The best pens for note taking help you be more creative, organized, and productive. Taking notes allows you to acquire information and create excellent study resources. But you would probably agree that you can produce higher-quality notes if you have the top pens on hand.
Taking notes encourages people to have better concentration as well as to synthesize ideas, leading to a better comprehension of a subject. This necessary activity, nevertheless, can become a burden if you rely on a low-quality pen for writing notes. Therefore, how can you identify the right pen type or the best pen brand? Let me give you a few tips:
- When looking for the top-tier pens for taking notes, make sure that they have a good ink quality. The ability to write in richer shading and distinct shades is a feature that all pens should have. The ink in the pen must be of excellent quality to make the text readable and clear. Plus, the ink should dry quickly to avoid getting messy notes.
- The top-rated note taking pens should have variable tip sizes. Whether it is super-fine, medium, or broad, the correct tip size or style lets you render consistent and precise lines. Aside from that, it is a contributing factor that enables you to write comfortably; thus, you can keep jotting down notes and glide your pens effortlessly, even for extended periods.
- The color variation matters as well. The pens for notes are normally available in black, blue, and red. But you can consider assorted color options if you want to be creative while keeping your notes neat and organized.
Although these aspects are essential in picking good pens for notes, understanding your purposes and needs are also significant factors to come up with the smartest decision. In this article, I will walk you through the top picks and their reviews as well as informative guidelines on how you can find the good note-taking pens.
Table of Contents
- Top 12 Pen for Note Taking Reviews
- 1. iBayam Journal Planner Pens
- 2. PILOT 31294 G2 Premium
- 3. Paper Mate 1951636 InkJoy Gel Pens
- 4. Pentel BL77BP12M EnerGel RTX Gel Pen
- 5. Paper Mate 74423 Flair Felt Tip Pens
- 6. BIC MSBAPP241-A-AST Ballpoint Pens
- 7. Amazon Basics AH2013A-12-ASST Pens
- 8. Sharpie 2096159 S-Gel Gel Pens
- 9. Aen Art Journal Planner Pens
- 10. VITOLER FLPEN-24 Journaling Pens
- 11. uni-ball 33950 Signo 207 Retractable Gel Pens
- 12. Ai-Natebook Fine Point Markers
- What to Look for When Buying Pens for Note Taking
- Which Pen Is Better for Note Taking
- Are Pens or Pencils Better for Note Taking
- Are Fountain Pens Good for Note Taking
Top 12 Pen for Note Taking Reviews
1. iBayam Journal Planner Pens
I suppose you will appreciate this set by iBayam if you enjoy sketching, writing elaborate and complex designs, and taking down notes. These top-grade pens are available in 18 different colors. I think these top colored pens with multiple colors are ideal for notebooks and planners, thanks to their very seamless 0.38mm ultra-fine point.
Moreover, these aesthetic pens for notes with metal-clad points perform magnificent writing, sketching, and shading. The point barrier mechanism on this writing tool protects the felt tip and the water-based ink from bleeding through the paper, preventing any mess.
With such an innovative design, you can exhibit your creativity and resourcefulness. These markers are my favorite pen markers because they produce bold, expressive lines that are ideal for revising texts and taking down detailed and organized notes.
You will not worry about smearing the following page when using these pens because what the ink produces is clear and precise. I believe it is great for any writing activity because of its compact and ergonomic pen body.
Furthermore, instructors and professors consider this the best pen to write on students’ papers when evaluating them. Office employees use it as well to modify and make notes on important files. This proves that these pens are not just for students, but professional workers as well.
All of your pens will always be secure and organized as they come in a protective case with a fold-over snap seal. Hence, you can carry your favorite pens wherever you go and store the set in your backpack without worrying that you might lose or misplace them.
- Ultra-fine tip; 0.38 millimeters for precise and intricate writing
- Available in 18 different colors to help you organize notes
- Ergonomically designed
- Includes a protective case
- Hard to uncap
2. PILOT 31294 G2 Premium
This set of PILOT G2 Premium Gel Pens combines efficiency and performance. It is arguably among the greatest models from PILOT, a 10-year-old company, that consistently provides useful and top-quality school and office supplies.
When analyzing this gel pen, numerous people observe how long-lasting it is, both in terms of its written lines on paper and its longevity. This allows you to preserve your notes for quite a long time without worrying about fading or wearing out.
These durable Japanese pens for note-taking have some useful capabilities. You can easily and quickly retract it with just a single click. When the ink runs out, you can replace it with a brand-new ink cartridge of the same color.
Moreover, these pens come with a selection of tip sizes from which to select. It can either be ultra-fine for writing complex details or medium-fine for highlighting various information. You can also pick the bold point for emphasizing important details.
Each pen in this set, whatever tip size it has, offers a very smooth writing experience, making it very easy for you to take down notes. Plus, their barrels have a rubber-made coverage that will surely provide a secure and comfortable rubber grip. If you are a lazy writer, I believe you will appreciate this set!
In terms of ink colors, this bundle of 20 colored pens for note-taking offers a vast array of shades. This mixed collection contains frequently used colors such as black, blue, and red, as well as accentuating colors including violet, teal, pink, burgundy, and green.
- Very long-lasting ink; smooth writing experience
- Retractable; replaceable ink cartridge
- Comes in 20 colored pens
- Available in different tip sizes
- Rubber coverage; comfortable and secure grip
- Might smudge on shiny paper
3. Paper Mate 1951636 InkJoy Gel Pens
Numerous writers admire these Paper Mate pens because of their ergonomic design. The ergonomic and comfortable grip around the whole pen enables you to handle each pen easily. Therefore, you can write all day without putting too much pressure on your hands and fingers.
The majority of gel pens for notes smudge as you write them on the paper. Amazingly, they dry three times quicker than conventional gel pens, resulting in better focus when writing and taking notes.
There are 14 vivid colors in this collection. The eye-catching color selection is ideal for color-coding notes and various documents. I think this set is an excellent choice if you want to become more organized in your notes.
In addition, these gel pens for note-taking do not easily smear or skip. They also do not bleed quickly, even when being used on thin paper.
Aside from that, the 0.7mm fine point pen glides easily on paper, making it the best pen type when writing for extended hours. You do not have to refill each pen frequently because these gel pens have very long-lasting ink.
All the colors in this set are vibrant, particularly the red and dark blue pens because of their solid and rich colors. That is why I recommend these gel pens for taking notes, editing records and calendars, and other design projects.
- Dries three times faster than typical gel pens
- Ergonomic and very comfortable grip design
- 14 different bright colors for neat and color-coded note-taking
- Does not smear and skip
- Long-lasting ink
- Leaks sometimes
4. Pentel BL77BP12M EnerGel RTX Gel Pen
The EnerGel RTX by Pentel provides a comfortable and smooth writing experience. Its quick-drying liquid gel ink makes it an ideal option for left-handed writers who want smudge-proof and glob-free ink quality.
I think this wonderful set of retractable pens already has everything you need to apply vibrant highlights to your notebooks. The soft latex-free grip of these pens also makes these pens a must-have. I recommend buying these gel pens if you normally experience hand fatigue every time you write.
Because the company strives to produce comfortable writing tools, these pens can prevent hand strain while being used. Aside from that, each pen offers a sleek design with metal accents for a more professional appearance.
These colorful pens do not bleed easily when used on different papers. Once cured, the tint could withstand water, preventing your valuable notes from smearing when moisture comes in contact with them.
This collection includes a total of 12 vibrant and seamless colors. The assortment lets you produce various handwriting techniques as well as organize and customize your documents.
Furthermore, these pens write without skipping and tearing your paper. With a medium tip of 0.7 mm, it can draw solid lines to emphasize relevant points on your papers.
The 1-mm tip variation also plays an important role in producing definite and thick lines with exceptional shades, making the primary information more vivid.
- Smudge-proof, bleed-proof, and glob-free
- Soft latex-free grip for a comfortable writing experience
- Ink can withstand moisture
- Available in 12 vibrant colors
- Does not skip
- Could run out quickly when used regularly
5. Paper Mate 74423 Flair Felt Tip Pens
This selection of Flair Felt Tip Pens has been the brand’s top favorite because of their sleek tip designs. The 0.7 mm is a medium felt point that emphasizes important details on your notes. Since it is relatively thicker than other tip sizes, it allows smooth and controlled writing.
Additionally, these felt tip pens for note-taking are innovatively designed to prevent fraying. Thanks to its point-guard innovation, the tips last long, allowing you to jot down notes effortlessly.
This medium-tip pen does not bleed through various types of paper. Its water-based solution also prevents smears and smudges on your notes, so I guess you can safely use it even on a fragile surface.
Moreover, this 12-piece set comprises all unique pastel colors, including cranberry, salted caramel, olive, and many more. The distinctions between these shades are quite minor, but they radiate strongly while being unobtrusive.
In addition, Paper Mate ensures that you have a decent case to store your pens. They have collaborated with Box Tops to design appropriate packaging for your pens; thus letting you decide how many colors you want.
- Very smooth and durable 0.7 mm point
- Uses point-guard innovation that prevents fraying
- Smearproof and bleed-proof
- 12-piece set with unique pastel colors
- Comes with a case for neat storage
- Dries quickly when left uncapped
6. BIC MSBAPP241-A-AST Ballpoint Pens
When it comes to a budget-friendly pen set, this BIC Cristal is one of the practical options I found. Each ballpoint pen for note taking highlights the oil-based ink that writes smoothly on a variety of surfaces and dries rapidly. Not to mention its water-resistant quality that deters smears while writing.
Among the pens on the market, I must say that these ballpoint ink pens are relatively thicker. The 1.6mm bold point produces vibrant and neat line appearances. They easily glide on the surface, making it very ideal for writing long notes. Plus, the thick tip size offers superior control when writing.
Apart from that, these ballpoint pens for note-taking allow you to display your writing creativity and originality. Lots of people prefer using these since they produce bold and dynamic strokes that are appropriate for revising papers, sketching, and jotting down notes on any type of paper.
Furthermore, every color in this 24-pack set works smoothly on regular paper without smudging. You can see the crystal clear and precise lines by trying it on either a thin or thick paper, and that is because of its high-quality ink formulation.
I have no issues with its packaging from the inside and out. Each pen’s barrel is roll-proof, slender, and easy to control, whereas each cap style is sleek and efficient as it has color coding.
- Designed with 1.6mm tip size for thick and bold lines
- Comes in 24 pens for versatility
- Slim, easy-to-control, and roll-proof pen barrel
- Tends to bleed through thin paper
7. Amazon Basics AH2013A-12-ASST Pens
These Amazon Basics markers boast their no-fray felt tips. Therefore, each pen provides seamless writing without worrying about messy and inconsistent lines.
These marker pens have a strong tip that writes smoothly whether you are writing or designing. They are reliable for taking notes but also useful for highlighting artistic details or beautifying your notebook with stylish patterns and strokes.
Aside from that, the key feature of this pen is that it uses water-based ink. Compared to other pen inks, this type offers smooth ink flow, letting you write effortlessly. Hence, you can draw precise lines without smearing or bleeding through your paper.
This package includes 12 different writing shades. With a large range of color choices, you can organize your notes and create visual pictures to make them more distinctive. Impressively, the colors look rich and sharp, leaving every word clean and legible.
The colors can highlight ideas and sentences, making them visible and understandable at all times. Even the lightest shades, including green and yellow, appear fantastic on paper and comprehensible.
In terms of design, every pen is minimalism at its best. Apart from the compact size and ergonomic design, each pen has a metal pocket clip that you can attach to your backpack or notebook.
- Designed with no-fray tips for efficient writing performance
- Uses water-based ink for smooth flow rate
- Produces solid, rich, and neat colors
- Compact and straightforward design
- Quickly dries when left uncapped
8. Sharpie 2096159 S-Gel Gel Pens
These Sharpie S-Gel quality gel pens offer smudge-free ink, contrary to most gel pens. With such a unique ink formulation, you can keep jotting down notes confidently without any fear of ruining your notes with smears.
This brand stands out for its no-bleed feature, preventing stains and leaks. Therefore, you could enjoy seamless and messy-free writing without having to worry about smudges or unsightly ink pooling. Plus, it can dispense ink that dries quickly as well.
This highly pigmented gel ink offers effortless strokes that render dark lines and neat writing. Thanks to these black pens for notes, you can keep your important documents, academic writings, and essays free from messy inks and dull shades.
Moreover, the 0.7 mm tip size produces seamless and firm consistency, perfect for daily note-taking. This tip design can create precise lines and sharp applications, making these pens for note-taking no-smear writing demands.
When it comes to its design, the stylish and attractive appearance makes it a nice addition to your stationery collection. Each pen includes a robust and ergonomic rubber grip as well as a retractable function for hassle-free use.
- Formulated with smudge-free and no-bleed ink to keep notes neat
- Designed with 0.7mm tip size for precise and sharp lines
- Rich and deep black ink
- Quick-drying ink
- Stylish appearance with an ergonomic grip design
- Skips sometimes
9. Aen Art Journal Planner Pens
If you are looking for a cheap yet high-quality school pen for organizing your notes, this Aen Art pen set is among the best ones I found. With a massive 36-count in this selection, you will have more than enough to complete tons of writing tasks.
As you will have many spare marker pens, misplacing one pen or two will not be a great problem as well as running out of ink. While that makes it a great choice, the consistent ink flow also makes these pens a nice addition to your arsenal.
These 0.38mm fine-line pens feature sturdy metal-clad construction to avoid tip breaking, giving you a smooth writing and sketching experience. It is helpful in keeping intricate details and arranging your standard notebook journal.
Every pen in this set features good-quality ink that does not skip or glob, allowing you to write smoothly and generate precise strokes. It uniformly distributes vibrant colors, resulting in distinct lines that accentuate and emphasize your notes.
Unlike other marker pens, these exquisite pens do not smudge or bleed through paper. I suppose this is a benefit if you aim to use these pens for note-taking and avoid stains or ink pooling on your paper.
Furthermore, the durable, lightweight plastic coatings contribute to an ergonomic design that fits comfortably in your hand. Its compact size makes it ideal for putting in a pocket or backpack. The caps keep the ink from drying out by securely fitting over the marker pens.
- Consistent ink flow; does not skip
- Durable barrel and tip design for long-lasting quality
- Smudge-free and bleed-proof
- Lightweight and ergonomically designed
- Ink quality is not that long-lasting; it slightly fades over time
10. VITOLER FLPEN-24 Journaling Pens
This VITOLER marker pen set boasts 0.4 mm fine tips for sharp and accurate writing. Whether for taking notes or journaling, the sturdy tip design provides a smooth writing experience that showcases excellent precision.
The water-based ink delivers vibrant colors that flow seamlessly in every glide. Aside from that, the fast-drying ink wards off smears or uneven strokes.
Thus, writing, drawing lines, and rendering details are no trouble. Moreover, the spectrum of colors can give your notes beautiful pops of hues for creative yet comprehensible notes.
One more thing, the water-based ink is washable. Therefore, these marker pens are a great option for artistic kids who love to play with colorful markers and usually end up with messy ink stains. Fortunately, these pens are easy to remove on fabric.
I also want to highlight the ergonomic features, including the lightweight structure and compact barrel to write comfortably. These sleek pens are backed by a durable barrel design to ensure long-lasting quality. They are slim and compact, making them much easier to hold and write with, even for extended periods.
- Offers assorted colors for a fun and creative note-taking
- 4 mm fine tip design that can create intricate details
- Non-toxic and acid-free
- Washable ink; ideal for kids
- The ink bleeds through thin papers
11. uni-ball 33950 Signo 207 Retractable Gel Pens
The unique gel ink composition is one of the key benefits of these retractable gel pens from Uni-ball. Its usage of a solid ball tip contributes significantly to its constant ink production. It has an easy glide and is perhaps one of the smoothest-writing and best gel pens available.
If you are a speedy writer in need of a dependable pen to cope up with your speed, this one is a no-brainer. Aside from that, it has refillable ink that increases the life of the pen for optimum efficiency.
I believe this gel pen does not fail when it comes to ink quality as its intense black ink makes it very excellent for taking notes, sketching, and any other writing needs and requirements. It produces a rich black color that delivers deep, dramatic, and crisp flowing outlines.
The 0.7mm fine point’s tip shape produces crisp and continuous lines, ideal for elaborate and complex writing. Even though it is a gel pen, it does not bleed or smear easily as long as you allow it to dry first.
With the retractable design, you can always have your pen ready for writing anytime. It lets you write in a flash and put it away in your backpack or pocket effortlessly. I particularly like the rubber grip and slightly curved pen body for long-lasting comfort, especially when writing for long periods.
- Offers smooth ink flow for efficient and hassle-free writing
- Designed with 0.7mm tip for complex and intricate writing
- Refillable ink that prolongs ink life
- Delivers deep black ink
- Comfortable to use for long periods
- The ink takes a long time to dry
12. Ai-Natebook Fine Point Markers
Despite their simple design, these Ai-Natebook marker pens will not compromise ink quality. The pens use water-based ink that allows hassle-free and convenient writing. As a result, you can easily write down notes and present beautiful accents in your work.
Every pen of this abundant 36-pack set is flawlessly vivid. The non-toxic ink is pretty vibrant and flows well without smearing or leaking through the paper. This enables you to use all of the pages in your notebook or write notes on your textbook without creating any smudges.
Moreover, the quick-drying ink formula can reduce smearing and the appearance of sloppy ink spots. This allows you to continue working on your notes without worrying about ink accumulation or streaks, even when you flip over the sheets or put your notebook aside.
Crafted with 0.38 mm fine tips, the pens can deliver precise and detailed lines as you take down notes. The tips may appear fragile, but they are amazingly sturdy. Therefore, they do not wiggle even when used for extended periods.
Since it lends smooth ink flow, you can keep writing without splotches or horrible streaks. Plus, the colors render vibrant and solid hues. I am actually quite skeptical about the lime green and yellow pens, yet they are surprisingly vibrant and can produce legible writings.
Furthermore, the barrel design is comfortable to hold, reducing hand fatigue.
- Water-based ink; quick-drying
- Available in 36 different colors
- Glides smoothly on the surface
- Sturdy tip; comfortable barrel design
- Some colors do not work well
What to Look for When Buying Pens for Note Taking
Ink Type and Quality
Your goal is to keep your notes clear and readable, which is why ink bleeding and smears are a no-no. With that said, pens with fast-drying and smudge-free ink are the best options because they allow an effortless and messy-free writing performance. As a result, you can keep your notes neat and comprehensible at all times.
Moreover, the ink quality and appearance may vary depending on the ink type. Typically, pen inks come in four different types: oil-based, water-based, alcohol-based, and thick water-based gel.
Each ink type has its respective advantages and is a reliable option for pens for note-taking college lectures, student essays, and more. Here are some significant differences:
- Oil-based ink: This type of ink is usually found on ballpoint pens for students. It is long-lasting and fast-drying. Thus, it is not prone to bleeding and smudging.
- Water-based ink: Most fountain pens and rollerball pens are water-based. This ink type is fast-drying and produces neat lines, making many fountain pens or rollerball pens comfortable to use for lengthy essays or writing for long periods. However, it is not as long-lasting as oil-based ink.
- Alcohol-based ink: A lot of marker pens are alcohol-based. This ink type can deliver highly pigmented colors and lines. It dries quickly and provides steady ink flow, though it can bleed sometimes. Aside from note-taking, it can be used for journaling, drawing, and creative art projects.
- Thick water-based gel ink: A lot of fancy and cute pens for note-taking, such as gel pens, usually have this kind of ink. Although it takes time to dry, this ink type renders rich and vibrant ink quality, making it suitable for note-taking and decorative writing as well. It is also available in a vast array of colors and metallic finishes. The only downside is gel ink is prone to bleeding and smears.
One of the primary factors for precise and consistent line appearances is the tip size. Different kinds and brands of pens offer various tip sizes ranging from super-fine, fine, medium, and thick or broad.
When it comes to note-taking, thicker lines are from broad tip sizes (usually around 1.0mm) that provide smooth and comfortable everyday writing. Smaller tip sizes (0.3mm) are not always as smooth as the thicker tips, but they work great on intricate lines and accurate writing.
Besides the popular black and blue colors, pens for note-taking come in a wide selection of colors. This ideal color choice usually depends on your preferences. While some go for colorful pens for decorative writing, many students opt for different colors to organize their notes according to topics, themes, categories, and more.
Ergonomic Design for Comfortable Writing
Writing for long periods may lead to hand fatigue. This is why many brands highlight their ergonomic designs to promote a comfortable writing experience. Besides the stylish elements, many pens have rubber grip designs, contoured bodies, and retractable features to provide the utmost convenience while writing.
Which Pen Is Better for Note Taking
Oil-based pens or ballpoint pens and water-based pens are ideal for note-taking. This is because they can provide steady ink flow, excellent and long-lasting ink quality that does not smudge or bleed easily.
Although these are significant factors to consider, the pens for note-taking should provide convenience even when being used for extended periods. Moreover, it all comes down to your preferences and writing demands.
Are Pens or Pencils Better for Note Taking
Between pens or pencils, pens are better for and the most favorite pens for note-taking because of their versatile ink types that can render solid and precise lines. Plus, pen writes readily anytime.
Since most of them are highly pigmented and permanent, they can provide readable and clear notes that do not easily wear out over time. Moreover, they are available in many different colors, allowing you to play with a vast array of shades to organize your notes and exhibit a creative way of writing.
On the other hand, pencils need frequent sharpening to write clear and precise notes. But as you sharpen them, they also become shorter. Aside from that, pencils do not last long. However, pencils work great for drawing, sketching, and temporary or subtle markings.
Are Fountain Pens Good for Note Taking
Yes, they are. Many Reddit users also agree on this and found fountain pens as the game-changer for taking notes. It is all because a fountain pen can dispense smooth ink, dry quickly, and hold a lot of ink. Most fountain pens are water-based, making them comfortable for everyday use and writing lengthy essays or notes.
The best pens for note-taking depend on three primary factors: ink type, tip size, and color selection. Although these features can help you decide on which pens to use, it can all come down to your preferences. But whichever type of pen or ink you settle for, it should promote a comfortable and enjoyable writing experience.
With the overwhelming options in the market whether in the UK, the US, or anywhere across the globe, choosing the right pens for taking notes can be challenging. Fortunately, we have compiled the best and top picks in this comprehensive guide for your perusal. Hope this helps!
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