10 Best Pens for Writing in College | Note Taking Skills

best pens for note taking
best pens for note taking

Finding the perfect pen for note-taking is essential for students and professionals alike. Taking good notes is critical between lectures, assignments, and that never-ending to-do list. The right pen can make a significant difference in the quality of your notes, enhancing your writing experience and ensuring that your thoughts are captured accurately and efficiently.

This is where this post comes in! With many options available in the market, choosing the best pen for your specific needs can be overwhelming. Whether you prefer smooth gel ink, precise lines, or a classic fountain pen experience, this guide will explore and recommend some of the best pens for note-taking in 2024.

Stay here and be ready to take your note-taking game a notch higher!!

10 Best Pens For Note Taking in College

Certainly! Here are ten of the best pens for note-taking in college, along with an elaborate explanation of their features and benefits:

#1. Pilot G2

The Pilot G2 is popular among college students for its smooth gel ink, writing, and comfortable grip. It offers a range of colors and point sizes, allowing you to customize your notes.

The G2’s quick-drying ink reduces the risk of smudging, making it perfect for fast-paced lectures and extensive note-taking sessions.

#2. Uni-ball Jetstream

The Uni-ball Jetstream pen is another of the best pens for note taking, known for its hybrid ink, combining the best features of gel and ballpoint pens. It provides a smooth writing experience with quick-drying, smear-resistant ink.

The Jetstream is ideal for extensive note taking as it reduces hand fatigue and ensures clean, consistent lines.

#3. Zebra Sarasa Clip

The Zebra Sarasa Clip is a retractable gel pen with vibrant ink colors and a smooth writing experience. It has a comfortable grip and a clip that allows you to attach it to your notebook or pocket.

The Sarasa Clip is a reliable choice for college note taking due to its durability and availability in different point sizes.

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#4. Lamy Safari

The Lamy Safari fountain pen is a favorite among college students who enjoy a traditional writing experience.

Its lightweight body and triangular grip help reduce hand strain when writing for long hours.

Additionally, it is compatible with different ink cartridges.

It’s a great choice for people who want to try fountain pens for the first time.

#5. Pilot Precise V5

The Pilot Precise V5 rollerball pen is known for its fine needle-point tip that writes consistent, precise lines.

It is an excellent option for detailed note-taking, diagrams, and mathematical equations.

The V5’s water-resistant ink ensures that your notes remain legible when exposed to liquids or highlighting.

#6. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner

The Staedtler Triplus Fineliner is a fine-tipped marker pen with different vibrant colors. It is an excellent choice for color-coding notes, creating visuals, and adding artistic elements to study materials

Its superfine, metal-clad tip ensures precise and controlled lines. The Triplus Fineliner is perfect for colour-coding notes, creating visual aids, and adding artistic elements to your study materials.

#7. Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen

The Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen provides a brush-like writing experience, making it ideal for calligraphy, headers, and creative note-taking.

Its flexible tip allows for both thin and thick lines, giving your notes an artistic flair. The Fudenosuke Brush Pen is a versatile tool for adding visual interest to your study materials.

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#8. Pentel EnerGel

The Pentel EnerGel is a reliable hybrid gel pen known for its smooth writing and quick-drying ink.

It provides a comfortable grip and glides effortlessly across the page, ensuring a seamless note taking experience. It makes a dependable companion for long study sessions.

#9. Fisher Space Pen

The Fisher Space Pen is a durable and versatile option for college note-taking.

It uses pressurized ink cartridges, which allow it to write smoothly in various conditions, such as upside down, underwater, or in extreme temperatures.

Fisher space pen is helpful for fieldwork or outdoor activities.

#10. Muji Gel Ink Pen

The Muji Gel Ink Pen has a sleek design, comfortable grip, and smooth gel ink formula. It is available in different point sizes and ink colors, catering to various note-taking preferences.

These ten pens provide a range of options to suit different writing styles, preferences, and budget considerations.

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What to Look for When Buying Pens for Note Taking

When buying pens for note-taking, several factors must be considered to ensure you choose the right pen that meets your needs. Here’s what to look for:


Look for pens that have a comfortable grip and feel balanced. Consider the pen’s shape, size, and weight and the materials used in its construction. A comfortable pen will reduce hand fatigue during long note-taking sessions.

Writing Smoothness

Buy pens that provide a smooth writing experience. Look for pens with a consistent ink flow that glides effortlessly across the paper. Smooth writing reduces hand strain and allows for faster note taking.

Ink Quality

Three main ink types are used in pens: ballpoint, gel, and fountain. Ballpoint pens are the most common type of pen, and they are known for their smooth writing and durability. Gel pens are also smooth writers, but they tend to have brighter colors and dry more quickly than ballpoint pens.

Fountain pens are the most traditional type of pen. They use a nib to draw ink from a cartridge or converter. Fountain pens can be a great choice for people who enjoy the feel of writing with one, but they can be more expensive and require more maintenance.

Consider the quality of the ink used in the pen. Look for quick-drying pens with ink to prevent smudging and bleeding through the paper. Additionally, consider the color vibrancy and saturation of the ink to ensure that your notes are clear and legible. The type of ink will affect the smoothness of the writing, the color of the ink, and how quickly the ink dries.

Point Size

Choose a pen with a point size that suits your writing style and preferences. Fine or extra-fine points are ideal for detailed and precise note-taking, while medium or bold points are suitable for bolder and faster writing.

The point size will affect the thickness of the pen’s line. A finer point size is suitable for taking notes in small spaces, while a larger point size is better for making important points stand out.


Consider the pen’s durability, especially if you’ll be using it extensively. Look for pens with sturdy construction, reliable mechanisms, and resistant materials. Pens with a reputation for durability will last longer and provide consistent performance.

Refillable vs. Disposable

Decide whether you prefer refillable pens or disposable ones. Some pens are refillable, so you can replace the ink cartridge when it runs out. This can save you money in the long run and is also better for the environment.

Refillable pens are more environmentally friendly and can save you money in the long run. Disposable pens offer convenience, especially if you tend to misplace or lend pens frequently.

Price Range

Set a budget for your pen purchase. Higher-priced pens often offer better quality, durability, and additional features. However, there are also budget-friendly options that provide excellent performance.

Pens can cost from a few dollars to over $100. It is important to set a budget before you start shopping so that you do not overspend.

Brand Reputation

Many different brands of pens are available, each with unique features and benefits. Some popular brands include Pilot, Uniball, Paper Mate, Sharpie, and Lamy.

Consider the reputation and reviews of different pen brands. Established brands often offer consistent quality and reliable customer support. Reading reviews from other users can give you insights into the pen’s performance, durability, and customer satisfaction.


If you have a specific notebook or paper type that you prefer to use for note-taking, ensure that the pen is compatible with it. Some pens may bleed through or feather on certain paper types, while others may perform optimally.

Personal Preference

Note-taking is a personal activity, so choose a pen that aligns with your preferences and writing style. Everyone has unique preferences for grip, ink type, and overall feel, so select the pen that you enjoy using and that enhances your note-taking experience.

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Which Pen is Better for Note Taking?

The best pen for note-taking depends on your personal preferences, writing style, and the specific requirements of your note-taking tasks. Consider comfort, ink flow, point size, and durability to find a pen that suits your needs. It can be helpful to try out different pens or read reviews from other users to see which pen resonates with you the most.

Here are a few popular options and their advantages:

Gel Pens

Gel pens are similar to ballpoint pens but tend to have brighter colors and dry more quickly.

For example; Gel pens, like the Pilot G2 or Zebra Sarasa Clip, are known for their smooth writing experience and vibrant ink colors. They often provide a comfortable grip and are suitable for various writing styles.

Gel pens are great for those who prefer a fluid, effortless writing experience and want to add visual interest to their notes with colorful inks. They are also good choice for people who want a pen that writes smoothly and that will not smudge.

Rollerball Pens

Rollerball pens are a hybrid of ballpoint pens and fountain pens. They use a ballpoint tip to draw ink from a cartridge, but the ink flows more smoothly than a traditional ballpoint pen.

Rollerball pens like the Pilot Precise V5 offer precise and consistent lines. Rollerball pens are suitable for detailed note-taking, drawing diagrams, and writing mathematical equations. They also work well on different types of paper.

Ballpoint Pens

Ballpoint pens are the most common type of pen, and they are known for their smooth writing and durability.

Ballpoint pens are reliable and durable like the Uni-ball Jetstream or the Fisher Space Pen. They have a medium to bold point size and use oil-based ink that dries quickly and resists smudging. Ballpoint pens are great for everyday note-taking and are often more resistant to bleeding through the paper, making them suitable for double-sided notes.

Fountain Pens

Fountain pens are the most traditional type of pen. They use a nib to draw ink from a cartridge or converter. They are a good choice for people who enjoy the feel of writing with a fountain pen, but they can be more expensive and require more maintenance.

Fountain pens, such as the Lamy Safari, provide a unique writing experience and are favored by those who appreciate the tactile feedback and customization options. They use liquid ink and typically have a wide range of nib sizes, allowing for different line widths. Fountain pens can offer a smooth, effortless writing experience and are often considered more stylish and sophisticated.

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Are Pens or Pencils Better for Note Taking?

The choice between pens and pencils for note-taking is subjective and depends on personal preferences, the nature of the notes, and individual writing styles. Here are some considerations for both options:


  • Convenience: Pens are ready to use without sharpening or erasing. They provide a smooth and consistent writing experience, allowing faster note-taking during lectures or discussions.
  • Legibility: Pens typically offer more precise and defined lines than pencils, especially when it comes to fine details and smaller handwriting. This can enhance the readability of your notes.
  • Ink Color Options: Pens come in a wide range of ink colors, which can be useful for highlighting or organizing information in your notes. Color coding can help with quick reference and comprehension.
  • Permanent Writing: Pen ink is usually permanent and less prone to fading. This can be beneficial for preserving the longevity of your notes.

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  • Flexibility: Pencils allow for easy erasing and correcting mistakes, making them suitable for those who prefer a more forgiving writing experience. You can make changes, add annotations, or modify your notes.
  • Shading and Diagrams: Pencils are ideal for shading, sketching, and drawing diagrams in your notes. They offer a range of tones and allow for easy differentiation between different elements in visual representations.
  • Lighter Pressure: Pencils require less pressure when writing, which can be more comfortable for individuals who experience hand fatigue during extended note-taking sessions.
  • Smudge-Free: Pencil marks are generally less likely to smudge than certain pen ink types, especially when using quick-drying pens or writing on glossy surfaces.

Are Fountain Pens Good for Note Taking?

Fountain pens can be excellent for note taking. Here are some factors to consider when using a fountain pen for note-taking:

  • Smooth writing: Fountain pens write smoothly and consistently, which can help take notes quickly and legibly.
  • Customization: Fountain pens often come with various nib sizes, allowing you to choose the width that suits your handwriting style and note-taking needs. You can select a finer nib for detailed notes or a broader nib for more expressive writing.
  • Ink Variety: Fountain pens provide a wide range of ink colors. This allows you to add visual interest, highlight key points, or color-code your notes. Additionally, you can experiment with different types of ink, such as waterproof or archival inks, to meet specific requirements.
  • Longevity and Durability: Fountain pens are relatively durable, able to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use.
  • Professional Aesthetic: Fountain pens carry a sense of elegance and sophistication, which may enhance the note-taking experience for some individuals. They can also make a positive impression during meetings, presentations, or when sharing your notes.

Here are few disadvantages that come with using fountain pens for note-taking

  • Requires maintenance: Fountain pens require regular maintenance, such as cleaning and refilling.
  • More expensive: Fountain pens can be more costly than other pens.
  • Not as versatile: Fountain pens are not as adaptable as other pens, such as ballpoint pens or gel pens. They can be challenging to use for tasks such as drawing or highlighting.

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FAQS on Best Pens for College Note Taking

What are the different types of pens that are good for note taking?

Ballpoint pen
Gel pen
Fountain pen
Rollerball pens:

What are the factors to consider when choosing a pen for note taking?

Ink type
Point size
Brand: Many different brands of pens are available, each with its unique features and benefits. Some popular brands include Pilot, Uniball, Paper Mate, Sharpie, and Lamy.

What are some tips for choosing the best pen for note taking?

consider your needs
Read reviews
Buy from a reputable retailer


Overall, if you enjoy writing, appreciate customization options, and are willing to invest in a quality pen, this article has provided the best pens for note-taking in college.

However, it’s important to consider your personal preferences, the specific requirements of your note-taking tasks, and any potential drawbacks before deciding on the right pen.



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