Choosing the right pen or writing instrument

We may live in the age of technology, but the humble pen is still a necessity for almost everyone, from school kids to CEOs. While the relevance of handwriting may be declining, the need for the pen persists, as does the challenge of choosing between hundreds of colours, styles and designs of pens.

A pen isn’t just a pen, and writing technology has come a long way from the dip or fountain pen styles of the past. This simple tool can make life easier, if only we choose the best option for our needs.


As kids are still developing their style of handwriting, it’s helpful to have a pen that’s easy to use and unlikely to smudge. While some experts recommend fountain pens as the best pens for more control, these aren’t always a cost-effective solution for school-aged kids. An alternative is a gel pen, which is comfortable to grip and has a water-based ink which is less likely to smudge and easier to wash off hands and clothing. Gel pens are also available in a wider variety of colours, so the imagination can run wild as kids explore the creativity of language.

For everyday use it’s hard to go past a ballpoint pen, which dries fast, meaning less smudging. They’re cheap, effective, and especially long-lasting, making them a reliable option.

Any pen that comes with a neutral comfort grip is also going to be helpful, as children learn to control their fine motor skills with ink instead of pencils.


Pens are designed to drag ink across a page, usually from left to right. But left-handed people are forced to push the ink instead, affecting the flow of ink and creating smudges on the page and the side of their hand. Many lefties will adopt strange postures to avoid the dreaded ink blots, causing muscle fatigue instead.

The news isn’t all bad. Fast-drying and smooth-flowing inks have made life easier for left-handers in recent years, and while a traditional fountain pen may not be an option, a wide variety of colourful pens are now available which may just prove to be the best pens for these literal pen-pushers.

Ballpoint pens tend to have fast-drying ink, which means less mess and are long lasting, so they don’t have to be replaced as often. The gel rollerball pen provides a smooth ink, meaning less pressure on the paper and a better writing flow.

Brainstorming & Journaling

Where creativity is required, so is variety. A range of coloured pens can make a huge difference to ideas that arise during brainstorming, journaling, or diarising stand-out events.

Coloured pens are available as fineliner pens, marker pens, or gel rollerball pens so you can play with texture as well. Some of these are even erasable and come in very handy for adjusting layouts or idea spreads. Try combining highlighters with fineliner pens or permanent markers for the ultimate creative writing spree.


Whether you’re a notable CEO, a busy assistant, or a courtroom professional, impressions matter. Fineliner pens provide a unique appearance and many come with fast-drying ink, ideal for signing documents.

Parker offer a premium stainless-steel pen, ideal for reliable and regular use. This pen can also be engraved and personalised and make a perfect appreciation gift for colleagues and clients.

Ultimately, there is no wrong or right to what you choose to write with, as it’s as personal as your signature or the thoughts you put on paper. That said, choosing a pen with the ideal ink, grip or tip for your needs can make your day-to-day life that little bit easier.


View our complete writing instrument range here and our handy product guide here

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