Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quick Cheap Pen Review

Tomorrow is my first day at my new (old) job. Needless to say I have continued to fantasize about how I am going to supply my new office and have been dying to make the rounds to every office supply store and website known to man. Unfortunately, a rowdy going away party and homework limited my shopping time this weekend.

Because I was short on time, I decided to visit Wal-Mart to get my pen fix! I picked up a package of pens by Papermate. I liked the clean white styling of the pens and I thought they might go well with the white supplies at Poppin. I also picked up a pack of Elementz markers made by inc. I really have no need for these, but I thought they could be useful when decorating my planner pages every week.

I decided to test these pens out in the notebook I received in the Germany Rad and Hungry kit. As a side note, I am so in love with Rad and Hungry! I have previously speculated on what different countries office supplies were like and it seems as though Rad and Hungry read my blog and decided to start a company to satisfy my curiosity! If you aren't yet signed up with Rad and Hungry, you should do it right now, or you are going to be the only kid on the playground without a notebook from Latvia and paperclips from all over the world.

Back to my review... the Der Brunnen Block notebook paper is 70gsm and reminds me of the writing tablets that you used to see everywhere, both in size and the weight of the paper. I'm not sure if you can tell in the pictures, but the grid lines on the paper are done in grey, rather than blue. I like this better than normal grid paper simply because of that fact.

The Papermate pen is a Silhouette Elite and is classified on the package as a medium pen at 1.0mm. It is really just your standard ballpoint pen. It wrote smoothly and didn't seem too goopy. There is nothing fancy about the pen, but nothing bad either. I can see filling an office supply closet with this type of pen if you wanted to get away from the stick pens or avoid gels.

Closer view of the ink shows a little bit of skipping, but I think it is because it is brand new. I don't think it would be a problem long term. The pen comes in blue and black.

The Elementz markers very metallic. The picture doesn't really do the colors justice. The package says they work well on light and dark paper. They are not listed as permanent markers, but they do say that they are fade resistant. These markers are labeled as fine tip. However, that clearly isn't the case, they are similar in size to regular sharpie, so they may not be best for very detailed crafts. I am sure I will get some use out of these pens, but they won't be something I use everyday.

Both the ballpoint and the markers showed through on the back of the paper. However, there was no bleed through on the markers. So if you are looking at them for crafting, I don't think it would be a problem.

Now that I have my pen fix in for the weekend, I have to start deciding what notebook and pens to take with me on my first day of work! I know I will be taking a lot of notes during my training and I want to ensure I have a trusty pen and a notebook that I won't mind using for awhile as i get up to speed in this new job. I am already planning on using my Uncalendar as my work "to-do" book (but I follow my own system, not the one at their website). I have all manner of bound books, office project notebooks, Rhodia pads etc. to choose from. But I would love to hear from you in the comments! What would be your must have supplies on your first day of work?


  1. Melinda, glad to see you're blogging again. I wonder if you could answer a question that was posed on an older post, the one about the DIY planner from last year. In the photos you had some Oxford composition books, which I believe are manufactured in India. You seemed to indicate that you had purchased yours here in the States. I am always on the lookout for quality composition books -- they're so hard to find! So if you found them domestically, can you tell us where? Thanks!

  2. @steveareno The oxford book came from the University of Iowa bookstore. I find that I college bookstores have a lot of unique items such as this. I don't think it is something you can order online, but might be available if you call them. This is their website

  3. I'm so happy with my purchase of Elementz metallic markers. Just posted a new DIY, plz check it out.

  4. @steveareno, I happened to go by the bookstore again where I got the oxford book and they didn't have anymore. Have you been able to find a supplier at all?