What do you write with?

Pens have always been a hot topic in shorthand circles.

I myself have maintained (on the basis of evidence I might add) that pen choice can make a 10wpm difference to note-taking speed.

That said, the “best pen” is clearly an issue of personal choice.

Some might prefer a pilot graphic pen, others a pencil, others a fountain pen with or without a specialist nib.

I’ve seen reporters using standard ballpoints (because that’s what their employers offer), nylon nibbed pens, gel pens and so on.

I’m really interested to find out what we, as a shorthand community, choose to write with. I did have a poll set up but it doesn’t seem to work.

7 thoughts on “What do you write with?

  • November 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm
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    Standard biro for me.

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  • November 26, 2010 at 10:06 am
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    Sixty years ago I always used a pen for Pitman’s and having only recently returned to writing and trying a couple of pens (Cross and Lamy) both of which failed to keep the ink flowing long enough, I have finally landed a Pelikan Steno from Swishers in the US. A steal at US25 and it writes beautifully with the ink flowing easily across the paper which together with its flexible nib makes it a pleasure to use.

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  • November 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm
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    I’d love a flex nib pen. I maake do with pencils though.

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  • December 6, 2010 at 1:30 am
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    As a lefty I’ve struggled with pen types for years. Standard biros were always smearing on me, but have recently found a felt-tip pen the best solution. Seems to dry quick enough and hasn’t slowed me down yet, although my speeds are still at the lower end at the moment.

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  • January 25, 2011 at 11:00 pm
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    I’m left handed too, and when writing longhand I can’t use gel pens/fountain pens because they smudge as I write. Weirdly with shorthand this doesn’t happen, and so I use a fountain pen that’s really smooth to write with and comfortable to hold. It is a fear of mine that the ink will run out during a shorthand exam though!

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  • November 19, 2011 at 9:00 am
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    I’m also a lefty and find it best to use a soft pencil so you can lighten and darken strokes as necessary (Pitman shorthand). Biro not a bad second choice.

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