Guest Post: Idle Emma’s Planner Pen Preferences

Hello fellow penthusiasts! Atticus Rice here, the publisher and creator of The Pensive Penner. It’s time to shake things up (but not your sensitive pens, please not your sensitive pens) with something a little out of the ordinary for The Pensive Penner. The following post is a review of Staedtler pens, both the Triplus Fineliner and Pigment Liner, by Idle Emma of Puddle Side Musings.

Her blog focuses on her wonderful planners, crafts, and snail mail adventures. She also offers some free printables for all to use! For those of you unfamiliar with the ins and outs of sending snail mail in today’s world, Idle Emma offers a great “Where to Start” that everyone should check out. If you’d like to get in touch with Idle Emma check out the Contact Me page over on her site or go follow her on Instagram where she can be found at @IdleEmma.


Idle Emma says:

I was asked if I’d be interested in writing a guest post for the Pensive Penner about the pens I use in my planners and I jumped at the opportunity. It’s not something I’ve looked at before; I’ve written about many craft, planner and snail mail topics over on my blog, Puddle Side Musings, but while all those topics have a good pen in common, I’ve never taken the time to consider my trusty utensil. Well, I’ll give it a go now!

Something to note about me and pens: I’m a fineliner girl. I have three reasons for this. First up, I have a peculiar habit when using ballpoint pens of gripping them really tightly when writing, especially when writing something small, which causes my hand to hurt so I only use them as a last resort. Secondly, my natural writing, as a lot of people comment on, can be tiny (I actually find it hard to write big), and fineliner pens help make tiny writing stay legible. Finally, though with similar issues of legibility, I studied Japanese when I was at university and I found that I just could not write kanji with a ballpoint pen, I had to use a fineliner.

So, those are my reasons for type but what am I actually using?

Well, I play it safe with my pens. I don’t tend to try new ones out often and stick to my favourite brands, my favourite in this case being…Staedtler, and I like using two different types of Staedtler pens in my planners: Triplus Fineliners and Pigment Liners.

Staedtler Pigment Liners.
Staedtler Pigment Liners.

With the huge popularity of colouring books these days, I think everyone is familiar with Triplus Fineliners as the two seem to always go together (and for good reason because they are good pens for colouring in all those tiny spots on detailed pictures). One of the most attractive things about these fineliners? The colour range of course! I think the Triplus Fineliners have one of the best colour ranges out there for pens. I treated myself to the 36 pack of pens (which were very reasonably priced) and have never been wanting for a colour. Hell, there’s even a selection of highlighter colours in the pack!

Now, I love using these pens to add a bit of colour to my planners and they are really useful for colour coding the calendar views I have. It makes a big difference being able to glance at a page and know that there’s something to do with a birthday going on if I see a box coloured in green or something related to my master’s degree if I see yellow, for example. The pens have a slightly softer nib on them which makes them nice to colour in things with but they’re also quite nice pens to write with, be it big or small (though based on my sample writing in the picture, you might question my idea of big writing!).

 

Staedtler Pigment Liners.
Staedtler Pigment Liners.

While I do like writing with the Triplus Fineliners and use them often for header sections in my planner, they’re not my first to reach for writing pens. No, be it for filling in my planner and organising my life, penning long letters to friends, writing pages of course notes, jotting down ideas for crafts or sketching art, Staedtler Pigment Liners are my go to pen. I just absolutely love these pens.

Like with many ranges of liner pens, there’s a good selection of nib thicknesses and with these, because the nibs are firmer, I feel at least, than the Triplus Fineliners, it’s easier and neater to write small – a must have for me! I have a selection of sizes including the 0.5, 0.2, 0.1 and 0.05 nibs. I think my favourite for using in my personal planner is the 0.1 because it’s a good size for writing (my idea of) large and small. Oddly enough though, the 0.05 is my favourite for using in my A5 planner and I often use the 0.5 in my pocket planner. Yes, the bigger the planner, the small the pen!

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliner.

I do use these pens an awful lot, especially the 0.1 nib one and as a result, the nib on it does seem to have gotten a little smaller because of the pressure I put on one side when I write so it actually seems to be getting closer to the 0.05 size but it’s still a perfectly good, usable pen and like I said, it’s because I write a lot probably putting too much pressure on the pen.

But a good thing about these pens? They last for ages! They really do, even with the amount of letters and college notes I write, they just seem to keep going. Another nifty feature (yes, I said nifty) is that you can leave the cap off for supposedly 18 hours and they’re still perfectly good to write with, they won’t dry out. It’s a nice feature for forgetful people or if you’re like me and hate having to recap pens for fear that they’ll dry out after five minutes!

My, looking back, it appears I have been somewhat wordy with my considerations. I really didn’t think I’d written that much. Well, I guess I’ve rambled on quite long enough about my pen habits, Staedler love and planner quirks so I’ll leave it here!

I hope you enjoyed reading,
Idle Emma of Puddle Side Musings

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*Updated* Sharpies: Good for Writing, Great for Accessorizing

Editor’s Note: This post is an updated version of the post titled “Permanent Fixtures: Reviewing the Sharpie” that was published on The Pensive Penner on September 13, 2016. This version addresses a number of updates recommended by the advisor for this project including references, consistency of reviews, consistency of font styles, and more clarity regarding the nature of this post.


The Sanford Ink Company introduced the Sharpie Fine Point black ink marker in 1964 and immediately revolutionized writing utensils. The Sharpie could write on nearly every surface, including glass, plastic, and wood.

The Sharpie line continued throughout the 20th century, expanding with the Extra Fine Point and Ultra Fine Point markers and eventually highlighters (sharpie.com).

While Sharpies may have changed the name of the game, they’re not always the best choice, depending on the application. To prove this, I tested a number of Sharpies on various surfaces, and then tested what else Sharpies can  be used for, other than writing.

The details:

Pens Reviewed

Surfaces Tested

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic (hard)
  • Plastic (soft)
  • Leather (baseball)
  • Glass
  • Styrofoam

The Sharpie Fine Point marker performed excellently on all surfaces. The clear, bold lettering left an imprint on every surface tested. There was a slight bleeding issue on the paper and cardboard, but that can be expected with a marker.

The Sharpie Ultra Fine Point performed quite well on most surfaces. It wrote excellently on the paper, cardboard, hard plastic, and baseball. It ran into problems with the styrofoam due to the sharp nib digging into the surface while writing, making it difficult to use. The nib glossed over both the soft plastic and glass, slipping occasionally, making it difficult to write with.

Being a pen, not a marker, the Sharpie Pen Fine Point was slightly less easy to use than the previous two. It wrote smoothly only on the paper, cardboard, and leather but all other surfaces caused trouble.

The Sharpie Highlighter was by far the poorest writing tool of them all, an obvious outcome, but it was able to highlight on most surfaces.

The Sharpie Silver Metallic possessed the largest nib of all, making it difficult to write with on almost every surface. It did turn out somewhat legible on both the paper and cardboard.

It became obvious that the Fine Point, the original, is the all-around best Sharpie to use with the Ultra Fine Point placing in a close second. The Pen, Highlighter, and Metallic are all usable, just for somewhat different applications.

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While Sharpies might write on an incredibly diverse types of surfaces, their uses go beyond simple dictation and penmanship. In fact, they’re quite useful for a number of cranial applications.

After careful research, I found that Sharpie caps can be used as hair clips and “clip-on” earrings. If you don’t believe me, see the photo gallery below.

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The Sharpie Fine Point, Ultra Fine Point, and Pen Fine Point caps work as excellent hair clips. That being said, multiple survey respondents said that the Ultra Fine Point was the optimal clip, offering the maximum clamping power without drawing too much attention.

The Ultra Fine Point also won out in competition with the Pen Fine Point for best clip-on earring. It was able to grasp the earlobe with enough force to remain in place and not pinch, while the Pen Fine Point stayed on, but caused pain from pinching.

If you’re asking why you would ever use a Sharpie cap as a hair clip or earring, I have answers for you.

I have witnessed many cases of someone using a Sharpie and their hair falls into their face, obstructing their view of what they are doing with the pen. The cap isn’t being used so it makes sense to use it to hold back those pesky hairs.

I have also witnessed times when someone arrives to a function and sees that the setting calls for earrings. With none on your person and Sharpies in your bag, taking out the caps to two of your Ultra Fine Point (or Pen Fine Point in a pinch, literally) markers and clamping them on your earlobes is a completely acceptable solution.

Sharpie caps can also be used as earrings for those without pierced ears as the cap simply clamps on, requiring no piercing.

If you’ve made it this far and think that I’m ridiculous for suggesting the use of a Sharpie cap as a hair clip or earring, think again. The majority of Sharpie caps are black, and black goes with everything, so there’s no excuse for this incredibly convenient device not working with any given outfit.

If you have any questions about writing, drawing, or decorating yourself with Sharpies, please feel free to comment here, or reach out to me on Twitter, @pensivepenner, or Instagram, @thepensivepenner. My Pinterest board can also be found under ThePensivePenner.

Permanent Fixtures: Reviewing the Sharpie

The Sanford Ink Company introduced the Sharpie Fine Point black ink marker in 1964 and immediately revolutionized writing utensils. The Sharpie could write on nearly every surface, including glass, plastic, and wood.

The Sharpie line continued throughout the 20th century, expanding with the Extra Fine Point and Ultra Fine Point markers and eventually highlighters.

While Sharpies may have changed the name of the game, they’re not always the best choice, depending on the application. To prove this, I tested a number of Sharpies on various surfaces.

The details:

Pens Reviewed

Surfaces Tested

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic (hard)
  • Plastic (soft)
  • Leather (baseball)
  • Glass
  • Styrofoam

The Sharpie Fine Point marker performed excellently on all surfaces. The clear, bold lettering left an imprint on every surface tested. There was a slight bleeding issue on the paper and cardboard, but that can be expected with a marker.

The Sharpie Ultra Fine Point performed quite well on most surfaces. It wrote excellently on the paper, cardboard, hard plastic, and baseball. It ran into problems with the styrofoam due to the sharp nib digging into the surface while writing, making it difficult to use. The nib glossed over both the soft plastic and glass, slipping occasionally, making it difficult to write with.

Being a pen, not a marker, the Sharpie Pen Fine Point was slightly less easy to use than the previous two. It wrote smoothly only on the paper, cardboard, and leather but all other surfaces caused trouble.

The Sharpie Highlighter was by far the poorest writing tool of them all, an obvious outcome, but it was able to highlight on most surfaces.

The Sharpie Silver Metallic possessed the largest nib of all, making it difficult to write with on almost every surface. It did turn out somewhat legible on both the paper and cardboard.

It became obvious that the Fine Point, the original, is the all-around best Sharpie to use with the Ultra Fine Point placing in a close second. The Pen, Highlighter, and Metallic are all usable, just for somewhat different applications.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While Sharpies might write on an incredibly diverse types of surfaces, their uses go beyond simple dictation and penmanship. In fact, they’re quite useful for a number of cranial applications.

After careful research, I found that Sharpie caps can be used as hair clips and “clip-on” earrings. If you don’t believe me, see the photo gallery below.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Sharpie Fine Point, Ultra Fine Point, and Pen Fine Point caps work as excellent hair clips. That being said, multiple survey respondents said that the Ultra Fine Point was the optimal clip, offering the maximum clamping power without drawing too much attention.

The Ultra Fine Point also won out in competition with the Pen Fine Point for best clip-on earring. It was able to grasp the earlobe with enough force to remain in place and not pinch, while the Pen Fine Point stayed on, but caused pain from pinching.

If you’re asking why you would ever use a Sharpie cap as a hair clip or earring, I have answers for you.

I have witnessed many cases of someone using a Sharpie and their hair falls into their face, obstructing their view of what they are doing with the pen. The cap isn’t being used so it makes sense to use it to hold back those pesky hairs.

I have also witnessed times when someone arrives to a function and sees that the setting calls for earrings. With none on your person and Sharpies in your bag, taking out the caps to two of your Ultra Fine Point (or Pen Fine Point in a pinch, literally) markers and clamping them on your earlobes is a completely acceptable solution.

Sharpie caps can also be used as earrings for those without pierced ears as the cap simply clamps on, requiring no piercing.

If you’ve made it this far and think that I’m ridiculous for suggesting the use of a Sharpie cap as a hair clip or earring, think again. The majority of Sharpie caps are black, and black goes with everything, so there’s no excuse for this incredibly convenient device not working with any given outfit.

If you have any questions about writing, drawing, or decorating yourself with Sharpies, please feel free to comment here, or reach out to me on Twitter, @pensivepenner, or Instagram, @thepensivepenner. My Pinterest board can also be found under ThePensivePenner.