A Designer’s Favorite Pen – Part III

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Stay up to date on the latest in BIM, Revit, and Architecture.

A Designer’s Favorite Pen – Part III

Pete Heibel


From the Editors: We recently asked a group of architects, designers, and other AEC professionals to share their personal insights into the designer’s weapon of choice: their favorite pens. Here are the thoughts of one contributor.


As a designer, creative, and wannabe architect, my absolute favorite pen is actually not a pen at all, but a utensil that has slowly been replacing (while mimicking) the pen: the stylus.

According to its dictionary definition, a stylus is “an ancient writing implement, consisting of a small rod with a pointed end for scratching letters on wax-covered tablets, and a blunt end for obliterating them.” 

This is exactly what I am not talking about. 

I am talking about the modern day stylus that everyone probably has three of, lying around somewhere because they ran out of battery and they are too lazy to replace them. 

Such valuable things.

Apart from the garbage iterations of the stylus, however, there is one that has never let me down and makes me feel excited to use almost every time. (I say almost because sometimes a hard reset is the only solution for technological problems.) 


The Microsoft Surface Bluetooth Stylus

The Microsoft Surface Bluetooth Stylus is the way to go in my opinion. (In black, obviously, because I am a designer.) 

Used along with the Autodesk Sketchbook application, this stylus allows me to draw with an entire virtual library of utensils in an intuitive manner, including using the other end as an eraser. 

Microsoft Surface Bluetooth Pen - Best Pen For Designers

It’s lightweight, has a great battery life, and includes two buttons that can be configured as keyboard shortcuts. 

It also has interchangeable tips varying in thickness and in friction, giving the user another dimension of customization. 

My favorite part is that you are required to buy a really expensive laptop in order to use it. (Cough cough)

But in all seriousness, though it might be expensive, it’s a laptop that can replace many items in your office and in your household, which means a lot if you are a minimalist like me. 

Microsoft Surface Bluetooth Pen - Best Pen For Designers

This stylus, laptop, and application combo allow the user to actually place their hand down on the screen while drawing or writing (finally!), creating a more natural experience rather than the awkward hovering-above-the-screen approach that we all had to do for way too long. 


The Pen of the Future – Or The Past

Unlike other technological tools for drawing (aka the mouse), this contemporary tool takes the artist back to their roots, but without compromising the necessity to stay up to date. It is a tool that both the old and the young can intuitively use.

Therefore, it has my vote.



Peter Heibel

More Favorite Pen Posts:

Part I: What is the Best Pen for Architects and Designers?

Part II: The Best Pens for Architectural Sketching and Markup – An Architect’s Perspective


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