I use ordinary #2 pencils, kept as sharp as possible. I look back over the notes I took during college in my Concordia Self-Study Bible, and frankly I cringe. I guess it’s part of the spiritual journey, that you advance without realizing it many times and then you look back and see how far you’ve come. Because of those cringe-inducing notes in my study Bible, I got away from making notes for a while. I even got an NIV Pitt-Minion as my “duty Bible” in part because I wouldn’t have the option of making notes, and I didn’t really feel the need for notes. now I’ve swung back the other way, so I got a KJV Bible with somewhat wide margins for my personal/private study — ample white space for notes, beautiful ironed calfskin cover, raised bands, the whole bit. Lately my notetaking has been on the order of the shorter & smaller, the better; mostly references to other passages (a passion of mine.) I can’t bring myself to use pen because I feel that only God’s words should have that level of permanence on the page…originally I told myself that I could go back and erase what I didn’t like out of my notes, but in practice a) I never do that, and b) when I did, it chewed up the paper too much. I couldn’t do that for all the notes that needed to go, so thus a new Bible was in order. I kept the old one because some of the notes were useful (not all were a waste), and because it’s the Bible I received at my confirmation. Pencil smudges over time, especially if it’s less than totally sharp, but it works for me. My notetaking has gotten more discreet, elliptical, and telegraphic over time. I spend so much time plowing my insights into sermons, devotions, and the occasional blog post, that I don’t really feel the need to record them in my Bible. Most of the conversation about Bible marking focuses on equipment and not content or the thought organization of one’s personal system, which is not always useful. Far better to use what you have and do what works for you. I already have piles of pencils to use…figuring out how, what, when, & how much to write is the key. I’m getting closer.