Best Laid Plans The Podcast


March 13, 2023

Alas, I did not make a YouTube video for this episode.

But! Here’s some pen testing.

more color + brush options

Products Mentioned:

Please note, I have no affiliate relationship with Jetpens. But I do 99% of my pen shopping there, so most of the links below are to their search pages so you can see the different options!


Pilot Juice Up (I prefer the 04)

Pentel Energel Clena

Pigment Liners – Sakura Sigma Micron; Uni Pin

Brush: Pentel Fude Touch Sign 



Iconic 2 Way Marker Pen


Kuretake ZIG Clean Color Dot

EC dual tip

Staedtler Triplus Fineliner

Zebra Click-Art


Hobonichi pencil boards

Hobonichi stencils


Midori Chiratto Index Tabs


MT washi tape

The Washi Tape Shop


Love having this!  Dymo


Kodak Step

Best Laid Plans LIVE!

First ever live event will be held at the beach in November — go to for details!

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  • Reply Amy F March 13, 2023 at 9:29 am

    AHHH! Perfect timing for me – I started a JetPens order last night but haven’t clicked “buy” yet. They should definitely start an affiliate relationship with you – I’ve become a devotee thanks to you. I agree that the quality of pens purchased direct from JetPens is superior to Amazon – I was running low on my beloved Uni Jetstreams and added a pack to an Amazon order. The ink from the Amazon pens is .. blobbier? definitely not the same quality.

    This time around I’m going to try the Clena and perhaps another brand of marker (I have some mildliners and they’re fine – but I don’t looooove them).

    Awhile back I ordered the Kokuyo Campus Study Planner for my HS junior and college freshman to try out, and tripped over the Kokuyo (colored) clear folders. I’ve added a couple to every JetPens since then – they’re great for corralling paper documents – I use them when I have a work project that lends itself to paper and gathering tax documents. My daughters also each use them – school is mostly digital these days, but occasionally they have a few papers to keep up with. The plastic is sturdy enough to protect the paper, and bright enough that it’s easy to find in a school bag.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 13, 2023 at 10:01 am

      oh i LOOOOOVE stuff like that (the clear folders). (And A would too – she is obsessed with jetpens, understandably, and wants to do all of her back to school shopping via their site next year!)

  • Reply Keren March 13, 2023 at 4:37 pm

    My number one pen currently is uni-ball Signo DX 0.38, I have it in various colours and my favourite is the black blue. I like it’s thicker tip, only disadvantage for me is that it has a cap. Second place is the uni-ball One 0.38, it has a nicer design and comes in very cool colours, but I find it a little less smooth than the Sygno.
    question- how do you store your markers and pens? I really like the zig dot markers for my journal and the Zebra mild liners as well, I store them in small clear drawers on my desk so it’s easy to find the one I want, but if I’m away from my desk I don’t use them, I only carry one pen with my journal. Do you use them only while planning at your desk?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 13, 2023 at 4:59 pm

      I have a small selection I carry around (mostly mildliners) but everything else lives at my desk in various places. I have a little IKEA drawer tower that has an embarrassing amount of pens . . .
      If you like Signo DX and haven’t tried Juice Up, try it!!

      • Reply Keren March 14, 2023 at 6:56 am

        I have the pilot Juice Up it feels completely different from Sygno to me ,more pointy,I need to give it another try ,maybe it’s because I apply pressure to the page when I write. I also have some issue with most retractable pens that they make noise and click when you move them.
        If anything this episode has made me think what is it that makes me like certain pens.
        And I bought a couple of Stabilo pens I saw in the store after listening to it, teal and purplish pink 🙂

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 14, 2023 at 9:38 am

          I love the look of Stabilos but I like how the Staedtler write more 🙂

          • Keren March 14, 2023 at 10:25 am

            I’ve mixed them up….

          • Sarah Hart-Unger March 14, 2023 at 10:41 am

            Stabilo are orange barrels, staedtler are sort of a silvery gray!

  • Reply Annabel March 13, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    I love the Zebra Click arts! They are great for designing schedules or just doodling!

  • Reply Susan Sanders March 31, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    Great timing on this episode! I have a refillable fountain pen that I journal with, but I needed pens for a work trip recently (I was afraid of losing the fancy pen on the road). WE DID NOT HAVE PENS IN OUR HOUSE! I could not believe it. I found the pen they gave me when I voted in the door of my car, but apparently we are a pencil loving family.

    Thanks for jump starting my search. I’m going to fill my Easter basket with pens (and Cadbury eggs, of course).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 31, 2023 at 1:48 pm

      YAY! So glad to hear it 🙂

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