I love pens. I’m a bit obsessed actually. My poor husband will come to me with a shopping list, ready and willing to go grocery shopping and my response is, “Is that my flair pen?”
I am always striving to be organized. I was always in trouble for having a messy room growing up. But, when it comes to pens and markers, they each have a place and a purpose. If there is a new kind of pen, I have to try it. Luckily, my husband puts up with phrases like ‘that is not a take-to-the-grocery-store pen’.
So, let me share my pen and marker obsession with you. I’ve used Amazon Affiliate links in this post. That means if you click and buy from this post today, I’ll get a few cents. And then, I’ll get more pens.
Let me also state that I know I don’t have the greatest handwriting. I got triangles in handwriting in school which was their polite version of an F. Luckily, I spent a few years teaching first grade where I improved to a legible state, but I certainly am not someone who can do that fancy lettering. I didn’t want to let that stop me from showing you some of the comparisons, so please be kind. 🙂
Pens for Planners and Bullet Journals
Whether you are writing in a lesson plan book, grade book, or bullet journal, you need a pen that won’t bleed through. If you are like me, you also may want pens of varying thicknesses. I may use a flair pen for a planner but that may be too thick to write in a small square of a grade book. (Do people still keep written grade books?)
I have to start with Flair Pens! They are thin enough to write notes in planners. They come in a variety of colors. They last a long time. The ink comes out smoothly. What’s not to love? I buy one at the start of each school year. Sometimes I buy myself one again at Christmas time. You can never have enough flair pens! I have a set for home and a set for school. I also buy my favorite colors like black and purple by the box so I won’t obsess too badly when a teacher friend picks one up or when I see my husband writing with one.
Tropical Flair Pens
I LOVE these pens. The additional colors are some of my favorite. I love having a yellow (because the ‘yellow’ regular flair is orange right?!). I love the new shades of purple and blue. They keep saying these pens are ‘limited edition’ but I hope they don’t stop making them any time soon. I also loved that this set comes in a clear plastic reusable sleeve. I can make sure none of my special flairs stray far. These are great for planning, writing in a bujo, and grading papers. I love the Candy Pop Colors, too!
My Life Fine Drawing Pens
Sometimes you want something a little thinner. In those situation you could go gel pen, but I like the smooth feel of a felt tip pen. These My Life Fine Drawing Pens are perfect for that. They don’t bleed through or show a shadow on the other side of the paper. These pens come in all the colors I need. I love these for my bullet journal. The plastic they come in is reusable and has a little button to close it. I usually have this set of pens in my purse with my bujo at all times. There are a ton of fine writing options out there but these are inexpensive and have lasted a long time. The Huhuhero Fineliners are basically the same pens.
Frixion Erasable Pens, Markers, and Highlighters
Yes, folks, you read that right, erasable. If you haven’t stumbled across these erasable pens, markers, and highlighters, you are in for a treat. See how I erased through those? Heat or friction can erase these pens which is why you wouldn’t want to use them on a legal document.
The Frixion Markers have a similar thickness to a flair pen, smooth writing. They aren’t as bright and vibrant as a flair pen, though.
The Frixion Pens are basically erasable gel pens.
The Frixion Highlighters look and work like any highlighter but they are erasable. I wish I had those in college! I could have gotten more money back for my text books!
There are also some amazing notebooks that are designed to work with frixion pens and markers. The Rocketbook Wave notebook is microwavable. You literally put it in the microwave with a cup of water for a few minutes and the notebook is blank. I recommend microwaving it for less time than they suggest though because mine got a little crispy around the edges.
The Rocketbook Everlast notebook has some sort of specially formatted paper that lets you wipe off frixion pens and markers with a damp cloth. Its like a white board for a notebook. Each one works with an app that lets you easily scan your notes to your phone. I feel like these are the perfect marriage of wanting to physically write but wanting to keep notes electronically.
Their latest is the Rocketbook Color which lets you (and kids) color on it with dry erase or wet erase markers. It is great because you can use the app to scan the kids art work to the cloud and then start all over. I haven’t tried this one but the other two have worked so I trust them. The videos they include in the amazon listing are pretty entertaining if you have a moment.
Crayola SuperTip Markers
These thin Crayola SuperTip Markers have a tip that gives. This allows you to practice calligraphy style writing without spending money on calligraphy pens. You can press harder on the downstroke to get thicker lines. These pens are great for putting a heading in your planner or bullet journal. They are also cheap enough that I have a box that I let my students use for poster making and projects.
Tombow TwinTone Markers
These markers do it all! One side is the thickness of a flair pen, the other is a fine point. The writing is smooth. The colors are bright. Well, the ones pictured here are the Tombow TwinTone Brights. They also come in pastel. I didn’t learn about the world of dual tip markers until I dove into the world of bullet journaling. I love the efficiency of having two points of different thickness in the same pen.
Speaking of dual tip pens, next up are the Zebra Mildliners. I’ve been calling them Midliners instead of mild and I probably will forever because they seem like a step down from a highlighter. One side off the pen is for writing with a felt tip. The other is for coloring or highlighting. I love using these for setting up headings and sections in my bullet journal.
The top two are the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens. They can have a very thin line with light pressure and a thick line with more pressure.
Micron Pens come in a variety of thicknesses for any use. They are a high quality, smooth writing or drawing pen. The larger the number, the thicker the tip.
My favorite discovery was this Kokuyo Correction Pen. Soooo much better than white out.
Anchor Chart Markers
My favorite pens for anchor charts are Mr. Sketch Markers and Sharpie Flip Chart Markers.
Mr. Sketch Markers
Mr. Sketch Markers have a nice chisel tip which is great for drawing. The scent can be a pro or a con depending on the teacher, but I love the way they smell. Well, except for the licorice but that helps me not rely too heavily on black. They don’t bleed through and last a long time.
Sharpie Flip Chart Markers
These pens have a bullet tip and write smoothly. My only complaint is that there isn’t a purple. The pen looks purple but it writes inn a bright pink. These don’t bleed through and also last a long time.
Mr. Sketch Scented Stix
I love these pens. You may not initially think of these pens as anchor chart pens, but they are great for adding detail. The thicker pens are great for the main points, but I often pull these out when we are doing an example, underlining, drawing lines, and adding details to the chart.
Pens for Correcting Papers
When I first started teaching, I ran into my second grade teacher, Mrs. Roach. She told me a story of how when I was in second grade, she had corrected my writing in a red pen. Apparently, I went up to her and said, “Mrs. Roach, I worked really hard on my paper and I don’t appreciate you writing all over it in red pen.” She told me that she went years without using red pens after that.
I loved the story. For one thing, at that point, I always graded in purple. But for another, I didn’t write on kids sentences or paragraphs. (I meet with them and have them change it.) I also like to put stars on the right answers rather than circling the wrong ones.
I also continue to be bold about speaking up for myself.
I like to have kids be happy to get a corrected paper back and I think using fun pens helps out.
Crayola Glitter Markers
These glitter markers come out wet and glittery but dry in a few seconds. I usually bust these out in the spring time. I’ll tell the kids to come see me when they finish a page and they can choose a color for their glitter star. It makes them so happy. You can see the ink through the pen so you’ll know when they are drying up.
Crayola Metallic Markers
These markers have a nice shine and last a long time. They come out smooth. They aren’t as exciting as the glitter marker so I usually use these earlier in the school year.
Mr. Sketch Scented Stix
These are a huge hit with the kids. They smell wonderful but the scent fades within an hour. They are great for when you are trying to motivate students to finish during class. I also find them helpful for teaching my English Language Learners the difference between flavor and scent. (I hear kids asking each other what their favorite flavor is and I remind them with a smile that we won’t be eating our papers.)
Mr. Sketch Crayons
The kids love the smell of these crayons. I’ve had them for years and they don’t run out and still smell wonderful. I like to color with them. I’ve been thinking about getting a few sets so I have one per team for special occasions.
Sharpies get a category of their own because they have their own unique uses. You just need a permanent pen sometimes.
Sharpie Fine Point
When you think of a Sharpie this is what comes to mind. They will bleed through paper but are great for writing on posters, for art projects, and other random uses. They come in so many colors including metallic colors. I love the silver ones.
By the way, I love wrapping my pens in Washi Tape to make sure people know who they belong to.
Sharpie Ultra Fine Point
Great pen. Just like it’s thicker cousin. I sometimes use these for grading papers but they will bleed through if you stop and think with the pen on the paper.
Sharpie Chisel Tip
I’ll be honest. I’ve had these for years and barely use them. They’d be great for art on cardboard or poster board. They draw a nice thick line or a fine line with the tip.
This didn’t make it into the photos but they are a nice fine tip pen that doesn’t bleed through.
Here is a little chart to give you a sense of the different thicknesses. They all bleed through except the Sharpie Flip Chart Markers.
There are a few pens that I use regularly that I didn’t photograph. I love the Papermate Profile Retractable Ballpoint Pens for everyday use. (Even my husband is allowed to use those!) I buy a packet of Pilot G2 Retractable Gel pens in purple each year. I also love to get this 100 pack of Gel Pens for my prize box.
You can’t go wrong with Expo Chisel Tip. At the end of the year I sometimes get a box of Expo Fine Tip as our markers are drying out. If I have a group that is rough on those, I switch to the dry erase crayons. They get the job done and you can’t leave the cap off. Kids have to work harder to erase them though. I also use Vis-A-Vis pens for writing on laminated games. I also have some Chalk Ink Wet Wipe Markers for writing on chalk board signs.
These pen holders have a sticker that can be added to any planner or bullet journal. The loop sticks out the side and holds a pen. One day my pen holder fell out of my bujo and I was devastated until I realized I could buy a pack and never be penless again.
You can find all the pens in this slideshow or you can click the links above in the descriptions and titles.
Whether you are writing in your bujo (bullet journal) or a planner, grading papers, or making anchor charts, we've found the pens and markers for you! Add a blast of fun to all your writing with 24 bright colors
Ultimate Guide to Pens and Markers
Whether you are writing in your bujo (bullet journal) or a planner, grading papers, or making anchor charts, we've found the pens and markers for you!
Add a blast of fun to all your writing with 24 bright colors
What did I miss?
What is your favorite pen? Are there more I should be trying?
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