2 years ago
Linda Nguyen

With the exception of one of my classes, I tend to subscribe to the age-old practice that handwriting notes is much better than typing notes. Particularly when it comes to my studies, I use pens and markers to illustrate and write all of my notes.

A recent study by a Princeton researcher suggests that even when we use laptops to take notes, we are processing and retaining information like we would if we wrote out our notes.

I think we’ve all had that feeling. To be honest, I have that feeling whenever I’m in that one class where I type my notes. I’m so focused on typing everything the professor is saying and putting on the board, that I’m not actually paying attention to what is being said. I have had moments in class where I am typing everything but thinking about something completely different.

For us millennials, computers and technology are a natural complement to our education. It makes education more accessible to us and it makes it more flexible. For example, at UTSW, students have the ability to access all of their lectures online. This allows them to dictate when and how they set their schedules.

In that same way, computers make it possible for us to write down information at a much quicker pace than if we were to rely on our hands.

We scoff at instances where professors prohibit the use of laptops in class because we view laptops as essential as traditional pen and paper.

Jumping off the laptop bandwagon and onto the pen and paper bandwagon, there is just something about taking pen to paper and writing — whether it is in an academic setting or whether it’s to write a letter or postcard to a friend.

I love being able to use pens to color-code my notes and letters, and it’s a lot easier to switch back and forth between colors in pens than it is to switch font color back and forth on a computer.

A glance at the inside of my purse reveals an embarrassingly large amount of pens. Sharpie pens, Le pens, G2 pens and Tasche pens line the bottom of my bag and the sides of my purse.

My friends like to call it an obsession. I’m not sure I’d say it’s an obsession, but I take a lot of pride in my pens. Sure, there are people who like to just rely on cheap pens that they either get for free or buy in bulk for very cheap prices. I’m not saying I’m a pen snob, but I definitely prefer my variety of pens to the ones that I get for free from various organizations.

That being said, I’ve spent quite a bit of time and money trying out different pens, and trying to find the ones I like the most. While I haven’t come to a decision on those yet, here are some of my favorites at the moment.

G2 Pens
G2 pens have been a favorite of mine for awhile. The smooth and fine tipped writing that comes with using rollerball pens is great for taking a lot of notes really quickly. They come in a large variety of colors for relatively cheap prices. I think my biggest problem with them is that I’d always lose them or they’d get stolen off my desk for one reason or another. Another issue is that sometimes the ink doesn’t flow as readily as it should. All in all though, I prefer them for writing long notes and for taking solely hand-written notes in class because they’re thin enough to fit a lot of information.

Le Pens
I bought these pens after I bought my Simplified Planner because looking at the hashtags and blog posts online, it seemed like Le Pens were the writing tool of choice for color coding planners. Unfortunately, these are very easy to lose and expensive to replace. They look like mini, super thin markers and write with a more marker feel. They come in a large variety of bold colors and are great for writing important appointments and events in my planner.

Sharpie Pens
I feel like the term sharpie pen is a misnomer. It’s essentially a super thin version of a normal sharpie marker, but I love them. After a large number of my Le Pens were either lost, dropped or lent out, I decided to buy the infamous sharpie pens people had been talking about. They’re a bit bulkier than Le Pens, but that’s just meant that I can keep track of them easier. Additionally, I like that their colors are less bold and more muted and pastel. I currently use a combination of Sharpie pens and Le Pens in my planner and for my class notes when I have to draw pictures and figures. In addition, Sharpie recently released a really nice aluminum pen, and one of my friends bought one for me as a thank you gift and it’s great.

Tasche Pens
Tasche pens are my latest obsession. I recently bought a couple at a store downtown that was closing down. It was the first time I spent more than $10 on a single pen, but the writing is wonderful. It allows me to write so smooth and comfortable. Again with the aluminum bodies, I absolutely love using these pens to write. In fact I actively seek out reasons to fill out paper work by hand or hand write things instead of typing them just so I have an excuse to use them. Is that geeky? Probably, but that’s okay. Unfortunately, these do not come in the large variety of colors the other pens come in, but they’re great tool to have in a pocket or purse. Plus they’re tiny.

Okay there it is. My pen obsession written down for all the world to see. Do you have a particular type of pen you’re fond of? What kinds of pens do you think I should try next?