MUJI Clear Ballpoint Gel Pens review

Hey guys, first and foremost, a ver happy new year to everyone!  I know that it’s quite late, but since I was super busy this year for my new planner launch (yoohoo!) I only got free after the planner rush season was over!

So, today I will be reviewing the pens from one of the well-known Japanese brand, MUJI. This is a brand whose core philosophy is ‘NO BRAND QUALITY GOODS’. According to MUJI, their products have a natural and simplistic design. They had recently launched their 2nd store in India, in a Bengaluru mall. I had been to the store once when they had launched, but could not pick up anything during my first visit. However,  in December we planner addicts in Bengaluru had a meetup where we decided to raid the MUJI India and Itsy Bitsy stores for stocking up on our goodies and it was then I found these lovely pens at the MUJI store.

They actually have quite a variety of options available for pens, but I ended up choosing the 0.5mm gel pen primarily because it had the colours that I wanted and also because I prefer pens with point size less than 0.5mm. I bought a couple of these pens in different colours and have used them in my planner for a while now and here are my thoughts on it..

Name:

Smooth Writing Gel Pen (generic name)

Company:

MUJI India (originally from Japan)

Price:

₹ 90.00 for one pen.

Refillable:

Yes, however, I haven’t enquired about their refills.

Availability:

Available in MUJI India (physical) stores which are currently in Mumbai and Bengaluru only. Currently not available with major online retailers.

Packaging:

There is literally no packaging of the pens. It goes with their philosophy that – ‘When packaging products, MUJI seeks not to adorn them but rather to highlight their natural colours and shapes’. Therefore, the pens are simply placed in a section, neatly arranged by type and colour. I find it oddly satisfying to look at their product arrangements, especially the pens section! You can search for ‘muji store pens’ and get a lot of images of the MUJI way of organising their stationery supplies. Personally, I love it since we discard the packaging for pens anyway. There are also very few details of the product on the product itself since ‘minimalism’ is one of the core concepts underlying the MUJI products.

intro_photo

Product:

The pen is plastic but has a sturdy finish. Its length is standard size (~15 cm). Just like the Pilot FriXion pens, I do not fancy the width of these pens too, which is nearly 1 cm. They are a bit fat for my liking. It has a frosty silicone grip, which works fine for me. The point size is 0.5 mm, which was something that made me buy these pens apart from the pretty colours. The pen is retractable, thus it has no cap. The point has a tiny silicone cap which is commonly seen these days in many pens, to prevent the ink from drying before purchase. I just wish it had a less generic body though, but it is not a dealbreaker for me of course!

Since the pen has a transparent body, one can easily identify the colour of the ink. Also, the pocket clip is the colour of the ink. I would say that the best part is that the colour of the plastic clip matches perfectly with the ink colour! That is something I was pleasantly surprised about since many of the pens I have seen almost always have a slight shade difference in the pen ink and body.

I have purchased 2 colour varieties of these pens viz. yellow and green. Although officially MUJI calls it a green pen, the colour of the ink (green one) is actually Asagi i.e. pale-green blue. I must say that I am in love with this colour. In fact, I would not have spent 90 rupees for this pen had it not been available in this colour!

About the writing, I must say that I am not a big fan of how this pen writes. The reason being it does not write smoothly as one would expect. Now I know that smoothness can be perceptive, but still, I felt that this pen cannot glide on its own, it needs effort. I think that can be improved. I know that this is not an issue with a single piece as I own a couple of them and I also tested out a few other colours in this variety in the store. It writes evenly, though. The ink release is consistent since it is a gel pen. The colours are bold and correct for the description (clip colour). The dry time of the ink is quick. So it will work for our left-handed friends too 🙂

Writing Sample:

Shall we take a look at the writing samples of the pen on normal paper and sticker paper? I know how we planner addicts end up writing more on stickers than normal paper 😛

Below are the writing samples for the pen on normal paper (top) and sticker paper (bottom).

normal_paper-sample
Normal paper
sticker_paper-sample
Sticker paper
normal_paper-sample2
Normal paper close up

 

Final thoughts:

For me, the USP of these pens were the two colours that I picked up. I do not fancy paying so much for these pens for the other colours that are widely available at a much cheaper price. Also, since I cannot use these pens for writing long texts, the utility of these pens is restricted to planning and bullet journaling. Hence, I may not buy more of these.However since I haven’t come across a smooth 0.5mm gel pen (I remember my old Add gel pen as I am typing this!), I might still keep a watch on these pens for more unique colours. I would recommend getting these pens only for planning if you must. Otherwise, there is no loss in skipping them.

Planner addict’s rating:

3.5/5

So guys, would you give the MUJI pens a try? Do let me know in the comments!

Also, do let me know if there is any other pen that you would recommend for a planner addict.

Cheers!

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MUJI Clear Ballpoint Gel Pens review

Pilot FriXion Clicker erasable pen review

When I started using planners (and planning in general), I usually ended up with too many cancellation marks in my generously decorated planners, making them look ugly because of some appointment getting rescheduled or some plan getting cancelled. It was then I realized that I needed to use something that is editable.

Initially, I used sticky notes for the tentative plans, but then I soon found out that my entire weekly spread is filled with just sticky notes! It wouldn’t have been a problem had the sticky notes been colorful and funky, but they were just plain old yellow sticky notes. Then I thought of using a pencil for the temporary tasks and they worked for a couple of weeks or so, until once when I had to reschedule majority of my tasks for the week due to an unexpected event and ended up with a weekly spread full of erased pencil marks. Since then, I stuck to good old pens.

I had heard about the Pilot FriXion erasable pens almost an year ago. A lot of people (non-planners too) swear by the Pilot FriXion pens for their everyday usage. But when I searched for them, as expected they weren’t available in India. So, when I stumbled upon this pen which was available at a discounted rate on Amazon India during the sales season, I knew I had to grab it.

So, I have been using this pen for over a month now for a variety of planner related writing tasks, including writing on stickers and today I would like to share with you guys my take on this pen, as a planner addict for my planning purposes.

Name:

FriXion Clicker Roller Ball Pen

Company:

Pilot Corporation.

Imported to India by Luxor Writing Instruments Pvt. Ltd.

Price:

₹ 100.00 for one pen. (The price has dropped to ₹ 95.00 per pen)

Refillable:

Yes. The refill costs approximately ₹ 50.00.

Availability:

These pens are available in major online stores, including Amazon, Snapdeal, Flipkart (currently out of stock) and Luxor’s own site.

These pens are available offline in all Crosswords and Landmarks across the country. You can also get them at Venus Stationery Stores in Pune.

I got mine from Amazon India. Here’s the link. There are frequent offers on this pen, so keep an eye on them.

Available Colors:

Currently, only 4 colors are available in India viz. blue, black, red and green. Today I will be reviewing the black one.

Packaging:

The packaging consists of a cardboard base containing the details and a moulded plastic covering for the pen, as seen in the images below.

Contents:

A single pack contains one pen (duh!). Ink color is same as that of the body color.

Product:

The pen: The pen has a plastic body. Its length is standard size (~15 cm). I find its width to be a bit fat, which does not make it very ergonomic for me. However it has a comfortable rubber grip. The point size is 0.7 mm, which is not my usual preference. I always prefer the 0.5 mm ones, since they write very finely. For me, the lower point size, the better.

It is a retractable pen. At first glance, you would think that the upper tip is the button to press the nib. But its not! The transparent pocket clip is actually the nib extender.

The pen is smooth enough, although I have tried a smoother pen than this. The color for the black pen actually comes out as a dark grey and not pitch black. However, I do not mind it. The ink is thermo-sensitive, which is the USP of the pen. It does not smudge even immediately after writing. So the pen would be good for left-handed people too. However I found that the pen writes like an ink pen with diluted ink. The text color is not even even within a word. The issue seems to be with the the ink itself and not the ink flow. Perhaps it is due to the uniqueness of the ink (I am not sure).

The “eraser”: It is the upper tip of the pen, that you would use just like any other eraser. However, unlike other erasers, this one does not leave any marks or rubber particles on your page! It literally works like magic. The principle behind it is a simple one. The ink is heat sensitive. Thus when the tip is rubbed against the ink on the paper, it heats the paper due to friction and the ink disappears. The ink/text is still there, it just becomes invisible.

Although I do not find many of its core features favorable, as a planner addict I find this pen incredibly useful, because of its ‘eraser’ feature. There are countless number of times when we schedule/plan a task for a particular day, only to find ourselves postponing it (or sometimes even cancelling it altogether!). In such cases, I find it best to use this pen, since it allows me to alter my schedule without the ugly cancellation marks in my planner.

Writing Sample:

It is important to see how this pen performs on normal paper as well as a sticker paper, since planner addicts do end up writing a lot on stickers, don’t we? Below are the writing samples for the pen on normal paper (top) and sticker paper (bottom).

Erasing sample:

Below is the sample of the eraser functionality of the pen. The top image focuses on the content and the bottom image shows the content being erased.

Final thoughts:

Overall, I think this is the best pen for planner people, because of its seamless erasable nature. If there is one pen that I would carry with my planner, it’s this one. Although I would have loved for it to have a 0.5mm tip  for finer writing, but I can do without it for now. I am aware that Pilot has many finer tip pens in the FriXion range, but since they are not available in India yet, this is my current go to pen for planning.

I find it to be a bit pricey for its ‘erasable’ feature, but I suppose we can always have one of these, right?

I hope that they release more colors variants in India, especially for those of us who color code their tasks. What do you guys think?

Planner addict’s rating:

3.5/5

So guys, which is your favorite pen for your planning? Let me know in the comments.

Cheers!

 

Pilot FriXion Clicker erasable pen review