7 Best Pens for Your Journal

Picture this: you’re nestled in a cozy corner with a frothy cup of joe and a brand new fountain pen in hand. You open a crisp white ledger and journal the day away, words flowing from brain to paper like honey.

Keeping a journal is the perfect creative outlet because it is such an adaptable practice. You can use it to log daily entries about your week, write to-do lists, and even doodle colorful mind-maps. When you make everyday journaling a habit, your memory improves, progress tracking gets easier, and your imagination comes alive.

We’ve compiled the best pens for journaling from around the world to help jumpstart your new favorite hobby!

First, we’re listing the journaling pens we recommend the most, then we’ll share what to look for in a new pen. We’re also touching on the best markers to journal with for our artsy pen pals. Writing, drawing, or doodling with sub-par pens can bleed through your paper and leave a mess. Our goal with this article is to help make your journaling experience enjoyable, informative, and worthwhile!

The Best Pens For Journaling

Best Pen For Journaling: Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen

Pen For The Best Value: TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen

Best Pen For Bullet Journaling: Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen

Prettiest Journal Pen: Benu Euphoria Fountain Pen

Best Pen For Art Journaling: Pilot Falcon Fountain Pen

Best Rollerball Pen For Journaling: Retro 51 Torando Rollerball Pen

Best Ballpoint Pen for Journaling: Caran d’Ache 849 Ballpoint Pen


Best Journaling Pens (Our Reviews)

Best Fountain Pen For Journaling: Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen

Classic and sturdy, the Lamy 2000 has been a time-tested design since 1966. Constructed from a combination of fibreglass-reinforced Makrolon and stainless steel, this fountain pen is one of our longtime favorites and ranks among the best hooded nib fountain pens. It features a stainless steel grip section with a brushed effect. The semi-hooded nib prevents ink drying when uncapped. As a good pen for journaling, it makes for a timeless statement piece at the office or the corner cafe.

Filling System: Piston operated, large ink capacity

The Pen For The Best Value: TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen

Look no further than TWSBI for one of the best starter fountain pens. The piston filling Eco offers all the finesse of a fountain pen at a fraction of the cost. The transparent resin barrel views you a view of the ink level as you write. A reliable, iridium-tipped steel nib provides a smooth writing experience at any point size. This pen includes a wrench and silicone grease to keep it working like a charm even after hundreds of journal entries.

Filling System: Internal, piston operated

Best Pen For Bullet Journaling: Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen

A modern classic with a variety of metal colors, the Pilot Metropolitan is one of the best pens for journalling as it can handle all kinds of writing. It features a stylish, premium matte finish over a brass barrel with stainless steel accents and nib. Its fluid lines and elegant finishes come from a 100-year-old crafting heritage. You can be sure you’re choosing one of the good pen brands for quality writing with Pilot.

Filling System: Pilot proprietary cartridge or converter

The Prettiest Journal Pen: Benu Euphoria Fountain Pen

Calling all artists and lovers of color: behold, the Benu Euphoria. This beautiful journaling pen is handmade from an extensive palette of exclusive, opulent resins. Nothing screams “unique” quite like a Benu writing instrument. Available as rollerballs and fountain pens, both feature a clip on the cap and a stunning body design. You can’t help but feel inspired by a work of art like this sitting on your notebooks.

Filling System: International Cartridge/Converter

Best Pen For Art Journaling: Pilot Falcon Fountain Pen

If you’re starting an art journal, this pen is one of the top pens for journaling thanks to its super soft nib. This flexible design allows for more line variations and produces the most beautiful writing and drawing imaginable. Its grip is subtle for flowing strokes. The Pilot Falcon is an impressive feat of engineering and elegance for the journaling artist, especially for those exploring journaling mental health themes through art.

Pair this pen with a waterproof ink and use colorful ink washes over the line art to create amazing illustrations.

Filling System: Pilot proprietary Cartridge/Converter

Best Rollerball Pen For Journaling: Retro 51 Torando Rollerball Pen

When you’re looking for quirky, the Retro 51 Tornado is a treat to write with. Whimsical designs and colors are grounded by a stainless steel body and knurl twist top of excellent quality. Lightweight and packed with personality, this retractable rollerball pen will inject new life into your writing with a flourish!

Filling System: Capless rollerball refill cartridge (also compatible with Parker-style ballpoint refills)

Best Ballpoint Pen for Journaling: Caran d’Ache 849 Ballpoint Pen

Journal, meet color! Stylish and timeless, the Caran d’Ache 849 ballpoint has a hexagonal barrel designed for comfort. Fluorescent Orange, Yellow and Green are just a few of the fruit-punchy colors available in this collection. This nice pens for journaling features a light aluminum body and classic clip. This eye-catching ballpoint is where style and practicality intersect.

Filling System: Caran d’Ache Goliath Ink Ballpoint Cartridge

What Makes A Good Writing Journaling Pen?

Like a great pair of sneakers, the best pen for journal writing should capture your dreams, memories, and to-do’s in comfort and style. Quality writing comes from a quality writing instrument that you look forward to putting to the page. While every pen is unique, all good pen brands will both elevate and enrich your writing sessions. Let’s dive into the 5 areas to consider when shopping for your next journaling pen.

Smooth Writing Experience

The most important quality to look for in good journaling pen is smooth performance. Despite retailing some of the most pretty pens on the market at Goldspot, we’ll be the first to say that performance trumps appearance every time. A pen worth its weight should produce flowing strokes with minimal pressure and no skipping. If you’re a fountain pen beginner, expect a bit of a learning curve as practice makes perfect when you’re learning something new. Whether you’re using fountain pens or rollerballs, the best pen under 300 offer a flowing and uninterrupted writing experience.

Comfortable and Ergonomic

When you’re buckling down for a long journaling session, ergonomics matter. Some people prefer lightweight pens while others prefer ones that are solid and sturdy. Nice pen for journaling offer a comfortable grip that won’t strain your fingers. If you have the option of testing a few different pens before you buy, go with the one that feels like an extension of your hand. Your writing experience will feel more natural and enjoyable. Bonus points if it’s portable so it can accompany you to the local coffee shop!

Refillable with Ease

The best choice for your wallet and the planet, especially for stream of conscious writing, is a best writing pen for journaling that can be easily and economically refilled. Be sure to check what type of filling mechanism your pen has. Filling mechanisms include cartridge, converter, eyedropper, or piston fill. Ink capacity is another feature to consider, as some pens can hold more ink than others. Ensure optimal performance by cleaning your fountain pen regularly. This will help keep the ink flowing through the feed and out the nib smoothly to prevent clogging. A refillable writing instrument is the one that will stand the test of time!

Pleasing to the Eye

Choosing a style that reflects your personality is part of what makes writing fun! The best fine point pens for journaling are beautiful and make you look forward to uncapping them. Aesthetics play an important part in a pen’s allure for both writers and artists. At Goldspot, you’ll find a journaling pen in every color of the rainbow. Opt for a design that resonates with your personal taste to make every writing session feel like a special occasion.

Endless Ink Colors

If you’re a drawer or a doodler, prioritize a journaling pen that accommodates different colored inks. Vibrant hues and shimmering pigments turn journal entries into works of art. Curate your journal with color to reflect your moods, emotions, and ideas. For the true artist at heart, fountain pens can be used in gouache art, which is essentially a cross between watercolor and acrylic paint. Gouache is the perfect medium for journals and sketchbooks because it provides precision, full color, and crisp edges. It can be used for lettering or to fill in drawings, and photographs nicely to boot!

Best Markers For Journaling

If you couldn’t tell by now, journaling isn’t just for writers. Keeping an art journal is a great way to practice different techniques and mediums while tracking your progression. Use sketchbooks to experiment with various brush pens, acrylics, and inks before shifting your subject to a larger canvas.

Our Favorite: Sakura Pigma Micron

Best Marker for Thin Notebooks: Pilot Precise V5

Best Value Journal Marker: Zebra Mildliner Double Tipped Highlighters



Mind Maps-Where Sketching and Journaling Meet

Humans are a highly visual species. In fact, we have approximately 5 billion neurons solely dedicated to processing visual information. Mind mapping is a technique that allows you to visually organize thoughts, ideas, and information. Psychological research shows it’s an excellent tool for enhancing comprehension and creativity. Not only that, it can provide a more meaningful understanding of your mental health and emotions.

Some mind maps look like a tree with the main concept at the roots and categories as the branches. Others might look like stairsteps. You can draw, paint, or sketch images that represent different categories or levels of priority. Choose notebooks or sketchbooks just for mind maps to spice up your journaling and find new inspiration!

A Pen for Every Journaler

The great pens for journaling feature smooth, flowing strokes, comfortable grip, and easy refills. For your most enjoyable writing experience, look for a pen that blends excellent performance with pleasing aesthetics. As for your paper, you may prefer a smaller, portable journal on the go and a larger one to keep at your desk. Notebooks are often sized in A-Series or B-Series. Comparing notebook sizes will help narrow down the right fit for you!

Whether your goal is to capture a stream of consciousness, draw vibrant sketches, or jot down bullet notes about your day, journaling is a highly beneficial habit to hone. Regular journaling does more than just improve your handwriting and cursive, it can also improve your cognition, memory, and mental health.

We hope this article has helped spark your enthusiasm for all things journals! Let us know which pen is catching your eye and what method of journaling you’re most interested in trying.  

Ta-ta for now, pen pals, and Happy Journaling!

About the Author

Madeleine is a copywriter and video script whiz for creative and inventive brands. As an empathy-based marketer, every website, landing page, blog, email, and video she writes showcases her clients at their best. Some say she's a mind-reader, but she's really just an expert listener with one goal in mind: to inspire readers (and viewers) to take action. A true logophile, she's the one who (unabashedly) keeps a hard copy thesaurus on her desk. When she's not on set or crafting copy, you can find her nose in a book sipping a matcha latte.

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