I am smitten by handwriting. Have you ever noticed how certain pens or pencils make your handwriting rock? It might be neat & even, or curvy & playful, or accented & bold. It's all about the ergonomics of the pen, how the ink flows, & your own personal style.
I am mildly obsessed -- & inevitably particular -- about the pens & pencils I choose for writing. For general writing & note taking, I go with a super fine tip -- not your typical "micro", which is often mislabeled on even a 0.7mm -- I mean something close to an oft hard-to-find 0.25mm.
It is ridiculous how head over heels I am about Pentel's Mechanical Drafting Pencil. I use a 0.3mm in both my planner & workout journal. It felt like a splurge when Dave treated me to not one but two. It almost felt silly spending so much on a pencil. Now I realize how much less wasteful it is, though this was not my initial incentive. The selling point for us was the retracting pencil tip, which you can see (above) retracts when the clip is pressed. I've had other fine-tipped pencils before, but the tips can get bent so easily. If this happens, they are finished. I actually dropped one of my Pentel GraphGear 1000s when the tip was out, & it did bend slightly. Dave was able to straighten it. We have never been able to save others, so I'd say this pencil is extremely durable. It's also nice because our local art store sells the lead in varying degrees of hardness.
I have also become addicted to the Pentel Slicci 0.25mm gel ink pens, which have ink refills, but they are hard to find in black. We also have to order this pen online.
I decided to transition to a technical or art pen with ink you refill from a bottle. My art supply store sells the Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Pen. Though I have heard mixed reviews, I decided to take a chance on the 0.3mm.
I am still getting a feel for this pen. It is meant for artistic detail rather than writing, so it is not as smooth as other fine pens I have used. It also writes slightly thicker than standard 0.3mm. I have had to slow my writing, & it doesn't look as "pretty" right now. I think it will come with practice though. It is suited for heavy-weight paper (I use grid-ruled composition notebooks for class notes) as it has a tendency to bleed through regular paper, as you can see on the lined sheet (above*).
A lot of people consider this a high maintenance pen, but it hasn't really felt like it to me. You can't store ink in it for more than a couple days without using the pen; you must empty the ink completely using the ink cleaner if you plan to store it. The tip will clog, which is nearly as expensive as the pen itself. I use it daily, so storing it isn't an issue, & I leave a drop of ink cleaner in the lid as a sort of lubricant to protect against Arizona's lack of humidity drying it out. Some complain of leaking, but I have not had problems. I notice the tip bevel(?) is long; it takes several twists to secure it, plus I use the included crank to tighten it further. Perhaps people have neglected this? Since I bought it from our art store, I was lucky enough to get a short but thorough tutorial from the owner. An instruction sheet is included, but I have not had to refer to it. If there is any interest, & as I become more comfortable with the pen, I could do a short video on how it writes & some maintenance tips. I only offer this, because I could not find much in the way of thorough reviews or examples using this rapidograph pen when I was considering it. It was hard to spend $30+ on a pen I was afraid I would hate. It has been worth it though.
Another less wasteful option are fountain pens, which seem less expensive & are, perhaps, less maintenance, but I'm not sure how I write with one. I imagine it being similar to a roller-ball pen (hate), which makes my handwriting messy.
*If you click on the pen photos, it will take you to a new window where you can zoom in for a closer look.
**I (or Dave) paid for these products, & all opinions expressed here are my own. Affiliate links used; to read more about affiliate links, go to my FAQs page.
***This is part of a series I am doing while we strive to embrace a simple life & home. We are committing to analyze & consider every item in & coming into our home, the ultimate goal being to come to as close to a zero waste home as possible & comfortable.