I ordered the Tombow Play Color Dot markers months ago. While I was waiting for them to turn up, I went searching for other dot marker brands and discovered the Zig Clean Color Dot Marker .. so I ordered them too. Months later (thanks COVID) both markers arrived on the same day and I promptly got to work doing swatches, testing them out in different spreads and basically just becoming obsessed with them!
What are dot markers?
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Dot markers are shaped like a pen but with 2 ends – one is a fine tip pen (at least the one’s I’ve come across so far have been fine tip), and the other end is round to create the dot.
The Zig markers have a rounded dot you can apply different pressure to, to create different size dots. After experimenting with them I can do up to 5 different dot sizes with them. The Tombow ones I can only do 1 size dot as it has a flat end already shaped into 1 standard size dot.
Both of them can highlight similar to a normal highlighter but the ink does pool at the end.
Both come in packs with rainbow colors and neutral grey and brown as well.
They’re a bit inky so I leave them dry for at least 30 seconds before closing the notebook.
I first tried these markers in one of my Plum Paper Notebooks. The paper’s good but not perfect – there’s usually a bit of bleed through when I use maker pens (like the Uni-Pi’s). I was surprised that there was full bleed through on the page I wrote on and a bit more bleed through to the next page.
The Zig had a similar issue
Related post: Bullet Journal notebooks with the best paper (my top 7)
I placed a piece of copy paper (just grabbed a sheet from my printer – about 100 GSM thick) and placed that underneath then wrote some more. It absorbed into that ‘sacrificial’ paper and no ghosting underneath so definitely do this if you get these markers. I wouldn’t use these in the Moleskine, Leuchtturm or any other bullet journal with thin paper like that – they’ll probably bleed through 3 pages!
I tried them again in my Archer and Olive which has very thick paper (160 GSM) designed for watercolors. There was a little bit of ghosting on some of the dark colors but no bleed through.
The colors are different for both. I prefer bright rainbow colors… so the Tombow ones are better in my opinion.
I used to store my pens and markers upright, but after having read on a few labels (and a few reviews for brush pens), that ink dries out faster if you store them this way. I now try and store pens horizontally.
How to use these markers
See this post: 7 Ways to use dot markers in your planner or bullet journal
Which one do I like best?
I like the colors of the Tombow but the design of the Zig with the ability to do different dot sizes. If someone could manufacture a dot marker that’s a cross between the two that would be perfect. Until that happens I will be using both.
Are there other types available?
Zig have metallic gold & silver versions that I’ve got my sister to order in for her shop (and so I can try them!) which should look great against black paper.
If anyone reading this has other brands they’ve come across please comment below – I definitely want more of these!
More pen reviews
- High Versus Low Stationery Comparison: Planner Pens
- Pen Comparison – is there actually a difference in ink color between brands?
- My Favorite Fineliner Pens for Planning & Bullet Journaling
- Favorite washi tape for planning, planner decorating & color coding
- Color coding your planner: how to choose which colors to use
- Answers to 50 Frequently Asked Planner Questions
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