Check your bag Now! Using pencil slots?

Check your bag right now. Are you currently using the pencil/pen slots?

  • Yes.
  • No.

0 voters

Just a random questionnaire.

I am a full-time pack designer for several different markets (technology, lifestyle, fashion, etc).

I’ve found other softgoods designers are always consistently adding the obligatory pen/pencil slots in the front pocket at the very end of the design process.

This addition appears to be a habit than a well thought out design solution. For example, pen/pencil slots in round lacrosse equipment bags. As soon as the bag is filled, the pack conforms to its round shape, and the pens/pencils snap. Unnecessary.

Whenever I come in contact with someone using their daily/shoulder/messenger/business/lifestyle bag, I notice there are no pens in the slots whatsoever.

So… this leads to the question… if you check your laptop/daily/whatever bag that’s next to you right now, what will you find.

Appreciate your time.

pen/pencil slots are almost as much of an afterthought as those earphone rubber pass-thru holes every crap bag has. i’ve never seen anyone use them, and they’ve been on bags since the old walkman days.

kudos to you for thinking, before adding on more “features”.


Chrome Metropolis messenger bag. No pen/pencil holders available on this model, probably because they would break similar to the lacrosse bag.

I’ve never successfully used them, my pens were too big, or they fell out.
Same goes for cell phone holders.

I checked my bag, a olive green messenger from the Gap, I do use them, but only because I have a real problem losing pens, so I would make the point of putting them back as an accounting feature more than convience.

the possibility also occured to me that people who really need organization would be like designers and artists and the like who may have a lot of pens and pencils, and probably some sort of speciallized case. I wouldn’t ditch it completely, but I wouldn’t do it as an afterthough either.

Should we do anything as an afterthought?

I have to be honest- my bag is actually a man purse, but bigger and so am I so I don’t catch a lot of flack (for that anyway).

I actually DO use the slots, although only half of them. Pen, pencil (mechanical), and sharpie. Plus, occassionally, I come across some cheapo that feels really nice- so it finds the next slot too. (at least I admit it).

My bag goes nearly everywhere with me- and has seen a few convention center halls, floor of Chinese taxi’s, whatever. But I do wish my bag could be a bit more modular. Sometimes tablet, not always- normally good for a couple folders and my lunch, cause I brown bag every day!

Mine are packed with every writing tool I might need at a meeting.
I may only grab a pen out of them once a week or so, but they have served useful for those times and several meetings when others didn’t have a pen or marker to use.

I keep them loaded (I only have 2 which is perfect for ink and lead), I always need them and I don’t put pens/pencils in my pockets. Obviously the slots aren’t necessary in every bag, but for a work case or daily bag, they are a must have in the bag industry. The headphone ports that rkuchinsky brings up are fairly useless, but I’ve seen plenty of people using them. I don’t really want my head to be tethered to my bag.

I just throw the pens in the bags lol. Only pen I got in a pencil slot is for my tablet pc or my tablet. Would be hell if I loose one. Those pens cost a fortune buying them. While they are just one piece of special plastic. Not sure how those pens work actually. Magnetize or something or special compound.

I checked no although I make my own bags I have always left the pen loops, sleeves out this includes the smallish business card pockets and such. I prefer zip top liner patch pockets sometimes stacked in various sizes. ie. 9"x11.5", 4.5"x5.75 and for pens 8"x3"

when it comes time to buy a bag, even if the user might not ever actually utilize a specific holder, just by having the feature as a possibility gives it an advantage over another bag without the feature. There are exceptions, but for the general consumer I believe this to be true.

I’m not saying this is a good thing, but it’s something to keep in mind.

I try to always consider their use when I put them in bags. Too often though, the marketing guys just want them added in as another bullet point on the hangtag since everyone else has them.
Personally, I use them for office bags, but wouldn’t want to put them in the front panel of a backpack unless it was somehow structured. Otherwise you end up with the same issue of keeping them in your pocket…having a straight sharp object in a soft flexible area?!
For empty messenger bags, I’d only want them in the flap oriented horizontally as a quick access pocket or possibly on the thin sides if there had to be a vertical orientation. But for the typical bike bag, only the first flap option or if you really needed it, in a smaller dedicated case on the strap.
But the people in charge like to be able to show the bag with the pocket open and having all kinds of stuff in there, blank fabric makes for boring product shots (joke).

I always just use my breast pocket of my jacket, easy for access, quick, means my pens are always with me even if my bag isn’t. I only really use one pen anyway so that makes my life easier.