My previous post about journaling inspired a number of readers to share with me some of their profound, life-changing experiences related to the habit of putting pen to paper. But some of these conversations turned from serious to light hearted—and even silly—featuring some serious journal-and-pen fangirling. Most striking was how, across all these email threads, three players in each category—pens and journals—earned the most e-squeals:
- Pilot’s Hi-Tecpoint pens: be they in 0.5 or 0.7 mm, be they in black, blue, red, green, pink, purple, or turquoise, these were by far the most popular pens in my totally non-scientific sample.
- Fountain pens: These pens are, for a number of my friends, the only reason they have not yet transitioned to journaling on their laptop. They are also a strong contributor to their impeccable handwriting. One person mentioned that filling their pen with ink made them somehow feel more connected with their writing. Mont Blanc, Parker, and Pelikan were the most often mentioned brands.
- Sharpies’ Ultra Fine Point Permanent Markers: These are preferred method for those who like to journal not only in the form of words, but also in the form of drawings, sketches, and infographics. The only caveat: the journal’s pages should be thick enough to prevent bleed through.
- Moleskine: These journals were the winner—by a wide margin at that!—amidst my group of friends for the reasons shared in this post. The one benefit all unanimously agreed on is the consistency in shape and size throughout the years, be the journals soft or hard cover, thick or thin, black, white, or anything in between, and even when, in the case of special editions, they feature drawing (or even objects) on their covers. They add up throughout the years to create a shelf of identically sized journals; if you plan it well, you might even be able to come up with a rainbow shelf!
- Quo Vadis: These journals have a very loyal fan base, as they provide a wide variety of options which can suit an individual’s changing character throughout the years. The paper was also touted as being smooth and “a joy to write on”.
- Kate Spade: While it was felt that these journals were overpriced, the quality of the paper and the cute designs made them another one of the groups’ preferred choices.
A couple of readers mentioned that they liked the feel of the simpler notebooks but that they weren’t happy about how plain they looked. They also didn’t know exactly how to spruce up their journals—in one person’s own words, “if I found stick figures cute, then I would be set.” Now stick figures can be cute (just check out the ones by the Doghouse Diaries team), but I get it: they won’t make this look like this. Thankfully there is a solution! Check out some of the creative ways Mae Badiyan has come up with to make her planners more beautiful; the tips she provides in her videos can easily be applied to one’s journal as well.
Photo Credit: Mae Badiyan.