One could say I’m a professional note taker. I survived undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, and today I still love my pen and paper.
The truth of the matter is that not all pens are created equal, and some are better than others. On top of that, everyone has their own preference.
Let’s take a closer look at the best gel pens for taking notes.
Choosing the Best Gel Pens for Notes
When it comes to choosing a pen for any purpose, it all comes down to preference and functionality.
Today we’re going to talk about gel pens and note taking.
What should you think about when picking gel pens for notes? Good question.
Here’s the things to consider.
- Tip size. What kind of line are you looking to write with?
- Smearing. Are you going to be writing fast? Most likely yes when taking notes, so a pen that won’t smear is essential.
- Paper. What kind of paper are you using? How thick is it? Are you using both sides of it? Some gel pens can be prone to bleeding through paper.
- Color. Are you looking for standard colors like black and blue? Or something more fun?
Don’t worry, this list of gel pens for taking notes has something for everyone.
Best Gel Pens for Notes
These tested and true gel pens are great for note taking. I've tried them all out, and can tell you all about the pros and cons for each.
There are black pens, blue pens, and fun colored pens in this list, this list has something for everyone!
Each of these pens has been battle tested by note takers everywhere.
Pentel EnerGel RTX Retractable Gel Pen, 0.5mm,
Personally, this is hands down my favorite gel pen for note taking, and I survived most of my engineering education with them.
Why? Simple. I like the needle tip of the pen. It writes smooth, and is relatively inexpensive.
Best of all? No smearing smudging.
Looking for a thicker line? It also comes in .7 mm and a wide variety of colors.
Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens, Medium Point, Black
PaperMate InkJoy pens are also a favorite of mine. They have a specially formulated fast drying ink.
They are smooth to write with, and very cost effective.
They write extremtly smooth, and will not bleed through paper.
Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens, Color
I love to add a pop of color for my notes. For circling things, diagrams, or underlining things for emphasis.
A pop of color can really make a difference, and the PaperMate Ink joy pens are the ones for the job.
Besides writing silky smooth, they are retractible so you don't have to worry about losing the cap!
PILOT Dr. Grip Limited Refillable & Retractable Gel Ink Rolling Ball Pen
If you write a lot, then a comfortable pen is a must.
The Dr. Grip pens are refillable, and cost effective. You don't need to stress out too much if you lose one, which is bound to happen sometimes.
They have great ink, and are the most comfortable thing around to write with because they have a cusioned grip and a thicker barrel.
PILOT G2 Premium Refillable & Retractable Rolling Ball Gel
Pilot G2 pens are also well known, and have fast drying ink.
They are known for being smooth and dependable.
You can also buy refills for these pens, and guess what! That amazing Dr. Grip pen uses the same refills.
Muji Gel Ink Pens 0.38mm
Muji gel pens write smooth as silk, and this .38 mm pen is extra fine.
This black, blue, red combination is great for note taking.
I will say that Muji gel pens can smear, but for me, the extra fine tip is worth a bit of smearing here and there.
Sakura Gelly Roll Pens, 6 Colors
Sakura Gelly Roll pens have been around for at least two decades, and write smooth as silk.
Gelly Roll pens are known for thier fun colors, to add a pop to your notes.
This metallic pack is no excpetion, and they make Gelly Roll pens in just about every color imaginable.
Tips for Using Gel Pens
Remember, gel pens use water based ink, so water is the enemy! Be careful of liquids, especially drinks while you are studying! Even the condensation from a cold drink is enough to smear even the fasted drying gel pens.
While these pens do not generally bleed through paper, there are limits for everything. Be sure to write quickly and lightly.
If you hold any gel pen in the same spot for an extended period of time, it will in fact bleed.
Looking for some other options? Don’t forget my detailed guide to the best pen for taking notes, which also covers ballpoint pens and pencils.
Finally, don’t miss these amazing note taking tips!