14 March 2024

Favourite pens and pen loops - by Anita

After reading Steve's post called Pens and Pen Loops, I decided that it was time for me to have a look at my pens and write about the subject too. 

When I purchased my first Filofax back in 2009, I just used any old pen that was laying around, but over time I've become a bit more picky and have decided to treat myself to something that I really enjoy using. 

Here are my favourite pens to use with my organiser (including two recently acquired vintage ones on the right):


Ballpoint - Parker Jotter
I don't remember a time when there wasn't a Parker Jotter knocking around in the house when I was a kid, but I hadn't used one for quite some time until I started getting into vintage Filofaxes with their teeny-tiny pen loops. I think I'd been using a freebie biro in my first Winchester which kept drying out, so I searched around and found my faithful burgundy Jotter. From a pen loop point of view, I don't think that you can go wrong with a Jotter as they're slim enough for most organisers.

Gel pens - Pilot G2 Limited
I love a G2, so I decided to upgrade and buy a gold Limited version, which has a nicer grip. However, rubber pen grips are not a Filofax's best friend, so this is a pen that will either just have the clip attached to the pen loop or I'll use an Oli Clip to keep it inside the rings. 

For highlighting and for a bit of colour - Staedtler Triplus Fineliner
Before I started using gel or fountain pens more in my organiser, I'd use a normal highlighter, but moved over to Triplus fineliners as otherwise there would just be smeared ink. Instead of highlighting, I will just add an asterisk or shade around something to make it stand out. I also like using a different colour when using my Hobonichi stencil to draw lines or checkboxes.

Most of my organisers haven't had two pen loops (apart from the Dundee and Van der Spek), so my small Oli clip is attached to the flyleaf and the second pen sits within the rings.

Fountain pens - Kaweco Sport, TWSBI Eco and vintage Parker 51
For a long time, my favourite fountain pens to use with my organiser were my Kaweco Sport and TWSBI Eco. I've found that the Kaweco is small enough for many pen loops, but it also works with a Muji metal pen loop like this with a Kensington:


My TWSBI Eco is too large for most of my organiser pen loops, but it'll happily sit within the rings and is large enough that it doesn't tend to fall out, so I don't need to use an Oli clip.

However, I've been busy this weekend with giving some vintage pens a bit of TLC, so I'm all about the vintage ones right now. My late Mum gifted me her beautiful Parker 51 some years ago, but I admit that I put it away in such a 'safe' place that I couldn't find it! Thankfully I finally found it recently and am absolutely delighted that it's working well as it hasn't been used for such a long time. I've never used a Parker 51 before, and it's an amazing pen that thankfully fits in the Kensington pen loop too.

I also have a couple of other vintage pens (the two that are placed vertically in the photo above) that I'd promised to get working for a family member, so I may be able to keep one of those and instead donate some of my others instead. The black vintage pen is a Parker Slimfold, but I'm not 100% sure about the blue one yet, as it doesn't have a model name on it, but it might be a Parker 17 Lady. 

In general, I think that the best organiser pen loop that I've come across is on organisers made by Cordwain Higgler (sadly no longer trading) as they are adjustable. The leather has a slot cut out of it and then it feeds through itself to loop round to allow a pen to be inserted.

 What are your current favourite pens for using with your organisers and do they fit in the pen loops?


  1. Any pen that fits! My Finsbury really only takes my jotter pencil and bullpen, but that's loosely so I use the clip on the loop to hold it in.

    I've learnt that my zebra delguard pencil sits inside the zip pocket flap on the right in my Holborn personal and stays put when closed up. A forest green Chinese pen, in black colour, fits the Holborn loop, just but I find my Parker jotter gel ink ballpen fits better in the loop without needing the clips to hold it.

    Basically I think the Finsbury pen loops are mostly impractical and the Holborn is perhaps a little too small. I have a kaweco eco sport in black with gold details and clip that I'd love to put in my Holborn personal filofax.

    I think it would be very useful if there was a source of information on filofax models with elastic or adjustable pen loops, I think there's a few in the current range that's elastic. I'm think my old metropol one is and there's a leather one possibly lockwood or original. It would be good to know the measure of pen loops from different models and perhaps include common pen types that fit it. I mean I think most pen and stationery fans know what size Parker jotter, kaweco sport or lamy safari oens are.

  2. I have a Original (2016) and a Lamy Safari fits loose in the elastic pen loop. I think older models had a smaller pen loop, so a list of all the models Filofax ever made wont be as reliable as you would like.

  3. I love notebooks and I love pens. Pairing them just adds to the fun. Since my Filofaxes are in mini and pocket, it helps that I already had an assortment of pocket-sized pens. Pens that get used in the mini-size include Kaweco Liliput, Ensso XS Minimalist, Monteverde Poquito, and Ohto Tasche - all fountain pens. A Traveler’s Company brass fountain pen and J. Herbin refillable pocket rollerball would fit a non-elasticated mini Finsbury loop - with more coaxing than I care to provide. The Ensso XS doesn’t have a clip and would sometimes fall out of the leather loop, so it no longer plays in the mini. A Retro 51 Tornado is a bit chunky, but fits perfectly in the elasticated loop of a pocket Norfolk. An obvious choice is a Filofax pen.

    I tried the trick of stowing a pen inside the rings, but it just slides right out. A DIY pen loop facing into the rings is a bit too fiddly for me. Happily, a small neodymium magnet placed on the spine of the ring mechanism will hold the steel clip of my multi-pen firmly enough to keep it in place while also allowing me to easily insert and remove the pen from inside the rings. I like this trick so much that, if my pen didn’t have a steel clip, I’d glue a magnet to it.