Like many writers, I use a moleskine for capturing ideas, snatches of dialogue, plots, and drawing word pictures. Recently, I've also been using one at work for taking notes. Up until six months ago I'd used my laptop for meetings, but we have a policy of not using computers in meetings so that we can be fully engaged in the conversation (we've all been to plenty of sessions where most attendees were busy IMing, sending emails, internet shopping or worse). My work moleskine is large and lined, and for the longest time I have just used whatever pen was lying around to fill it in. I did have a nice pen for a short while, but it went walkabout from my desk - not uncommon in offices, everybody seems to leave or take pens wherever, since most are identical. Having just ordered a new moleskine, I was looking at tips on various blogs (ideally to find a way to put a business card holder on the front cover, and/or a pen holder), when I came across several interesting articles about the perfect pen to use in a moleskine.

I had no idea people were so passionate about the subject of pens. I learned a lot about the key characteristics of a good writing instrument (watch out for feathering!), and also discovered that some inks dry faster than others - which is very important as a left handed writer. Rather bizarrely, I write like a left-handed person with my right hand (don't ask, it's all very complex). The end result of that is that I smudge most of my handwriting unless I am very careful, and slow. So it was fascinating to discover that there are pens much better suited to left-handed writers because the ink dries faster, preventing many of the smears and smudges (and the side of my hand turning black and blue).  It seems that the most well known pen in the USA is the Pilot G2, but almost exclusively the pen experts seem to prefer the Uni-ball Jetstream. A few people have good words for the Pilot V7 as well. I've put the links in, so you can read the review for yourself.

On the basis of the reviews I've just purchased a 3xpack of Uni-ball Jetstreams (red/blue/black inks) to test out - I'll let you know what I think, may be next month. Having said all of that, I should admit that for my writing moleskine I use the smaller, pocket-sized variety, and I always write in pencil! What pens do you use? Any recommendations?

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