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Do you have a go-to pen for your paper planning?

When it comes to paper planning, colored pens are a much-needed accessory! They are not only amazing to work with but also have a diverse array of colored pens. This makes it easier for you to organize your thoughts in the different sections in your planner. 

Colored pens may seem like the easiest thing to buy, but i tell you what, its not as simple as it you think. There is so much to consider when buying coloured pens especially for work planning.

In this post, we will take you through the key considerations to make when selecting a coloured pen. We will also review some of the best-colored pens for planners available in the market right now as we take you through the pros and cons of each.

Factors to consider when buying colored pens for planners

There are a variety of colored pens for planners out there that it can be difficult for you to find the best one without going crazy. Here are the factors to consider when buying the ideal pen:

  • Type of pen

Colored pens for planners come in different types based on the tip. There are five main types of colored pens for planners which include plastic nibs, ballpoint, fountain, felt tip, and gel pens. 

Depending on the type of pen, it dispenses different kinds of ink and in different thickness.  Ballpoint pens write thicker lines than a gel or a plastic pen. Look at all the available types before choosing the one that best suits your needs and preference. Also, some pens have permanent ink while others do not. 

  • No bleed-through

Go for a pen that will not show through from the back of the page. A pen whose inkblots to the next page may create distraction and confusion for you when flipping through the pages of your planner. Additionally, as you look for the right pen for you consider the quality and thickness of the paper of your planner.

  • No streaking and smudging

Ensure to get a pen that will not smear after writing something. Some pens would require a few seconds of drying time while others dry immediately after writing. However, consider going for pens that dry instantly so that you do not have to worry about smearing ink all over your planner pages.

  • Bright and true colors

Planner pens that have bold and vibrant colors make ink that shows up well in your planner. They enable you to spot your pages much faster since they stand out.

  • Pen Point

Settle on your preferred pen point, either a medium or fine point. But usually, a fine point colored pen is good for writing smaller prints while a medium point is better for coloring. The size of the pen point determines the thickness of the pen’s lines. Within the same category of pens, you will find the option of different widths to choose from. Thickness is usually expressed in millimeters.

  • Size of the set

Each set usually has a specific number of pens. Smaller sets include around four pens while large sets contain up to 24 pens in a package. Depending on your needs, settle for a set size that will not only be value for money but also cater to your specific needs.

  • Non-toxic

Always try to go for pens with non-toxic ink. They are much safer to work with especially if you have children around who may end up putting fingers in their mouth with ink on them. Look for the “non-toxic” label when looking to buy colored pens for planners.

  • Waterproof ink

Colored pens that come with waterproof ink will not smear even when wet. Although you are not planning to shower with your planner, accidents like dropping it into a puddle or spilling a drink on your planner may happen. With a waterproof ink colored pen, you are at least assured that your writings will not be spoilt by liquids that may pour on them.

  • Durable

A pen that is well-made and sturdy will serve you for a longer period, Check for the material used to ensure quality as well as a feel-good touch when using your pen. Go for a good design that fits well between your fingers.

  • Refill

If you are a user who is environmentally friendly or economically oriented, consider going for a pen that you can refill. When the pen stops writing, just put in some fresh ink and keep writing. This avoids the need for you to get a new pen every time the ink runs out. This is great for mother nature since you will not be throwing away your pens every time your ink runs out. Pens that are refillable are also cheaper thus economical.

Review of Best Colored Pens for Planners

1. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
  • Fineliner with super fine metal-clad clip. Ergonomic triangular barrel for fatigue-free working. Dry-safe can be left uncapped up to 2 days without drying up. Features a stand-up wallet for easy access to pens. Ventilated caps in accordance
  • With iso 11540. Barrel and cap made from pp for long service life and low environmental impact. Water-based ink. No toxic heavy metals such as cadmium or lead-based colouring agents are used for the colouring of plastic. Staedtler does not
  • Use xylene and toluene as ink ingredients. Dry safe ink increases product life span. Environmentally friendly manufacturing process. Reusable box, phthalate-free material. 0.8 tip gives line width of 0.3mm. Assorted colours. Packed: 10.

We start our review with the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner which comes in a pack of 10 pens. The barrel of the pen has an ergonomic triangular shape so that you can write without experiencing hand fatigue. The handle has a smooth metal-clad clip for safety and the caps are ventilated in accordance with international standards. 

Another highlight is that you can actually leave this pen uncapped for up to two days and it will not dry up. This is wonderful because it increases the life span of the pen.  

The pen doesn’t bleed through even when writing on thin paper. So, your planner is safe from blotches and blobs that may mess it up. This pen uses water-based ink which has no health effects and very low environmental impact. 

The ink is also washable from many types of fabrics. The manufacturer, Staedler, has also avoided the use of toxic materials such as lead-based coloring to color the plastic.  This guarantees that these pens are safe for your use.  

It comes with a stand-up wallet for safe storage and convenience when you want to access your pens. 


  • Ergonomic triangular shape
  • Washable
  • Doesn’t bleed through paper
  • Sturdy case


  • Limited color collection
  • The case is thin

2.Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pen

Paper Mate Felt Pen
  • The world’s classic felt tip writing instrument lets you express yourself with true style and color. Our tropical assortment offers exotic, juicy hues to inspire lush, colorful designs.
  • Quick-drying, water-based ink prevents smearing. Your writing won't bleed through paper. Great for editing documents and papers.
  • Click-seal cap with clip prevents dry out. Available in 16 colors and medium or ultra fine tip.

This pen from Paper Mate will add character to your planner and make it look vibrant with the six bright colors. The pen has a medium felt tip that produces eye-catching bold lines to spice up your writing. 

The ink is water-based hence safe for human use. Also, water-based ink is smear-resistant allowing you to use these pens on papers of any thickness without worrying that the ink will bleed through. This helps to keep your writing neat. 

There is a point guard that has been added to the tip to prevent it from fraying. So you can keep writing for as long as you want to. The nylon point is also acid-free meaning you can use this pen for a long time and it will still be safe to use even on fine paper. 

To prevent the pens from drying, use the click seal cap with clip. This will extend the life of the pens. 


  • Smear-resistant ink
  • Durable
  • Wide variety of colors


  • Some colors are repeated

3. PILOT G2 Premium Refillable

This G2 pen by Pilot will give you the ultimate smooth writing experience. And did you know that this pen has been proven to be the longest-lasting writing gel ink pen among many top brands? That’s worth noting. 

It comes with over 27 color options, mostly consisting of bright and vibrant colors. This allows you to color-code your planner for convenience and neatness. Whether you want extreme precision, or prefer bold, dark, or flowing lines, this pen has got you covered. It is available in 4 point sizes including ultra-fine, extra-fine, fine, and bold points. This should be sufficient for all your writing needs. 

The pen has an ergonomic rubber grip that keeps your hands from straining,  you can comfortably write more and for longer periods of time. As with any quality pen, the ink does not bleed through the paper and doesn’t fade fast.  The gel ink is also refillable which extends the life of the pens even further. The refills can be ordered from the sellers on Amazon. 


  • Ergonomic rubber grip
  • Great variety of colors
  • Refillable 
  • Strong pocket clip


  • Don’t work well in cold environments

4. Pentel RTX Retractable Liquid Gel Pen

Pentel Gel Pen
  • High performance ink technology combines the best qualities of liquid and gel ink for a super-smooth writing experience
  • Liquid gel ink dries so fast even left handed writers love it - no smears, no smudges, no globs
  • Sleek & stylish barrel design with metal accents for a professional look

This pen blends the performance of liquid and gel ink for an extra smooth writing experience. One of the most outstanding features of this pen is that the liquid gel ink dries fast making the pen perfect for any writer. It leaves no smears, smudges, or globs. This is good news for you especially if you are left-handed. 

It is clear from the sleek design of the barrel and the stainless accents that Pentel went for a professional look with this pen. It is something you wouldn’t mind using at the office or when with your colleagues and friends. 

The pen has an ergonomic latex-free grip to give you maximum comfort and control of the pen as you write. It is available in different tip sizes to suit your needs. The 0.3mm needle tip is for writing extra-fine lines, while the 0.5mm needle tip is for fine lines. The largest is the 0.7mm needle tip that you can use if you want medium lines. You can refill the pen with refills of any size and color from Energel.


  • Refillable with any size and color
  • Ergonomic grip for comfort and control
  • Dries quickly
  • Ideal for left-handed writers


  • Plastic case not sturdy enough

5. PILOT FriXion Erasable, Refillable, and Retractable Gel Ink Pen

Pilot Gel Ink Pen
  • PILOT FRIXION CLICKER: This pen combines the ease of a retractable pen with Pilot's erasable thermo-sensitive gel ink. No wear or tear so you can erase & rewrite until it's right without ruining the page.
  • ERASABLE, RETRACTABLE, REFILLABLE: The FriXion gel ink pen writes smooth & erases clean. This set of 7 pens features black, blue, red, turquoise, purple, & green ink. Comes in a reusable pen pouch!
  • WRITE & CREATE FEARLESSLY: If you love FriXion erasable ink pens & markers, you'll want to try Pilot's full line of erasable Clickers, ColorSticks, Fineliners, Colors Marker Pens, & Highlighters.

One of the most outstanding features of this pen is that is erasable. Can you imagine how convenient that is?  The pen is manufactured using special technology that blends the features of a retractable pen with thermo-sensitive gel ink that disappears completely when erased.  

And the best thing about it is there is no wear and tear and so you can erase the ink without messing up the paper you’re writing on. This gives you an unlimited number of do-overs to write, erase, and rewrite repeatedly. And who wouldn’t want that? Also, the ink dries almost immediately which prevents smears, blobs, and messes. 

The whole set has 7 pens of different colors including black, blue, red, and even turquoise. The different colors allow you to color-code your planner to perfection.  All these pens are contained in a re-usable porch which shows sensitivity to the environmental impact of their products. 

This pen is also available in a variety of point sizes to suit your preferences. This is great for your different writing tasks such as making lists and or drawing doodles. 


  • Erasable ink
  • Fast drying
  • Wide variety of colors
  • Reusable case


  • Writing may disappear in very hot environments


If you are a lover of a bullet journal or just an ordinary paper planner, you definitely know how important it is to get yourself the best planner pens. They help you organize your writings in a decent manner where tracing information becomes easier and faster.

Colored pens make your planner pop and presentable to the eyes. With the right ink, your writings are more protected in instances where your planner has been exposed to liquids and gotten wet.

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