06 June 2011

Multi Pens For Your Filofax

If like me you have recently tried going to just one Filofax. Or you are downsizing from an A5 to Personal or from any Filofax with two pen loops to one with only one pen loop. Then you might run in to the same problem I did. I like to enter future appointments in pencil and record past events in ink.

I'm not a big pen buff like some of you so I don't know the difference between the various makes and types etc. But at someone's suggestion I took a look at 'Multi Pens'. I had come across these before, but I didn't realise you could get some that were a combination of a pen and pencil, or multiple pens and a pencil.

My other concern was the diameter of the pen barrel, so that it would fit my Malden.  So I made an enquiry with 'Cult Pens' in UK and Michael Randall of Cultpens really came up trumps with some suggestions.
The Tombow Zoom 414 is one of my favourites, and is 9.5mm at its widest point.  It has a pencil and two standard 'D1' multipen refills, which can take anything here:

Zebra's Sharbo Diary Pen may be a bit too thin, at 7-8mm:
Lamy have a couple of options, too, that would be worth looking at:

Pelikan and Ohto both sell almost the same multipen, presumably both made by Ohto, which are 9mm diameter:
It's worth noting that the Ohto version can only take Ohto's refills - standard D1 refills are too wide at the tip.
Thank you Michael for these suggestions.

It had also been suggested to me to take a look at the Pilot Frixion series of erasable gel pens. These are a clever ink pen that using friction from the tip of the pen it erases the writing without damaging the paper and without leaving behind any eraser dust.

I bought one of their standard range a few weeks ago to try it out in my Filofax and I've been very pleased with it.

There is a Frixion Slim version, This has an 8mm diameter barrel, which does fit a Filofax pen loop. These will also take refills as well.

What pen do you use with your Filofax?


  1. I use a Multipen too and wouldn't want to switch back to anything else anymore. It's a Parker Executive Highlight in matte black. (http://www.parkerpen.com/en/discovery/product/executive_highlight)

    The writing is very smooth and supple, the mechanics just work and it looks great. It left a good impression everywhere I went.

    Two disadvantages I found: the matte effect vanishes with use and on rare occasions the ink seems to "get stuck". Which is immediately remedied by either drawing waves on the paper or by licking the tip. (I know, I shouldn't do this, but it does help.)

  2. I'm a bit of a pen freak, I admit. I've fallen in love with brown ink, but a fountain pen is just too grown up for me. Uniball Signo makes great pens in every color, including brown, so that's what I use in my Filofax(es).

    I recently started color coding my entries (turquoise for appointments and deadlines, purple for birthdays/anniversaries/holidays/vacations, brown for everything else. I think my turquoise and purple pens are Uniball as well.

    I've been hearing about the Frixion pen and am curious to try it, but is it only available in standard colors?

  3. I'm using the Frixion pens. I have the black one in one of the pen loops and keep the rest of the colors in my carrot pencil case. I'm a sucker for color coding. (Uhm, can you say that? I've heard that expression many times before and never dared to use it; so please correct me if one is not supposed to say that ;-))
    Anyway: Love the pilot frixion pens. I would have loved them as a teenager even more, because you can erase your writing and if you put the paper in the freezer, it's visible again. I'd have written lots of "secret messages" to my girlfriends as a child/teenie *g*

  4. I'm using the Frixion pens. I have the black one in one of the pen loops and keep the rest of the colors in my carrot pencil case. I'm a sucker for color coding. (Uhm, can you say that? I've heard that expression many times before and never dared to use it; so please correct me if one is not supposed to say that ;-))
    Anyway: Love the pilot frixion pens. I would have loved them as a teenager even more, because you can erase your writing and if you put the paper in the freezer, it's visible again. I'd have written lots of "secret messages" to my girlfriends as a child/teenie *g*

  5. I feel really cheap now but I use a Bic 4 colour biro (you know the cheap one with the white top and blue bottom). i write work commitments in black and personal commitments in blue (plus use the red and green for other notes). It does NOT fit in the pen loop but I slide it in the edge and it works fine. If every-one else uses fancy pens I may feel the need to upgrade!

  6. I currently carry around 2 pens in my Pocket Malden. In the pen loop there is a Pilot Frixion Slim pen (I looove the erasable ink) and inside the FF rings, I carry a Lamy mechanical pencil.

    I think I'll definitely have to have a closer look at the multipens. Great article, thanks!

  7. I'm still using my two Bic 4-color pens, classic and fashion.

    I use the Classic (black/blue/red/green) as such: black for most to-dos, blue for household and travel, red for very important and bills due, green for recording my exercise.

    I use the Fashion (pink/ purple/ turquoise/ bright green) like this: pink is for my daughter, turquoise for my son, purple for myself of course, and bright green for my husband.

    That way I can see at a glance if one of us has an appointment or event, if something is due, what my household cleaning for the day is, or if I haven't been exercising (lack of green!)

    I use my Bics on the go, but at home I use the same colors but with Sakura Micron pens or Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens.

  8. I completely forgot to note my color coding system (Pen has black, blue, orange marker, 0,5 mm mechanical pencil):

    black: used to cross out stuff I missed, did not or could not do or don't need to do anymore, wasn't on time, etc.

    blue: all normal entries and to cross out / check off finished tasks

    orange marker: highlight important stuff - dah or "Na, no na ned." as we say in Austria. ;-)

    0,5 mm pencil: appointments which are not confirmed, sketches

    @Kathiza: "being a sucker" for something might be inappropriate on more formal occasions, but in the Philofaxy setting (among friends), it should be alright.

  9. Love the Frixions!!! Light blue.... more like a turquoise and just a gorgeous shade, for appointments, birthdays etc and pink for social events. I prefer the thicker nibbed Frixions, but personal taste.Also keep both in my Quiver pen holder. Fabulous for moving appointments about, or when an event is changed

  10. I use a Faber Castell mulyipen bought from Cult Pens. It has purple and green ink as well as a pencil. The purple is for everything and the green is for my husband. I also add red to colour code my blood sugar readings which I record in my Filofax. The pen fits the loop in my Deco very well and is comfortable to use. It's also good looking.

    I also have a Lamy Accent four colour pen instead of a pencil case. At the moment it's filled with red, yellow, turquoise and blue which I use as the fancy takes me.

    The Pilot Frixion pens are superb and come in a range if colours. I use them at my desk but I tend nit to carry them around.

    I use the Pilot M90 and the cap less fountain pens, again with purple ink. Both write beautifully, as well as being such a pleasure to use. The M90 is the best fountain pen I have ever used.

    Yes, I'm a pen freak! And I wholeheartedly recommend Cult Pens for their range of pens and excellent customer service. Lovely people.

  11. I wonder if my Baroques have small pen loops. There is no way that a 9mm pen would fit in there! The mini pen from Filofax barely fits in. I carry a bic propelling pencil in the slot (7mm diameter) and it fits perfectly. Anything bigger - not a chance!
    But... my A5 Finchley (work) carries a frixion easily and a pencil would fall out. Is it just a reflection that the pen loops in bigger FF are bigger, or is the one in my baroque small I wonder?
    Anyone else have the same thing?

  12. This is sooo interesting as i love to use really fine tip pens, i find my writing is soooo much neater with a fine tip and easier to write with!

    I found this pen in tesco a yeah ago that was perfect, it was really fine at writing and was on clearance 33p pack of 6 (i bought 15 packs) I went a bit crazy, but its only in Blue, and i prefer to use blue and black, my pen stocks are running low and i need something as fine or finer!!

    Even more colours like pink and purple would be good :-)

    Since i got my Flex, these fine pens i have do not fit as the barrel is supprisingly thick.

    I do not know the mm of the pens, but i need something slim line that is fine to write with and when i say fine i mean fine, i do have some that are close they are Bic Orange Fine but they dont seem to be fine enough at 0.7mm i compared and put them lines next to each other and the black seems about 0.2mm bigger or maybe 0.3mm any tips on where to get some that fine like 0.4mm - 0.5mm pens?

    I am going to read all the comments now :-)

  13. I also forgot to mention i always carry a pencil case with my filofax or flex as now the case with around 10 pens, and i have my bic four colour bic two colour and bic fine, tesco cheap pen, Santander pen, Alliance Leicester pen, parker pen, parker fountain pen, and two mechanical pencils :-)

  14. What would be perfect in my eyes, is a multi frixion pen! I like to be able to erase, either pencil or frixion ink.

    @Cindy: Frixion pens are available in several colors, including brown! ;-)

  15. I like to pair a ballpoint pen with a fountain pen, vainly coordinating looks. I also like to live dangerously, so I choose from a burgeoning collection of not-cheap pens.

    Just switched out this morning to a Waterman Carene in amber shimmer (carrying a M blue refill) and a Sailor 1911 Medium-size with a F nib in a demonstrator(filled by convertor with Pelikan black ink).

    I don't even bother looking for pens that actually fit inside the pen loop of my Guildford personal - at that width, they never feel comfortable in my hand. So I clip both pens to the loop, and let the clasp strap hold them in.

    So far (about six months), so good - haven't lost a pen yet.

  16. Yay for lots of pens! Although I almost tried a multi pen I found at the NYC meet-up, I shied away (I had already spent lots of money).

    I actually don't even carry a pen in the Malden pen loop- instead I carry a pen case in my bag. It has:

    - 4 frixions in black, pink, purple, and orange
    - Lamy Safari (currently turquoise, but always changes)
    - Sharpie marker and Sharpie pen (both black)
    - Cheap Bic "borrowed" from the Holiday Inn Express
    - One blue fine tip and one awful sparkly green Gelly Roll pen.

    Yep, it's a lot, but I do find that I use most of them on a daily basis. I'm still finalizing my color coding system- there should be a post on my blog about it soon!

  17. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Pilot Coleto line of multipens. They come in 2-5 pen varieties, with the 2-color option being the slimmest. I use 4 and 5 color versions, and I find that the 4-color models will fit into my Malden with some work. I think the 3-color ones would fit even better.
    I like the Coleto line because they take my favorite gel ink, Pilot Hi-Tec-C. Nice, rich color ink that doesn't bleed or smudge. Comes in 0.4mm point, which is a big plus, as 0.5mm can be a bit too thick for my filofax paper.
    You can find them at jetpens.com

  18. I love my Cross Multi-pen, more so as it has a pencil and is great for Sudoku while on the train


  19. I used to use a Pilot Hi-tecpoint V5 RT with mine but when I bought my Personal Tropic last week the pen loop is in leather and the pen won't fit :( so I bought a Tombow Zoom 414. Well worth the money!

    and also, I used to use cult pens but then I found Tiger Pens. They are slightly cheaper :)

  20. I had no idea there was any option other than a propelling pencil with an eraser on the end or a bottle of Tippex!

    A quick visit to my local stationer and I'm a Frixion Pro!

    Many thanks!

  21. ooh - maybe the Zebra Sharbo would work well in my Baroque - it's probably about the same diameter as the propelling pencil that's currently in there. Anyone any experience of it??

  22. I'm sorting out my colour coding system, but for pens I am a devoted Uni.ball Signo user. The problem with my beloved pens is that they (the 207) do not fit in the pen loop of my Malden personal. Boo. I can fit a Zebra Japanese "mildliner" pen in there for highlighting, but not for ink pens. However, the Uni.ball Signo RT -will- fit in the loop. As will the Zebra Sarasa "clip". But I don't love those as well as the Uni.ball Signo 207. Do you think the pen loop will stretch a little with time/use?

  23. I currently struggle with a bulky mini multi-pen I bought from Blott. It comes in four colours and writes well enough but I'm getting tired of carrying it around knowing I have a pen loop on my filofax. Thanks so much for this list. I'm looking to now get the Lamy tri system or the OHTO slim multi.

  24. HI there just received my Frixion multi pen... but how do I change the refills ??? totally baffled as cannot seem to get them out ....please and thanks


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