Best Pens For Note Taking 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

March 9, 2021-Kirk Hale

Our Top Picks

Waterman Expert Rollerball Pen
PILOT
  • Quick-drying refillable ballpoint pen
  • Rubber grip for comfort grip
  • Both capped and retractable pens available
  • Translucent barrel to check the ink level
uni-ball ONYX Rollerball Pen
Paper Mate
  • Pack of 10 colored pens
  • Ink dries 3 times faster
  • 0.7 mm medium point 
  • Retractable pens
INC R2 ROLLERBALL 0.7 MM Tip
PILOT G2
  • Pack of 4 pens with black ink
  • 1.0 mm bold point
  • Refillable and retractable rolling ball pens
  • Super smooth ink

Laptops, tablets, and smartphones have taken over our everyday life and created a relentless dependence on technology. Students and professionals alike can be seen taking notes on their devices. However, there is nothing better than handwritten notes as it helps you focus on the topic at hand without any distractions; something that technology does not guarantee. 

For handwritten notes, you require pens that are smooth, comfortable, and easy to hold so that it allows you to write for a long period without feeling fatigued. This article provides you with information on the best pens for note-taking that are available in the market. These have been selected based on varying price ranges as well as their quality. 

Refer to this article to figure out the most suitable pen that you can use either to take rapid notes in a class or write a short note to a colleague. 

Top 13 Best Pens For Note Taking 2021

1. PILOT EasyTouch Ballpoint Pens

Top Pick

PILOT EasyTouch Ballpoint Pens
  • Quick-drying refillable ballpoint pen
  • Rubber grip for comfort grip
  • Both capped and retractable pens available
  • Translucent barrel to check the ink level
Check Price on Amazon!

Pilot is a brand well-known for its stationery, especially the excellent-quality and comfortable pens that they manufacture. This pack contains 18 EasyTouch ballpoint pens that are refillable and retractable. However, Pilot does offer a capped version of this as well. The ink is quick-drying and this avoids any kind of mess on the paper. 

The rubber grip assists you in writing page after page without feeling any exhaustion or pain. The barrel of the pen is translucent so that you can keep a check on the ink level and refill it when it’s close to drying up. The pack contains black, red, and blue smear-resistant ink that guarantees smooth writing. 

For 18 pens with all the features that have been mentioned, its price is quite reasonable. Added to this is the trust in a brand like Pilot that has been in the industry for over 100 years, delivering exceptional pens to customers. 

Pros
  • Quick-drying ink for mess-free use
  • Refillable
  • 1.0 mm medium point
  • Smear-resistant ink
Cons
  • Ink is not erasable

2. Paper Mate Gel Pens InkJoy Pens

Budget Pick

Paper Mate Gel Pens InkJoy Pens
  • Pack of 10 colored pens
  • Ink dries 3 times faster
  • 0.7 mm medium point 
  • Retractable pens
Check Price on Amazon!

Paper Mate brings to you this pocket-friendly set of 10 colorful pens featuring colors like the red rush, pink pop, orange rise, limelight, wild berry, black, and a few more. While the price is comparatively lower, there is no compromise when it comes to the quality. It offers a smooth writing experience which makes these the best pens for taking notes.

The best feature about the pen according to us is the ink that dries 3 times faster than any other pen. This ensures that all your work is neat and clean at all times. Moreover, the ergonomic comfort grip of the pen makes it easy to write for a long time without getting tired. The 0.7 mm medium point tip assures beautiful handwriting. 

The wide range of colors available makes taking notes a fun experience as the paper is smeared with colorful words. The verdict is that Paper Mate is truly a brand for students because of its pocket-friendly but premium-quality pens and you must give it a shot.

Pros
  • Available in 10 vibrant colors
  • Fast-drying ink
  • Comfort grip for easy writing
Cons
  • None found

3. PILOT G2 Premium Rollingball Pens

PILOT G2 Premium Rollingball Pens
  • Pack of 4 pens with black ink
  • 1.0 mm bold point
  • Refillable and retractable rolling ball pens
  • Super smooth ink
Check Price on Amazon!

Another one from Pilot, this is the Pilot G2 premium rolling ball pens. It comes in a pack of 4 and all are black. The pens have been proven to provide the longest writing capability and you can rest assured that the experience will be smooth and free-flowing. This pen is ideal for over-achievers who write for long periods of time and want perfection with every word. 

All 4 pens are composed of black ink and a 1.0 mm bold tip. The pens are refillable and retractable with the click mechanism. This makes using the pen super easy and fast. You can take notes with them or write in your journal. The ink dries quickly and is resistant to smearing so that your writing remains clean and neat at all times.

Lastly, it is important to mention the comfortable rubber grip that makes writing so easy and convenient. This is what keeps your hands from aching and paining even after writing for a long time. The pens are packed in a compact package that prevents them from leaking. 

Pros
  • Ergonomic rubber grip
  • Refillable and retractable
  • Long-lasting
  • 1.0 mm bold point
Cons
  • Prone to leakage

4. uni-ball 207 Retractable Gel Pens

uni-ball 207 Retractable Gel Pens
  • 12 all-black pens
  • Water-resistant and smear-proof ink
  • 0.7 mm medium tip
  • Retractable gel pens
Check Price on Amazon!

Uni-ball pens are a franchise of the Mitsubishi Pencil Company of Japan and they have been operational since 1925. The company is known for its exceptional quality pens that write smoothly and provide all the comfort you need for long periods of writing. The ink used in the Uni-ball 207 retractable gel pens offers protection from fading, fraud, and water. 

This pen is undoubtedly one of the best note-taking pens because of the rubber grip that makes writing so easy and exciting. The ink is of archive quality and water-resistant as well so that there is no mess even when your hand sweeps over the page. The sleek and metallic barrel provides an elegant look to the pen and makes it even more appealing to people. 

If you are looking for a pen to make vivid lines as you take down notes, the 0.7 mm tip of these Uni-ball pens provides you with just that. Buy a pack of the Uni-ball 207 and experience the joy of uninterrupted and untiring bouts of writing.

Pros
  • Quick-drying ink resistant to smearing
  • 0.7 mm tip for vivid lines
  • Retractable mechanism for easy use
  • Smooth rubber grip
Cons
  • Prone to skipping at times
  • Some have complained of scratchy tip

5. PILOT Precise V5 Stick 

PILOT Precise V5 Stick
  • Extra fine precision tip (0.5 mm)
  • Pack of 7 premium rolling ball pens
  • Available in assorted colors- black, blue, red, purple, turquoise, green, and pink
  • Capped pens
Check Price on Amazon!

The number of times we have already reviewed Pilot products goes on to show how popular this brand is and that its pens are a favorite among most people. The Pilot Precise V5 capped pen is the best fine point pen you will find for taking notes. The pack of 7 gel pens is available in an assorted range of colors like black, blue, turquoise, and more. 

The smooth extra fine tip and the free-flowing ink prevents any case of skipping so that you can write uninterrupted. The visible ink supply makes this even easier as you can keep an eye on the ink-level and refill when needed. While this set of pens are capped, Pilot also manufactures retractable versions of the same. 

Here is a brand that brings exceptional writing tools to you. For ultra-precision, we could not think of anything better than the Pilot Precise V5 stick rolling balls pens. Get yours today!

Pros
  • 0.5 mm extra-fine tip for precision
  • Available in 7 different colors
  • Packed well to prevent leakage
  • A great gift for stationery lovers
  • Suited to every writing style
Cons
  • The colors are not accurate as on the labels

6. Sharpie S-Gel Gel Pens

Sharpie S-Gel Gel Pens
  • Pack of 12 retractable gel pens
  • Contoured rubber grip
  • 0.7 mm medium point tip
  • Available in red, black, blue gel ink
Check Price on Amazon!

Sharpie pens are reasonably priced and hence, prove to be the best pens for college as they are so affordable. This pack of 12 is available in three different colors- black, blue, and red. These Sharpie pens have a 0.7 mm medium point tip that makes vivid and clear lines. The gel pen has a no smear technology and the ink is resistant to water as well. 

The 12 pens are retractable and can be used easily by just clicking the rear-end. The contoured rubber grip makes the pen ergonomic and comfortable to use. The no-bleed technology prevents the pens from leaking at any point. Coming to the looks, this pen has a simple yet professional touch to it. It can be used by college students and corporate workers alike. 

The pens are genuinely sophisticated and have an eye-catching design that will make you look more stylish. Sharpie provides a larger range of pen collection that comes in a variety of designs and tip-sizes. This is a brand that we trust because most customers have reviewed it well. Hence, we encourage you to give it a try. 

Pros
  • Ergonomic grip
  • No bleed technology
  • No smear technology
  • Vivid ink colors
  • Multiple points size available
Cons
  • Leakages have been reported despite the no bleed technology
  • Gets scratchy easily

7. Arteza Colored Gel Pens

Arteza Colored Gel Pens
  • Pack of 24 colored gel pens
  • 0.7 medium tip
  • The retractable end for quick use
  • Nontoxic and acid-free ink
Check Price on Amazon!

Arteza brings to you this pack of 24 colored gel pens that consists of 10 vintage and 14 vibrant colors. They come with a 0.7 mm medium point tip that is ideal for notetaking, journaling, doodling as well as drawing. You will be greatly satisfied with the ink because of how smooth it is and since it is smear-proof. This ensures that your work remains clean and smudge-free. 

The entire set of pens is travel-friendly as it comes with a barrel that you can fix on your pocket or collar. These are also ergonomic because of the rubber grip that reduces the pressure on your fingers as you write for a long time. As per the ASTM D-4236 and EN71 standards, these pens have been certified as safe to be used by both adults and children since the ink is free of acid and toxins. 

The pens are not refillable and their price reflects this. These are by far the best disposable pens that we have come across. Moreover, Arteza promises 100% satisfaction and if this does not happen, they shall refund or replace the product for you. Their guarantee in such matters truly makes them a trustworthy brand that people love so much. 

Pros
  • Smooth and smear-proof ink
  • Ergonomic
  • Travel-friendly
  • Non-toxic and acid-free ink
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed
Cons
  • Ink supply not visible

8. Zebra Pen Z-Grip Retractable Ballpoint Pen

Zebra Pen Z-Grip Retractable Ballpoint Pen
  • 1.0 mm medium point pens
  • Pack of 24 retractable ballpoint black pens
  • Non-refillable
  • Rubber grip and visible ink supply
Check Price on Amazon!

The Zebra Z-Grip retractable ballpoint pen is a boon for all those individuals who are always writing because of the long-lasting, smear-proof ink and the rubber grip. These assist in an enjoyable and comfortable writing experience. This pack of 24 retractable black pens ranks high on performance and style. In addition to that, it is a durable pen that will provide you its services for a considerable amount of time. 

The low viscosity of the ink makes it super smooth and skip-free so that your writing experience is uninterrupted. The metal click helps with carrying the pen around in your pocket and never losing it. Boasting of a solid pen construction, the Z-Grip is strong and handy at all times. This ballpoint pen is ideal for schools, offices, small businesses, workspace, and the like. 

What might seem like a drawback is that the pen is non-refillable so you have to dispose of it as soon as the ink is dried up. The transparent ink supply will inform you regarding this. Thus, if you are looking for the best pens for notes, this is something you should consider.

Pros
  • Ergonomic rubber grip
  • A clip-on mechanism for easy portability
  • Super-smooth, skip-free ink
  • Highly durable
  • Translucent ink supply
Cons
  • Non-refillable

9. Pentel EnerGel Deluxe RTX

Pentel EnerGel Deluxe RTX
  • Retractable liquid gel pen
  • 0.5 mm fine tip for precision
  • Pack of 3 black pens
  • Latex-free grip
Check Price on Amazon!

Pentel EnerGel Deluxe RTX liquid gel pen available as a pack of 3 and with all black ink. These retractable gel pens have a 0.5 mm needle tip that has been specially designed for precision and detailed work. It boasts the high-performance ink technology that provides you with a super-smooth writing experience by combining the best of liquid and gel ink. 

This pen is especially loved by left-handers because of how fast the liquid gel ink dries up. This prevents any kind of mess or smudging on the paper. The pen writes even better than the best gel pens in the market. What gives the pen a professional vibe is the sleek and stylish design of the barrel. 

For maximum comfort and ease of writing, the pen comes with a latex-free rubber grip. This prevents any fatigue in your fingers even after writing for a long period of time. The Pentel Energel Deluxe RTX surely ranks as one of the best fine tip pens in the market for note-taking.  

Pros
  • Ergonomic due to the latex-free grip
  • Fine tip for precise writing
  • Stylish barrel design
  • Quick-drying, smooth ink
  • Ideal for everyday writing
  • refillable
Cons
  • None found

10. BIC Ballpoint Pen

BIC Ballpoint Pen
  • Pack of 60 ballpoint pens 
  • Easy-glide ink technology
  • No-slip comfortable grip
  • 90% longer writing capability
  • Black, blue, red pens available
Check Price on Amazon!

BIC brings to you a set of 60 ballpoint pens at an affordable price and that rank high on performance. It contains 30 black pens, 20 blue pens, and 10 red pens. These vibrant colors make your work colorful and bright. The pens feature BIC’s exclusive ink technology that makes for smoother writing and more vivid lines. 

The pens have been designed for comfort and convenience so it fits perfectly into your fingers. This is because of the flexible round barrel that comes with the pens. The translucent barrel allows you to keep a watch on the ink level so that you know when the ink is close to drying. These pens are, however, not refillable. 

Highly vivid and intense lines are created on the 1.0 mm medium point and this makes the pens suitable for doodling, drawing, taking notes, drafting, journaling, and other writing activities. These capped stick pens are trustworthy as they always write smoothly and never disappoint. What makes them even more appealing to certain customers is the low price at which they are sold. 

Pros
  • Consistent ink flow
  • Lasts 90% longer than other pens in the range
  • Ideal for daily writing activities
  • Affordable price
  • Available in 3 different colors
Cons
  • None found

11. Cross Edge Capless Slide Open Gel Ink Pen

Cross Edge Capless Slide Open Gel Ink Pen
  • Slide-open technology for single-handed operation
  • Metallic fusion resin
  • Refillable ink that allows gel pen to be converted to a ballpoint pen
  • Sophisticated design with a professional touch
Check Price on Amazon!

Cross Edge is a brand that is popular for manufacturing luxury pens that are not only stylish but also boast of a high-ranking performance. Let us start with the design of the Cross Edge gel ink pen which is what attracts people in the first place. Its sophisticated body is a fashion statement that will make people envy you for owning it. The slide-open technology is convenient as it allows you to handle the pen with a single hand. 

Style and sophistication are added to the pen with the metallic fusion resin. The free-flowing gel ink formula works flawlessly and without any skipping. It makes for a smooth laydown with every word. Deemed as one of the best pens for note-taking, this Cross Edge pen is refillable. This means that you can transform the pen from a gel pen to a ballpoint pen. 

Ideal for writing purposes, be it at home, school, or in the office, the pen comes in a beautifully designed case. You can gift the pen to friends, family, or even a colleague on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, and so on. 

Pros
  • Slide-open technology for convenient usage
  • Refillable ink
  • Can be converted from gel to ballpoint pen
  • No skipping
  • Free-flowing gel ink formula
Cons
  • High price

12. Writech Rolling Ball Pens

Writech Rolling Ball Pens
  • Pack of 10 liquid ink rollerball pens
  • Available in 10 different colors that include unique vintage tone colors
  • Smooth and non-skip ink
  • Quick-drying ink for clean writing
Check Price on Amazon!

Thousands of users have hailed the praises of the Writech rolling ball pens for their efficient performance and all the other features they offer at a reasonable rate. These pens consist of super-quick drying ink that maintains the neatness of your writing. The 0.5 mm extra-fine tip of the pen is there for all your projects that demand precision and focus on the details. 

The ink is smooth and provides you with a no-skip writing experience. The design of the pen, the barrel, and all the other parts ensure that there is no leakage from the pen. The ink level can even be checked from the outside and this makes using it a very convenient process. Want to escape the monotony of a single color of ink? These pens offer vintage tone colors for aesthetic styles. 

All 10 colors can be used for notetaking, doodling, drawing, journaling, and more. You can use them for marking important words in your class notes or even give them to a close one for some special occasion. A minor drawback with this set is that the specific shade is not labeled on the pens; something that would have made the pens easier to use. 

Pros
  • Vintage shade colors
  • Quick-drying ink
  • No skipping
  • 0.5 mm extra-fine tip for precision
Cons
  • Colors are not marked on the pens

13. Pentel EnerGel Alloy Retractable Liquid Gel Pen

Pentel EnerGel Alloy Retractable Liquid Gel Pen
  • Retractable liquid gel pen
  • Aluminum alloy barrel with an exquisite design
  • High-performance ink technology
  • Textured grip
  • Comes in a gift box
Check Price on Amazon!

We have brought to you another exceptional product from the house of Pentel. This one is a mark of sophistication and class. The pen has an aluminum alloy barrel with an exquisite design that is simple to look at but will surely blow your mind. Surely, one of the best pens for note-taking, this one belongs to a slightly higher price range, given its performance and design. 

The gold barrel boasts of real gold accents. The high-performance ink technology is another great feature of this pen. This ensures an amazing writing experience that is fuelled by the combination of liquid and gel ink. With the textured grip, you can now experience superior writing control. Lastly, the presentation box that comes along with the pen makes it even more special. 

Pros
  • Symbol of sophistication given its design
  • Textured grip for long periods of writing
  • Ideal for a gift
Cons
  • None found

Factors To Be Considered Before Buying The Best Pens For Note Taking

1. Type

There is a wide range of pens that are available solely to take notes and you must consider the different types before buying the best pen for note-taking. Some of the most common types of pens include- gel pens, ballpoint pens, fountain pens, felt tips, rollerball pens, and there are more. Only a specific type of pen will suit your handwriting and bring out the font that you prefer for your notes. 

This will also depend on the tip size and how free-flowing the ink is. However, even after considering all this, the pen that is most commonly used for taking notes is the ballpoint pen as they write smoothly on all kinds of paper. 

2. Paper Type

The type of paper you shall be using is another factor that is crucial in making this decision. Certain kinds of papers tend to absorb more ink than others if you use a particular type of pen on them. For example, gel pens become messy on glossy paper. The paper manufacturer usually mentions the kind of pen best suited to their paper and you must buy one accordingly. 

3. Comfort

According to us, this is the most important factor to consider while buying a pen for note-taking. This activity of taking notes involves writing at a fast speed for a very long time and you require a pen that feels comfortable for this purpose. The grip of the pen matters a great deal. Rubber grips tend to make for ergonomic pens. 

Q1. How Do I Choose A Good Pen For My Handwriting?

There is no universally good pen as it all depends on your comfort level. The point size and type of pen must feel easy in your hands and that will automatically result in great handwriting. Fine point pens tend to be the best for taking notes. 

Q2. How Long Should A Pen Last?

Ideally, a standard pen should be able to draw a line for 4 to 5 kilometers. You can base your calculation on this coupled with how often you use the pen and how much you write with it. 

Q3. Why Does My Pen Ink Run Out So Fast?

There are various reasons for this. At times, when the cap of the pen is not airtight, the ink might be exposed to air and dry up fast. 

Conclusion

As unimportant as it may seem, choosing a pen especially for taking notes can be a challenging task. You require a pen that you can trust to write for a long time with and without feeling any fatigue in your fingers. In this article, we have tried to help you find the best pen for note-taking. Do some more research of your own to make the final decision.

Kirk Hale


Kirk developed a passion for writing since the age of 8, since then, he has been collecting pens and then extended the hobby to collect stationery and art supplies. An extension of that hobby resulted in this blog about pens, pencils and everything in between.
Pentorium is one stop shop for information on pens, pencils, stationary and digital art. 
Copyright ©
 Pentorium