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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Writing implement of choice? (pencil vs pen)

View Poll Results: Which do you prefer for writing in your notebook/journal/whatever?
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Pencil 21 votes (41.18%)
Pen 30 votes (58.82%)
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll
Writing implement of choice? (pencil vs pen)
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driven
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Oct 8, 2007, 03:55 PM
 
Let's say you are writing in your favorite notebook (moleskine or whatever tickles you) .. what is your writing implement of choice (pencil or pen?)
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Cold Warrior
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Oct 8, 2007, 03:57 PM
 
Pen. Easier to read on the pages.
     
Jawbone54
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Oct 8, 2007, 04:05 PM
 
Pencil. I like being able to erase, because I absent-mindedly sketch a lot.
     
theDreamer
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Oct 8, 2007, 04:08 PM
 
Pen.
Easier, cleaner, better.

Who makes mistakes, I mean really?

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driven  (op)
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Oct 8, 2007, 04:08 PM
 
For the pen folks ... what do you do about errors on a page?
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Laminar
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Oct 8, 2007, 04:11 PM
 
-z
     
theDreamer
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Oct 8, 2007, 04:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
For the pen folks ... what do you do about errors on a page?
I do not make them.

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Doofy
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Oct 8, 2007, 04:34 PM
 
I have absolutely no idea how to use either. Too much computer over the years.

But I'll say pen. Pencils are too scratchy. Make my ears unhappy.
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Oct 8, 2007, 04:35 PM
 
My trusty Cross pencil.
     
Chuckit
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Oct 8, 2007, 04:37 PM
 
Pencil. Computer use has caused my handwriting skills to atrophy and I need to be able to correct errors.
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invisibleX
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Oct 8, 2007, 05:09 PM
 
Pen. I don't usually write anything long enough for errors to be a issue and it flows much nicer on the paper.
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Oct 8, 2007, 05:24 PM
 
Pen. If you are worried about making mistakes, then you shouldn't be writing. Go big or go home.

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driven  (op)
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Oct 8, 2007, 05:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Pen. If you are worried about making mistakes, then you shouldn't be writing. Go big or go home.
I love it. Good quote.
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brassplayersrock²
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Oct 8, 2007, 05:39 PM
 
pencel.. for when i make those stupid little spelling errors

Alex
     
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Oct 8, 2007, 05:43 PM
 
Pencil all the way for this engineer, since diagrams and schematics change the moment you put them to paper. And none of those mechanical pencils, either. Do it old-skool!



I keep a box of them at my desk with an electric sharpener. If I lose one or leave one somewhere, I don't care, I have 59 more!

Also, if I use a mechanical pencil, I tend to gnaw on the end with the plastic thingy that covers the eraser, which I'll admit is disgusting. I don't gnaw on yellow pencils or their erasers, though.
     
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Oct 8, 2007, 05:44 PM
 
Sharpie. Ultra Fine Point. Black.
     
Laminar
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Oct 8, 2007, 06:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
pencel.. for when i make those stupid little spelling errors

Alex
LOL IRONY
this exists to insure capitals
     
All_Insane
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Oct 8, 2007, 06:21 PM
 
Pencil. 0.5mm lead, side advance, white eraser, mid-sized grip.



This is my most favorite pencil in the world. Have it in green and red. Had it in blue and grey, but I lose things. Don't like the 0.7mm one, only 0.5mm though. Reduces (nearly eliminates) smudging.
     
driven  (op)
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Oct 8, 2007, 06:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by All_Insane View Post
Pencil. 0.5mm lead, side advance, white eraser, mid-sized grip.



This is my most favorite pencil in the world. Have it in green and red. Had it in blue and grey, but I lose things. Don't like the 0.7mm one, only 0.5mm though. Reduces (nearly eliminates) smudging.
I tend to write small (and have horrible handwriting due in part to using computers since I was like 12.) As such my lowercase e's tend to look like c's. Is this sharp enough to make the distinction? (And not blend together my loop?)
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Oisín
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Oct 8, 2007, 06:40 PM
 
Yes. 0.5 mm is quite thin (thinner than most pens).

I prefer to write with biros (or ballpoint pens, or Kugelschreibers, or whatever you want to call them), they make my handwriting look better than regular pens. Pencils are okay, too, but they tend to require too much pressure and effort to be clear and crisp.

Edit: And klutz that I am, I just managed to vote for pencil instead of pen in the poll!
     
driven  (op)
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Oct 8, 2007, 06:47 PM
 
It's that speed-reading thing ... both words are "p-something."
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brassplayersrock²
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Oct 8, 2007, 07:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
LOL IRONY
this exists to insure capitals


it's called doing things on purpose to make a point Lamy
     
Oisín
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Oct 8, 2007, 07:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
It's that speed-reading thing ... both words are "p-something."
That, plus the fact that, for some reason, I always get these two words mixed up in my head. Maybe it’s because of the similarity between English ‘pencil’ and Danish pensel (paintbrush), but I always have to actively think for a second when I need to distinguish the two in English. Same thing I do with carrot and cucumber (only in Danish, though), and Monday and Wednesday.
     
Jawbone54
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Oct 8, 2007, 07:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
pencel.. for when i make those stupid little spelling errors

Alex
I liked that.
     
ghporter
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Oct 8, 2007, 08:28 PM
 
I take notes in pencil, because I often have to change or correct what I wrote-writing fast and with my poor handwriting, this is a necessary part of life. But if I were using a "notebook" as described, I'd probably use a pen. A VERY fine point pen, 0.30mm if possible. I'm very upset that it's harder and harder to find pens with fine enough tips. And since when has "fine" meant 0.70mm, and "ultra fine" meand 0.50mm? That used to be normal and "fine," with "ultra fine" reserved for smaller than 0.50mm. Sigh.

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Oct 8, 2007, 09:28 PM
 
I like the variations I get from pencil. Shading and line thickness are manageable with pencils.

For writing I prefer a .3mm and for sketching I prefer .7mm leads. HB or F density.

     
brassplayersrock²
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Oct 8, 2007, 09:44 PM
 
when using a non-traditional pencil, the lead keeps snapping since I press down to hard. Is there a lead thickness that anyone would recommend to not allow the breakage?

Alex
     
zro
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Oct 8, 2007, 10:25 PM
 
Where's the "Whatever's handy, including Sharpies and Crayons" option?
     
All_Insane
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Oct 8, 2007, 10:38 PM
 
I find that if the lead is too far advanced in a clicky pencil, its more likely to break on 0.5mm or 0.7mm. I keep my lead only about 1 1/2 clicks out. That being said, I had a pair of pencils with 0.2mm lead. It had a lot of clay in it (don't know the technical lead reference - HHB or something?) so it didn't smudge much, and it didn't break often either.
     
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Oct 8, 2007, 10:49 PM
 
Pen.

Mine has platinum accents instead of gold. Beautiful.
     
Oisín
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
when using a non-traditional pencil, the lead keeps snapping since I press down to hard. Is there a lead thickness that anyone would recommend to not allow the breakage?

Alex
Yeah, don’t press so hard. It’s not good for your wrists, anyway, and it looks horrible on the paper, too.
     
misc
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:10 PM
 
When I'm not using Vectorworks, my drafting pencil of choice is the DRAFT/MATIC from ALVIN. Ranging in sizes from .3mm to .9mm:



For regular note taking I use a standard BIC pencil. Something like the BIC Matic:


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Lateralus
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:10 PM
 
Pencils should be banned after elementary school.
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Randman
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
Pencils should be banned after elementary school.
Before, actually.

Pen. And black ink. Blue ink is about about as bad as a pencil.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
KeriVit
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:19 PM
 
Pencils tend to let my creativity flow better than pens. Wheter writing or drawing.
     
Big Mac
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:20 PM
 
I used to like high quality mechanical pencils, but I was more or less forced to switch to pens in high school by teachers who threatened not to grade papers written in pencil. Since then I've stayed with pens, although it has been a while since I have manually written any lengthy document.

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Lateralus
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by KeriVit View Post
Pencils tend to let my creativity flow better than pens. Wheter writing or drawing.
Depends on the pen and it depends on your drawing style.

I did nothing but draw when I was in school and I actually mastered the cheap Bic pens with the pop off cap (the ones you buy by the pound). Aside from the unavoidable ink blob here and there, I learned how to do remarkably precise shading and detail with those pieces of crap.
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KeriVit
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
Depends on the pen and it depends on your drawing style.

I did nothing but draw when I was in school and I actually mastered the cheap Bic pens with the pop off cap (the ones you buy by the pound). Aside from the unavoidable ink blob here and there, I learned how to do remarkably precise shading and detail with those pieces of crap.
Oh, I agree it can be done. I just find the pencil drawings are more creative not more skilled.
     
monkeybrain
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by driven View Post
I tend to write small (and have horrible handwriting due in part to using computers since I was like 12.) As such my lowercase e's tend to look like c's. Is this sharp enough to make the distinction? (And not blend together my loop?)
If you want a pen with a fine tip you should hop on over to Asia. Here in Taiwan it is very hard to find any pen that has a .7 mm nib, about .38 mm is the standard, and smaller is very common. Just try writing traditional Chinese script with a 0.7 mm nib. Pencils are the same.
     
macfantn
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:32 PM
 
i just write in the snow with pee, works great and if you make a mistake just cover with more snow drink beer and pee again
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Oct 8, 2007, 11:53 PM
 
I'm a Cross and Alvin man myself.

Classic pen for writing and such:


For drawing, usually their mechanical pencil version of the pen (0.5MM):


Also Draft/Matic 0.3MM and 0.5MM for extended sketching. That snazzy chrome can get slippery depending on whether or not I'm outside or inside drawing.
     
Kenneth
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Oct 9, 2007, 12:18 AM
 
^^
Ditto for the Cross mechanical pencil. I bought one from my college bookstore with the school logo.
     
subego
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Oct 9, 2007, 02:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
when using a non-traditional pencil, the lead keeps snapping since I press down to hard. Is there a lead thickness that anyone would recommend to not allow the breakage?

Alex

What do you use it for primarily, writing or drawing?





Railroader: with the Rapidomatic. If I need one pencil, that's the one.

For a non-mechanical you really can't beat a Papermate #2 Black Warrior. Trust me, I know of what I speak.

Lastly, if one sketches, you really owe it to yourself to try a lead holder.


For pens, in order of preference:

Fine point Sharpie in some wacky color, ultra fine point red if I'm editing
Rollerball (I like this more than gel, I like that it stays wet for a moment)
Bic Round Stic is the way to go for a ballpoint.
     
Cipher13
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Oct 9, 2007, 03:00 AM
 
Pencil. I often write in wet conditions, and graphite doesn't run like ink does.
     
phantomdragonz
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Oct 9, 2007, 03:38 AM
 
Drafting pencil!!!

I did a semester of hand drafting (dumbest class ever, since I learned CAD the next semester!) but it allowed me to learn how nice good drafting pencils can be...

Zach
     
butterfly0fdoom
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Oct 9, 2007, 03:41 AM
 
Dr. Grip and a-Gel pencils ftw. Because the eraser is my best friend.
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subego
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Oct 9, 2007, 03:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by phantomdragonz View Post
Drafting pencil!!!



This is what I meant when I said "lead-holder".

For people who have never seen one, they're awesome. You buy 2mm leads for them and the pencil holds the lead like a drill chuck. You sharpen it with this (relatively) tiny sharpener, though many have a POS emergency sharpener in the cap.

You can get a ridiculously fine (mechanical pencil grade) point out of it, as well as - and this is the cool part - you can use the side of the lead like a regular wooden pencil without it snapping the way a mechanical pencil would.
     
phantomdragonz
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Oct 9, 2007, 04:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is what I meant when I said "lead-holder".

I have seen those, but never used them... they are VERY nice... although I still love my mechanical drafting pencil... .3 lead can be fun...

Zach
     
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Oct 9, 2007, 04:31 AM
 
     
brassplayersrock²
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Oct 9, 2007, 05:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What do you use it for primarily, writing or drawing?
writing. looks at time of post.....stupid history paper!
     
 
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