Given I have no self control when it comes to stationery, I’ve tried many highlighters over the years. A reader asked me which highlighters are my favorite, but of course I couldn’t pick just one!
Best highlighters for planning
In terms of ‘best’ there are many variables to assess so these are the best (in my opinion) for each type of highlighters.
Smiggle scented. These are super bright! <3
If bright highlighters are important to you, keep in mind that some of the cheaper highlighter brands can have dull colors.
Best wax / gel highlighters
Thorton’s office supplies are my favorite gel highlighters. They come in 6 colors: blue, purple, green, orange, yellow and pink – so are perfect for color coding.
Update: After having tried a few different wax highlighter brands they’re all much the same so buy whatever is cheap in the colors you’re looking for
One thing to note with wax highlighters are that they’re like crayons (zooms) so make sure you write first, then highlight over the top as pen doesn’t tend to work over the top.
Staedtler Textsurfer Gel and Typo also have these highlighters (they call them wax highlighters) but I’ve only seen them in green, pink and yellow and it’s pricey to buy them individually)
Highlighters with the best color range
Most highlighter packs come with 5 or 6 colors. It’s hard to find packs with anymore than that.
The Zebra Midliners (if you want to splurge for them) have the most color options available.
If I need a lot of colors I used Zooms (twistable crayons) – they’re cheap, quick and easy to use.
Affordability & Value for Money
The staples pen shape highlighters – they come in a range of colors and are cheap!
I also like the Daiso twin tip highlighters.
Related: Week 15: Trying a freehand weekly planner inspired by bullet journalling
Chisel tip and thin tip (dual tip)
If I had to pick a favorite I’d say Tombow – super smooth and the thinner end is like a fine tip pen.
A similar cheaper alternative to Tombow are Daiso twin tip – still work great and only $2.80 for a pack of 5. Daiso have quite a few good knock off supplies such as decorative tape similar to the MAMBI deco pens and fluroesent pencils which work great for highlighting.
Highlighter pencils are another alternative (if you don’t like zooms) to traditional highlighters. They’re a bit pricey and to be honest, if you have a pack of pencils lying around they’d do the job just fine. I found cheap neon colored pencils at Daiso and they worked well too.
The Frixion highlighters are great at erasing and have a large range of colors (pastel & brights).
Smiggle and Typo have erasable highlighters but they’re dual tip with the highlighter on one end and the white eraser ink on the other end. The Smiggle ones are ok for ‘decorating’ as the erasable end is like a pen tip, not chisel tip i.e. you have to go over the top of the highlighter a couple of times as it’s quite thin.
The beetle tip have 2 colors and 2 different thicknesses on the one end of the highlighter. They’re cool but to be honest, I don’t use them very often.
Teal and mint are colors that look nice but tend to be hard to find in pens and highlighters.
For mint, my favorite is the Monami Essenti Soft.
Related: Week 36: Using the daily and weekly Momentum Planner by Productive Flourishing
Pen like versus traditional shape
Highlighters tend to come in either the fat traditional format, or more companies are switching to pen like shape. I personally prefer pen like shape highlighters as they take up less space and are easier to grip.
Why I use highlighters for planning
I hate a sea of black text on the page – everything just ends up a jumbled mess. If I don’t use colored pens then I use highlighters to color code. It helps me see what I’m spending too much time on and perhaps not enough on other things.
Related: Week 32: Using an undated Officeworks A4 Horizontal Planner
They’re also ideal for adding a little pop of color to the page:
Make titles more interesting…
And a quick way to color code lists:
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