Geek Love: My UniBall Pens

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plantspenspics1

Writers are a neurotic bunch. And we all have our own quirky little things we need to get into the zone. Some of us need a particular brand of notebook or a certain blend of coffee. Some need a quiet space. Some need the white noise of a crowded café.

I’m pretty flexible on where I can write. (Although of course, my office is my very favorite place to be).

I’m not flexible on what I can write with.

90% of my job is done on my trusty Macbook. But when I’m in the field, interviewing someone, or just sitting at my desk writing notes or doodling, I need a writing instrument.

It’s taken several years for me to find just the right pen.

I started out with the Papermate. Blue ink. Medium point.

plain. basic.

plain. basic.

But the Papermate didn’t do it for me. It’s cheap and functional. But it often skips, particularly when I start writing very quickly. And I just didn’t like how it looked on the page.

I switched to the Sharpie.

basic. with a bit of pizazz.

basic. with a bit of pizazz.

Now the Sharpie is a straight-up marker. But I discovered that they make different point sizes. They make the regular fat tip joints that we all know. But they also make an ultra fine version that can function as a pen. And I rocked with those joints, in black of course, for many years.

When I was teaching, the ultra-fine Sharpie was perfect. I could write on transparencies clearly with no smudges. And then I could use the same pen to write notes and then swap it out with a red joint to grade papers. It was perfect.

But a Sharpie is still essentially a marker. Which meant that the flip side of my papers were always marked up too. Not cool. And then, keep in mind, it’s a permanent marker. So if it got uncapped, there were problems.

I needed something new. Something perfect.

I tried garden variety retractable pens. The kind you can click click click and drive people insane. I tried different types of ballpoint pens and decided once and for all that I was not a fan.

And then I discovered: The Uniball. [Cue angels singing and harps playing]

Someone once told me, when I was single and looking, that when you’re not looking for something, it will appear.

I haven’t found that to apply to men. They often need to be hit on the head and dragged back to the cave.

But that does apply to my discovery of the best pen ever manufactured.

I don’t know how or when I first encountered the Uniball brand. But I know I started out with the Roller pens. They were smooth. No skipping, no smudging. And the fine point had a very nice, even flow.

Classy!

Classy!

So for many years, I was in love with the Uniball Micro-point pen in Black. He was good to me. He disappeared from time to time. But he was easily replaced. I felt a warm rush of relief when I picked up a box of twelve from Staples and saw him there, with eleven of his identical twins, standing at the ready, waiting to serve me…

I seriously feel a rush of emotion when I see this picture. Is that weird?

I seriously feel a rush of emotion when I see this picture. Is that weird?

And then, well, you know how it goes. People grow. Things change. And suddenly, the Roller pen and I weren’t on the same page, as it were. There was the Leaking Incident in my carry-on luggage on the way to Paris. There was the Stabbing Incident, in which I discovered that the Micro point was…well, the thing is sharp. It can double as a weapon. That’s another post for another day.

I was ready to move on.

And then I discovered the perfect pen. The epitome of writing instruments. The piece de resistance. A pen non pareil.

Drumroll please…

It’s the Uniball VISION Fine point. In black ink of course.

pure perfection

pure perfection

This pen is the bomb. It doesn’t skip, fade or smudge. Its smooth to the touch, both in your hands and on the page. And most importantly, it looks good.

I hate it when I have to grab an icky pen out of my pen bag. I don’t even know how these crappy pens end up in my bag in the first place. Even if it’s just signing a sales receipt, I die a little inside when I have to use a green ballpoint retractable freebie from TDBank. Ugh. Here are the icky pens in my bag right now:

not just icky pens. But crayons for crying out loud. Jeesh.

not just icky pens. But crayons for crying out loud. Jeesh.

I MUST have a collection of Uniballs in my line of vision on my desk in my office. It’s just as essential as my Macbook. I once read an article that noted three things you need on your desk to increase productivity:

1.    A plant: the greenery uplifts you. I have a cactus since I’m awful with plants.
2.    A framed photo. I have my fave photo of me and my younger sister. We’re up in the club at Diva’s in Montclair. Back when I was up in the clubs. You’re supposed to swap out your photo every month or so to refresh yourself.
3.    A collection of the same exact pen, calmly resting in a nice container.

ahhhh, so peaceful.

ahhhh, so peaceful.

This is where my Uniball really shines. I love looking at them. All standing at attention, waiting to be plucked from obscurity and used in my next To-Do list.

A few days ago, I was pondering my love for Uniball pens. And I wondered if I was the only one obsessed with such a mundane item.

Of course not! I found several blogs devoted to pens. And there are several like-minded individuals out there in cyberspace who are Uniball fanatics. Uniball reps are even on Twitter!

I decided, on behalf of my dear readers, to track down the man responsible for making sure I can slide into Staples on Bloomfield Avenue and pick up my Uniballs whenever they’re running low.

A lesson to my up-and-coming writers. You can find ANYONE you want to interview. Anyone at all. It’s really not as difficult as it seems. I noodled around on the Uniball website until I found a contact for PR. And I sent her a very simple but professional email request:

My name is Aliya S. King and I am a freelance writer. My work appears in a number of national magazines, including Vibe, Upscale and many others. I am also an author. My first book, a collaboration with platinum-selling music artist Faith Evans was released this summer. It spent two weeks on the New York Times Bestseller’s List!

And it’s all thanks to my Uni Ball VISION fine pens.

Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration. But I really do love my Uni Ball pens and I am very territorial about them. I recently started a blog, (www.aliyasking.wordpress.com). And I will be writing a post about my feelings about Uni Ball pens.

My blog is brand new and I am generating quite a bit of traffic from other writers in my community.

Here’s my question. Is there any way I can get a quote from someone who works in publicity, marketing and/or promotion about writers and their need for the perfect instrument? I have some questions to ask. I’d like to know who is responsible for testing the pens? Do they use focus groups to see if they are comfortable? Is their research on how much ink should be released from a pen? Does Uni Ball get fan mail from writers? Do you know if then pen has any product placement or mentions in writings?

I’d appreciate any help on this matter. And be sure to check out my blog. I look forward to hearing from you.
-A

And the very next day, I got this response:

Aliya:
Happy to chat about all things uni-ball with you. Love the blog by the way!

Let me know how you want to get in touch, happy to talk live or by email. Thanks!

Steve Gradman
Sr. Brand Manager
Uni-Ball
Sanford – A Newell-Rubbermaid Company

Steve Gradman, the Senior Brand Manager of the Uniball Division of Sanford was gracious enough to allow me to ask him a bunch of geeked-out question for my dear readers. Turns out Uniball just started a new campaign with S. Epatha Merkerson. And they’re really pushing the fact that Uniball pens are a good protection against identity theft because they have some kind of newfangled technology that protects against check washing.

Well, now. Why wouldn’t YOU use a UniBall?

I’m not so concerned about check washing. But I’m not going to get into the habit of not listening to S. Epatha Merkerson. I’m using a Uni-Ball!

At any rate, here are the best bits from my very in-depth discussion with Steve Gradman:

Me: My pen of choice is the Uni-ball Vision Fine. How does that pen compare in popularity to the other pens in your lineup?

Steve: The vision is an extremely important product line for uni-ball. Consistently it has been one of our top-sellers and currently is our 3rd best selling product line.

Me:  Who designed the Uni-ball Vision? One of the reasons I like it is because it’s visually appealing. And soothing. When they are in my pen cup, nice and neat, it makes me feel tranquil. (I know, I’m a nut case). The black rounded logo is simple but it works. Where did this design come from and has it evolved?

Steve: All our pens are designed in Japan by Mitsubishi Company LTD (the creators and manufacturers of uni-ball) which has a huge Research and Design team.

Me:  How are sales? Are pens recession proof? Uni-ball pens are not cheap! Are you seeing a decline in sales?

Steve:  Certainly these are trying times but despite the economic downturn, our 207 and Jetstream product lines grew double digits in 2008. We attribute this to a strong advertising investment and great consumer acceptance of the security message across the uni-ball brand. People need to protect themselves against identity theft in good times and in bad, and something as simple and inexpensive as a pen may seem a small price to pay for that security.

Me: Which color is most popular for the Vision. My fave is black.

Steve: Black is the most popular by a long shot, followed by blue and then red.

Me: Can you give me a detailed description of the mechanics of the pen? Near the tip, I see swirled lines in a see through canister. Is this the ink making its way to the point? Or is that just a design? Explain to me exactly what’s going on in my pen.

Steve: The lines you are speaking of are little supports holding the reservoir (where the ink is stored) steady and secure. Basically the ink is held in the reservoir until there is pressure on the point releasing the smooth ink slow so the pen glides smooth and effortlessly across the page.

Me: How much ink is in the pen? And how long should it last?
Steve: About 2 grams of ink which writes a minimum of 1300 meters. The ink dries within 2 seconds of hitting the page.

Now dear, readers. Two seconds? Really? I didn’t believe him. I had to try it out myself…

So, yeah. Not quite two seconds. More like three. But close enough! Back to the interview…

Me: Be honest. Which pen do YOU use! Do you always use a Uni-ball pen?
Steve: ALWAYS! my favorite is the Jetstream RT (retractable); it is ultra smooth writing. My office is full of pens as you can imagine so I change a lot but the Jetstream RT leads my regular rotation.

Me: Tell me a bit about what you do as Senior Brand Manager for Uni-ball.
Steve: I basically run the brand, from advertising strategy and development to packaging.  It’s my job to ensure we have the right product and right communication to hit our sales target. And like you, I’m a huge fan of my own product, which makes the work a lot more fun!

Much thanks to Steve for indulging me. If you’re a pen geek, you can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UniBall_USA

Dear readers, can you please share with me your must-have office item? What’s your pen of choice? Is there a particular pencil you can’t live without? A certain marker with a smell you love? A notebook you covet? We all have that one product that makes us happy. I’d love to hear about it!
-A

Contest Winner: And our contest winner from last night is TremayaR!! She was the VERY first person to respond and she was right! Down to the high schools that Mary and Mariah attended and the non-high-school that Mr. Lucas non-attended.

(Frank Lucas loves to tells me: “I only went to school for three days. And the teacher wasn’t there for two of ‘em.” Ba dump bump.)

So yes, the answers were: Ms. Mary J. Blige, whom I interviewed for Upscale last year, the illustrious Frank Lucas, whose memoir I just completed and will be published soon and Ms. Mariah Carey, whom I interviewed for america magazine back in ’05.

Congratulations TremayaR! You will be receiving both the novel and the CD! (Um, right Elise? Right!)
Honorable mention to Portia…since she’s the only other person who participated. =(

*scratches head, shrugs shoulders and starts writing next post…*

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55 Responses to “Geek Love: My UniBall Pens”

  1. slb Says:

    i’m an unabashed uniball fan, too! i also use vision fine, but i can only work with purple ink. i don’t do blue. i don’t do black. purple are harder to find, but that’s part of the thrill.

  2. slb Says:

    also: LOL @ this s. epatha merkerson spot. is that for real???

  3. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Slb: purple? word? I don’t think I’ve ever seen purple! I must investigate. And yup, this merkerson spot is for real. Love how they have her standing in front of the Wall Street sign. Like a Uniball can stop the market from crashing. Then again, maybe it can!

  4. slb Says:

    i know, right? That’s one self-serious commercial (unless the whole thing is tongue-in-cheek)… but if anyone company can afford to take itself super-seriously, it’s uniball.

    i pay like 2.50 a pop for purple uniballs at the gvsu campus bookstore (i use them both for creative writing and grading), but they can be ordered from officedepot.com, by the box.

  5. Keeya Says:

    I’m a Pilot-Dr.Grip-Gel-BlackInk kinda girl. :)

  6. Hanif Says:

    Interesting, I don’t have a pen of choice but I do prefer a fine point or felt tip over a ball point. I always wanted to try the colonial feather pin with dipping ink. I have to have a 1 subject five star notebook or legal pad to write on. I hate 5 subject notebooks and loose leaf paper.

    I only really handwrite poems, something about typing takes away from my emotion and it never works out for me. Writing it down; scratching out words, dotting up the paper as I go back over my work makes it come alive for me. If I’m flowing I can write anywhere, but my place of choice is by an open window on a city block, watching the kids run up and down the street, the hustlers running alongside them…one seemingly not noticing the other. The sirens, music, arguing, and everyday hood noises serve as inspiration for me.

    The situation has to be right for me to get in my zone. I never put that into perspective before now. I have preferences on what I need to get flowing but I’ve never thought to carve out a place where I can re-create my perfect situation.

    So on my way to work, I will pick up a pack up Uni-balls. I have an empty frame on my desk maybe a picture of the little one will keep me from looking at the clock all day. The plant TBD…

    P.S is it wrong for me to think of the perks you get as a writer? I would have asked Steve for a free pack of pens or something.

  7. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Keeya: hmmm. I’m not familiar. Might have to check that one out..

    @hanif: your response here reads like a poem…and I feel you on the 5 subject notebooks. BLECH. And about your P.S. Here’s a follow up email I got from Steve Gradman:

    “Sorry for the delay my answers are attached, feel free to reach out if you have any other questions, let me know when the blog is up so I can let our fans know via twitter.

    Also, what is your address, would love to send you a few pens.”

    I’ll keep you posted on my swag. =)

  8. TremayaR Says:

    I MUST visit the pen aisle every time I go to Wal-Mart, Target, and any store that carries pens, including the grocery store. If you’ve ever shopped with me, you know I WILL be visiting the pen (and book/magazine) aisle, you can join me or I’ll catch up with you in the magazine section or where ever you happen to be when I stop perusing. I buy them when I don’t need them, I hold them when I’m not writing, I carry them in multiple colors and editions (yes, editions) in my purse, I get ticked if anyone has the nerve to use my “good ones” (Uni-balls and Pilots, (kinda like when someone reads my fresh new Essence or any magazine or novel before I have a chance to, that’s a no-no)), and I am not ashamed to ask my doctors if “I can have that nice pen over there”…”yeah the one that says Viagra or that Cialis one will do” (I love the pharmaceutical companies). Gel-ink gives me precision, Sharpies are for emphasis , canary yellow not neon yellow Sharpie highlighters are my favorite, and Neon Dr. Grips with the gel ink are the business! Pencils are another story, the harder the lead the better. Yeah, I’m heavy handed, so anything less than a 0.7 just won’t do. If I’m going old school then a regular No. 2 will suffice as long as the lead is sharpened just right and the eraser has not been used (that’s a no-no too). I’ll have to get a white jumbo eraser if I jack up, those don’t smudge. I have more office supply habits but I won’t delve into those, but let’s just say I buy notebook paper, spirals, and notepads in bulk, although I graduated from college years ago. What can I say? Some people do drugs, I do office supplies.(Sighs) Thank you for allowing me to share. I feel so much better now. Geeks unite! You can check out my stash here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=52403&l=30f8a&id=592577301

  9. TremayaR Says:

    Keeya,
    Great minds think alike, but this we know since you are my best friend! LOL!

  10. Aliya S. King Says:

    @TremayaR: first of all, congrats on winning the contest! Send me your snail mail to my Facbeook Inbox so I can hook you up!! And as for your Geek Love: I never knew people like you existed. I thought I was all alone. Did you say you hold pens when you’re not writing!? I love it. A kindred spirit with super-specific office-supply needs. Sigh. There are worse addictions…

  11. Anita Says:

    Yeah..you’re a real geek. I’ve never paid much attention to the uniball pen line but I might have to look into it. I’m kinda serious about my pens. Papermate just will not do. I don’t care if you can get like 100 of them for 2 dollars.

    My friends make fun of me because I am very particular about my items that I use for study.

    I’m particularly geeked out about the Pilot G-2 07 Retractable Gel Pens. I’ve been using those for about 8 years now. I tried to get cute and switch to G-2 0.38 (very fine point), but I don’t think I care for those too much so I’m basically waiting for them to run out, so I can go back to a regular fine point.

    Also liquid highlighters. I loathe regular highlighters. They MUST be liquid. The only thing that sucks about that is they’re more expensive, so I tried to buy the knockoff office depot/staples version, but I find that they usually have less ink. So right now, I use Bic Liquid Highlighters–they even have a little cushy grip on them. Love it love it. I highlight a lot. I’m really nutty about it. I think I’m gonna go highlight some notes now.

  12. slb Says:

    okay. so all this talk about uniballs and i decided to go order myself a whole box instead of letting the campus bookstore rob me? and now? I CAN’T FIND THEM!!!

    i’m freaking out. i KNEW i should’ve bought a box online this summer when i saw them. now, they don’t have my exact model. they’ve got… retractables and gels and i’m officially distraught.

    … time to go buy out the school’s supply.

  13. Erin Siders Says:

    I love a Uniball pen (usually fine in black ink)…but the admin at work got me hooked on the Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball Extra Fine in blue ink. It dries in one second (yeah I timed it).

  14. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Anita: yes, well. You are right there in geekdom with me. Liquid highlighters. And I wonder why the pens have such fancy names: The G-2 07 Retractable! It’s like a car!

    @SLB: Lol. what’s your “exact model” ?!

    @Erin: one second, huh. I’ll be the judge of that…

  15. slb Says:

    it’s the uniball vision fine, majestic purple, 0.7 mm. lol

    not the vision elite fine or the vision stick fine…

    here’s a pic: http://images.opentip.com/full/SPI/SPI-SAN60382.jpg

    i think they’re slowly tryna phase out my pen!

  16. Aliya S. King Says:

    @slb: we here at aliyasking.wordpress.com are here for you. I am on it. Stay tuned for an update on the status of your beloved pen.

  17. Aliya S. King Says:

    @slb: Are you ready? Steve Gradman from Uniball just hit me back. I told him, look. We’ve got people out here thinking you’re phasing out their pens. What’s going on here?! He wrote back:

    “We would NEVER! They are a little hard to find but here are 3 places.”

    http://www.shoplet.com/office/db/SAN60382.html

    http://www.officemax.com/omax/catalog/sku.jsp?skuId=20378315&cm_mmc=GBase-_-Writing_Instruments-_-Pens-_-Rollerball_Pens&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku=20378315

    http://www.sigmaofficesupply.com/xcart/SAN60382-uni-ball-Vision-Stick-Roller-Ball-Pen-Gray-Brl-Purple-Ink-Fine-Pt-0.70-mm-p-58291.html

  18. slb Says:

    *does super-happy dance!*

    thank you, thank you, thank you, aliya (and steve)!

    now, please excuse me while i rush off to place my order…. lol

  19. Jovi Says:

    Uniball Signo 207. Found one on my desk, green ink and did the two second test. I was laughing the entire time.

    I have a love for pencils, with a sharp point. Must be a No.2 and have a good eraser. I hate to get a ‘damaged’ pencil with a cheap eraser. Prefer blue but the yellow will do. Hate the retractables, the lead is not thick enough.

    No plant on my desk but photos of my girlz and a glamour shot of me from the early 90’s. Fly girl.

  20. Aliya S. King Says:

    @slb: we aim to please.

    @jovi; i am so with you on the pencils. i won’t touch a damaged joint with no eraser and the metal part all bent up where the eraser used to be. ick. I don’t do the yellow ones though. I have to use these:

    http://www.seejanework.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=0&idproduct=1551

    In the color Ocean. Talk about soothing in a group on my desk? Ahhhh…

  21. ak Says:

    aliya, you have really outdone yourself with this post.

    i’m a geek about pens as well. the red, black and green Pilot Precise V5, extra fines to be exact. I’ve been using them since the days of pencil cases and Hello Kitty stickers and they’ve never done me wrong.

    in other geek news: i am nuts about fonts–particularly the narrow, typewritery kind. when i read something with a wack font, i literally feel uncomfortable. my favorites right now: Consolas, Corbel and Courier. (The old Courier, not the “modern” one).

    one more thing: the bic wite-out pen. people laugh at me for using wite-out, but that joint is great if you detest a messy page (or if you’re a borderline OCD perfectionist who likes to literally disappear her mistakes…)

  22. ak Says:

    one more thing: S. Epatha Merkerson’s first name is Sweetness. The idea that Sweetness Epatha Merkerson is doing a Uniball campaign is indescribably hot for a geek like me (and you and anyone else who commented at length to this post…)

  23. Aliya S. King Says:

    @ak: okay, this is a problem. You know how people who are drug addicts have to be careful about talking to each other about their drug of choice ’cause they might start thnking….hmmm, he used to do a hit of the crack pipe with an orange juice sprinkled with cocaine chaser…I need to try that!

    That’s how your post is making me feel. Now I’m looking at fonts. And realizing that I don’t like funny style fonts either. But I’m strictly a Times New Roman girl. Nothing more. Nothing less. And why do you know that there is a “modern” courier?

    And yes, I also own a bic wite-out pen. And I use it proudly.

  24. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Ak: did you just tell me that this woman’s name is SWEETNESS?! Are you serious?! That is so awesome that I just can’t take it.

  25. dowdyism Says:

    This is a great post Aliya – especially love the interview with Steve from Uni-Ball. My current favorite pen right now is the Uni-Ball Signo DX, but in the 0.38mm size. Very sturdy and durable pen, and a very sharp, fine line.

  26. OfficeSupplyGeek Says:

    Great post, this was a really interesting read for me based on my similar addiction to pens and office supplies in general…feel free to check out my blog for more on that. :)

    Also, it is funny to see another person complaining about the green TD Bank pens…this could become a trend, I saw it on this person’s blog:
    http://bumout.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/td-bank/

  27. Aliya S. King Says:

    @dowdyism: ohmygosh. you’re the pen addict! from http://www.penaddict.com. I am humbled by your presence. I’ve checked out your site a few times. And you are part of the reason I did this post. But I was afraid to link to you. Because I am such a novice to the pen love game. My love doesn’t go beyond Uniball. But you, well, you’re the pen addict!! I’m gonna check out the Signo. But honestly, I can’t see it replacing my VISION fine….

    @OfficeSupplyGeek: I am so doing a separate Q&A with you for my blog. Those customized moleskine covers you have on your page just made me feel all warm inside.

  28. serenakim Says:

    aliya, you’ve always been my kindred spirit! so you know i’m a uniball vision fan, too. i’ve got a bunch of them resting in a pen cup on my desk, too. blue is my color and black is the husband’s. that way we know who’s stealing whose pens.

    your desk looks really calm and superior to mine in every way. i have no plant. no photos of loved ones. no view. but i did frame an affirmation letter that a friend once wrote to me, just because it was the thing to do in the artist’s way. it has helped in moments of grave self-doubt.

    i’m also a huge fan of the spiral notebooks from barnes and noble that sell for 7.95. they are just the right size and i like the spaces between the lines. there’s also a little box so i can jot down the date before journaling. they’re also way cheaper than moleskin, which i’m surprised you didn’t fess up to using on the post.

    it’s little stuff like this that really makes me enjoy the craft of writing.

    p.s. i felt sorry for the pens in your pen bag. do they know that you talk so much shit about them on your blog???

  29. Aliya S. King Says:

    @serena: girl, you know I’m saving moleskin for a whole separate post!! Can you send me a link to this notebook you’re talking about? me and spirals have never gotten along. do the spirals stay put forever? Mine always end untangling and snagging things. And I don’t care HOW those crappy pens in my pen bag feel. I hate them.

  30. Hanif Says:

    Just went out and copped 2-packs of the Uni-ball vision Micro 0.5mm…I had to wing it. I was tempted to crack a pack open and test them out in the store, but chose not to. I got them a fresh new mesh rubbermaid pen cup to reside in. Looking for the same model pen in red. The had a retractable one in red, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy them, didn’t want to mess up the rotation, i’m going to stick to one model. I Left a pack in the car to make sure they make it to work with me on Monday…

    And I feel like writing…I’ll keep you updated on how that works out.

    One last thing, I was writing a note while I was standing up and the pen phased out on me. I think that’s natural physics or something, any pen would do the same, but the uni-ball also offers the air-plane joint (Shout out to Steve, he is on his job).

  31. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Hanif: I want a detailed report on your experiences.

  32. D. Ramsay Says:

    You are a nut! The smudge test video is priceless. I tale alot of notes at work so I’m gonna try the Uniball Vision

  33. Hanif Says:

    What a difference a pen makes!!!!

    So, I went into work to make up for my hooky day yesterday!!! I figured it would be a good time to furnish my desk with my new pen cup….Low and Behold, I goot a few compliments. The ladies walking past, “oh Hanif your desk looks so professional, I love the make-over.” Now all I did was put a Pen cup on there, nothing more, or less. It stepped up my professionalism up a few notches. Uni-ball baby…

    Ya’ll should be ashamed, you turned me on to this drug….

  34. Tara Says:

    My current MUST HAVE is a Uni-Ball Jetstream. I love how it doesn’t smear… AT ALL!! It’s the greatest pen. I pick up most of my “cool” ones at jetpens.com. But when I need one right away, I head to the drugstore or to the office supply store and pick up a new one!!

  35. Aliya S. King Says:

    @D. Ramsay: if you’re a note-taker, you will not be disappointed in the VISION.

    @Hanif: See!! The unified pens-in-a-cup makes a big difference! Take a picture! I want to see it!!

    @Tara: wow. you actually order your pens from a website? I’ve never done more than go to Staples. I need to check out jetpens…

  36. selizabeth Says:

    I am totally with you on this post.
    Steve just tweeted me other other day while I was lamenting the passing of my new baby–the UniBall Signo bit 0.7.
    I stole it from one of the guys at work, but they don’t seem to carry them at the local grocery, but this post is making me consider the drive out to the nearest office supply!

  37. Aliya S. King Says:

    @selizabeth: or maybe you could order online? oh- I can’t get over the names of these pens. The Signo bit 0.7. I love it. I just love it.

  38. OfficeSupplyGeek Says:

    @Aliya Glad you enjoyed my site, I like knowing that I am not the only one obsessed with Office Supplies, Pens, Notebooks, and other such things…it makes me feel better about the whole thing. :) I would be honored to do a Q&A with you, I think you can see my email address from my comment here.

    I also thought those Moleskine leather covers were really nice, I dont use a Moleskine frequently but it still caught my attention. Im addicted to my Levenger notebooks.

    As for dowdyism and the Signo pens, he is right, they are REALLY nice pens, you should totally try one out, and yes, ordering pens from online great, you have so many more options. I especially suggest jetpens (as others have mentioned) because they have some really unique pens, AND their customer service is great…my orders always show up so quickly.

  39. Aliya S. King Says:

    @officesupplygeek: I don’t know if I can buy my pens online. There is a tactile issue there. I need to hold it in my hand before I buy it. And part of the whole pen experience is going to the store, wandering the aisles, seeing what’s being offered. I can’t do it online! It’s just not the same!

  40. OfficeSupplyGeek Says:

    Aliya, I can totally understand that as I am usually the same way, although just today I ordered a fountain pen online that I’ve never touched before and it wasnt exactly cheap…I just saw it and had to have it though. :)

    Anyway, I’ve got the Signo DX .38mm in light blue that I reviewed here:

    http://officesupplygeek.com/uniball-pens/uniball-signo-dx-38-review/

    I’d be willing to part with it free of charge if you want me to drop it in the mail to you…I think you would like writing with it based on how much you like the Uniball Vision.

  41. YC Says:

    Dropped by here via the PenAddict blog :)

    My path to pen refinement is really close to yours… except I started out with the Bic, then Pilot ballpoints, skipped the sharpie (couldn’t stand the smell), and took a sideroute with the Pentel RSVP pens. But very much yes on the Uniball > Vision! But like many others that have commented, my near-perfect pen now is the 0.28mm Signo DX. I used to prefer the 0.38, but got addicted to sleeker lines. Try it! :)

  42. Aliya S. King Says:

    @officesupplygeek: how sweet of you! But no, I am going to go out and pick up a Signo this week. I’m nervous. But now YC is also weighing that it must be tried. I will go for it and update.

    @YC: I’m gonna go for it and try the Signo. But wait, how could you not LOVE the Sharpie smell?!?!

  43. Lilyhill Says:

    Uni-ball Vision Elite, medium, in that wonderful blue-black color that I can’t find in any other pen. Closest thing to writing with a fountain pen I’ve found.

  44. Aliya S. King Says:

    @lilyhill: I can’t do the Elite. I’m not sure why. I think it writes perfectly fine. But the look isn’t as streamlined as the Vision. I don’t like the way they look in a collection on my desk. And the writing is almost *too* smooth. If there is such a thing…

  45. OfficeSupplyGeek Says:

    @Aliya – looking forward to hearing how you like it! :)

  46. YC Says:

    Too much Sharpie smell made me sick >.< Be careful you get the Japanese Signo DXs. The writing by the American-market ones just do not compare, even though the shell is pretty much the same. I’m looking forward to see how you like it, too.

    Penaddicts, enable!

  47. Aliya S. King Says:

    @YC: wait. guide me! How will I know that I’m getting the Japanese version?! Will it say so on the packaging?!

  48. YC Says:

    I’m not sure ^^! I’ve always gotten mine from a Japanese stationery store (Kinokuniya) or JetPens…

  49. Geek Love: My DayTimer Planner « Aliya S. King Says:

    […] I’m a bit obsessive about it. Yes, just as obsessed as I am with my Uniball pens. If not more […]

  50. sec Says:

    mmm…sanford’s uniball vision fine point. i have used these pens since they were introduced. i am extremely obsessive about mine. i always have one in my pocket. always (my jeans have a hole in them where the pen clip rubs the front left pocket). i have 7 in my briefcase right now as backups. i only use the old style vision (not the new kind with a bunch of little holes around the barrel). when they came out with the new design i bought 3 cases of the old style. (to be fair, i have never used the new style. they might work exactly the same, but i’m a little nutty.) it’s good to see there are others out there just as nutty as me though! thanks for this blog, Aliya. one day i’ll be at the end of my 3 cases and i’ll need a place to come and cry.

  51. Aliya S. King Says:

    @sec: wait. the new kind? Hmmm. Let me see what yours looks like…

  52. sec Says:

    Uniball Vision Fine Point Pen

  53. Aliya S. King Says:

    @sec: oh snap! I remember these!! Jeez. You still have them? It’s okay though. I promise you the new ones are EXACTLY the same. i promise.

  54. sec Says:

    i covet these throwback pens! the originals look & feel more manly to me. it seemed like they were gilding the lily with the little decorative circles. approximately two years from now when my stockpile has depleted i will try the new style :) …if i haven’t found a source to buy more of the originals by then.

  55. Aliya S. King Says:

    @sec: you’re totally right. these do look more manly. I think that’s why I love the new ones! =)

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