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These Are a Few of My Favorite Pens

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

I remember walking down stationery isles all the time as a child, asking my parents if I could buy a set of pens. Back then my pen obsession was fine. But then during quarantine, I remember logging off my Google Meets math “class” and opening TikTok. I discovered one user called @memoriesbymeyers, who was doing a pen swatch test in her notebook.

I found those videos to be soothing, so I watched the other videos in this miniseries, each part roughly a minute long. Through watching her content, I realized I wanted to try a lot of pen brands that I really never thought about actually trying until I saw a bunch of people swatching pens. That was in 2020. I can say my pen obsession has gotten bigger than that in 2024.

I wrote this article because I want to talk about my favorite pen brands and their sub-models. Maybe you have seen these pens–I’m sure you have. You’re probably thinking, a pen is just a pen, unless you are stationery-obsessed like me. Or maybe you want to find a pen you would love, but you don’t know where to start. Read on to find out!

Pentel energel

Every time I saw someone use this pen, I heard nothing but good things. My friend got me my first Pentel Energel pens for my birthday in high school. It was the medium needle tip pens in a pack of two. I used one of them for a few solid months to take notes. Since then, that pen has run out of ink, but I still keep it in my desk drawer. There it lives with the other pen, which I was a little scared to use up. 

Since then, the same friend also got me the Pentel Energel violet ink pack of two (needle tip). Because that friend was influenced by Pentel and bought the RTX pens, I bought those as well. I also got a 20-pack of my own in various colors (regular tip). I especially adore the needle tip because it reminds me of syringe needles in an aesthetic way. 

My favorite Pentel Energel product of all time, though, is the Pentel Energel Kuro. A pack of 20 recently came out and I am nothing but obsessed with them! Four different shades of black are hard to differentiate, but other than that, the 0.7mm pen glides like butter on the page! I use these pens all the time in one of my journals. 


I used this pen a lot in high school too, especially the blue/black color to write my notes for my AP U.S. History class. I remember the Pilot G2 was our “household” pen. They were absolutely everywhere in our house in various drawers. 

One day, my dad needed some of these pens for work. We went to Costco and got a 20-pack of various colors. He decided to take one of all standard colors like black, red, and blue. Then I got to keep the rest all for myself.

On Valentine’s Day, my parents got the G2s in purple, because they knew I love this color so much. I isolated these pens from the rest of my collection for their own specific purpose. 

Besides those colors, I continued to collect them to the point where I had a designated shelf on my desk full of them. Other packs like neon and different barrels (with standard black ink) exist. Most pens are 0.7mm but there are other sizes too. 

Pilot Pens are also easy to find abroad. For example, I have bought pens from this brand both in Copenhagen and Athens. 

Pilot G2 also has miniature pens. I only have the periwinkle color, but I plan to expand that collection one day. 

There are also Pilot Precise V5 pens, which are rollerballs. I only have five colors and do not experiment with them much, to be honest. I should spend more time with them. 


Zebra is another brand I absolutely adore. I tried their Z Grip pens before, but I also found other products of theirs that I absolutely love! One of them being the Zebra Sarasa Clip. 

Zebra Sarasa Clip has a bunch of colors and nib sizes, but I usually go for the 0.5 mm. Besides the Zebra Sarasa Clip, there are many other styles and options to choose from. For example, there is the classic set. They also have add-ons, which I also possess, such as vintage sets 1 and 2, and a marble color set (not my favorite because the ink is hard to see). One of my favorite sets is the milk (pastel) color set. One of the colors is a pastel red, but it looks more like pink to me. I also really love the Zebra Sarasa Decoshine and the metallic set, which both work on dark-colored paper! Plus, there are several other sets I have not tried yet. 

Zebra Sarasa also has fineliners. I have the 10-pack which has all the staple colors. I am going to explore the other colors at some point! 

There is also a pen called Zebra Click Art, which can be considered either a marker or a pen, depending on how you look at it. There are three sets of 12 that I tried: regular, bright, and dark. I think these are good pens since they have the same thickness as a fine marker. Since I use these a lot, they have a designated place on my “art cart.”

Finally, I have a purple pen that I got in a purple mystery bundle from an online stationery store (highly recommended, they have such good deals!). It’s Zebra CJJ6, and it feels a lot like the Sarasa Clip. There’s not much to it since it’s my only pen from that collection. 

Sharpie S-Gel

My first impression of Sharpie will always be the permanent markers I used to draw with in elementary school. Sharpie also has fine permanent pens, which I remember were fun to work with, they just smell strong sometimes.

Sharpie has fineliners that are permanent and definitely not as strong. Those work so much better for me. 

Recently, Sharpie launched rollerball pens called Sharpie S-Gel. I found these in a supermarket on vacation one day and gave them a go (black barrel). They were pretty solid, though they did “skip” now and then. Like the majority of pens, the S-Gel I use is 0.7 mm. 

A few years later, when I was entering college, my parents gifted me a four-pack of the S-Gel in a white barrel. And I absolutely love this look a lot more than the original barrel! It just suits my tastes better, I guess. Even when I looked at the cartridge and it looked nearly empty to the naked eye, there was still ink left. Even as this pen was dying, it had a nice gradual fade of ink, where I could still read what I was writing. 

There are other Sharpie S-Gel pens I want to try that have different color barrels. I cannot wait to expand my horizons. In the meantime, the one pen I used starting in late January just died out in early April. With the amount of notes I take, that’s nearly three months of writing!

I don’t know about many of my peers, but I still like writing down old-school notes. I do have a computer and will take notes there occasionally. That does not necessarily mean it’s my favorite way to take notes.

I will always prefer writing things down. It is why I have an abundance of notebooks and other stationery products. In elementary school, I remember we’d always have notebooks on our school supplies shopping lists. In middle school, this was still pretty much present. Then in high school, since there was no direction of note-taking methods, many people chose to type notes. 

When I got to college, it was similar to high school. But then one of my professors on the first day of school said something that stuck with me. She said, “Research has proven that content sticks better when you write stuff through your hand on paper, rather than typing keys on a keyboard.” Because of that, she had a designated area where people using computers would sit, while the rest of us had to use notebooks. I was actually thrilled about this idea because I got to use my pens!

Jazzy Tung

CU Boulder '27

Jazzy Tung is a writer for Her Campus at University of Colorado Boulder (HCCU), and is a part of its social media team. This is her first year being a Her Campus member. She is so excited to be joining the HC team! Jazzy has always loved being involved with school media: in middle and high school, she was on the yearbook team. In her junior year of high school, she attended the National Student Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. (American University) for communication studies. That only fueled her love for journalism even more! She was also the president of her high school's Creative Writing Club. Currently, she is currently a freshman at the University of Colorado Boulder, who is majoring in journalism and planning to minor in international relations. She can't wait for the new adventures that college takes her through. Outside of school, Jazzy has a variety of interests. For example, she enjoys playing board and card games like UNO, spending time with friends and family, and surfing the internet for any interesting topic. Jazzy also has a large collection of notebooks in her room, most of which are from previous school years, that she saves in case she wants to write anything and everything later on. One of Jazzy's favorite hobbies, though, is stationery! She loves collecting pens, highlighters, sticky notes, and stickers.