A pen affair ended

I am sad to share that a nearly year long pen affair has come to an end. It's no secret that I was seriously in love with my Pilot Frixion pen set. The colors, the ink flow, and the ability to erase any entry at a whim made them easy to fall for.

Unfortunately, these lovely pens have a flaw that is simply too big to ignore: they have absolutely no archival qualities. This is the double edged sword: while their ability to erase makes them appealing, the friction technology that allows them to erase works by heat, which means that anything written can easily be removed at high temperatures.

I did the heat test many have completed a while back, writing with all colors on a piece of paper then holding the paper under a blow dryer for a few seconds. The results scared me. All of the ink completely disappeared, leaving only the indents on the paper. While the 5-year-old, mystery loving part of me thought this was pretty cool, the planner/saver in me was less than thrilled. I did follow up by putting the paper in the freezer for a few minutes, after which a majority of the ink returned. But not enough to make me feel much better- the lighter colors were especially prone to poor return quality. I also started to notice that if I wasn't super careful, when I erased an entry the heat easily partially erased entries on adjoining pages as well- not good!

Yet, I didn't stop using the pens right away... why?

It wasn't until New Years Day, when I was packing and archiving my 2011 pages, that I realized how devastated I would be if all of my entries were to disappear. Granted, I doubt my pages will be coming in contact with a blow dryer any time soon, but since the ink is prone to vanishing with any type of heat applied, I couldn't help but let my mind think of what a hot car, packing box, or any other hot location could do. While I could freeze the pages and hope the ink reappeared, I'm not sure how well an entire archived year would return and it's simply not worth the risk.

So, I started this year off looking for a new pen. My requirements were simple: I needed something that came in multiple colors and something that was at least somewhat permanent. My first thought was my beloved Sharpie pen, but they are difficult to get in multiple color packs and the peeling paint from the pen barrel drives me nuts. The Sharpie Ultra Fine Point then came to mind, but after testing bleed through with a black one I had laying around the office and seeing the horrid results, I knew they were out.

Enter the Pilot V5 Rollerball. I had used these from time to time in the past, but it wasn't until I read the countless rave reviews that I thought about picking up a pack. Fortunately, I had some Staples Rewards dollars saved up, so I got to try them risk free with no money spent.

The multi-pack I found has black, blue, red, purple, green, aqua and pink. And I can tell you, even if I don't have rewards points when these finally run out, I'll definitely be spending my own money to get them again! The ink flow is awesome, and the ink level window is a handy detail. Not to mention that the entire pen shows what color you are writing with, something sorely missing in the Sharpie Pens. I've also already noticed that the colors are much brighter than the Frixion ink, something I poorly tried to show here:

I also changed my color order a bit from last year. Here's how the colors will flow in 2012:

Black: work appointments
Blue: social/personal appointments
Purple: work to do items
Aqua: personal to do items
Red: Brian
Green: notifications, weather, gratitude list
Pink: blog

I'm really liking how the new colors divide up my pages already. Not to mention they Franklin Covey pages automatically separate out my days way better than the Filofax pages did. 

The only downside I have been able to find so far is the inability to erase added entries. But even this has a simple and cheap solution that fits easily in my pen bag:

Plus, I am shocked to realize I haven't been bothered by the few entries I scratched out when I was too lazy to get out the Wite Out. It kind of gives my pages an actually-used-and-not-perfect quality that I love. Go figure. And since the Pilot V5 is a favorite pen worldwide that has been around for decades, I don't have to worry about them being discontinued any time soon. Perfect!

Are you using a new pen/s for 2012? Or do you have a pen you've been using for years and couldn't imagine trading? As always, please share in the comments. 

Oh, and a bonus picture for you pen and bargain lovers out there- check out my newest steal: a 12 pack of Sharpie Ultra Fine points for a measly $3 at my local Staples! While I found out they won't work on my diary pages, I'm sure I'll find another use for them. They just couldn't be left behind at such a price.

Happy doodling, readers!

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