These Grown-Up Markers Make Everyday To-Do Lists Less Scary

published Jun 22, 2023
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variation of pens into pencils holder at home
Credit: Carol Yepes / Getty Images

I have always been a hand-written list person. I remember in middle school making lists of homework or things to remember in my composition notebooks, taking my time making curvy S’s and Y’s. These days, I make a list every morning of work to do and errands to run. Weekends are no exception!

Quick Overview

Why do we love Paper Mate’s Flair Pens?

The Paper Mate Flair Pens are affordable fine-tipped markers that come in a ton of different colors so you can designate them for different tasks, or just use them to draw.

Some people are intimidated by lists, and I get that — it can be daunting to see everything that needs to get done all in one place. But my secret weapon for sanity isn’t a fancy app or an organizational system: It’s my Flair pens. They take the stress out of my to-do lists and make the process of getting organized meditative and pretty.

What’s so great about Paper Mate’s Flair pens? 

For those of you list-makers out there, you’ll know what I mean when I say a good pen can make all the difference. Even if you aren’t, isn’t it terrible when you go to sign your name on a receipt or write an address on an envelope and the pen is all scratchy and dry? Or perhaps it’s so inky that it leaks all over your purse? Or it’s expensive, you lose it, and then feel really disappointed in yourself? 

Papermate’s Flair pens are the opposite. They’re essentially fine-tip markers: inky enough to make my hand-writing look pretty, but not so inky that they leak onto the next page. I have about 20 of them on my desk at a time, standing tall in a glass vase that I use as a pen cup. In fact, there are Flair pens all over my house, on the coffee table, and in the junk drawer. But I’m not complaining — I love having them within reach.

Credit: Ariel Kanter

When it comes to colors, I definitely favor some over others in the 12-pack. I find the reds a little stressful, probably because they remind me of school, and the lime greens and other neon colors can be hard to read. I rarely use the black ones, too. They’re simply too serious. For work lists, I prefer the cooler blue and purple hues. For doodling during calls — I swear I’m paying attention — I go for the full range of pinks. 

Of course, the ones I don’t love still go to good use. That’s because at less than $1 per pen, Flair pens are affordable enough to share with my 6-year-old niece. It’s not a big deal if she presses down too hard and smushes the tips or forgets to put the caps back on, as it happens with kids. If the pens dry out, I can quickly order them on Amazon. Whenever she comes over to my house now, she requests to color with my “special markers.” Maybe she gets the same kind of joy I do from them as she scribbles wildly.

I’m excited to one day make her first to-do list with her, obviously with Flair pens of her own. But maybe I’ll give it a few more years — I don’t really want to share my purples just yet. 

Buy: Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens, $10.47 (originally $17.99)