Find a Good Pen for your Creative Projects

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Whether for drawing, scrapbooking, or journaling, there’s nothing more heartbreaking than smearing ink all over your pages. No matter how you intend to use your pens, make sure they are fade-resistant, bleed-proof, smudge-proof, and waterproof. Here we share the best pens for all your creative needs. As technology advances and continues to become more prevalent in society, the use for pens seems to be dwindling. It’s not uncommon for someone to go months without physically writing anything down. Nonetheless, for those that not only use pens but need them for creative endeavors, there is a wide array of options on the market.

1. Best Overall: Paper Mate Gel Pens

2. Most Flexible: BIC Ballpoint Pen

3. Best Refillable: Pentel Retractable Liquid Gel Pen

4. Best for Journaling: Zebra Pens

5. Best Ultra-Fine: Pilot Refillable & Retractable Gel Pens

How to find the best creative pen

  • Consider what you’re using it for – This will narrow your choices down a lot. If you need a pen for writing in diary entries at the end of each day, you might want something different than someone who needs to take school notes with them. The former might just need one color whereas the latter could use something which offers multiple colors.
  • Consider how often you’ll be using it – This is important because if you’ll be using it for hours daily, comfort is a higher priority. Also, you might want to go with a refillable option.

1. Paper Mate Gel Pens

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Best Overall

Designed to dry 3 times faster, you can reduce smearing with these gel colors. They come in a wide array of eye-catching shades, making them great for scrapbooking or journaling. These gel pens from a trusted brand have a medium point that spreads ink beautifully on any page. Built with a rubber ergonomic grip that wraps around the entire pen, this is also comfortable to use for long periods. One thing to consider is that these are not acid-free, which won’t be a problem for most, but could be depending on the importance of your tasks with it.


  • Available in 0.5mm and 0.7mm
  • Vivid colors


  • Not acid-free
Buy now

2. BIC Round Stic Xtra Life Ballpoint Pen

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Most Flexible

Featuring a tungsten carbide ball, this ballpoint spreads ink smoothly and consistently across your paper, meaning that there won’t be random ink blotches and it won’t bleed through the other side of the page or fade over time. The pen has a flexible round barrel that maximizes comfort while writing, minimizing the stress on your hand. Uniquely, it also has a translucent build, which means that you can see how much ink is left at any given time. There are also 36 in a pack.


  • Comes in black and blue ink
  • Shows you how much ink you have left


  • Doesn’t have a round brush head
Buy now

3. Pentel EnerGel Deluxe RTX Retractable Liquid Gel Pen

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Best Refillable

Something most of us right-handed folk don’t consider is that those who write left-handed often get ink smudged on their hand, passing over what they just wrote. That’s why this liquid gel’s quick-drying properties are crucial for lefties. They won’t smear, smudge or leave any lumps. It is also available in some unique colors like orange, pink, and purple, which are perfect for revision or general notetaking. Not to be confused with the marker, this retractable pen has a medium 0.7mm point. It offers the best qualities of liquid and gel ink, providing you with a smooth and consistent writing experience.


  • Latex-free grip for maximum comfort
  • Refillable ink


  • Doesn’t have archival ink
Buy now, $8.68

4. Zebra Pens Fine Point

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Best for Journaling

This pen is one of the more stylish on the list, kitted out with a stainless-steel barrel that is subtle but slick at the same time. It genuinely looks like a premium option. In terms of its function, the pen itself is filled with low viscosity ink; this ballpoint gives you a smooth, frictionless writing experience. It is ideal for journaling and signing documents as it lasts long and writes well on any paper surface. In terms of comfort, the pen features a soft, latex-free rubber grip that offers relief for long writing sessions. It also has a sturdy metal pocket clip to help you avoid misplacing it.


  • Clear plastic barrel
  • Has a 1.0mm ballpoint
  • Great looking


  • Not refillable
Buy now

5. Pilot G2 Premium

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Best Ultra-Fine

This pen promises to be one of the longest lasting on the market, with ink that evenly leaves the pen and lasts longer than most standard ink brands. It also has a retractable design, which is especially convenient if you tend to lose the caps of your pens. Where this model really stands out though is in its variety. This option is available in 4 point sizes, 27 colors and a variety of barrel styles that fit almost any writing situation or preference. It’s worth noting that of all of the pens on this list, this one is the thickest and its form seems to follow its function a little bit, meaning that it’s not the best looking.


  • Available with different sizes, colors and barrel styles
  • Refillable


  • Not waterproof on every surface
  • Doesn’t look the most stylish
Buy now, $10.59

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