Recently I found this cool multi-functional pen by Zebra.
(Of course I didn’t get the pink one ^^;)
It’s basically 1 mechanical pencil + 4 color ballpoint pens (black, blue, red and green) (all 0.5mm) all in one pen!
In the past, the most I’ve seen are 3-4 color ballpoint pens in one, but this one further adds mechanical pencil to it! (maybe this kind of product has existed for some time and I’m simply living under the rocks ^^;)
The slider for the mechanical pencil doubles as the clip-on. At first I couldn’t figure out how to make the mechanical pencil slide back in (pushing the tip when the mechanical pencil is out just pushes out more pencil lead). But just like the colored pens, apparently you just push any of the other sliders (but not pushing all the way) (yeah I’m pretty slow ^^;).
I think the advantages of this pen are two-fold. First, you only need to bring 1 pen instead of 5 (simplicity!). Second, it’s relatively much easier to switch colors (I’m pretty sure after a while I can ‘touch-slide’, meaning I can remember the position of the sliders relative to the clip-on for which colors without checking with my eyes) that I’m sure it would encourage me to take advantage of using different colors while taking notes. I can’t wait to use this in class soon ^^
Of course, I can imagine things start to break down when the inks run out. For single-ink pens, I usually just throw the pen away after the ink runs out instead of buying the ink refill (like cheap toothbrushes). For this one I think it’s uneconomical to just throw it away (since the other colors might still be okay) that I should get the refills when individual inks run out (just like multi-ink-cartridges printer). I just hope that my bookstore carries the ink refill substantially long enough into the future…