I tend to bucket gel pens into two categories – ‘fun’ and ‘everyday’. As the names imply, ‘fun’ gel pens are the bright, colorful ones with unique effects, and ‘everyday’ are the plainer pens more suitable for typical use. Of course, the two categories can overlap, but for me personally, I tend to prefer to use the more basic pens for everyday use. It’s convenient too, in cases where I’m hopping from my personal notebook to, say, writing a check or addressing an envelope – situations where a metallic lime green pen won’t fly. It sounds silly, but it’s a small convenience in my life to not have to switch out my pens constantly!
Having said that, today I am sharing my favorite basic, everyday gel pens, including those that I find best to use in planners and with planner stickers. Let’s get to it!
Pentel EnerGel .07 I have this pen in blue and purple. The ink is super smooth, and it’s just an easy, no-brainer pen to reach for. I keep this one clipped to my notebook most often.
Sakura Gelly Roll 06 I raved about the Gelly Rolls in a prior post, and while Gelly Rolls are famous for their finishes and effects, I like to use the basic, original black in my planner. I use the Emily Ley Simplified Planner, and the size, opacity, and thickness of the Gelly Roll make it perfect for this planner, which is on the smaller side of planners that I’ve used. I write directly on the paper.
PaperMate InkJoy 0.7 This one is likely on just about everyone’s list of favorite gel pens, and for good reason! The ink is thick and smooth, without bleeding through paper – it’s a very ‘gel-like’ gel pen if that makes sense. This pen is also excellent for writing on glossy planner stickers.
Pentel R.S.V.P. This is a major throwback for me because, alongside Milky pens, these were the must-haves of fifth grade. If I’m being honest, I like the look and feel of this pen more than I like the way it writes since the point is really thin (and I think this is technically a ballpoint pen …), but it writes just fine, and I feel fancy using it.
Uniball Signo These are very popular gel pens as well – they’re extremely reliable and consistent, and even the ‘fun’ colors outside of the standard black and blue write flawlessly, which I think is hard to find. I have this pen in a .38, which is small for my personal preference, however the reliability outweighs the thin-ness.
Pilot Envelope Addressing Fine & Broad I randomly came across these pens on JetPens, and I am obsessed! As the name implies, these were made with envelope addressing in mind, so they are smooth and saturated to ensure readability by both people and machines. To me, these are like a hybrid gel pen and permanent marker. Even the fine point writes a thick, bold line. These would work very nicely on planner stickers as well.
A good pen may sound trivial to some; to me, though, it’s a small, simple pleasure, so I hope you’ve gotten some ideas of pens that may bring you some joy as well!