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The Best Pens for Journaling for 2023

best pens for journaling

With the year almost at an end, you may be thinking of starting a new hobby. In that case, why not give journaling a try? If you want to try it out, then you should consider getting the best pens for journaling. Using great quality pens will make you want to begin journaling and continue doing it.

Having pens that are just for journaling will make the activity a whole lot more enjoyable, especially if you like using the said pen. Writing in a journal is supposed to be a relaxing activity, so the pen you should use for it should not be difficult or problematic to use.

This means that the best ballpoint pen for journaling that you can use should write smoothly, does not leak ink, be comfortable to hold, and has other positive qualities. If you think that all pens are the same, you may be surprised by the end of this article as you will discover the many kinds of pens that you can use for your new hobby.

Best Pens for Journaling Reviews

1. WY WENYUAN Journaling Ballpoint Pens

wy wenyuan journaling ballpoint pens

One thing I find favorable about these pens is the quality of the ink. It is undeniably incredible. The inks are not so thick that they can be a bit difficult to write with. Even without putting a lot of pressure on the tip, the ink will flow smoothly onto the paper. The ink also dries almost immediately upon writing, which prevents bleed-through.

You will also be getting 10 pieces of the most suitable pen for journal writing in this one package, and best of all, the designs are different. The pens’ bodies have colorful designs. You will not be getting two pens that look alike in any package that you buy. Regardless of what your favorite color is, you will find that one perfect pen in each box.

Now, if you do find your favorite pen in this set of 10, you do not have to worry about it losing its use when it runs out of ink. They feature replaceable ink tanks, and you can use any brand that you fancy. If you are not happy with the loose viscosity of the ink that came with the pens, you can find refills easily in most stationery supply stores or online.

The colorful finishes of the pens are also quite durable. They come with designs applied using the sublimation technique so they will not chip off the surface. This means that you can use these pens for years without worrying about the designs fading quite as readily compared to printed-on designs.

Although I liked these pens a lot, I can still say they are not my favorite. One reason is that I have rather big hands and these pens are thinner than your average pen. Add to that the rounded barrels, making them quite hard to grip. Smaller hands may be more suited for these slim pens, but for bigger folks, they may not be as comfortable to use.

  • The pens use low-viscosity inks for smooth writing
  • Has colorful designs
  • Features replaceable ink tanks
  • Spring-loaded so there is no need for caps
  • The pens’ finishes are durable
  • The pens are a bit too thin, making them hard to hold for bigger hands

Unless you have massive hands, you will love using these best writing pens for journaling. They come with stylish and colorful finishes that will fit the tastes of most people. You will also get ten pens in the package, so you can keep one and then gift the others to the people who are dearest to you.

2. WallDeca Journals Felt Tip Pens

walldeca journals felt tip pens

I am not that big of a fan of felt pens because most of the ones I have used did not write as smoothly as I would have liked them to. However, these felt-tipped pens somehow changed my opinion on them.

I can say that these products are not the best-colored pens for journaling, but they glided over the surface of the page quite smoothly. They are also not as smooth as a ball-point or a rounded fountain pen nib but they were good enough for me.

This product is a set composed of eight colored pens. If you like to color-code your journal entries or draw colorful doodles on the margins of the pages, then I think you will love this set. Since I do not use any of the other colors other than the black pen for journaling, I use the other pens for adult coloring books.

These pens have 0.5mm tips, making them the perfect size for writing notes and journal entries. The lines these pens make are thick enough that you can easily tell the colors of the inks. However, they are not also so thick that the letters bleed into each other. You do have to space your letter a bit more than usual.

The pens have quite bright colors, making them some of the top pens for art journaling and coloring. As mentioned earlier, I use them for coloring mandalas and filling in small spaces in my adult coloring book with colors. They also have minimal bleed-through but I would still advise putting a scrap of paper under the page you are coloring.

It would have been nice if the pens held a bit more ink. I like making long journal entries, often filling a page with my thoughts. I have been using these pens for around a month, and the black pen already ran out of ink. I would have loved these pens more if they could write for at least several months’ worth of journal entries.

  • Writes smoothly for a felt pen
  • The set comes with 8 different colored pens
  • Boasts of an ergonomic shape and design
  • Bright inks that contrast well on paper
  • All the pens have 0.5mm points, making them perfect for journaling
  • The inks do not last that long

These pens are among the best choices for people who want their journals to have a ton of colors. If you are the type who likes to color-code their journal or use a different color every day, you will love this set of felt-tip markers. However, I do wish that these pens have more ink than what they currently have.

3. Hethrone Felt Tip Fineliner Journal Pens

hethrone felt tip fineliner journal pens

Once you purchase this product, you will be getting a set of 100 different colored pens. This number will be more than enough if you will only be using them for journaling. On the other hand, if you like to make your journal entries as colorful as humanly possible, then you will have a ball using all 100 colors when you write in your journal.

Another reason why I said that these pens would work for journaling is that the pens have fine tips. These pens have 0.4mm fine felt tips, making it possible for you to write tiny letters if that is what you like. These pens also work fine for drawing and coloring fine details in adult coloring books.

I do not use fine-tipped felt pens for journaling because I have had a lot of them snap on me. An advantage of these pens is that the nibs have metal jackets that provide them with enough support to keep them from breaking. I still take care not to put too much pressure on the tips, but there hasn’t been a broken pen ever since I started using them.

These pens are also great as gifts for young kids. If you have kids who like to draw and color, you can give them a set of these markers without any worries. These pens use non-toxic water-based inks. If your kids accidentally break one of the pens and the ink spills out, you can just clean it up using a bit of rubbing alcohol and you are all good.

Now, it is good that you will be getting 100 pens in this set because each pen does not contain that much ink. In the past couple of months since I started using these pens, I have already gone through almost a dozen of these pens. So, if you’re okay with changing the colors you use every week or so, you won’t mind this minor flaw that much.

  • The set contains 100 different colored pens
  • The points are fine enough for journaling
  • The felt-tips have metal jackets that keep them from breaking
  • Water-based inks used for the inks
  • The entire set comes in a stiff plastic carrying case
  • The pens do not contain that much ink

Although you can use these pens for journaling as they do write quite smoothly, they tend to run out of ink quickly. So, it is very likely that your journal entries will change colors every couple of weeks or so. This is actually not a bad idea as it will give your journal more personality.

4. Think2 Color Journaling Gel Pens

think2 color journaling gel pens

This set contains several of the pens that I like to use regularly mostly because they use gel inks. One thing I love about gel inks is that they lay down thick on the paper. Also, I noticed that their colors are always bright. They are quite similar to acrylic paints. Everything that I write using these pens always comes out easy to read.

Another thing I liked about this pen brand is that they have larger ink tanks. These pens have tanks that are almost 50% larger than what you usually see in gel-based ones. I cannot find any reason why one of these pens can last for an entire year’s worth of journaling.

This set of the best gel pens for journaling contain 24 pens of different colors and types. Some pens use the regular colors of ink. Others use neon shades, metallic, and glitter inks. You will have a lot of color options to choose from, which is great if you like to color-code your notes and journal entries.

As with most gel pens, these also come with smooth-writing ballpoint tips. These pens work well with journals because they glide over the paper almost effortlessly. Whenever I use these to write entries in my journals, I hardly need to place any pressure on the tip to get these pens to start writing.

These would have been one of the best metallic pens for journaling if only they did not suffer the same weakness that most gel pens have. If you write rather quickly, these pens will have a hard time keeping up, which leads to them skipping lines. The gel ink is rather thick so pushing it out of the ballpoint tip fast enough is a bit of a challenge.

  • The pens use gel inks that lay down ink thick and even
  • Each pen contains a lot of ink
  • You will be getting different colors and types of ink
  • The pens also work great for adult coloring books
  • The pens have smooth-writing ballpoint tips
  • The pen sometimes skips when you write too fast

These are great pens. I think they are not quite perfect yet but they are still good enough for most folks. The ink is so bright and contrasts well on the page, making every journal entry clear and easy to read.

5. Mr. Pen Double Line Journaling Pen

mr. pen double line journaling pen

Likely, you have not even seen a double-line pen. You might not have even imagined that there is such a thing. These novelty pens are technically two felt-tipped pens mushed together. When you push out the nibs, there will be two fine felt tips that will pop out and they have different colors.

When you position the pen just right, you will be able to draw consistent double lines. These are great for underlining certain passages or creating cool-looking calligraphy. This also makes switching from one color ink to another a lot easier and faster.

These pens will also work well for left-handed people because their ink dries almost immediately upon contact with the paper. This means that if you are a lefty, you will not be constantly wiping the ink off your wrists when you write in your journal. On the off chance that you do, the inks are water-based, so it will be easy to wash off your hand.

Even though the nibs look like they will break easily, that is not the case. I have been using these pens for a couple of months and not once have I ever had a nib break. These may look thin but they are stronger than they appear, which was quite a surprise.

I do have an issue with these pens – that is I think they are a bit too gimmicky. This should be fine for creating headers for your bullet journals, but for actual writing, I find them quite difficult to use. These are the first pens that I have ever tested with a learning curve that is quite steep.

  • Makes switching colors less of a hassle
  • If held correctly, the pens can create beautiful double lines
  • The inks dry quickly, making them ideal for left-handed folks
  • The pens have great color combinations
  • Highly durable and strong nibs
  • There is a bit of a learning curve on how to use them properly

I honestly think that these pens are more of a gimmick than actual journal writing pens. However, if you are a bit of a quirky person, then you might like them. With that said, the pens might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it is still a neat concept nonetheless.

6. COLNK Multicolor Ballpoint Pens

colnk multicolor ballpoint pens

If you grew up in the late 80s or the 90s, then you probably used a similar pen to this one. These pens are a bit on the thick side because they contain four separate ink tubes – one for each color. By pushing their corresponding color, you will cause the tip of the same color to pop out the bottom of the pen.

All four colors of pens use ballpoint tips. This means they will write smoothly no matter what kind of paper surface you use, although they might not write as clearly on glossy card stock. For journaling, though, these pens will work nicely. I find these pens convenient for bullet journaling because it is easy to change ink colors on the fly.

Each of the four ink tubes in the pen contains a lot of ink. Most 4-in-1 pens only have short ink tubes to make them fit inside the pen bodies easier. This one has the same amount of ink that regular ballpoint pens have, so you can expect these pens to last quite a long time.

Even though these pens are significantly thicker than regular ones, they are still quite comfortable to hold and use. Even if you have smaller-than-average hands, you will find that holding them is quite comfortable. I have no problem writing for almost an hour using these pens.

Now, the problem that I have with them is not with how they perform, but with their price. I know that price would be subjective, but the only thing that made these pens different from the old-school 4-color ones is the designs of their barrels.

  • You will get four colors in one pen
  • The ballpoint tips write smoothly
  • The ink tubes contain a lot of ink
  • Comfortable to hold and write with
  • The inks dry quickly, thereby preventing smudging
  • A bit too pricey for simple pens

Although many other pens work the same way as the ones priced more reasonably, you still have more than enough reason to choose them if you like their pastel colors. These pens work the same way as ballpoint pens so don’t expect anything fancy other than the four colors of ink.

7. Smart Color Art Journal Medium Colored Pens

smart color art journal medium colored pens

The thing that I liked the most about these gel pens is that they have significantly more ink compared to other brands. These pens have almost twice the amount of ink that regular inks have. I have been using the same pen for journaling for a couple of months and I have not even gone through half of the ink.

Just like all gel pens, the ones in this set are all highly pigmented, making them some of the best no bleed pens for bible journaling. Even though this set comes with different shades of colors, you can easily tell them apart.

For instance, you can easily tell the orange inks from the reds. This means that you can also use this set of pens for coloring adult coloring books, line drawings, and other kinds of art.

These pens have ballpoint tips, allowing them to write smoothly on all kinds of paper. In addition, the gel ink lays thick on the paper, making all the lines bolder than regular ballpoint pens. It would be almost like what you would get with felt-tipped pens but much easier to use.

However, even though the lines you will get are quite thick, the ink does dry quickly. A couple of seconds is all it takes for the ink to dry completely, which means that it will not smudge or fade easily. This also prevents the ink from bleeding much through the paper. In other words, you will not be ruining the next page.

I do not have anything serious to complain about. The only issue I had with these pens is with the wax bits that came with them that keep the ballpoints from leaking. They were so hard to remove that I ended up having to use a pair of pliers to pull them off.

I was afraid that I accidentally damaged the tips a couple of times. Thankfully, these pens were quite durable and they all ended up just fine.

  • Comes with almost twice the amount of ink that other gel pens have
  • Bright colors that do not look washed out
  • The pens write smoothly and lay down ink consistently
  • The inks dry quickly and do not smudge
  • You will be receiving 20 different colors of ink
  • The wax tips that protect the ballpoints were hard to remove

Although these pens could have been better if they had a bit more weight, they worked just fine for journaling and note-taking. Also, if you like to do adult coloring books, I noticed that the pens work well for that, too.

8. Nylea Bullet Journal Brush Marker Pens

nylea bullet journal brush marker pens

All of the pens here have dual tips – a brush tip at one end and a fine liner on the other. This means that you get more versatility from these pens. The fine liners are decent enough for journaling purposes. If you are interested in doing brush calligraphy or adult coloring books, you can use the brush tips.

Speaking of the brush tips, they are made from nylon material, so you can expect them to be sturdy and will not fray that quickly. They are almost as flexible as real brush tips. They are also self-cleaning. I use these tips sometimes when I want to doodle on the margins of my journal.

If you are finished journaling, you can use this set of 15 colored markers for adult coloring books. Although you may not be getting as many colors, this may also be a bit beneficial since you do not need to overthink when it comes to choosing what colors to use.

If you are afraid that these pens would bleed through your journal pages, don’t be. The ink dries up relatively quickly, so it does not give itself much time to bleed through paper. There will still be some bleed through, but not so much that it makes the other side of the page unusable.

Are these most outstanding pens for journaling? Not necessarily. The pens do write well but they have so little ink. I have gone through the entire set of 15 pens in just a couple of months. I am thankful that these pens are quite cheap, so it is not that big of a disappointment.

  • Comes with dual tips
  • Boasts of flexible yet highly durable brush tips
  • The set contains fifteen different colors
  • The inks dry quickly and do not bleed that much
  • The bullet-point tips work okay for journaling
  • Only a little amount of ink for each pen

These pens should be good enough for color-coding your journal entries or maybe even drawing doodles, but not much for anything else. It would have been better not to put brush tips on these pens as they do not even have enough ink for more than one or two adult coloring book pages.

9. Writech Journaling Rollerball Pens

writech journaling rollerball pens

These pens are a joy to use, thanks to their rollerball tips. These pens are fine-tipped, so it was quite surprising the first time I used them. I did not expect them to write so smoothly. The ink flow regulator also does a great job of keeping the ink flowing evenly. I have had no issues with skipping at all.

While we are at the subject of the ink flow regulator, it is this feature that also makes this pen ideal for those who like to travel. Unlike other pens, they will not leak at all even when there is a drastic change in cabin pressure. The ink regulator will only allow a certain volume of ink to pass through the pen regardless of the ambient air pressure.

Also, unlike other pens for journaling, this product uses water-based ink. This dries almost immediately upon contact with the paper. If you are left-handed, then you will love how you can use this pen to write line after line of text without smudging the ink on your wrist.

Speaking of the ink, these pens have a large ink capacity. There is so much ink in these pens that the manufacturer claims they can draw a line that is more than a kilometer long. This means that you might not even need to change pens for the entire length of your journal, especially if you do not like writing long entries.

The only problem that I have with these pens is that they can get scratchy after a while. This is due to the fine tip getting jammed up with paper fibers, so I need to clean the tips after writing every journal entry or so. I have to do it more often when the entries are lengthy.

  • The pens have rollerball tips that allow the ink to flow evenly
  • Uses water-based ink for each pen, which allows it to dry almost immediately
  • The pens have a large ink tank
  • Comes with an ink regulator that prevents the ink from leaking out even when there is a change in cabin air pressure
  • The pens all have beautiful color gradient designs
  • The tip gets a bit scratchy after writing for a while

These rollerball pens will write smoothly if you are using quality paper. Due to the fine points, the tips can collect paper fibers if used for too long. Other than having to clean the point after every page or so, these pens are quite impressive and worth the price.

10. Zebra Journaling Pen Set

zebra journaling pen set

You are not just getting one pen from this product. You will be getting an entire set. This set comes with six different colored gel pens and six double-tipped highlighters. You are getting everything (aside from the journal itself) to get started on journaling, adult coloring books, and other hobbies that you want to get started on.

The highlighters are the real star of this set. Zebra mild liners are quite popular because of their mild, translucent inks. These are some of the best highlighters in the market because they have minimal to no bleed-through. They also do not smudge the ink. If you are looking for good pens for bullet journal no bleed, you would love these markers.

If you like, you can also use this set for drawing and coloring mandalas or adult coloring books in general. I kind of like the effect that I get when I combine the bold and bright colors of the gel pens, and the pastel colors from the mild liners. It also helped that the mild liners have fine bullet-point tips. They helped with coloring small details.

Another nice thing about this set of pens is that they use quick-drying inks. The highlighters were nice because the ink dried so fast and they did not even fade or smudge when I accidentally got them wet.

I do have an issue with the gel pens, though – that is they are quite generic. You would think that Zebra pens would develop their improved version of the gel pen but that is not the case. Although the pens work as intended, they skip when you write too fast, which is also the case with other generic gel pen brands.

  • It is a complete pen set for journaling
  • Highly-pigmented gel inks used for each pen
  • The highlighters have dual tips and use mild ink
  • All the inks dry quickly and do not smudge even when wet
  • The set is also ideal for use for other art projects
  • The gel pens are a bit scratchy

This set of pens is great for beginners. The highlighters work great, but the gel pens are average at best. On the other hand, if you do not write that fast, the pen might be able to keep up with you and the lines might not skip. Overall, this set gets a slightly above-average rating, thanks to the inclusion of the highlighters.

What to Look For When Buying a Pens for Journaling

best ballpoint pen for journaling

Technically, you can journal using any old pen that you have lying around the house. However, if you want to make the activity enjoyable, you will need to use a pen that is a joy to use. Here are some of the qualities that you need to keep an eye out for when you are out there shopping.

Amount of Ink

You will be writing in your journal for an entire year, so you should use a pen that would at least last until the middle of the year before it runs out of ink. The first thing to look for is a large ink tank for the obvious reason that it can contain a lot of ink.

In addition, check the tip of the pen. Typically, rollerball tips combined with an ink flow regulator are more efficient when it comes to using ink. On the other hand, felt-tipped pens, although they write more boldly than other tips, use up ink quite fast.

Writing Smoothness

Journaling pens should be easy to write with, meaning the tip of the pen should glide over the surface of the paper effortlessly. The pen should not scratch or snag on the paper’s fibers. More importantly, it should not punch a hole through the page.

However, the quality of the paper may also play a factor in how smooth a pen can write. With that said, you should also use a high-quality journaling notebook to get the best overall experience.

Ink Quality

For most folks, journaling is a way to record their experiences so that they can look back at them in the future. If this is the reason why you are journaling, you should use a pen that uses high-quality ink. This means that it writes clearly and the color will not fade even after a couple of years have passed.

Look for pens that use “archival inks”. They are the ones that would not smudge or fade ever.

Ink ColorsThis will only apply if you are the type of person who likes to make every journal entry as colorful and fancy as possible. If that is the case, you should get a set of colored pens, or maybebuy a set of highlighters along with the pen. If you just want to use one pen, get the retractable one that has 3 to 4 colors.

Frequently Asked Questions

best colored pens for journaling

Are Ballpoint Pens Good for Journaling?

If you write fast, then ballpoint pens may be more to your liking. Unlike the best fountain pen for journaling, ballpoints glide on the surface of the paper, even if the paper is quite rough.

Are gel Pens Good for Bullet Journaling?

Yes, they are excellent for bullet journaling. The main point of bullet journaling is to make your entries as fun and engaging as possible. Gel pens do just that with the help of their vibrant-colored and thick laying inks.


You do not necessarily need the best pens for journaling that don’t bleed, but it does help make the activity a whole lot more enjoyable. And when you enjoy journaling, it makes it easier to turn it into a habit.

Now that you have reached the end of this article, you probably already learned all that you need to know when shopping for a journaling pens. If so, I wish you good luck on your new journey.

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