Pop quiz: What is the most versatile writing instrument around? I’ll give you a hint—it’s not a scented magic marker! The correct answer is a simple ballpoint pen. Not only can pens put your thoughts to the page, they can also help you to complete some of the most useful life hacks around.

Our friends over at the WEAREX YouTube page have revealed to us some of the best ways to use pens in daily life. Get ready to experience some serious pen-related “ah-ha!” moments.

  1. Dual Pen Protractor

    pen protractorWEAREX

    Are you working on a magnificent DIY design, but are in need of those all-too-elusive protractors? If so, don’t sweat it! Simply take two pens of the same size and hold them in your dominant writing hand.

    Form an “X” with both pens, then place the tip of the one that is closer to the center of the paper down first. Press hard on its point; this one will act as a steady anchor for its counterpart to go around it, thus making a perfect circle.

  2. The Ruler-Pen Combo

    pen rulerWEAREX

    This is a great tip for all of you minimalists out there. If you need to make a precise drawing, but hate carrying around too many items, then just grab two pens and prepare to draw some SUPER straight lines.

    All you need to do is lay a pen down on its side and onto the surface of the paper. Be sure to hold it still with your finger while you accurately trace the line with the pen in your other hand. Your results should look indistinguishable to that of a ruler tracing.

  3. Layers Upon Layers of Matching Lines

    pen bunchWEAREX

    This tip is one of the cooler hacks I’ve seen in a while! To start, get some sturdy electrical tape and several identical pens. Tape each pen to one another; the number of pens you use will depend on how many lines of matching designs you want on your page. The trick here is to use a new piece of tape every time you add a pen to the set.

    When you’re finished, take a piece of paper and start inking away. You will see that all pens write at the same time, helping you to complete a trippy drawing or a lengthy detention letter (remember those?!) with ease.

  4. The Improvised Stylus

    pen stylusWEAREX

    This one is for all of you stylus users out there. I know that, personally, I’m always misplacing those little things, and the cost of buying new ones all the time really does add up! Instead of throwing down more cash, just make a new one yourself!

    Take a ballpoint pen—the cylindrical ones that allow easy access to the ink are the best—and unscrew the writing shaft. Next, remove the ink cartridge. Put the pen back together and wrap the writing instrument tightly in foil, including the tip. Believe it or not, this improvised stylus works just as well as the real thing!

  5. A Tool for a Stuck Zipper

    pen backpackWEAREX

    When zippers stick on backpacks, it can truly be bad news. If the material is weak or the bag is old, you’re usually forced to take scissors to it. If this happens to you, don’t fret!

    Break out a pen, take off the cap, and simply trace the ballpoint end onto the stuck zipper. This may take several attempts if it’s a particularly stubborn jam. Once the zipper teeth start separating, carefully pull apart with your fingers.

    Watch the video below for even more helpful details about these pen hacks!

    Have you ever used any of the methods explained in the video? Do you have any of your own pen hacks that you’d like to share? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!