I've written about how the perfect notebook won't improve your writing, and the same goes for the perfect pen. However, for about ten years now I've been in love with a certain model of pen - the Uni-Ball Signo Gel Grip 0.7. It's not a 'fancy' pen by any means, and you can pick up 12 for about $10, but it's also not the cheapest of the cheap pens. It comes in three colors - black, blue, and red - although I only have ever used the black and blue. I'm not sure how I stumbled upon this pen, but probably I picked it up at a office supply store, where they usually can be easily found.
There were a number of things that attracted me to this pen, to the point I use it almost exclusively.
In my opinion, it has the perfect proportions. It's not too long, but not too short. It's not too heavy, but not too light. It just feels perfect in my hand, almost the Platonic ideal of a pen. It does have a removable cap, which might be a deal breaker for some, but I personally prefer pens in this style. I'm not a fan of retractable pens, as they are usually too bulky and more prone to breaking.
It's made of higher quality materials that won't bend or break easily, the downfall of many less expensive pens. I love the grip on this pen because its tight and won't ever come off. I've had similar pens with grips that over time become loose and push up and down the barrel of the pen; that has never happened to me with this pen. You will most certainly use up all the ink in the pen before the pen breaks down in any way.
Way It Writes
It writes very smoothly in very clear and bold lines, much nicer than your usual ballpoint pen. It will write beautifully in a fancy Moleskine or a simple sticky note. I know some prefer an even finer nib on their pens, but I like the 0.7 width and think its the perfect size. The one knock is the ink can take a few seconds to dry and occasionally you might smudge the writing if you are not careful. However, that makes you more aware of your writing and forces you to put some care into things.
While you could spend literally hundreds of dollars on certain high-end pens, you can get a Signo for less than a dollar a pen. To me, that price can not be beat and I usually buy them in bulk. I worry for the day that Uni-Ball will discontinue this model of pen and want to make sure I have a stock of them for that eventuality. They are also cheap enough that if you misplace one, it's not a big deal.
Overall, the Uni-Ball Signo Gel Grip 0.7 is my perfect pen. It's the ideal all-around pen, which you can use to write the Great American Novel or simply a grocery list. It feels perfect in my hand, is well-constructed, writes beautifully, and is inexpensive.