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For daily notetaking, artwork, or business projects, you need a pen that is up to the job. But not all writing implements are created equal. Some pens last longer, while others do a better job of smoothly laying down the ink. While the traditional ballpoint pen is certainly a good universal choice, when it comes to more specialized writing or drawing tasks, one of these options will serve you better.

Ideal for Details

This multifunctional option works just as well in a learning setting as it does for professionals who draw. Fineliner

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A true artist needs an assortment of pens with various tip thicknesses, but for random doodling, illustrated journals, or other flourishes of creativity, a fine-tip pen will get the most use. Water-based ink won’t bleed through as easily, and the delicate tip is perfect for line work while still being sufficient for filling and shading.

Dries Quickly

This option smoothly rolls across paper and is suited best for long-form handwriting. Paper Mate

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Like the name suggests, a gel-point pen is about the smoothest writing tool you can buy. It’s excellent for repetitive writing tasks, such as daily journaling, as well as for short-order occasions like signing documents, autographs, or anything where penmanship counts.

Variety of Hues

If you’re worried about making mistakes or need to conserve space, consider an option that will let you get rid of previously-written items. Pilot

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For notetaking, schoolwork, and sketching, erasable pens make it easy to refine your first draft or correct mistakes on the fly. Just be careful not to store your work in a hot environment, as some users of erasable pens report disappearing ink after a few weeks in the heat.

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