Some days, I worry about world peace. Some days, I worry about my family. Most days, though, I worry about what writing implement I should carry in the lone pen loop in my Filofax. To date, I've been using a nondescript, black-barreled Uniball (blue ink). But, as I've noted before, ink carries with it a price: The price of permanence. A choice made in ink cannot be undone. A choice made in pencil, however, is inscribed only in dust. And we know how permanent dust is. (It blows in the wind.)
I'm a man of impermanence, not permanence. So I've switched to pencil. The problem with the usual wooden pencil, though, is twofold: (1) You have to have access to a sharpener at all times; and (2) it doesn't stay in a typical planner pen loop, because it is a cylinder of uniform diameter. Problem No. 2 is probably decisive; Problem No. 1, however, is no small matter. In combination, they left me with no choice for general planner usage: mechanical pencils. The folks at Pencil Revolution have assured me that mechanical pencils are not necessarily evil. (They say that, but I note a conspicuous lack of mechanical pencil porn on the site.)
I didn't find myself near an art supply store this weekend, so I settled for Staples. And I settled upon the Pentel Sharp 0.5mm. It's a somber, professional black-barreled thing. The package touts it as the leading tool for technical users. That was enough for me. There's no nonsense with it. No finger-operated clicker. No gel-filled thumb rest. Just hard black plastic, a chrome pocket clip, and lead. It's made in Japan, too. It feels good in the hand and is very amenable to the obsessive-compulsive pen/pencil-twirling thing I do with every writing implement I hold. (You probably know what I'm talking about, because if you don't do it, you've seen weirdos in the back of the room doing it. I'm so good at it I can do it with a pool cue.)
The only disappointment so far is that the eraser is really small. Plus, you have to remove a small metal cap to get at it. I'm so lazy that the effort of exposing the eraser is likely to be sufficient to make me use the scratch-out method instead of the erasure method of correcting mistakes. Nevertheless, I know the eraser is there, and I will sleep better at night knowing that what I've written in my Filofax is subject to change.