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About 80% of my favorite childhood memories come from the camping trips my family took every Memorial Day and Labor Day. We went up to SpringHill Camps in Evart, MI (if you hold up your hand like the Michigan mitten and point to the exact middle, that’s where this camp was 💁‍♀️). 

It was my favorite place on earth.

When it was time to leave and begin our 3 hour drive home, my dad would let us stop by the Trading Post on the way out and we could pick ANY piece of candy we wanted.

It took me approximately 45 minutes to select my one piece of candy. (I’m sure my dad just loved this 🙃).

As an adult, I relive this same joy-filled decision making process every time I’m in the pen aisle at Michael’s. It takes me at least 45 minutes to scribble on the little test pads, scrutinize the nuances of gel colors,  analyze how much it might smear, and ignore the question in the back of my head asking me how many pens does one really need.

Sooo, wanna know my favorites? 

I made you a categorized list. 🤓

I recommend getting these at your local art supply store but if you prefer to order them from Amazon, I included the links to my favorite color, style, or point thickness of each pen.



Papermate Inkjoy Gel Pen

Long time favorite. They're happy, they're reliable, they give me lots of colors to choose from. I've been using them for years and haven't found a pen that I love more. I prefer the click top style over the capped style.

Runner ups: 

  • Sharpie Gel Pens (LOVE the thick point and quality of this new pen! Very limited color selection though)

  • Pilot G2 Gel Pens (great quality, just not as fun looking and colors are not as bright. It's as if the G2 Gel pens lead with a handshake and the Inkjoy Gel pens lead with a hug. Know what I mean??)


Pilot Frixion Erasable Pens: I can’t leave out these because this comes up over and over as a customer favorite. For me, this pen doesn’t deliver enough color brightness but it's VERY cool that it's erasable. Perhaps I should try it in a thicker point but those seem more difficult to find. The 0.5 fine tip is the most common.



Stabilo Pen 68

I have a lot of pens in my pen case. I just love when the body of the pen is the color of the ink. They get bonus points for that in my book. I find myself grabbing these pens not necessarily for a large block of writing (I use the Papermate Flair pens if I need to write a lot with a felt tip, which I don't find myself doing very often), but I use these more for creating bold headlines on my notes, outlining a table or box, or underlining words. It's the extra punch that helps my planner and journal pop.

Runner up: Papermate Flair


Mildliner Double Ended Highlighter (bullet/chisel tip)

I can't have enough of these! Looooove all the color options. Love the bullet tip for actual highlighting, and the chisel tip for underlining, writing large titles or events in my planner, and also for highlighting smaller font. So many uses for these little highlighters. Plus they're not super fat so I can fit more in my pen case :)

Runner up: Stabilo Swing Highlighters (lighter colors, great for really thin pages like the Bible)



Tombow Dual Brush Tip

When I want to write VACATION over a whole week of my planner, or WEEKEND, or ROAD TRIP, or anything big and exciting, I grab one of these. I also use them for highlighting notes.



 Other things I use often alongside my planner...

Stickers > A whole pack of stickers perfectly designed for the 2022 Sol Planner.

Tote > large enough to fit my planner (I personally use the 8x10 larger size), my ancient 2012 Macbook, my stickers pack, a 2 inch binder, and my pen case.

Bookmarks (set of 4 comes with the 2022 Sol Planner)

Pencil pouch (vertical!) > started using a vertical case instead of horizontal and loving it!

Ribbon > I first saw this picture from a dear customer, Ellie, who had added a ribbon to her planner. I've since added a ribbon to my own, sometimes as another bookmark and sometimes just as a bow for cuteness. 

Book darts > love these for bookmarking specific dot grid pages that I've taken notes on that I want to go back and reference.


your sol sister,

Next topic: color coding. Do you color code your planner? What's your system??

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