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October 16, 2004

We get email: 'I would appreciate a piece in bookofjoe on pens'


Ask, and you shall receive.

The nice thing about having only six regular readers is that you can do whatever they ask of you.

FA wrote on October 7:

Being in the health care industry, I am always on the lookout for new, interesting writing instruments. [I don't quite understand the linkage, but no matter...]

Recently, the powers-that-be requested that physicians and physicians' assistants chart in blue ink to differentiate our scratch from the nurses. [When that chart is subpoenaed for a lawsuit, that blue ink's not gonna be of much use... but I digress]

Well, I have a stash of black pens, but I am now on the lookout for new blue pens.

I would appreciate a piece in bookofjoe if you are so inclined with your musings on ballpoints and rollerballs.

Please include your faves.

FA, your wish is my command.

My current writing instrument of choice is the Pilot G-2 07 fine point, in black (above).

It also comes with an extra-fine point: that would be model number G-2 05.

For editing, I use this


red iteration of the G-2 07.

It's a retractable gel rollerball and it's smooth as silk, besides being ergonomically ideal and funky looking.

And that teched-up model number, printed right on the clip, makes it all the better.

Costs $1.98 here, and you can buy 'em at supermarkets, drugstores, everywhere disposable pens are sold.

I suppose you could go the refill route, since refills are available, but that seems like a "work hard, not smart" type of thing to me: for sure, when you want to buy a refill, you won't be able to find one.

Best of all, dear reader FA, they also come in


blue, so you can meet your employer's requirement without missing a beat.

And if your company gets seriously wild, there's also


green for St. Patrick's Day and Irish people and the envious, and



I bet if you sent a purple one to


Prince and asked nicely, he'd send you a personalized autograph. But I digress.

As for other writing implements, I like this


Twin-tip Sharpie marker a lot, for stuff where a rollerball won't do the trick, like on tape.

Very elegantly designed, with each end's cap ingeniously fitting on the other capped end.

The two point thicknesses - fine and regular - in one implement are very handy.

Costs $1.69 here, and comes in Aqua, Berry, Black, Blue, Green, Lime, Orange, Purple, Red, and Turquoise.

Very hard to find in stores, even Staples and Office Depot don't seem to stock them.

October 16, 2004 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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Bureaucracy, the state asks for blue the fed [SSI] black ; the scan machines have a problem with other colors than black. I never could tell the difference and here I am volunteering for that awful MEDICARE D advising the senior applicants. I need pens with color labels.

Posted by: BERNARD SIVAK | Oct 8, 2005 1:52:14 PM

I am a pen fanatic also and I used to use the Pilot G-2s exclusively. I've found that about every third pen I buy (this is all widths, I use them all equally, and all colors) blobs up something fierce. I keep the smooth-writing ones out so they're handy and keep the blobby ones hidden away for emergency-only use.

I've auditioned just about every pen available and my favorite of them all is the PenTel EnerGel. It comes in a snap-on cap and a retractable, but the latter is kind of a p*ss-poor design and gets sprung really easily. I've probably got fifty of these of assorted widths and I've never had one blob up on me, ever. Smooth as silk. And bonus, the ink is very quick drying, almost always a good thing.

The other favorite is the Staedtler liquid point 7, but it's frequently hard to find. I've only ever found it in a snap-on cap and the ink is VERY slow drying. But I love the flow of the ink and the way it feels in my hand. It's a great writing pen.

Posted by: Flutist | Oct 7, 2005 11:56:24 PM

Since I work the 3-11 shift, I am required to write with a green pen. I use the Pilot G-2 05 only because it is the only retractable green pen I could find. I always buy them by the box.

I never thought about buying pens on-line, so thanks for the link. When you live in the middle of nowhere like I do, driving to a Staples would be an all day job.

Also, if you're having a stressful day, you can chew off that rubber grip...one line at a time. Some of my pens have no grip on them at all.

Posted by: Lisa | Nov 7, 2004 4:13:33 PM

I like G2 ink in a Rotring. Preferably a Core. For on-the-go I use a Cross ION (and Moleskine pad).

Posted by: William F. House | Oct 16, 2004 3:50:27 PM

Joe - These are my favorite pens. I find the .05 to be even better in my hand. The .05 is much harder to find, but I've been able to find them in Staples.

Blue is my color. I don't know why.

One more reason to keep reading your missives.

Thank you much for being you and sharing with the rest of us. - Matt

Posted by: Mattp9 | Oct 16, 2004 3:48:13 PM

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