life·6 min read

10 Pens and Pencils for Anyone Who Loved Back-to-School Shopping

 Writing Roundup: 10 Pens and Pencils for Every Preference
Design: theSkimm | Image: Amazon
Aug 5, 2022

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What do note-takers, scrapbookers, and calligraphy fans all have in common? The search for the perfect pen (or pencil). Ballpoint or felt? Gel or fountain? Mechanical pencil or colored one? The marketplace for writing utensils is vast and seemingly endless. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our fave pens and pencils — just in time to inspire some back-to-school shopping nostalgia — for every preference. And for more BTS supplies you’ll want even if you’re not in school, check out our recs here, plus some of our top picks for journals and planners

A pack of assorted gel pens that’ll brighten up your notes… 

These ones from Paper Mate dry three times faster than traditional gel pens so you won’t have to worry about them smearing. They’re super-smooth to use and have a 0.7-millimeter medium-point tip, perfect for note-taking in all the colors of the rainbow. An ergonomic grip will save your fingers from cramps, and these are available in packs of 8 through 36. Pair ’em with a cute notebook and get ready to dive into some nostalgia. ($11.99+/10 pack, Amazon)

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Colored pencils that’ll have you itching to get creative… 

This set of 72 is great for sketching, drawing, or filling in your fave meditative adult coloring book. They’re made from odorless materials and have soft, easy-to-sharpen leads that won’t break, crack, or crumble easily. Plus, they come in an eco-friendly tube that’ll keep the colors visible for quick selection. ($19.99/72 pack, Amazon

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A pack of OG graphite pencils for pencil purists…  

You’ll get 10 Ticonderoga No. 2 pencils, aka the premier writing essential you probably remember from your school days. These have been pre-sharpened and made from premium wood in responsibly sourced forests. They’ve still got their iconic yellow design with a green eraser holder — but also come in a neon-colored pack that glows under black light if you wanna add a lil’ more fun to your kids’ (or your own) school assignments. ($8.60+/10 pack, Amazon)

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Sleek Zebra ballpoint pens for the smoothest writing experience… 

Not only do these look good, but they feel great in your hand too. They’ve got a stainless steel barrel that resists corrosion and is easy to sanitize. We love the ballpoint tip that just glides over stationery. Use these for note-taking, signing documents, or filling out important forms. ($7.79/4 pack, Amazon)

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Stationery pens that’ll become your new excuse to color-code everything… 

You’ll get 12 vibrant colored pens with a 0.5-millimeter fine tip and smooth gel that makes writing feel easy. Customers love that they’re no-bleed and fast drying. BTW, they come in a black and red color pack too — perfect for grading papers or stocking the office. ($9.95+/12 pack, Amazon)

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No-bleed Sharpie pens with super-fine felt tips for when precision matters… 

Because sometimes a ballpoint just won’t cut it. These have super-fine, 0.4-millimeter points and archival quality ink formula — acid-free, water- and fade-resistant, and AP certified. Plus, they’re guaranteed to not bleed through paper. BRB, adding to cart. ($20.80+/12 pack, Amazon)

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Paint pens for all your arts-and-crafts needs… 

Get creative with these oil-based ink pens. They come in 12 super-pigmented, water-resistant colors made with a nontoxic, acid-free formula. Use ’em to draw on wood, glass, canvas, clay, and even fabric — they’re a DIY dream. ($13.98/12 pack, Amazon)

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Retractable, erasable pens to tackle your next crossword with…  

These pens have thermo-sensitive ink that disappears with friction, so all you have to do is use the rubber eraser and your ink is as good as gone. These are great for kids beginning to transition from pencils to pens — they’ll love the vibrant colors and mistake-free formula. Psst…these aren’t recommended for use on legal or official documents and shouldn’t be left in the car. ($14.99/14 pack, Amazon

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A mechanical pencil and notebook set that also makes for a great gift…

This matching set from Vera Bradley comes with five 0.7-millimeter mechanical pencils and a notebook with 160 lined pages ready for your to-do lists, notes, and sketches. The notebook measures 11 by 9.5 inches and there’s also an interior pocket to store any loose papers. Florals, for notebooks? Groundbreaking. ($28.90, QVC)

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