May 23, 2011

The pen is mightier than the keyboard

When I started taking notes using Moleskine notebooks a bit over two years ago, one other thing I had to do was get a good pen to go with the notebook. Even though I didn't mention it at the time, I bought the supposedly hugely popular Pilot G-2 pen. I liked it so much I even bought the G-2 Pro a few months later.

Unfortunately, I don't know if it's the weather in Thailand or if it's bad usage (I write very softly), but so far all of my G-2 refills except one have died on me, and each time it happened it was the exact same symptom: the ball of the pen came out from the tip (see photo) when I let someone borrow my pen just for a few seconds. Until finally it happend to myself. While I was taking notes during a meeting the pen just suddenly stopped working and the tip came out. I wasn't even doing anything special.

So I went to the office supply place to pick out a new pen without reading any reviews, and I picked up the Pentel Vicuna. A quick web search shows that it's new and appears to be quite popular. Strangely enough, even though only the dark blue colored body is supposed to be blue ink, mine is the light blue / violet colored body, and it even says black on the barrel, has blue ink inside. Unfortunately, even though when I tested the pen at the store it was really smooth and the ink looked good, but when I actually took notes during today's meeting, a lot of ink globs were visible and lines were uneven.

While searching online to see if others are experiencing the same problem I have with the Pilot G-2. I came across a whole bunch of sites "teaching" people how to swap the G-2 refill for a Mont Blanc refill. I thought the whole idea of using the G-2 pen is for the smooth writing and ink quality. Perhaps the grass is greener on the other side? I also see a lot of people complaining that Mont Blanc refills dry up very quickly, but Mont Blanc rollerball pens are capped, so I wonder how many of those people complaining are actually using Mont Blanc refills on other pen bodies such as the retractable Pilot G-2 body?

I've also been using Evernote more frequently lately. Maybe one day these traditional pens (like cameras) will be called analog pens, and I will finally be taking notes with digital pens.

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