The 5 Best Journaling Pens

apichon_tee / Shutterstock

If you’re a regular journaler, you know how important it is to have an effective writing tool — and you also know that the best journaling pens can make it even more fun or satisfying to jot down your thoughts. But with so many pens out there, it can be difficult to narrow down the best options for journaling. Where does one even begin?

The most obvious thing to look for when you’re shopping for a journaling pen is one that writes smoothly without skipping or bleeding through the page, and every pen on this list will fit that bill. Beyond that, you should think about which type of pen you prefer and what kind of journaling you tend to do. Rolling ball ink pens are many journalers’ go-to type for everyday writing because they’re simple but smooth. You can also find pigmented gel pens for livening up your journal pages with punches of color, and even erasable gel pens. If you like the way markers feel as you write, you should opt for a fine-point felt-tip pen. And a pen set that offers you different tip options will give you lots of versatility.

Another factor to keep in mind when choosing a pen is the width of the tip. Tip sizes most commonly range from 0.5 millimeter to 1 millimeter, and the size you should choose depends wholly on personal preference. If you write small or like to include more detailed doodles in your journals, you’ll want to aim for a finer line width. On the other hand, if you tend to write in larger print, you have the flexibility to write with a thicker pen. Most of the pens I’ve chosen for this article are solidly midrange (0.7 millimeters) to accommodate many writing styles.

From no-frills pens for everyday use to brightly hued sets, here are some of the best journaling pens on Amazon.


The Best Everyday Journaling Pen

Pen type: Rolling ball pen with a 0.5-millimeter tip

The Pilot Precise V5 RT can be your go-to basic pen for everyday journaling. This three-pack comes with three identical black pens, but you can also buy the pens in six quantities (ranging from a two-pack to a multicolored 48-pack) and 12 ink colors. It has a patented extra fine precision tip, writes smoothly, and doesn't bleed. You'll find a rubberized grip for comfort and a metal clip to secure it to a pocket or notebook. Best of all, the pen is retractable, so you never have to worry about losing the cap — and refillable, so you can keep using the same pen over and over. (You can purchase ink refills separately.)

Reviewers say: “Best pens I've ever used, and I love that they're refillable! Smooth as silk writing, no skipping, no ink blobs, comfortable grip, and long lasting. They feel like expensive pens, but they're not. I love to use them for my journals, because it makes writing so much more pleasant, like a treat!”


The Best Multicolored Pen Set For Journaling

Pen type: Gel pen with a 0.7-millimeter tip

With more than 1,700 five-star reviews on Amazon, these Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens are popular among journalers — and commonly used for Bible journaling too. They're a fantastic fit for anyone who likes to write or doodle in bright, impactful colors, and they have a soft ergonomic grip that makes them comfortable no matter how you hold a pen.

The gel ink is super pigmented and dries quickly. This pack includes 14 different shades, ranging from black to lime green, and the pens have a medium point, but you can snag a set with a finer 0.5-mm tip if you prefer.

Reviewers say: “Vibrant colors, love how they feel when I write. These have easily become one of my favorite pens to write and journal with!”


The Best Pens For Art Journaling

Pen type: Assorted pens with different tips

You can tackle all kinds of art journaling with the wide variety of pens in the Sakura Pigma 30062 Micron Ink Pen Set. It includes six pens, each with a different tip: 0.2-, 0.25-, 0.3-, 0.35-, 0.45-, and 0.5-millimeter pens, plus a 1-millimeter graphic pen and a brush with a line width that depends on how you use it. The black ink is chemical and fade resistant, dries quickly, and doesn’t bleed through journal pages.

However, reviewers mention that while the manufacturer lists these pens as waterproof, they do sometimes blur when used with watercolor. If you want to use your pens in combination with paint, you may want to opt for this Staedtler set instead.

Reviewers say: “I love these pens. They write/draw very well, and the ink is very black, which some aren't. I find myself reaching for these when I want to write in my art journal, or just for drawing.”


The Best Erasable Pens For Journaling

Pen type: Erasable gel pen with 0.7-millimeter tip

Do you absolutely hate scratching out mistakes in your journal? If so, these Pilot FriXion ColorSticks Erasable Gel Ink pens are for you. These fun and practical gel pens have a thermo-sensitive ink that writes smoothly and also can be erased without damaging the page. This is a 10-pack of pens in assorted colors, but the FriXion ColorSticks are available in six options ranging from a 5-pack to a massive 36-pack, as well as nine color combinations.

Reviewers say: “These are the best pens!! They are erasable ink and they really do erase all the ink. I use mine every day for journaling.”


The Best Felt Tip Pens For Journaling

Pen type: Felt tip pen with 0.7-millimeter tip

With their felt tips, these Paper Mate Flair felt tip pens are sort of similar to markers, but they have a medium line width and write smoothly like a pen. This pack includes 12 different colors and the water-based ink is resistant to fading and smearing, which is particularly helpful for left-handed writers. While the manufacturer says they won't bleed, some reviewers report that the ink can bleed through thin paper, so you may want to save these pens for journals with thicker pages.

Reviewers say: “These are the bomb! They are great for creative journaling, they don't bleed through the page and they write smoothly.”

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.