I know a lot of you out there have found the fidget cube, reviewed this past September by GeekDad Gerry Tolbert, to be a lifesaver for your focus. I will admit, for the sake of full disclosure, that I haven’t had the chance to try one yet and, thus, I can’t compare it to the Think Ink Pen. I can, however, tell you I think the pen is a fantastic focus tool that is functional as well as fidget-friendly (and we all know from years of listening to Alton Brown we don’t want our tools, kitchen or otherwise, to be one trick ponies), which makes it an optimal addition to your on-the-go and desk arsenals.
Honest to Pete, the Think Ink saved my NaNo run this year. With everything going on in the world, the beginning of holiday season, and the inevitable day-to-day massive-wrenches-more-akin-to-silver-back-gorillas-than-monkeys intruding on my brain-space and writing time, it didn’t seem possible I’d make my 50K, but I did, thanks, in large part, to this pen I could pick up and spin and click and roll and flex when I needed to have a think or when my mind started to wander. My usual default is the internet bowers, and we all know how that goes… You look up hours later, it’s two a.m. and your word count hasn’t budged in three days.
There are so many reasons the Think Ink is better.
The Think Ink has a really nice weight to it (which, being digital, the internet does not. I know, I know, physical weight as a deciding factor seems silly but physicality is grounding, even if it’s just the presence of a pen or fidget tool). For me to remember to use a tool, it has to have some… I suppose presence is the best word. Take up some space, give me a sense of heft. The Think Ink is titanium, which means it does just that and it’s shiny (yes, I’m a bit of a magpie). Despite being made of metal, however, the shaft of the pen is constructed as a series of rings, which means it’s flexible, at least to the extent it can be while protecting the ink containment system inside from cracking (said system is a standard ballpoint refill and can be replaced with same).
The pen also has several different focus mechanisms and, while some might find the choice distracting, I found it quite useful; I find repetition, past a certain point, starts to loosen my focus again rather than keeping it. The Think Ink flexes, as previously mentioned. It also has a slide that both extends and retracts the ink nib with rather a satisfying click and lock-in sequence; a ball on the top that comes on and off, and a pen clip that can be detected, reattached, spun, and is also a spring. All of the additional mechanisms are magnetic, which means you can use the connective force as yet another means to fidget and that you’re lest apt to lose them than you might be with another multi-tool.
The metal on metal connections make a really satisfying *click* sound when they make contact, which I appreciate because I find sound to be an integral part of focus (I’m one of those people who pretty much always has music on in the background). I can see, however, that it might be a distraction to others in a meeting or cube setting, so consider your surroundings before going full out with that feature.
I do wish that there had been a fine point option, and there may be in the final product (which is also reputed to come with attachments of varying sizes) and I suppose I can get some fine point refills and see if they work with the nib’s exit point (if the hole is larger than the nib, the nib moves around which makes writing neatly difficult and messy writing I cannot conscience. Have I mentioned I have OCD? I’ve been known to recopy planner pages if a couple of words are out of whack. I’m not proud of it, but I know myself and I know it will end up being a “thing”). The only other issue I’ve had is tending to end up with ink on my hands after using the pen, which isn’t any more of an issue with Think Ink than it is with other standard ballpoints, but if that bothers you, or if you’re doing fine work you’d be upset about looking down to find stains or smudges upon, then stick to the fidget bits and write with something else.
In all, the Think Ink: Fidget for Focus pen is a great little fidget tool that fits easily in a pocket, pen case, or pen loop. My husband, who has ADHD, is pretty enamored as well, though he and I have entirely different fidgeting impetae (impetuses?). I’m actually going to hand it off to him to see if it functions as well for him at work as it did for me.
There are only 15 days left on Think Ink Pens Kickstarter and it looks like they’ve added some new incentive since last time I checked. Great holiday gift for the fidgeter in your life. Or for yourself!
(Shiri received a prototype pen to test free of charge in exchange for an honest review.)
Update: Hubs has informed me not only am I not getting my Think Ink back from him, everyone in his office has tried it and is now trying to steal it from him.