Pens come in all shapes, sizes and styles but many of us often fall into the trap of grabbing the nearest biro instead of choosing a pen to last.
Add to that the increasing use of smartphones, tablets and computers from an early age and the art of writing is being forgotten.
To honour National Stationery Week, we’ve come up with our top pen picks, ranging from bespoke ballpoints to 2-in-1 stylus roller balls.
So put pen to paper and get ready to take notes…
Click on the gallery to see the Indybest buys
10 best pens
10 best pens
1/10 Taking Tea stylus pen
This pretty floral pen is a multitasker. Use the black rollerball for your handwritten notes, then flip it round to use the stylus when you move on to your tablet or touchscreen device. Old school meets new school – for a fiver. £5, paperchase.com
2/10 Faber-Castell Office GRIP 2011 Ballpoint Pen (Petrol Blue)
The winner of no fewer than three design awards, this stylish ballpoint with a ribbed, triangular barrel is made so it’s comfortable to hold and easy to grip. It comes in a range of colours and finishes. £9.95, stonegift.com
3/10 S.T. Dupont Jet 8 Ballpoint Pen (Pink)
For anyone after a luxury ballpoint, this one from the Parisian manufacturer is sleek, stylish and just the right weight. It comes in eight colours, including this vibrant bubble-gum pink – you definitely won’t lose it in your handbag. £65, Harrods, in store only
4/10 Sheaffer VFM Fountain Pen (Matte Black featuring Nickel Plate Trim)
This fountain pen comes in a range of metallic colours, as well as this smart matte black. It has a medium stainless-steel nib to keep handwriting clean and neat, and fits universal ink cartridges. £14, stonegift.com
5/10 Filofax Contemporary Ballpen – Mini Blue
Filofax is known for its organisers, and this ballpoint is designed to go with one, but looks just as good tucked into a shirt pocket. The textured barrel improves grip on the otherwise minimalist design, and the pen comes in three colours. £20, filofax.co.uk
6/10 Parker Vector Blue Fountain Pen Medium
Remember the start of a school year, when getting a new set of stationery was almost a rite of passage? Chances are, your haul included a Parker pen. This one, with the brand’s signature arrow clip on the lid, is compact and light, and the ink flows well through the nib. £11, tesco.com
7/10 Cath Kidston Little Star Biro
No florals here but like most of Cath Kidston’s designs, this neat, well-priced ballpoint pen will add a bit of colour to proceedings. It’s surprisingly weighty for the price, too – a good one to keep in your handbag. £6, cathkidston.com
8/10 Montegrappa Parola rollerball pen
This rollerball from the Italian experts looks and feels the business. Made from smart lacquered black resin, with silver accents, in a chunky design, it’s reassuringly well-balanced and designed to last, which is just as well given the price tag. £110, selfridges.com
9/10 Stabilo Easy Original Handwriting Pen
These pens are designed to help children to develop their handwriting. They come with grips for left- and right-handers, in a range of bright colours. The replacement blue cartridges are compatible with standard ink erasers so little errors aren’t a problem. A good pre-fountain-pen choice for ages 6+. £4.99, cultpens.com
10/10 Wild & Wolf Metropolitan Paris Ballpoint and Touchscreen Pen
Got a friend who insists on handwritten missives in between emailing and texting? Consider buying them one of these kitsch-looking pens, with a stylus on the end for touchscreens. There are London- and New York-inspired designs but we’re taken with the Parisian one, complete with “ooh la laa” inscription. £15, johnlewis.com
If you’re looking for a stylish, weighty pen, the shocking pink S.T. Dupont will draw attention to your notemaking – and last you years. The Sheaffer VFM is a good choice for anyone after an affordable but stylish fountain pen. To combine writing with your technology, Wild & Wolf’s Paris ballpoint is a fun option – and may just inspire you to reach the heights of the Left Bank creatives.