April Favourites: Pens

Hello! Another month has flown by and we're now the other side of Easter and into April. That means I'm back today with my next monthly selection of favourites, and I thought I'd share some of my favourite pens.

This might seem like a bit of a random one, but for many self-respecting stationery addicts your choice of pen can be an important one. Do you go for a trusty biro or an ink pen? Fine point or wider? Standard black or blue, or a brighter colour?

I've used a whole variety of pens over the years, favouring different kinds for different purposes, and am always disappointed when a preferred choice gets discontinued. Here are some of my current favourites, and yes, they're a colourful bunch!

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Uni-Ball Vision Elite UB-200

This is a liquid ink rollerball pen that promises to be non-leaking and flight-safe (not that I've personally tested this) with fade-proof pigment ink. I've used several of the colours but my favourite is the purple. Sadly, it seems Uni-ball have now reduced the colour range available and there are now only black, blue and red. So I'm stockpiling my remaining purple ones while I can!

These pens write wonderfully smoothly on many different kinds of paper, and don't have that scratchy feel that some pens do. They're also classed as a medium nib (0.8mm) so create a nice sturdy line.

This pen is my preferred choice for any long-form writing I do, including journalling, as I know the ink will keep up with the pace of my scribbling, but it's also one I grab for writing greetings cards, and I have one in my bag for notes on the go.

Hopefully this pen is one that will stay available, and I'll probably still buy the blue ones (it's a really lovely clear bright blue), but I may look at trying the Eye Fine Neat Rollerball UB-157 which looks fairly similar, with a slightly finer nib, but available in more colours.

I'm sure it would be possible to track down some more purple ones with a bit of online hunting, but in the meantime, the black and blue can usually be found in good high street stationery shops.

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Pilot V-Sign Pen

Pilot call this a fineliner marker pen which lays down a smooth, vibrant line of pure liquid ink from a medium width tip. A slight contradiction there perhaps - in terms of marker pens, yes, it is a fine line, but for an everyday writing pen it is a medium to wide nib, more like a felt tip pen.

Can you guess which is my favourite colour? Yes, it's the purple again!

I'm really not sure exactly what it is about writing in purple ink that I love, but it just feels good.

Available in black, blue, red, purple, green and turquoise - I have all of them - this is another really smooth writer and one that I love for list writing. The red particularly is my favourite for crossing things off lists, it really is a wonderfully satisfying bold red line!

Probably not great if your handwriting in especially small and delicate, but it suits my bolder, curvier style.

Again, the standard colours are fairly widely available, with the extra ones to be found easily online.

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Paper mate Flair

Another colourful bunch, these are my go-to pens for filling in my planner and colour-coding different kinds of tasks and appointments. After all, why on earth would I want to plan my weeks in just one colour?! It's so much easier to pick out priorities or things I'm supposed to be doing if I know what colour I need to look for.

These come in a wonderful array of hues, and usually in a multi-pack with a range of shades, although I have seen a few colours available as singles (black, for one). Paper Mate say these are great for writing or colouring, and I'd agree. They are a medium nibbed felt tip pen which creates a great bold line, and the ink colours are true to the colour of the pen body.

I'm actually onto my second full set of these pens, and they're one of few that I actually use most (if not quite all) of the colours. You'll probably have seen me use a selection of these in some of my Instagram photos.

These are probably some of the more easy to get hold of pens on my list - WHSmith often has packs of them on special offer (oooh, I could buy some more to keep in stock...)

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Staedtler Triplus Colour

These are available in both a 1mm fibre tip nib, or a 0.3mm fineliner style, and I have a full colour set of both!

I have to say I prefer the bolder felt tip style (if you haven't already guessed this from my other picks so far), but the fineliners are good for details or if I need to write in smaller spaces for some reason. I also experimented a while ago using these with my Mum's old Spirograph set which resulted in some amazing effects!

The pen bodies are triangular so they're a really nice shape to hold, and the ink flows really well with the colours staying pretty true once they dry on the paper. They also promise not to dry out if you leave the caps off, but I'm too much of a neat freak to put this to the test!

These pens are more of a colouring style pen than for writing, and I have used them in colouring books, but if you're just writing quick notes, or colour coding a planner (I know these and the Paper Mate Flair are popular choices with bullet journallers) then I'd definitely recommend them - they're easy to find on the high street or online. Plus they look really satisfying all lined up in order in their case!

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Parker Fountain Pen

This last one is very special, and one that I'm afraid you can't get yourself, because it's a pen that used to belong to my Grandad who passed it on to me.

It's a Parker '51' model fountain pen with a hooded nib and refillable integrated cartridge (so you have to dip it in a good old fashioned bottle of ink), and my Grandad's initials and surname are engraved on the body.

To be honest, this is the first time I've really looked at it in any detail or done any research - apparently Parker '51's are pretty important in the history and development of fountain pens, and they started being made in 1941. I have no idea of the date of my pen, and I'm too scared to try taking it apart to find one, but chances are it may well be fairly old - probably not 1940s, but maybe 50s or 60s, as my Grandparents owned a business during that time, but I'm completely guessing because unfortunately my grandparents aren't around anymore to ask.

Grandad gave me the pen when I was at school, and I used to use it regularly for writing 'good' copies of work - a really nice pen demands really nice handwriting! - but I haven't used it as much over the last few years, and often have to clean the nib before I refill it because it can dry up.

The particularly special thing about this pen for me is that my Grandad was left-handed like I am, so the nib is worn down on the side that suits my writing style, and if I hold it at just the right angle I get a really smooth movement without scratching at the paper.

It's definitely an heirloom that I treasure, but one that also sees practical use - I'd hate for it to be left in a drawer unused for too long- and the fact that there are no throw-away plastic parts means it sits quite well with today's attitude for sustainability, recycling and care of the environment.

Having now written about it, I feel more inspired to use this pen more often, and I think it might be fun to seek out some coloured ink to use with it too - anyone know where I can get purple?

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Now it's your turn: what are your favourite pens? Do you use different ones for different things? Any that you miss but can't get hold of any more? Leave a comment with links to your recommendations.