The Best Pens for Planning in 2019

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So you got your fancy new planner that ticks off all the boxes in your ideal planner. It's all shiny, fresh and new. So now what?

It can be intimidating at first to make that first mark on the page. I've been there.

That's why I recommend getting a favorite pen to write in your planner. I have a special pen for planning and backup pens in case.

I know, it's simply a pen right? Well, the right pen can make all the difference!

​In this post I'm going to walk you through all the best pens for planners. I'll show you pros and cons for each so you can make an educated decision before you buy.

Best Pens for Planners

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The Top ​9 ​Pens

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​These pens are often talked about in the planning sphere because they are great for brush lettering. If you're using your planner to be creative, these pens can help make your heading beautiful!

The tips are flexible and precise. The colors are vibrant and the ink is ​odarless. This is great especially for expectant mother's who may be more sensitive to smells.

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Bleed: None

Streaky: ​Yes

Ink flow: Smooth

Colors: Bright

Accuracy: Good

Point: Felt

Length of use: Long Lasting

Price: ​Low for brush pens

These pens are bright and colorful! With minimal bleed, they make easy to read lines. A smooth ink flow makes these a great choice as well as the range of colors that are offered. Bonus: They are long lasting so you don't have to replace them often.

Bleed: None

Streaky: No

Ink flow: Smooth

Colors: Bright

Accuracy: Good

Point: Felt

Length of use: Long Lasting

Price: Midrange

​These are some of my personal favorites. These are the pens that I've used when signing my name on over 1000 pages of documents.

These pens are clear and bold. They write smoothly and are comfortable in your hand. They are also great for small writing, so if you planner has small boxes to use, these are perfect.

Be ​aware that they will smudge if you don't give them time to dry.

Bleed: None

Streaky: No

Ink flow: Smooth

Colors: ​Bold

Accuracy: ​Great

Point: ​Rollarball

Length of use: Long Lasting

Price: ​Budget end

​Another Paper Mate on the list. These gel pens are a favorite of many for good reason. They don't bleed and have a smooth ink flow.

These pens also dry quickly compared to other gel pens on regular paper (glossy paper is a different story) and are recommended for ​left-handed people.

Bleed: None

Streaky: No

Ink flow: Smooth

Colors: Bright

Accuracy: ​Great- you can get different sized lines depending on the pressure

Point: ​Gel

Length of use: ​Average

Price: Midrange

​My current planner pen, these are some of my favorites! Not only are the colors clear and crisp, but they also come with a fantastic case.

You would think a case wouldn't matter that much, but ​because I like to use a bunch of different colors, it's easy to throw in my bag and find the color that I want easily.

These felt-tip pens were originally purchased for coloring, and now I use them in my planner because they are so perfect.

Bleed: ​Minimal

Streaky: No

Ink flow: ​Mid-range

Colors: Bright

Accuracy: Good

Point: Felt

Length of use: Long Lasting

Price: Midrange

​Another fan favorite, these retractable pens are great to throw in a bag and go out into the world. If you're not a fan of pen caps, these are a great option.

They write smoothly and have a fine point, perfect for smaller boxes.

Bleed: None

Streaky: ​Yes 

Ink flow: Smooth

Colors: Bright

Accuracy: Good

Point: ​Ballpoint

Length of use: Long Lasting

Price: Midrange

​Another favorite of mine, these pens are fantastic! They have a fine point and last for a long time.

The bright colors are amazing and it's easy to see when the ink is running low. They write smoothly and don't clog.

One thing to note, these sometimes flood (a bunch of ink comes out at once). It's something to keep in mind. They also have a minor bleed.

Bleed: ​Minor

Streaky: No

Ink flow: Smooth

Colors: Bright

Accuracy: Good

Point: ​Rollarball

Length of use: Long Lasting

Price: ​Low-end

​When most people think about Sharpies, they think about the big markers that you can use to label pretty much anything. What if I told you the fine point Sharpies are amazing?

These pens do have some bleed and can dry out if you aren't careful, but I love the bright colors and ease of use for these. They are also on the budget side of the scale.

Bleed: ​Yes

Streaky: ​Sometimes

Ink flow: ​Reasonable

Colors: Bright

Accuracy: Good

Point: Felt

Length of use: Long Lasting

Price: ​Low-end

​These are not the pens of your childhood. They use a new type of ink that turns clear when heat is applied. They don't smudge and are great for someone who might be a perfectionist.

These are not for legal documents or extreme temperatures.

Bleed: None

Streaky: No

Ink flow: Smooth

Colors: Bright

Accuracy: Good

Point: ​Rollarball

Length of use: Long Lasting

Price: ​Afforable

Why You Need a Special Planner Pen

I know it can sound a little odd to have a special pen just for your planner. It feels extra.

But there are a few reasons you may want to invest in a pen that's for you and only you to use in your planner.

Maybe you want to focus on color coding. You'll need specific colors to keep things consistent. If you use blue as a color and then the next day grab a different pen that's purple but sort of looks like blue... well then you may as well use one color.

Perhaps you have a planner that has thinner paper. In that case, the wrong pen can bleed through the pages and ruin the other page.

If you're a mom, you know that sometimes it feels like your kids take everything. It's a small thing, but this is a pen that can be yours and only yours.

Or you grab any old pen and you don't like the way it feels when you write. That's a thing.

If you don't like the pen you're using, you're not going to stick with the whole planner thing. You're more likely to give up.

I never believed in this stuff before. A pen was a pen, right?

Then I had to sign and date over 1000 pages at work. I learned that the pen can make all the difference.

Different Types of Pens

Gel Pens

What exactly is a gel pen? Gel pens are a hybrid of the traditional ballpoint pens and water-based ink pens.

Ballpoint pens are permanent, something that most people look for in a pen. Water based ink has a great glide to it and can be a pleasure to write with.

These pens are water resistant and comfortable to write with. They are fade-proof, so great to use when you're working on archival projects.

The quality of the line is clear and sharp, perfect for writing lots of information.

The downside? Gel pens are notorious for smudging. And they can get clogged sometimes.

Felt Pens

Felt pens have their own ink-source and the tip is made from pressed fibers, like felt. The ink is fast drying and wouldn't work with the other tips.

These pens are great for sketching, writing with permanent ink, and highlighting. Felt pens don't smear as much as the gel pens do.

Felt pens can cause bleed so it's important to make sure the paper of your planner can handle them.

Erasable Pens

I'm not talking about the erasable pens of the past here. I'm talking about the new erasable pens that write like other pens. Shocking right?

Erasable pens use heat to make the ink disappear. The ink is dark but when it heats up, it turns clear.

It's important to note that the ink remains on the page. If you leave a piece of paper that you "erased" in the car in freezing weather, you may come back to a surprise.

Likewise with the heat. If you leave your notebook in a hot car in the summer, you may come back to find your notes gone. Not like I've done that or anything...

Also, it's important to note that you will still be able to see the lines in the paper where the ink tip presses in. You'll want to use light pressure.

These pens are great for those of us that are perfectionists but want to use pen. You can erase your mistakes but still use pens!

Fountain Pens

A fountain pen is a tradition pen. It has a reservoir or cartridge contain ink that flow out through a nib.

These pens need little pressure, making them great for people with wrist or hand pain. In fact, using too much pressure can damage the nib.

These pens write smoothly and won't skip or leave ink blobs like some other pens might.

Fountain pens do have a learning curve and take some practice, so they aren't for everyone.

8 Things to Look for in a Good Planner Pen

Does it bleed?

Pens don't have blood, so why am I talking about bleeding? I'm referring to pen bleed, or ghosting.

Have you ever used a marker to write on a piece of paper and then turned it over to find the color on the back of the paper? That's called bleeding.

When you're only using one side of the page, it's not a big deal. But once you make the decision to use both sides, you must take it into consideration.

Pens that bleed will soak through the paper and make it harder to write clearly on the other side. Some pens have a lot of bleed and some have none at all.

Your tolerance for bleeding is going to depend on the paper you use as well. We don't always have the option of picking our paper, so sometimes we need to consider the pen instead.

It's also cheaper to swap out a pen then an entire planner so keep that in mind.

Is it streaky?

Streaks tend to happen as the pen matures in age. They write for a bit, then there's a gap, and then they start writing again.

It can also happen with brand new pens. Extreme cold can add to the problem.

Ballpoint pens are the worst offenders. If you have a streaky pen, you can try running it under hot water. You can also try writing on a damp rag to see if that gets the ink flowing better.

How's the ink flow? Does it skip or is it smooth?

Ink flow can make a huge difference in the writing experience. Some pens are smooth, while others tend to skip.

Pens that skip can be uncomfortable if used for longer periods of time. You also have to apply more pressure.

Smooth pens are comfortable, but some pens have a tendency to use a lot of ink making them last a shorter amount of time. This can also make them more likely to bleed.

Are the colors bright?

At first glace, you may think that all pens should be bright. There are instances that need a lighter touch.

When you're using highlighters, it may be important to keep things a bit more subdued.

It's also important when you consider your environment. If you're in a professional setting, a hot pink bright pen doesn't scream "professional".

Are the colors accurate?

If you're using a red pen, is it actually red? It's amazing how often this isn't the case.

If you're doing more than writing lists, color accuracy could be important to you. A lot of people like to color or doodle in their planners. If you are a creative, color accuracy is a must have.

How's the point? Sharp or dull?

​The point makes all the difference if you're trying to write with small letters. A lot of planners have small boxes and you have to write in tiny script to get the most in the provided space.

If the pens has a dull or thick point, it's nearly impossible to use. That being said, some of the thinner points don't have great ink flow. You may want bold lines, which requires a thicker point.

How much ink does it come with and how long will it last you?

If your favorite pen runs out quickly, you'll be in a constant cycle of replacing it. You don't want to be somewhere and need to write something in your planner, only to find you have no ink.

Due to the nature of planners, it's important to have a pen with ink with you at all times. Long lasting pens are a must have for planners!

What's the price?

I'll never forget the first time I realized that there are pens that go for hundreds of dollars. Most people don't have that kind of money, myself included.

That being said, some pens are more mid-range and can be worth it. If you're going to use this pen everyday, it makes sense to spend a bit more on something that you love.

​Next up...

​Now that you've hopefully found a new pen, what's next?

If you don't have a planner, you ​should check out the Best Planners for Moms.

If you're looking for ​time management tips, I've written about going from Overwhelmed to Organized in 7 easy steps.

Best Pens for Planners - There are so many options out there, how do you know what the best pen for you is? This post breaks down the best pens that are pefect for planners. Is your new favorite on this list? #planner #momplanner #timemanagement #productivity #pens

Jennifer
 

​I'm a mom, wife, sister, daughter, and friend. After a successful career in software ​engineering, I started working part time as a project manager. I was overwhelmed with all of these new life changes and felt like I was drowning in my life. ​After trying so many different systems that didn't work for me, I looked into why they didn't work and came up with a system that worked for me. Today, I want to share what I've learned with you so you can stop feeling overwhelmed and start living an intentional life.

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