Pens for the Hobonichi that don’t smudge

After a year in the Hobonichi, I think I’ve finally found pen peace

For the longest time I used my Pilot Coleto pens. As the Weeks is my everyday carry planner, I didn’t want to be carrying lots of pens at once. As it’s able to hold several colours in one barrel, it’s perfect for planning on the go. Particularly if you like to do some colour coding. 

Fountain pens are another favourite for use in the Weeks. They work beautifully on the Tomoe River paper that’s in Hobonichi planners.

My favourite to use in the Weeks, due to its fine point, is the Pilot Kakuno

However, there’s one issue with both of these pens

They smudge. Very easily. The ink on the Coleto just doesn’t seem to dry and always looks tacky on the paper, even after days. This is a real problem when planning out my week as I tend to move around the page and if I forget to cover the ink up with a sticky note, I will just swear it all over with my hand. The Pilot ink that comes with the Kakuno does dry eventually, but it’s more unforgiving that the usual ink I use in fountain pens (Diamine) and so I have to be careful with it. I generally have to leave it for around 30 seconds to dry.

Over the past few months I’ve been able to get used to the Pilot ink and now it smears very infrequently. In fact, it’s usually just when I close the planner a bit too early. The Coleto though, has been limited to only my budget planning planning pages. Here I log what I spend every day and each category is colour coded. Because I usually only write in this part once a day, there’s very little issues with smudging with my hand.

So my weekly planning was limited to using just a fountain pen

Except I had one problem – stickers. Either paper or vinyl, fountain pens don’t work on them. So I needed to find a pen that would work on them and not smear on the Tomoe River.

I’ve tried all my favourite gel pens (mainly from Pentel and Pilot) on the Tomoe River paper and they all had the same issue of smudging (though to varying degrees).

I started looking around for some suggestions and came across the Zebra Sarasa pens. I ordered one in mint green to test and was instantly impressed, so naturally I ordered some more!

The vintage colours set in particular stood out as being a lovely (and usual) set of colours

These are 0.5mm, which is a little thicker than I’d normally use in the Weeks, but I had no issue with the mint green I ordered, which was the same size.

Aside from the colours being lovely in this set, the ink doesn’t smear or smudge. 

I thought maybe it was just a honeymoon phase but after a good month or so planning in these, I’ve had zero problems. 

They work on both the paper and the vinyl stickers I use really nicely. As it’s five pens, rather than one, I haven’t been doing any colour coding in my Weeks sadly. What I have been doing instead, is picking a colour for the week and then just carrying that with my in my Ane pouch. I’ve even been enjoying using these so much that some weeks I’ve been using just these in my planning.

I think these are my first Zebra gel pens, and I’m really impressed

The styling of the pen is nice, and they’re easy to write with. They’ve got a subtle grip to them, and a sturdy clip at the top.So if you’re in dire need of a good gel pen that won’t smear on the Tomoe River paper, I can highly recommend these

If you’re big on colour coding then you can’t beat the Hobonichi pen itself, which is a ballpoint pen. This is the pen I use at work in my work Weeks where I need to use colour coding and it’s perfect. 

No I probably didn’t need any more pens in my collection. However, I’m happy to have these for use in my Weeks now. Do you have any favourite pens in for using with your Hobonichi? Let me know in the comments!