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A Pen (And Paper) For Your Thoughts

Updated on October 1, 2014
Eric Seidel profile image

I use to write reviews for Squidoo and some other website whose name escapes me. Once those sites went defuncked I copy/pasted them here.

It doesn't hurt to have a backup, and another backup. etc.
It doesn't hurt to have a backup, and another backup. etc.

A Classic and Effective Writing Tool

Back to School is right around the corner and everywhere around the nation children are dreading it. Sure theyâre having fun right now but deep in their little hearts they sense that storm clouds of September (or late August as it is these days) are forming.

For those of you who are older, or have kids already, know this feeling but instead of going to school itâs the dread of buying school supplies. Fear not! Erasers, binders, folders, and textbooks are all apart of the balanced breakfast of school tools. None is more important than the pen and paper.

Mead Spiral Notebook, 5 Subject, Wide Ruled, 180 Sheets, 1 Notebook per Order, Assorted Colors - Color May Vary (05680)
Mead Spiral Notebook, 5 Subject, Wide Ruled, 180 Sheets, 1 Notebook per Order, Assorted Colors - Color May Vary (05680)

If you're in school a five subject notebook is a must have for keeping your work organized.


Useful For Any Age

Technology has brought us the ability to type anything we want on the go. A digital "Notepad" programmed into our smartphones and tablets. Excuse me if I sound like an old curmudgeon but an actual keyboard with buttons is, and will always be, the best way to go. However THE most important thing for taking notes and retaining information is a pen and pad of paper. If you don't have the pad you can still use the pen with just about anything. Cocktail napkin, toilet paper, or palm of your hand; well you know depending on the situation you're in.

Whether you're a 5th grader, in high school, or a just a struggling writer a pen and paper are very useful for your written work. Once it's out on paper you can dictate it to a computer for future reference. Keep in mind that the type of paper you use isn't really important, the pen you use isn't really important, it's HOW you use it. The pen you should use is up to you, but the pad itself makes the difference for where you are. I mean you don't want to write out notes and ideas on expensive sheets of artist's draft paper do you?

More than likely you will be in a classroom or several of them. Here you should have a three (or five) subject notebook. They also have ones that come with pockets for calculator, erasers, pens, crayons, small note pads, and even a built in GPS for over protective parents; but let me just keep this simple for YOUR sake. If you are a writer out and about the only thing you really need is pen and paper. You mess up or make a typo, cross it out and keep going. They do make erasable pens, I use to use them when I was in school. Erasable pens are a lot cleaner than pencils but still made a weird black smudge on the side of my hand when using them.

If you wear cargo pants/shorts (or those nifty ones that turn into shorts/pants, freaking love those) then I recommend a notepad like Little FAT Book. You can buy them at Walmart and are just big enough to write on either on a hard surface or in your hand. The issue with note pads like this is it takes a while (or a couple hundred sheets) to give it a little grove in your palm. The grove is important! It adds stability to your writing so that it doesn't come out looking like a different language when you go to dictate it later.

Paper Mate InkJoy Ballpoint Pen, Assorted Colors, 8-Count
Paper Mate InkJoy Ballpoint Pen, Assorted Colors, 8-Count

Like I said above these have a great grip and will not hurt your hand. Plus they're pretty cheap.


A Habit Easy To Make

When someone gives you a pen to use it's easy to slip the pen into your pocket. It's something that doesn't seem very important but really it's one of those unwritten laws. If you borrow someone's pen give it back. Check your pocket on the way out of the restaurant after you just signed your receipt. Chances are you just may have forgotten to give back the pen. You're robbing a writer of a good idea, or a person from meeting someone new, just give back the pen.

UZI UZI-TACPEN2-BK Aircraft Aluminum Defender Tactical Pen with Glassbreaker, Black
UZI UZI-TACPEN2-BK Aircraft Aluminum Defender Tactical Pen with Glassbreaker, Black

Just incase stabbing your attacker with something you can jot notes down with interests you...


Choosing The Right Pen

The type of pen you choose is very important to your comfort. There are lots of different types and brands to choose from. I use Papermate, or at least an off brand version. I like it because it's comfortable on the hand and your fingers can squeeze harder for a better grip. You can do the same with older pen types but your fingers will start to ache after a while. You can buy a pack of rubber grip pens for a dollar at your local Dollar Tree. A pack of eight pens is useful, especially since you can easily lose a pen, and you can buy in bulk. Information I could have used before I paid $3.99 at Walmart for four of a different brand... Yes I bought both.

Pen design makes a big difference. Those big fat pens are very comfortable to write with but are very noticeable in your pocket. Personally every time I use one it reminds me of that old Three Stooges bit where Moe would snatch a pencil away from Curly, then Curly would just pull out a bigger one until eventually Moe would use the biggest one to club him over the head. Some of those could be used as a freaking weapon. Which reminds me if you live or go to school in a bad neighborhood, or if you're a coed, a defensive pen made by Tao Tactical or UZI is a good buy. Just aim for the neck or groin, AND it doesn't affect the pen's writing! Puts a completely new meaning to "ball-point" when dealing with potential rapists.

The design of a pen makes a difference in comfort-ability but looks shouldn't affect the affordability. I've bought those nice Cross pens in the past, you know the good looking silver ones? I've lost three. It's like sunglasses; the more you pay, the more likely you'll lose it. It's nice for occasions or an office environment, but keep it cheap and simple.

If you're a writer, or a student, or anyone who needs to jot stuff down you should always have a pad and pen on you. Do you keep a wallet in your back pocket? Keep a small pad of paper in your other back pocket. Don't worry if you sit on it, that will just make it less stiff. Also don't pick a notepad that will dig into your backside either. Much like Algebra class but a different pain entirely...


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