5 Reasons You Should Always Carry a Pen


photo by brokenarts

One of the things that has always stuck with me from the stand-up comedy world was always having something to write with. You never know when inspiration will strike, and when your job relies heavily on creativity, you want to capture every idea you can.

Even though I now do most of writing and note-taking on my phone, I still always carry a pen with me, and here are 5 reasons you should do the same:

1. To Capture that Great Idea

I already gave this one away, but the number one reason to always carry a pen is to be able to take note of anything at a moment’s notice. And don’t think that this doesn’t apply to you if you aren’t a comedian–the solution to the budget crisis at work could come to you while standing in line at the grocery store, and you’ll want to make sure you’re able to remember it.

It also helps to have a notepad with you, but it’s much easier to find something to write on (such as a receipt, napkin or your forearm) than it is to find something to write with.

2. To Speed Things Along

While having a pen isn’t always required, there are instances it can speed things up. How many times have you been at a diner paying for your grilled cheese and chocolate milk only to have to wait 10 minutes as the cashier searches for a pen that works? When you have one in your pocket, there’s no wait.

This may not happen every day, but when you consider all the things that require your handwriting (credit card receipts, deposit slips, autographs for adoring fans), carrying a pen is easily justified.

3. To Highlight the Important Stuff

A recent revelation I had was that I could just as easily highlight key passages in a book or magazine using a pen as I could using a highlighter. Now instead of needing an additional utencil in my bag or at my desk, I’ve always got one in my pocket to take note of that life lesson from Watchmen.

4. To Improve Motor Skills

Before the days of iPhones and other gizmos, you had to find more creative ways to stay awake in class or meetings. With a pen, you can not only entertain yourself but also improve your motor skills and impress the one girl in your computer engineering class with your pen-flipping skills.

OK, so maybe flipping a pen won’t attract the opposite sex, but it can help prevent Alzheimers.

5. To Open a Letter

With the gradual decline of snail mail, a full-fledged letter opener seems a bit overkill. But when the mail fairy does bring you that special handwritten letter from a friend or loved one, you’ll want to be able to open it without destroying the letter inside. With a pen, it’s easy to do. Using the pen cap and a little finesse, you’ll have yourself a pen /letter opener in no time.

Got a utencil you love or a unique use for a pen? Share it in the comments.

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