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5 Essential Writing & Note-Taking Tools for Students & Lifelong Learners from JetPens

Jet Pens

Like many things, I believe that you should choose quality over quantity with your .

I know that many of my readers are hitting the and supply stores these days for Back to School supplies, but before you do your shopping, read below for my list of suggested products. Don’t buy just any box of cheap pens  or pencils for your (or your child’s) writing needs—I know from years of experience that quality writing instruments make a world of difference when it comes to note-taking and exam-writing.

Learning new things is difficult and stressful enough, why burden your mind with thoughts of inferior-quality writing instruments? The following list is of 5 writing instruments that are fantastic for both students and students of life (lifelong learners)—great products for everyday use, and writing on the go.

5 Essential Writing and Note-Taking Tools for Students and Lifelong Learners

1. Zebra Clip-On G Series 2 Color Ballpoint Multi Point .7 mm $5.75
Multi Pen
I’m sure we’ve all had those cheap multi-colour pens-in one at some point in our lives. They’re great, in theory, but the ink quality is really lacking, so you end up with lines that aren’t quite solid.  The idea of a pen that has multiple colours of ink in one is really appealing, especially when I was in university and needed to keep my notes organized—the different colours work well to separate thoughts, and highlight specific, more important text. I used to use different pens, but then, I didn’t have this one yet.
The ink flows smoothly and the point is thin, which makes it work really well for quick note-taking. There is a comfortable (yet smooth) grip and a springy clip (so you don’t have to worry about breaking it). There is a button on the front to press when you want to change pen colours. . .from red to blue to green to black. This pen really has you covered in the grip, ease of use and quality departments. . .not to mention the usefulness department.
This pen is perfect for organizing thoughts and ideas. Check out the pen from JetPens, here.
2. Pilot FriXion Ball Retractable Gel Ink Pen .5mm $3.75
Frixion Ball
I have a confession—this is not my first experience with Pilot’s FriXion pens. Greg and I sought out a place to purchase this line of pens a few years ago when we were still in university. We’d read so many great reviews on these pens that we needed to try them out—even though we had to order them from the USA and pay extra for shipping etc. our first experience with JetPens was when we made that first purchase. I ordered the non-retractable pen with blue ink and Greg splurged and bought the $25  copper FriXion pen with black ink.
I’d heard both good and bad things about this line of pens—the bad being that the ink that comes out of the pens is lighter than others. Really, that is the only drawback. While I do find this to be true of the blue ink, I don’t notice this as being a problem with the black ink. . .either that, or they’ve made significant improvements to this part of their pens in the last few years.
I remember first using erasable pens some time in elementary school—for years, we were required to only use pencils, but one year it happened: we had erasable pens on our to-buy list. Those pens were awful! The ink barely flowed, the eraser barely erased, and I mostly just ended up with a blue gloppy mess. Well, after those years of having to write with an erasable pen (if you can call them that—a blue inky smear was always left on the page. The ink could hardly be described as having been ‘erased’), I resigned myself to having to use correction fluid to. . .make corrections.
Well, improvements to erasable pen technology have arrived in Pilot’s FriXion Gel Ink Pen!  That’s right—this pen does what it claims. . .it erases the ink! Using genius technology, the temperature-sensitive ink is easily erased with the friction tip at the end.
From Jet Pens:

Interestingly enough, the ink in these pens will actually reappear when the temperature reaches below – 10 C (under 14 Fahrenheit). A freezer is sufficiently cold enough to make the ink start to reappear. It is like a magic pen for adults!

Because the ink in this pen is thermo sensitive, we do not advise for it to be left in hot cars, used for mailing, or subjected to a condition that exposes it to a lot of friction.

This pen, and other FriXion pens are perfect for test-taking. One needs to be able to make corrections easily when writing essays during exams. You can purchase this and other FriXion pens by Pilot from—the refills are only $2.
3. Uni Kuru Toga Roulette Model Auto Lead Rotation Mechanical Pencil .5mm $16.50
Uni Kuru Pencil
I have gone through so much pencil lead in my schooling life. This Uni Kuru Toga pencil solves the problem of constantly breaking lead  with superior technology, the details of which are outlined here. True, I didn’t go in to the sciences—where students daily need to use pencils for coursework—but even in the arts a mechanical pencil comes in handy. Next to my notes for specific pieces of art (I majored in Art History), I always quickly drew the image. Now, even though I have recently graduated, I use this mechanical pencil to write notes in my blog journal. I write out ideas, schedule posts, etc. I can’t do these things and more with a pen—although the above recommended FriXion pen would probably work well.
This mechanical pencil is smooth, and weighty—which I love. This most definitely feels like a quality writing instrument, perhaps even a luxury pencil for everyday use! So, why should you buy this over a cheaper mechanical pencil? I am someone that equates using a good quality writing instrument with respecting what you’re writing. It can be said that this is definitely a good (perhaps great) writing instrument. This pencil can be purchased here.
4. Zebra SL-F1 Mini Ballpoint Pen .7mm $5
Mini Zebra
This pen, as you can see above, works especially well as a pen-purse. The pen, which is already quite small, contracts to an even smaller size. I have a little notebook that I keep in my purse for notes-taking on the go, and this Zebra Mini Ballpoint fits perfectly in the spiral part.
Being a ballpoint pen, there is a certain amount of smudging and smearing, but this is fine for a purse pen that I only occasionally use. I sometimes attend lectures in different locations in the city at a moment’s notice—and that is where this pen/notebook combo really comes in handy. It is nice to not be able to search for a pen because this one is always in my purse or bag of the day. When I go to exhibits or museums, I like to be able to take down notes, too. . .and love to make lists of movies and music to check out whenever I think of them.
This pen does its job—it’s handily sized, convenient, pretty and writes in a nice, thin line. You can pick this up in a few different colours (maybe a different one for each purse/bag?) from the JetPens website. There are also different colours of ink refills available for around $1.35 each.
5. Tombow AirPress Apro Ballpoint Pen .7mm $6.25
Air Press
What makes this pen so unique? When you click down on the cap a bit of air is injected in to the ink cartridge, making this pen write well on difficult surfaces. This would come in really handy for waitresses who might need to write on wet paper or similar. I like that the pen nib is pushed back in to the base when you open the clip to attach it to your notebook, shirt pocket, etc. so you don’t need to worry about the ink leaking.
As far as the ink quality—it writes well enough. I wouldn’t use it during an exam or for essay writing, but for simple note-taking, or scribbling call numbers down in the library on whatever surface you have to write on, this pen does the job. You can pick this Tombow  pen up here.
So there you have it—5 essential writing tools that (and I only feel a little bit weird making this blanket statement) everyone needs.
What are your favourite writing instruments? Do you prefer a pen or a pencil? Gel or Ballpoint?
I was absolutely beside myself when I was contacted by JetPens to write about their amazing (and huge) range of products! Thank you for providing me with these better-than average writing instruments for this review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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