pens
Your phone knows your schedule better than you do, but it can't offer the joy of crossing an item off your to-do list. For that, we go analog. Japan is churning out colors, nib sizes, and designs that make writing more fun than wireless synching. Sure, there's nothing wrong with grabbing a Bic RoundStic (ayo!) when you need to jot something down, but once you get a look at some of our favorites (all available at our go-spot, JetPens), you'll be well on your way to becoming a kingpin of the ink pen...

jetstream
BEST BALLPOINT: UNI-BALL JETSTREAM 0.7MM
Price: $2.25
• Sure, you can find Jetstreams in the States—if you're cool with conventional black or blue barrels. The import version comes in more colors, plus a dope murdered-out version that we suspect Jigga uses to sign his checks. So many ballpoints are prone to blobbing up or laying down a blotchy line, but the Jetstream lays it down smoother than Barry White. [CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW!]
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signort
[BEST GEL: UNI-BALL SIGNO RT UM-138 0.38MM]
Price: $1.50
• Yeah, it's another Uni-ball, but so what? People nowadays are gassed off the Pilot G-2 series--and don't get us wrong, they're great pens, but the Signo RT (just a retractable version of the UM-138 pen) one-ups the G-2 with its rainbow of ink colors. The blue-black (pictured above) is the perfect shade for work. Gel ink can run a much finer line than ballpoints, but we find that anything under the .38mm (some pens offer nibs of .3mm, even .25mm) is unreliable for anything but the tiniest handwriting or detail drawing. CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW!
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coleto
BEST MULTI-PEN: PILOT HI-TEC-C COLETO 0.5MM
Price: $2.25 3-color body/$3 for 4-color body, $2 per ink cartridge
• If you're taking a lot of notes, you may need to switch colors frequently—for that, think about a multi-pen. Remember the old red-blue-black joints from elementary school? Pilot's Hi-Tec-C line takes it a step further with crazy fine nibs (they go as low as 0.3mm, but we recommend .5mm unless you're drawing angels on the head of a pin) and enough colors to make the Retro Kids feel bland. [CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW!]
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kurutoga
BEST MECHANICAL PENCIL: UNI-BALL KURU TOGA 0.5MM
Price: $6.75
Another Uni-ball? What is this, a Livestrong rally? Yeah, yeah, mechanical pencils are all the same—click-click-write, right? Wrong. Everytime the Kuru Toga lifts off the paper, a mechanism inside the barrel rotates the lead a quarter-turn so that you don't develop a chisel point. Fucking Japan! Plenty of barrel colors have come out since the pencil first dropped in early '08, so feel free to co-ordinate with your Supras. It also comes in a 0.3mm lead version, but that's a little fine for us. [CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW!]
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pentel_pb999
BEST WOODCASE PENCIL: PENTEL BLACK POLYMER 999
Price: $18/box of 12
• We don't usually fuck with conventional graphite pencils too tough, but if you're an artist or drafter, these might be right up your alley. Available in all kinds of lead grades (starting from the usual HB, which you know as a "#2 pencil," then progressively blacker/softer or lighter/harder) and sans eraser, in true pencil-snob fashion. Get the lead out! Brrrrap!
[CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW!]
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spotliner
BEST HIGHLIGHTER: PILOT SPOTLITER 2 TWIN-TIP
Price: $1.50
• The perfect blend of coverage and writeability, depending on which end you use. It's been the only highlighter in our pen bag since the day we discovered it. Plenty of colors, but the blue is dark enough that it doesn't feel fruity when we highlight passages about feelings and unicorns and shit. [CLICK HERE TO BUY IT NOW!]

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