Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Product Review: InkJoy

Added benefit: color-coordinating your pens and outfit!
Just to be clear: I am not one of those fancy-schmancy bloggers who gets sent things to review. Product promoters do not send me letters saying, “Dear Ms. Hyde, please find enclosed 3 pounds of assorted chocolates to review for your website. We hope you find that our chocolate helps lupus patients!” Mind you, I would have no problem with that scenario; it just hasn't happened.

 That being said, every now and then I see a product advertised as being helpful for lupus/arthritis/fibromyalgia patients, and I wonder if it's any good. If it's something I have, or can cheaply obtain, I figure I might as well give it a shot and then let the rest of you know whether it's up to snuff or not.

 Oddly enough, one of my first memories of my mother's having lupus is that mom got "special pens." She actually managed to explain, in a way that an eight-year-old could understand, that normal pens require a lot of pushing when you write with them. Or, in other words, they take a lot more pressure from your wrist in order to work. For those of us with either carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis (or both!), these pens are painful to write with; hence, "Mom's special pens,” which were easier to use.

 Since then, I have tried any number of different brands of pens, looking for one that is easy to write with. I even have a fancy fountain pen that an ex gave me. But recently a new line of pens caught my eye. They are called Paper Mate InkJoy pens.

The Pluses:
1. Now, I'm not going to lie; the first thing that attracted me is that the pens have pretty colors. I like colors. For someone working on trying to a) finish her doctoral thesis and b) trying not to lose her mind, I tend to use a complicated and ever-changing combination of Post-it notes and colored pens to remind myself of...well, pretty much everything. In particular, I use colored pens a lot in editing my own and others' writing. And I have found in the past that it is difficult to find colored pens that are both economical and easy to write with. So that's a definite plus with these pens: they won't break the bank, and there are lots of colors available.

2.  These pens are certainly easier to write with than your average ballpoint pen, no question. They take less pressure to maintain an even and continuous line of writing. A lot of ballpoint pens kind of start and stop at random if you don't really push hard on them. These don't.

The Minuses:
1.  Pretty colors notwithstanding, these are not the easiest pens to write with that I've come across. For ballpoint pens, they are quite good, but there are other varieties of gel pens and the like that require even less pressure. That being said, these are cheaper, so there is a trade-off.

2. I'm not sure how long or how durable these pens will be. They are rather small, and seemed to be made of a rather cheap plastic. Also, while they do have an "ergonomic grip" of sorts, it's not the best I've seen.

Paper Mate InkJoy 300 RT Pens  are economical, have many colors available (although you can just buy black  and/or blue), and do write much more easily than a common ballpoint pen. So if you're looking for cheap colored pens, they are not a bad buy. On the other hand, if you're looking for a pen to write with all day, I would give these ones a miss. There are better pens out there that require less pressure and are more comfortable. On the five-star rating system, I would give these a three.


  1. Replies
    1. I am not even going to dignify that with a response, other than, "I am not even going to dignify that with a response."

      I am so glad I didn't get *those* genes!

  2. If I ever hear about a study on the effects of chocolate on lupus (or carpal tunnel, or arthritis, or dissertatus overwhelmus) I will immediately give them your name. It is my personal theory that the better chocolate will do more for the patient.

    1. *snort* "dissertatus overwhelmus" I gotta remember that one.

      Well I helped form a long-running stage III clinical trial on the effects of ice cream on mediating the side effects of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate. The data are still unclear, but it is my personal belief that the treatment is quite helpful.

      I agree with your basic premise, although much to my parents' consternation, I do believe it is possible to have high-quality milk chocolate. But that's another clinical trial but still ongoing! :)

  3. I believe that chocolate is especially effective for serious cases of the last named disease, D.O. But ice cream might also help there.

    I recently heard from a young friend who in the same week had had her ambitions crushed (didn't get into academic program she wanted) and her heart broken. She confessed that she was coping by eating chocolate chip mint ice cream straight out of the box. I told her that I thought the situation required something stronger, like chocolate, chocolate chip, fudge ice cream.

    Please continue your important research in expanding the number of excuses to consume chocolate. It's something the world needs.

    1. Ok, I tell you this as a Vermonter and a researcher. There is (or at least, was the last time I checked) a secret, way more powerful weapon out there. It is called "Chocolate Therapy." It is a Ben & Jerry's ice-cream flavor that can ONLY be purchased at their scoop shops. However, it can be purchased in hand-packed pints. After the apocalypse happens, that's what I'm gonna be eating.