My Favorite Pens & Markers for Journaling

I get a lot of questions about what pen or marker I use in my journals, so I decided to compile them all into a blog post! Read on if you want to know more about the Lamy Lx, the Pilot Kaküno, the Pilot Juice gel pen, the Sakura Gellyroll metallic gel pen, the Sakura Pigma Micron Pens, Mildliners, and the Pentel Fude Touch Brush Sign Pen.


The Pens

Lamy lx extra fine (rose gold)

The Lamy Lx extra fine fountain pen is my all time favorite pen. It was a splurge for me, but I know that with proper care, it will last me a very long time. I am a sucker for rose gold, so when Lamy came out with this luxury finish, I put it on my stationary wishlist. I prefer finer nibs, but they also come with thicker nib sizes.

I pair it with a Lamy z24 converter and my favorite fountain pen ink, Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-syogun (Winter Shogun). This ink is a beautiful cool grey, and it dries quickly so there is less of a chance that it will smear on the smooth Tomoe River paper.

Pilot Kakuno (fine)

The Pilot Kaküno with a fine nib was my first fountain pen. (At the time of writing this post, I have a grand total of two fountain pens. Yes, I went from a Kaküno to a Lamy Lx. I go 0 to 100 real quick.) I think the Kaküno is a fine fountain pen, especially for a beginner or someone on a stationary budget. It's about one fifth of the price of the Lamy Lx, but honestly? Truly? It writes just as good.

Sure, the Lamy is made of more luxurious materials, but the Kaküno is just so darn cute. I mean, the nib as a winky smiley face on it! How kawaii is that?

Pilot Juice gel pen

Before I became a fountain pen collector (of two fountain pens), I was an avid gel ink pen user. Sometimes, I still use gel ink pens, because fountain pens only work well on certain papers. That's where my favorite gel ink pens come in: The Pilot Juice. My favorite one has an ultra fine nib size of 0.38mm. That's pretty darn fine, although I do have some thinner than that! For writing, I like to stay in between 0.38mm and 0.8mm.

These pens have super dark ink, don't skip, feel awesome to hold, they have a convenient clip, and they work on pretty much any paper type. Super reliable pen. I get them in bulk just to be sure they're always around!

Sakura Gelly Roll

The Sakura Gelly Roll pens are my favorite type of gel pens (not gel ink pens, gel pens). The one pictured above is part of the metallic line, in gold. All gold everything! I also have some white ones, the silver one, and a bunch of "souffle" pens. They are so fun, and come in a vast amount of colors. What sets them apart from other brands of gel pens is that they're opaque. I love writing with these on black paper!

Sakura Pigma Micron Pens

Sakura again! Micron pens are well known among artists who like to do ink work. I love using the thicker sizes (05, 08) them for monoline lettering, and the thinner ones (005, 01, 02, 03) for ink sketching and drawing. I've seen lots of folks use them for writing and doodling in their bullet journals as well. These are a staple in the stationary community!

Zebra Mildliners

If you follow any studygram account on Instagram, you've probably seen these amazing Mildliner dual-tipped highlighters. The colors are so beautiful. They're a little less construction-worker-safety-vest than other bright, flourescent highlighters. I use them to color code my bullet journal, or write large headers.

Pentel Fude Touch Sign Brush Pen

These Pentel brush pens are my favorite markers for brush calligraphy. When I first started out learning brush calligraphy, I was very frustrated with the large size and flexibility of the Tombow Dual Brush pens, which is very popular amongst my favorite calligraphers.

These are much smaller, and the brush tip is stiffer, which I find is easier to control than a more flexible tip. The size of the brush pen means that it's a perfect fit for my small journal (A6 sized Hobonichi).



Ghosting & Bleedthrough

Just to be thorough, here is how those pens react to the Tomoe River paper in the Hobonichi Original:


There is definitely ghosting for all of them except the gold Sakura Gellyroll and the Mildliner (probably because they're not depositing dark, liquid ink onto the paper). However, the ink from the two fountain pens (Lamy Lx and Pilot Kakuno) show through on the back. The Lamy's ink is even bleeding through in some spots. Yikes. I personally don't mind, but this may be something to keep in mind if you like the back of your page to be pristine! (I recommend the Rhodia webnotebooks for high quality paper that works wonderfully with fountain pen ink.)

Disclaimer: I was not sponsored by any of the aforementioned companies (although, if any of them wanted to collaborate, I'd be happy to support a product I truly believe in!) However, all of the Amazon links are affiliate links. If you choose to buy anything through these links, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!