The Best Fountain Pens for Taking Notes

The Best Fountain Pens
for Taking Notes

Fountain pens aren’t just for practicing fancy calligraphy in a mahogany-walled office surrounded by antiques. They’re functional writing instruments that make tasks as mundane as note taking much more enjoyable. I got into writing with fountain pens in college. I took a ton of notes, all by hand — writing with a fountain pen made the process more enjoyable. I ended up looking forward to those note-heavy classes rather than dreading them. The smooth, effortless writing reduced hand and arm fatigue too. Making the switch from rollerballs to fountain pens really helped me embrace them as a hobby. Enough about me, let’s look at what makes fountain pens great for note taking:

  • Ink Capacity: depending on the pen, you can hold a ton of ink.
  • Changeable Colors: writing with different colored ink can help you organize your notes. Fountain pen ink is available in nearly every color imaginable – great for a custom writing experience
  • Different Nib Sizes: You can use an extra fine nib for margin notes, a medium nib for regular notes, and a double broad filled with highlighter ink as a highlighter.

Now that we know why a fountain pen is good for note taking, let’s check out some of the best options:

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen

Why it’s good for notes: The Lamy 2000 is a piston filler with a huge ink capacity. It holds a ton of ink and the 14k gold nib writes smoothly. The understated looks don’t scream out “this is an expensive pen” so you won’t get any unwanted attention in class or in a meeting. The medium nibbed version is good starting point for most people. You can grab one here for just under $120.

Pilot Vanishing Point

Why it’s good for notes: The Vanishing Point is great for notes because there’s no cap to worry about. This pen from Pilot has a unique click mechanism that extends and retracts the nib. The ink capacity isn’t the largest, but it’ll get you through a bunch of pages before needing a refill. This is my favorite pen for quick, start-and-stop notes. You can pick up a VP in matte black with a gold nib for around $140.


Why it’s good for notes: TWSBI’s Eco fountain pen is a great affordable option. The ink capacity is plenty large – almost 2ml. This is enough ink for TONS of notes. The $32 price tag, solid steel nib, and unique see-through looks result in a beginner pen that any level of fountain pen user will appreciate. They’re available in a few different colors for $32.


Platinum 3776 Century 

Why it’s good for notes: Another Platinum pen made this list. This one’s a bit more expensive than the Preppy, but the upgrade is totally worth it. Platinum’s gold nibs are some of the best out there. The resin body is available in several different colors and limited editions. It’s great for note taking because of the smooth writing experience and Slip and Seal cap. Whether you’re taking notes every day or once a week, this pen is ready to write. They’re available for around $75 in a variety of nib sizes and colors. 

Platinum Preppy

Why it’s good for notes: The Platinum Preppy is one of the most affordable fountain pens out there. Surprisingly, the steel nib writes really well. They lay down a wet line of ink and feature Platinums Slip and Seal mechanism. It’s essentially a cap within the cap that’s spring loaded. It keeps the pens from drying out over time, so you’ll always be ready to write. I like the 7 pen set because it comes with a bunch of colors – ideal for color coding your notes. You can pick the set up for just under $15 here. 

Lamy Safari

Why it’s good for notes: Last on the list is the Lamy Safari. This durable pen can hold up to bouncing around in a bag or clipped to the pocket of your jeans. I like it for note taking because of the interchangeable nibs. You can pick up replacement nibs for around $11, which is great for switching up your notes without buying a whole new pen. The pen starts around $25, with replacement nibs coming in around $11.

There you have it! These are my favorite pens for taking notes. Do you have a go-to pen for note taking? Let us know what it is in the comments below!

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14 thoughts on “The Best Fountain Pens for Taking Notes

  1. Any my favorite, the Pilot Varsity! I’ve got a Facebook group page with 331 members all over the planet. Imagine! Find us on FB at Pilot Varsity Fountain Pens. (And no, we don’t sell pens. We just love the Varsity.)

  2. Good list but I would add the Pilot Elite 95s. It’s pocketable but grows to a full size pen when posted, light so doesn’t fatigue, has a slip-off cap for speed and the fine, gold nib is amazing. Also, it can be had for less than $100 if you shop around.

    1. Yes. The 95S is such a cool pen, and a fantastic writer. These nibs are unique to the 95S and may be Pilot’s best nibs.

  3. In vintage pens, I’d add the Parker 45. It’s light, slim, not very expensive, has a slip cap, and is virtually indestructible as an everyday writer, unless you actually run it over with a truck. Really reliable pens which take standard cartridges.

    And I’d add Kaweco sport – a nice pocket pen, actually *has* to be posted so the cap is never an issue, cheap (if you don’t get one of the luxe options) – the nibs may need a bit of tweaking though. And needs cartridges (capacity with a converter is minimal).

  4. wonderful!… and i have some….love fp’s and now wish for your special list of flexible nib pens, or any pen great for drawing!… thanks for the site….

  5. Fountain pens do indeed make note taking much more enjoyable 🙂 Great post. Vanishing Point seems like a winner here but all pens mentioned in the article are a great choice for note taking.

  6. How about the Platinum Plaisir? Inexpensive and come in great colors. The nibs are terrific. I have 03 and 05 nibs and love them both. I’m ridiculously addicted to matching ink colors with pen color!

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