You want the best markers for coloring in your planner when you are doodling, highlighting, or making eye-catching word art. Colors need to be vibrant and you don’t want the pigment to bleed through the page.
NOTE: the quality of Happy Planner paper has been discussed frequently in Facebook Groups lately. Always, always test your markers on a piece of scratch paper from your planner before you just jump to it.
Choosing the best markers for coloring
The best markers for coloring in a planner have different types of nibs (or tips). There are brush tips that are used for bigger spaces and more coverage.
There are also fine point tips. These are used for more detailed work, fine lines, and writing. Some marker sets include replaceable nibs for long-term use as well as refillable ink options.
Choose markers that fit your hand comfortably. If you don’t like the way a marker feels in your hand, you will be less inclined to use it.
Some points to consider when you are choosing the best markers and pens for coloring:
- Color selection – I start with this one, because it is all about the colors. You need to choose a set of colors that you will actually use. Don’t choose a huge set of 150 because you think more is better, but you will only end up using about 20 of them. Choose a set because you know you will use the majority of the colors included. Buy a set that has all the shades and hues you need, and not too many of ones you may never use.
- Pigment base – Water-based markers are very easy to use and are more affordable. They also ruin thin paper if not used properly. Think about all those times you colored with a Crayola and it made the paper pull and wad up. Alcohol-based markers are a little more expensive. However, they create vivid, bright, amazing colors. They dry very quickly and blend beautifully if you are planning to be more artistic with your coloring. They do have a strong odor depending on the brand. I personally love the smell of a Copic marker. If you are sensitive to this, you will want to test a few brands to find the one you can tolerate.
- Color vibrancy –High-quality markers dispense solid colors without washed-out or faded streaking. You want an even pigment flow that produces consistent coverage and quality color.
- Ink and tip quality –Fine tips are great for detailing, while brush tips are for shading large areas. Some markers are dual-tipped, which means they have a fine tip on one end and a larger brush tip or wedge tip on the other. This is great for flexibility and offers two sets of markers in one. You want to look for a type of tip that doesn’t get frayed quickly. Some marker brands offer tip replacements. This is a great option for sustainability.
The best ink type is the kind that comes out of the nib consistently, vibrantly, and not streaky. The choice between alcohol and water is personal. Choose a marker that works with your paper of choice and that you can refill if possible. Similar to changeable nibs, this saves money and is more sustainable. Markers shouldn’t dry out easily even when uncovered. Look for sets that offer this as a feature or that guarantee their markers.
- Bleeding – This is the most common problem when using markers. Even with single-sided doodles on thicker paper (which most planners do NOT have), some markers still bleed through. Test your markers on your planner pages before you start using them all over the page. Most alcohol markers are meant to “bleed” into the paper to make blending easier. They will almost always soak through to the other side of your page.
- Blending – Not all markers blend easily, no matter the pigment base. If you’re like the idea of shading and using gradients in your coloring, look for markers that are specifically designed to achieve that style. If you know that you will be coloring images to add to your planner pages, you can color them on thicker paper and then cut them out to make your own design elements in your planner.
- Barrel shape –pick a marker shape that you can grip comfortably and use for extended periods of time. Thicker markers with triangular stems are more ergonomic, but if you don’t like the way they feel, that doesn’t mean you need to buy them. Choose a marker that feels good to you so that you will actually pick it up and use it. If you have been coloring for an extended period of time, take a break. Wiggle your fingers and wrists. Shake them out and then you can start again.
Best Art Markers For Coloring
Choosing the right type of markers for your artistic intent is important. You don’t want to buy cheap Crayola if you plan to create an intricate drawing and amazing word art on your planner page. These art markers are the best for any artistic creations you might have in mind.
Tombow Dual Brush Pens
- Water-based pens ideal for coloring, fine art, illustrations, doodling, journaling, hand lettering, and more!
- Set of 9 colors with colorless blender pen
- Flexible brush tip and fine tip in one marker! Brush tip works like a paintbrush to create fine, medium, or bold strokes; fine tip gives consistent lines
- Included colorless blender pen softens and blends colors, creating a watercolor effect
Sakura Koi Assorted Coloring Brush Pen Set
- These pens perform similar to an artist brush
- The durable tip will quickly spring back to its original shape
- The odorless, water-based solvent facilitates smooth blending and layering of colors
Faber-Castell Pitt Pens
- PITT Artist Pens combine modern brush nib design with traditional India ink
- These artist pens are extremely fade resistant and feature waterproof pigmented acid free India ink
- The durable nib gives the freedom to create versatile ink brush strokes
- Pens come in handy slide-out storage case
Arteza Watercolor Brush Pens
- Mess-Free Watercolors: These paint markers give you precision control, so you can easily do everything from light pastel washes to subtle shading & gradients. Without fuss, muss, mess, or worry.
- Like Real Brushes (Only Better): Each brush pen has a soft, supple tip made of durable nylon brush hairs. Use the tip’s tapered point to create thin lines. Brush down for thicker lines & strokes.
Cheap Markers For Coloring
If you are planning on adding a few touches of color to your stickers, highlighting important dates, or writing a quote in you planner, then cheap markers are fine. Crayola still holds my heart for basic pops of color and quick notes and doodles.
Crayola Bold Line Markers
- Crayola are washable from skin, clothing and NOW from painted walls.
- Washability you can trust from the world’s most washable marker!
- Color Max is a variety of innovations to reinvigorate classic Crayola products with the highest quality colors available today.
- Fun coloring
- Broad line markers
Crayola Supertip Markers
- VERSATILE ART SUPPLIES: Perfect for blending and shading, they are also a popular choice for practicing hand letter and faux calligraphy.
- THICK & THIN LINES: The power of fine tip and broad line markers is now harnessed in one marker that can create both thick and thin lines.
Colored Felt Tip Pens
These two different brands of markers are some of my favorite. They last forever, work great for writing, doodling, and emphasizing your plans. Colors are vibrant and even. And even if you only use them occasionally, they stay fresh. I think my Steadtler pens are over 7 years old.
Steadtler Triplus Fineliner
- Assorted colors
- Perfect for charts, maps, and graphs
- Water-based ink
Papermate Flair Felt Tip Pens
- Point Guard prevents the tip from fraying even after repeated use
- Quick drying, Water based ink resists smearing
- Specially Designed ink will not bleed through paper
- Medium Point produces Bold and expressive Lines
Alcohol-based markers are great for vibrant colors and blending. If you want to add shading, color gradients, and depth to your drawings and doodles, then consider alcohol markers.
My personal favorite is Copic markers. They have replaceable tips, refillable barrels, and blend beautifully. Because they are designed to soak into the paper and be blendable, you might want to consider drawing and coloring on a thicker paper, cutting out the design, and then adding it to your planner page like a sticker.
Caliart Marker Set
- Alcohol Based & Permanent Markers: 40 Vibrant Colors, alcohol-based ink.
- Excellent smudge-proof and waterproof qualities on most surfaces.
- Caliart Twin Tip Permanent Markers work well on paper, ceramics, plastic etc.
- Great as art markers, sketch markers, permanent markers, alcohol based markers.
- PROFESSIONAL QUALITY – Color Tops let users easily create smooth, seamless color-to-color blends.
- QUICK AND EASY BLENDING – A different way to blend colors with Chameleon pens. With Chameleon’s new system of blending colors, anybody can do it because the pen literally does the blending for you!
- Packaged in a clear plastic case, a sketch set is the ideal way to begin or add to a marker collection
- Refillable markers and replaceable nibs; compatible with copic air brush system
- Alcohol-based ink is permanent and non-toxic; dries acid free
Prismacolor Art Markers
- This product is best for art and craft use and is made of highly durable products
- Prismacolor marker set
- This product is manufactured in united states
Sharpie Permanent Markers
- Proudly permanent ink marks on paper, plastic, metal, and most other surfaces
- Intensely brilliant colors create eye popping, vibrant impressions
- Remarkably resilient ink dries quickly and resists fading and water; AP certified
Dual Tip Markers
Dual tip markers are like getting two sets in one. Most will have a fine tip on one end and then a brush or chisel tip on the other end. Use the fine tip for detail work, fine lines, and outlining. Then flip it around and use the wider tip to color in larger areas.
ColorIt Dual Tip Art Markers
- High Quality and Long-Lasting – The ColorIt Colored Gel Pen Set includes 48 gel pens in premium travel case,
- 48 refills and gift box.
- Ink styles feature: gel pens with glitter, metallic gel pens, and neon gel pens.
- Each pen and cartridge is labeled with the color name and color code.
- Color endlessly with comfort grip barrel and extra ink refills.
Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers
- Dual ended markers featuring both fine and chisel tips in an array of Manga colors
- Advanced dye based ink formulation for richly saturated color and superior blendability
- Fine point lays down sharp lines while the chisel tip creates multiple line widths
- Single source of ink guarantees color consistency at both ends
SouColor Dual Tip Brush Markers
- 32 Variety of colors with no duplicates, water-based, vibrant ink. rich and vivid colors arouse your artistic creativity.
- Dual Tip Pens are designed with 0.4mm fine tip and 1-2mm brush tip. 0.4mm fine tip is great for drawing lines & details, works well for intricate coloring books, writing, doodles; 1-2mm brush tip works well for coloring books, signing, design, art project and hand lettering.
Ohuhu Art Markers Dual Tips Coloring
- FLEXIBLE DUAL TIPS: These dual tipped marker pens. Use the brush tip for coloring, shading, and blending, and the fine tip for smaller details. Also includes replacement tips, 3 brush tips and 2 Fineliner tips.
- 60 GORGEOUS COLORS WITH LABELED COLOR CODE: Each set includes primary colors and complementary colors, and blend beautifully.
- FAST DRYING: Easily layer and mix different colors without worrying about smudges and blotches
TANMIT Dual Tip Brush Marker Pens
- DUAL MARKERS, DOUBLE VALUE: In addition to each marker offering dual tips, they also offer dual colors. 40 brilliant complementary colors to add depth and warmth to art projects
- THICK & THIN: Brush tip works like a paintbrush to create fine, and bold strokes when practicing calligraphy and hand lettering. Fine bullet tips is strong and firm, giving a consistent fine line. Great for writing, lettering, sketching, drawing, and adult coloring
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you need good markers for your planner?
You invest a lot of time and money in your planner. The last thing you want to do is use a marker that ruins your planner pages. You can choose between the different tips and ink quality across all the brands of coloring markers. You can also make a choice between alcohol-based markers and water-based markers. Honestly, you can use whatever kind of coloring marker you want. If you want to maintain consistent color quality and not destroy your valuable pages, then you want to find a marker that works best for your style of coloring and doodling as well as the quality of your planner paper.
What is the best way to use markers and pens in a planner?
Fine tips are the best markers for detailing. Use pens with a nylon fiber brush nibs to cover large areas. Markers work great to color in black and white stickers, create eye-catching details around events that need to stand out, and make amazing word-art. One reason to use markers in you planner is to add your own style and color scheme. Get creative.
What are the best brands or markers for your planner or bullet journal?
Faber-Castell, Prismacolor, Copic, Staedtler, Crayola, and Pentel are a few examples. Choose your markers based on your budget, how frequently you will be using them, and the color choices that fit your creativity.
How do you make markers for planners last longer?
Decent color markers should last a long time, as long as you take care of them. Always put the cap on your markers properly so they don’t dry out. Store your markers appropriately so they last longer. Dual-ended tips should be stored horizontally so the ink in the barrel won’t settle on one end or the other. Single-tip markers should be vertical, with the capped end facing down. This keeps the ink pressed up against the color nib and your coloring “juicy”. Many marker sets come with a stand-up case that will make storage simple and easy. If not, a mason jar or short vase works great.
Where can I buy the best markers for planning and bujo?
Local stationery shops are a great place to start. They usually have sample pens that you can try out. Take an extra page or two from your planner to test on for smearing or bleeding. Stores like Target, Wal-Mart, Jo-Ann’s, and Michael’s all carry best markers for coloring in your planner. And of course, all of the markers in this list can be found on Amazon, and are linked above.