

Really Important Cons: The ink is based on invisible ink technology. If you freeze the paper, your words may literally disappear. Good news? You might get the words to reappear if you warm it up. No guarantees on revival of ink. Do not store in extremely hot or extremely cold places. Do not use on business documentation.

Affiliate links used in this post. Not sorry! I kinda like reading books a lot, and I buy books whenever someone clicks those links and gets something. It’s a serious problem I have. Mhmmm, books.

  1. My favorite pens are the Pilot Precision V5 pens. I adore them! They write smoothly, cleanly, and come in delightful colors! http://amzn.to/1FJEphQ Favorite colors are the turquoise and purple. I have to take extra care not to constantly grab the turquoise or it will run out long before the other colors do.

    And you’re right about the diminishing use in business. At least for me. Just today I opted to save my highlighters and some of my ink and saving myself a smidge of work. For a long time I’ve been marking dates in the top right corner of paperwork and highlighting the most recent changes and the identifying number on the files. However, by the time I file it, it’s filed by date (no need to write the date), the most recent changes are at the top of the history attached to the front (can’t be much more front and center than that), and the identifying numbers are all in the exact same place every single time. While I will still date and highlight the “in progress” files that I’m waiting on information to come in for, once it’s heading for filing with it’s latest history as the front page, I won’t be wasting the time, ink, or my beloved highlighters!

    Speaking of highlighters, these are my favorites: http://amzn.to/1KbFAJ3 The Sharpie Accents with chisel tips and lots of liquid. It doesn’t get any better than that! And the colors are just incredible! I love that you can actually use the darker colors (red specifically) and not have any difficulty reading the text you highlighted! I use these are work so that’s especially useful when sending documents up to a superior and making sure that their eyes are drawn directly to the spot I need them to see. Granted, this is always done on standard white printer paper with black ink, so your mileage may vary in different mediums. I may also use these highlighters to pretend that I know how to draw when I feel artistic. (At least my rainbow is pretty and recognizable!)

    Another set of pens that I adore, but don’t use often, are the Paper Mate Flair pens. http://amzn.to/1Mo7aZd They’re felt tips and come in a variety of colors, but have a tendency to leak through to pages underneath if you aren’t careful. I’m usually daydreaming while writing with these pens as I use them for personal use, not work, so I have to remember to put something behind whatever page I’m writing on and I can never write front and back. I end up with lots and lots of splotches…

    I totally want to check out these Frixion pens, though. I’ve even added them to my amazon cart for the time being and hopefully I’ll be able to pick up some sooner or later! *fingers crossed*

  2. I have fibromyalgia and problems with muscle fatigue when I write my records and patient instructions. My favorite pen is the Staples Elite with its triangular grip. My most favorite pen is the triangular grip Sumo pen, but they are difficult to find.

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