It happens to everyone. You find the perfect pen – you know, cozy grip, smooth roll, ink that comes out in clean, neat lines – and swear that you’ll never let it out of your sight. You use it for a few weeks, or, if you’re lucky, a few months. Then, suddenly it vanishes. Maybe you left it at the bank, or maybe some co-worker with light fingers snatched it when you weren’t looking. Whatever happened, you find yourself obsessively searching for it. Your purse, your car, the same desk drawers over and over again. But you never see that lost pen again.
Frustrating, isn’t it? Well, try some of these tips so the next time you find the right one, you don’t lose your pen.
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Wear a Lanyard
Yeah, sure you’ll look a little geeky with this thing around your neck. But at least it’s not a pocket protector, and a lot of people around the office already are wearing them. Your company might even supply you one, if you asked.
Some lanyards come with detachable pens, ranging from inexpensive disposables to sturdy refillables. Otherwise, if you have your own pen you’d rather use, you need a lanyard with either a snap hook, key ring, or cord loop. With one of those, you simply clip your pen to the hook/ring/loop, and you’re set.
Then, just train yourself into the habit of always returning your pen to the lanyard when you’re finished using it. If it’s a capped pen, always listen for the snap to be sure you put the pen back into the cap tightly.
And if the lanyard isn’t your thing, you might also consider a key reel. Remove the key ring from the reel and clip your pen to the hook. Then put the key reel on your belt and let your pen hang into your pocket.
Customise Your Pen
People are less likely to try to walk away with a pen that clearly belongs to someone else, especially if the pen is decorated in unusual ways. You can do it yourself, or buy a pen that is customised just for you.
One of the easiest ways to customise your pen is with a little reflective or neon tape. Another simple option is to dab a little bright fingernail polish around the top of your pen. Or, go to a hobby store and buy some brightly coloured yarn, glitter, stickers, adhesive gem stones and whatever else you want. Add anything that will fit. Have fun. The Half Pint Pixie blog even suggests taping fake flowers to them.
If gaudy isn’t your thing, you also can customise it by taking it to an engraver to have your name added. It shouldn’t cost more than £10. You also can order custom pens in bulk with anything from your company logo to HANDS OFF printed on them. Those will cost just a few pence each.
Buy A Pen Holder
What do you do when you’re finished writing, just drop your pen on your desk? Stick it behind your ear? Probably. That’s what most of us do. But it’s easier to keep from losing your pen when it always has a place to go.
This can be anything from a coffee mug to a wood or plastic desktop pen holder from an office store. Or, for something with a little more personality, try the Dead Fred pen holder. The little rubber man lays on your desk and just waits for you to stab your pen into his chest.
Get a Speciality Pen
Some pens are just made so that you can’t lose them. These aren’t your everyday use kind of pens because they tend to be small for convenience, but they still make nice back-ups.
A good one is the stainless steel Inka Pen, which comes with a built-in keychain that you can clip anywhere. It’s just a little over three inches when closed and twists out to five inches when open. The ink cartridge is pressurized so that it can write at any angle and on wet or dry surfaces – even underwater.
Another handy specialty pen is the Wallet Pen, a small 3-inch stainless steel pen that slides down into the fold of a wallet. It looks as if it would be uncomfortable to use for long periods, but when you need a pen right then, it works just fine.
If you like carrying a wallet in your front pocket, the Slimmy Front Pocket Wallet also comes with a optional telescoping pen that clips onto one side of the wallet.
Tether Your Pen
It’s hard for you to misplace your pen, or for someone else to take it, when it’s always tied to your desk, so try this if you’re really desperate.
One option is to buy pens that are already tethered. Some companies, such as Schriptor, make nice-quality, refillable “counter pens” with simple chain tethers. The mount can be placed anywhere, including on the side of your desk. Schriptor even has a ergonomically designed, retractable desktop model that is relatively attractive.
If you want to tether your own pen, it will just take a little ingenuity. You’ll need something supple for the tether, such as light nylon cord or ball chain (the kind that holds dog tags), and a good strong tape like electrician’s tape or duct tape.
Tape one end of the tether to the end of the pen and attach the other end to your desk – you can tie the cord to a drawer handle or coil up a few inches of the chain and glue it to a heavy coffee mug. Use your imagination. Best not to drill any holes, though, since your boss might not appreciate that.
What about you, readers, any ideas on how to keep from losing your pens?