As we all know, pencils come in many shapes, forms and colors. Though there's no right or wrong way to use them, many come with specific purposes. One thing we're constantly trying to combat is the stigma that just because a pencil is made for something doesn't mean that it can't be used for everything else. We want you to use your pencils for everything! As an everyday user of pencils that are not always graphite I'm here to explain how you can find practical purposes for those random colored stragglers hanging around in the your pencil cup.
Colored Pencils: They come in sets, or they're sold individually. For the average pencil-using adult, the only colored pencil that is often encountered is a red or red/blue editing pencil. Otherwise, they're still often categorized as being mostly for actual coloring--which we well know by now is totally acceptable as an adult activity (check out some of our favorite coloring books here, here, and here). If you're editing a big project, using a color to check off your to-do list or color-coding your planner, we encourage you to depart from the norm and try something new! Pull an old favorite out of the coloring set that's collecting dust on your desk or go to your local art supply shop and just pick an individual one that speaks to you.
Rainbow Pencils: Clearly we can get enough of these because we sell many varieties. They come in a couple of different forms, from the Czech-made Koh-i-Noor Magic pencils to the Japanese 7 color variety. A rainbow pencil has at least three colors swirled into its core and upon first glance may seem to have few practical applications. My first neon Magic pencil was purchased at a museum gift shop in Barcelona when I was in college. I used it for sketch book notating and also as a highlighter pencil in books. While writing my book, I used one to cross out each sentence of a printed draft after I'd entered the changes into my word doc (the final result being an ultra satisfying page with multi-colored stripes). The 7 Color Rainbow Pencil has even become one of my all-time favorites for addressing envelopes as you can turn it slightly to get different colors--it's awesome because it's totally legible.
Highlighter Pencils: These are a little easier to figure out as they serve the same purpose as a regular ink highlighter. The advantage of a pencil, though, is that it doesn't bleed through or smudge ink. If you already keep one of these on hand for highlighting, try using it to embellish notes or to keep your task list on point--you'll find that they're addictive for organizing and color-coding. I like to carry a neon pencil in my travel postcard writing kit because they're not water-soluble and often show up better on the weird, glossy postcard finish than a regular pencil because they're so waxy and pigmented. They're an excellent addition to a minimalist pencil case if you like having something different.
Combo Pencils: There are more out there than just the red/blues we're used to seeing! We made out graphite/red Editor because we wanted to be able to have one single pencil that's perfect for task lists, editing for whatever you may need that lovely red for. Milan makes an awesome graphite/highlighter combo too, which is perfect if your preferences tend towards the bright or you're constantly in need of an accessible highlighter. The point of these things is convenience and their ability to make your EDC a little more minimalist. While traveling in Colombia last summer I didn't bring any postcard supplies and instead picked up 6-pack of cheap double-ended colored pencils to play with--twice the options, half the pencils!
Copying Pencils: The indelible sort may have seen their prime come and go nearly a century ago but these things do still exist and do have a place in your collection! I use them for writing letters I wish not to be erased or smudged, for signing things and also for when I want that ultra classic violet hue. Most customers who buy them for the water-solubility and ink-like permanence use them on surfaces while they're still a little damp--whether that be fabric, paper or even plaster molds (hi to all the dentists out there!).
No matter how serious the pencil-user, there's always a place for something colorful in your stash. We even just made a Notes and Notations Sampler full of some of our favorites for everyday organizing, planning, writing and journaling. I dare you to find a new use for each and every one of them!
PS. Looking for a new task pad to test all these out on? Try this one.