Yearly Archives: 2014

Writing less often? Here’s what you’re giving up:

Ishutterstock_147597611magine a world overrun with technology – replacing all writing instruments, and handwriting in general. No more handwritten love letters, notes, cards; the list goes on and on. We can’t imagine a world without handwriting, and lucky for us, we probably don’t need to worry. No matter how much technology is out there, some things, like handwriting, promote deeper learning skills for both children and adults.

Child WritingBut the gap is closing, as children are taught proficiency on the keyboard just after first grade. Now there’s no interrupting progress of technology, but we had to ask ourselves, what are we losing as we begin to write less?

Evidence suggests a deep connection between handwriting and education development. So deep, that even by writing a single letter, a unique neural circuit in the human body automatically activates.

shutterstock_170940974Replicate the shape

Karin James, Psychologist at IU, led a study in 2012 that supports this view. The study asked children who haven’t learned to read or write, to replicate a shape or letter on an index card by either tracing it on page with a dotted outline, drawing it on a blank paper, or typing it on the computer. Children who chose the blank paper showed increased brain activity in three areas of the brain that adults use when they read and write. Children who typed or traced the shape had much weaker results. One explanation is that the children who wrote on white paper had to think about the execution first, which led to more brain activity and cognitive thinking.

Put it to another study

KidWritingIn another study conducted by Karin James, she compared children who wrote letters with those who watched the other children write the letters. Her observations suggest that only the actual effort of writing engages the brain’s motor pathways – not by watching. So, you learn by doing. All things considered, when writing by hand, learning is made easier!

Adults should write, too

Adult1But the benefits of handwriting go far beyond childhood. Adults may be able to type faster, but it won’t make up for their diminishing ability to process new information. Check out our other blog, 4 Benefits of Handwriting Notes Vs. Typing on Laptops, for more information about that!

Looking for the best Zebra Pen product to test your learning and memory? Try some of these ones: Sarasa, Steel, Cadoozles.

Doodlers are smarter than you think!

Have you been known to doodle from time to time? Ever hear anyone complain about your doodles, or say they’re a waste of time? Well, they’re not!

Doodling is productive:Productive Doodling

Zebra Pen is a big fan of Sunni Brown. She’s a go-getter who passionately encourages creativity, and doodling! When we noticed she published a book all about doodling, we had to share some knowledge with you! The book is called “The Doodle Revolution.” In it, she states some key insights:

“I’ve seen people tackling serious challenges, and they inevitably go straight to the whiteboard or straight to the wall and start mapping it to have a more effective conversation…And then you have that visual explanation to help people understand what’s really happening.” 

Doodling during meetings is actually productive. It helps the mind focus on what is being said, rather than thinking about different topics.

Need more evidence?Evidence

A study published in ’09 led researcher Jackie Andrade to an interesting conclusion. She instructed a group of participants to listen to a voicemail message and recount what they remembered. She asked some members to doodle while listening, and others to just simply listen. The result? The doodlers actually remembered 29% more than the non-doodling group. Wow!


Doodle Stigma:Monkey Around

“I want to flip the entire conversation and be like, okay, let’s actually acknowledge this as a valuable tool and as a valuable technique.”

We couldn’t agree more, Sunni! There is a stigma in today’s culture that focuses on doodling as a negative. Doodling, as we know it, wasn’t always considered doodling. For centuries, doodling was associated with a fool – someone who monkeyed around. The negative association with the word has somehow translated to the act of doodling, as we know it today.


Fun Facts about Doodling:hand drawn the big tree

Did you know that some of our own U.S. presidents doodled? John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were just a couple who entertained their inner doodler. Even great novelists like Mark Twain and Fyodor Dostoyevsky practiced the art of doodling.




The Key Takeaway:

Key TakeawayDoodling is good for you! Doodle more, and learn how to maximize your doodling capabilities! Interested in more info about doodling? We have some awesome doodling tools. Check out Candy, Sarasa, Cadoozles, Ola, Spiral, Style #2, and much more!

4 Benefits of Handwriting Notes Vs. Typing on Laptops

Step back, laptop – writing notes still reigns.

We all know that laptops have found their way into the classroom and occasional office meeting, taking the place of our once beloved notebooks and writing instruments. But did you know that taking notes with your laptop could actually hinder your ability to learn information?

Breaking research by Pam Mueller and Daniel Oppenheimer sheds new light the subject.

Here are four key takeaways from their study:

  • IdeaWriting builds stronger conceptual understanding:

When you write out your notes by hand, you develop a stronger conceptual understanding of the material, and better success in applying and integrating the material than those who took notes with their laptops.


  • BrainYour brain works harder:

Mueller and Oppenheimer hypothesize that handwriting requires different types of cognitive processing than typing on a laptop, and both have different consequences for learning. You can only write so fast, so your brain is forced to do more as your hand writes more of the crucial data. In comparison, because you can type as fast as someone talks, you’re taking notes on a laptop without truly letting the words of the other person sink deeply into your brain.


  • MemoryHandwriting is better for short-term and long-term memory:

You’d think that having all of those typed notes would actually help people in the long run, but you’d be wrong! Mueller and Oppenheimer put it to the test (no pun intended). When given a week to study their notes for a test, those who wrote their notes outperformed laptop users. Your handwriting stimulates more effective memory cues because you’re forming the context and content in your own words.


  • FocusLess distractions = better focus:

There’s a ton of stuff you can do on a laptop, but that doesn’t help when you’re trying to focus on what’s being said in a meeting or classroom. It’s so easy to get distracted when you’re using a laptop, but when you’re taking notes with one pen and one notebook, there’s not much else that can distract you from your goals.

So the next time you think about bringing your laptop to that meeting or classroom, remember that a notebook and pen will help you retain your notes longer, remember more, and flex your brain muscles! And remember, we have some great selections for you to choose from. Check out some of our favorites: Sarasa, Zazzle, Steel Collection.

V-301 Refill

Wv301-alle get a lot of compliments on our V-301 Fountain Pen. We also get a few questions from consumers who aren’t quite sure how or why their V-301 is not performing. Rest assured, all of our Zebra products go through rigorous testing to ensure their quality before they leave the door. So what’s going on?

We reached out to you for answers:

In talking to some of our more outspoken fans, it appears that the majority of frustration relates to the proper engagement of the refill ink cartridge. The resolution is quite simple – if you don’t hear the cartridge snap into place, then the ink seal wasn’t punctured and the ink will not flow properly. Another little trick is to provide a few quick shakes to get the ink flowing.

See how it’s done in this quick video:

Follow these two pieces of advice and you’ll find the V-301 to be a terrific fountain pen. Head over to the V-301 product page to find out more!


So you want to be a lefty?

Being ambidextrous takes time and practice, but it can be done, and you can write with your left hand if you put your mind, and hand, to it. There are plenty of resources available that provide information that will help you get started. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can use to become the left-hander you want to be!

Practice!Tip 1: Practice, practice, practice

Believe it or not, the most difficult part about this process is taking the time to get good at it! It won’t happen instantly, but if you practice, then you’re halfway there. Try committing to 5-15 minutes each day to writing with your left hand, and most importantly, don’t get frustrated if you don’t see amazing results.




DoodleTip 2: Doodle a little

Building muscle and endurance is key to strengthening your left hand, giving you a better chance to write and draw smoother. Start with simple drawings and once you have the basics down, try something more complicated.



Commit FullyTip 3: Use your left hand for everything

Have you ever thought of what it would be like to use your left hand for every activity? If you really want to improve your left-handed skills and become ambidextrious, this is the best way to do it. Think about learning a language. Is it better to learn a few words here and there, or is it better to learn by fully immersing yourself in the language and culture you are trying to learn? Going all-in may be scary, but it may just be the best way out there!

Becoming a lefty isn’t impossible, but it takes patience. So get out there and try it!






Get Right with Steel

Did someone say the right pen for the job?

A001_C040_0101CWThere are so many different varieties of Zebra steel pens that fit a multitude of vocations and needs, so we thought to ourselves, why not develop a campaign to promote the right steel pen for the job?


Rely on Steel:F701

A003_C018_0101KIWe engineered our steel pens to work

as hard as you do, in any climate, at any given time. Writing with confidence isn’t only about having a pen you can rely on to perform; it’s also about looking the part. Zebra Steel gives you the upper edge with a steel pen that demands attention with its sophisticated, premium stainless steel design.

F-402_BP_BKWe know every job is different – some more demanding than others. Our job is to equip you with the right pen that performs best on the job, so whether you’re in construction, engineering, architecture, design, sales, or whatever it is you do, we’re excited to provide you with the rugged, reliable and original steel pen.

What does it mean to be original?

A002_C002_010119Being original isn’t easy. It means leading the pack – being a thought generator. Zebra Pen took a small idea, and turned it into a solution for millions of people who needed a durable, reliable pen that goes anywhere.

Don’t you think 10 steel designs is a bit overkill?


Never! We’re thrilled that we can provide a high volume of steel pens and mechanical pencils to those who need the slight variations to acquire the perfect instrument to get the job done.

What varieties of steel pens do you offer?

We’re glad you asked. Check out this blog to get the inside scoop on our steel pens, or check out our steel product section.

Get Sarasa Smart

It’s a cluttered world.

SONY DSCDespite our efforts to organize and maintain order, we never quite seem to get everything done, and the work continues to pile up. That’s why we’re excited to launch our newest campaign for our newest product: Sarasa.



It’s time to get Sarasa Smart:

smart goal setting conceptSo what does it mean to be Sarasa Smart? Simply put, it means getting more done. It means grabbing the bull by the horns, and buckling down to accomplish your objectives. Sarasa’s 14 vibrant gel pen colors and rapid dry ink help you do just that. Call it an organizing facelift if you will. Organizing with color and variety not only makes your life a little more spontaneous, it also helps you function with more clarity. Categorize your stuff and organize your thoughts better, with better write-ability, comfort, style, and don’t forget about smudge-free, too!



Check out the video!   

Say goodbye to smudges and smears:   

iStock_000002108896SmallBut it isn’t just about colors for us. It’s about practicality, and saving time. That’s why we developed our new Sarasa 14-color line-up to include smudge-free, rapid dry ink technology, which means these pens dry faster than 1-second on almost every surface! That’s super fast! That reason alone is why Sarasa’s quickly becoming the left-hander’s new best friend.


Do more with more color:

Colorful BindersWhether it’s a list, greeting card, drawing, doodle, notes or of the like, Sarasa will help you get it done with personality. Explore our new Sarasa 14-pack, now with 14 vibrant gel pen colors to help you tame your world.

Get Sarasa Smart – then get out there and tame your world.

Make Cards Personal Again

So many occasions, so little time for greeting cards!

dear happy valentine day greeting

You’ve got your Birthdays, Holidays, Thank You’s, and a ton of other greeting cards for events that happen throughout the year. Let’s face it: Greeting cards are used for almost every special occasion, and it will continue like that for a long time.

With all of these occasions, it may seem easier to spend a few minutes searching online and sending greeting cards through the internet, but is that really the best choice? Sure, they’re quick and easy, but they also have a tendency to remove the personal touch that comes with each tangible greeting card.


Drawn heart

Greeting cards are a great opportunity for us to take a few minutes out of our day to show the people in our lives that we care about them. Even if it’s only writing a few words, or drawing a little something special to remind someone of a memorable moment, taking the time to make something meaningful is what it’s all about.

Here are a few great ways that you can make your cards personal again:


  • Draw a doodle:

1390560_10153009653853538_1614323009_nDo something that reminds your card-reader of a special memory. You don’t have to be great sketch artist or doodler, just give it a shot! Trust us, they’ll be happier that you thought of something special. Doodle your heart away with our Candy pens!



  • Customize your entire greeting card:

1535685_10153009654248538_456506335_nFor the extremely courageous, try going all-out with one of your own personal greeting cards this year. Go all out with the Sarasa 14-pack!





  • Write a personal note:


Cards already do a great job of summarizing our feelings, but they don’t say everything. Even if it’s only a couple words, be sure to write something personal and spend some time doing it. You never know how long that person may hold on to that special card. Make your words count with Z-Mulsion technology!

Meet Grevy’s Zebra Trust

Have you heard of Grevy’s Zebra Trust?

Let’s get acquainted:


The sole purpose of Grevy’s Zebra Trust is to conserve the endangered Grevy’s zebra and its fragile habitat. The Trust was established in 2007 to address the urgent need to conserve Grevy’s zebra in the community rangelands of Ethiopia and Kenya. A Board of Trustees governs it with representation from Kenya, Ethiopia, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom.

What is Grevy’s zebra?

Grevy's Zebra

Grevy’s zebra was the first of the zebra species to evolve after asses. They’re easy to discern from the more common plains zebra – when you know what to look for. Here are some characteristics to look for: Taller, narrow stripes, a white belly, black dorsal stripe, large rounded ears and a brown muzzle.


Grevy’s zebra populations are on the decline, but why?

Grevys zebra in wild

At the beginning of the 80s, the global population of Grevy’s zebra was approximately 15,000. In 2008, that approximation dropped 80% to 2,500. The continuing decline of Grevy’s zebra is cause for urgent concern. The decrease in Grevy’s zebra can mostly be attributed to the following factors:

  • Killing for meat
  • Medicinal purposes
  • Random causes
  • Scarcity of resources as a result of over-exploitation
  • Disease and drought (particularly in Kenya)

How can I help?

Grevy's zebra

We’re glad you asked! The easiest way to help is to spread awareness of the issue to your friends and family. You can also donate to Grevy’s Zebra Trust. Your donation will support field teams in protecting Grevy’s zebra and its fragile habitat, and accelerate conservation efforts to secure their long-term survival. 100% of your donation goes directly to supporting the conservation of Grevy’s zebra.

You can do something today to help conserve the endangered Grevy’s zebra. Click this link to learn more:

Saving Grevy’s Zebras

Saving Zebras in the Wild

Zebras are an integral part of our culture at Zebra Pen Corporation. The traits that make zebras unique are the same traits that make us unique.

So when we became aware that the largest of the zebra species, Grevy’s zebra, is endangered and at risk of becoming extinct, our ears stood at full attention to the urgency of the issue.

The Problem:

The wild population of Grevy’s zebra was 15,000 in the 1980s. That number dropped to 2,500 in 2008 – a staggering 80% decline, a population that continues to deteriorate by the day.

Grevys Zebra at Saint Louis Zoo_photo by Ray Meibaum_sm

Grevys zebra in wild_crossing road_Jeffrey Bonner Saint Louis Zoo_sm


The Solution:

Raise awareness around the globe, and support conservation efforts immediately. We’re excited to announce our partnership with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and Grevy’s Zebra Trust.

AZA_colored_RGB Grévy's_Zebra_Trust

As a proud supporter of the AZA’s conservation programs, we’re donating $15,000 to save endangered Grevy’s zebras.

In 2012, AZA-accredited institutions provided $160 million in support of approximately 2,700 conservation projects in more than 115 countries. As a result, AZA facilities collaborate with Grevy’s Zebra Trust, an organization established in January 2007 to address the urgent need to conserve Grevy’s zebra in the community rangelands of Ethiopia and Kenya.

But we need your help:

Your support is critical to Grevy’s zebra survival. Join Zebra Pen, AZA and Grevy’s Zebra Trust in our efforts to conserve Grevy’s zebras.

Grevys zebra at Saint Louis Zoo_photo by Ray Meibaum_sm (2)Grevys zebra at Saint Louis Zoo2_Roger Brandt_sm








Read more about the AZA here, and Grevy’s Zebra Trust here.