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I use both rollerball and fountain pens for journaling and note taking. For journaling I use a fountain pen with Noodlers Bulletproof black ink because it is supposed to be at least somewhat permanent. I can't seem to find any permanent or close to permanent ink refills for rollerball pens, do they exist? What are the "permanent" options for rollerball pens?

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    How permanent do you need the ink to be? Most paints and inks are damaged by UV light or by acids in the paper, so where/how do you want to store your journals and how long do you need the writing to last? Would changes in color be accaptable as long as the writing stays legible?
    – Elmy
    Oct 15 '20 at 5:59
  • I guess "permanent" refers to water-resistent. I am interested in the subject too. During university, a colleague used to use a black ink, water-resistent. To prove, he would spit on the written paper, "massage" the area, and the ink was perfectly unaffected. Later I asked him about it, but he did not remember any more what he used. So the info is (temporarily?) lost. We were using "normal" fountain pens, not roll balls.
    – virolino
    Oct 15 '20 at 7:08
  • Since I'm thinking primarily of journaling, my main concern is for waterproofness and that the ink won't fade (that it will stay legible). I have a journal from ten years ago that was written in ballpoint ink and it is now a faint yellow, I'd like to avoid that. Withstanding UV would be nice but isn't critical since the journals will generally be closed. Oct 15 '20 at 13:32
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    Well, graphite and charcoal pencils are extremely lightfast and waterproof, but prone to smearing. If you're comfortable to move away from the ball pens, this is a very cheap and good alternative. Apart from that, good old iron gall ink was favored for several hundred years because it was the most lightfast and waterproof ink at the time.
    – Elmy
    Oct 17 '20 at 8:34
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All Uni-ball rollerball inks seem to now be permanent (vs. water, UV, fading). Pentel has permanent ink too. Most manufacturers make this a clear selling point if you search 'permanent rollerball ink'.

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  • I suspect uniball always have been non fading, or at least pretty good. I've just checked my undergrad revision notes from 20 years ago and there's no sign of fading of any colour on cheap lined paper stored in cardboard folders (so in the dark) - I used uniballs for diagrams and colour, fountain pen with Parker ink for body text. That seems good too.
    – Chris H
    Jan 1 at 19:35

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