I have a night job as a valet, and I need to carry a pen to note in which space I have parked a car. I am forever losing pens as they fall out of my pocket when I am getting in and out of cars. My current solution is to attach the pen to a keyring, which I keep on my belt loop with a carabiner. This results in the pen often getting caught on or jammed against things, and frequently the clip on the pen breaks or comes off, so I can't reattach it. The following constraints apply:

  • Due to uniform restrictions, pen cannot be attached to shirt or worn around neck
  • Pen must be readily accessible with one hand at all times
  • Solution must work with any cheap click-type ballpoint pen

I have considered (but not tried) using a length of string rather than my current keyring method. A sufficient length of string would probably result in the pen falling out of my pocket and getting lodged somewhere, and something subsequently breaking (pen, string, or belt loop on pants). I'll still try it, but I'd like some ideas I feel more confident about.

4 Answers 4


Do you wear long sleeves? You could put a rubber band around your forearm and slide the pen into it.

  • 1
    Better yet, two rubber bands, so the pen stays parallel to the forearm. Works nicely.
    – gp782
    Commented Apr 18, 2015 at 6:11
  • If short sleeve wear a sports wrist bracelet and do the same thing
    – Nelson
    Commented Apr 19, 2015 at 22:15
  • More expensive than an elastic band but more acceptable uniform-wise is a wristwatch where the pen can be slid under the strap—top or bottom of your wrist to keep it secure yet handy. An adjustable strap rather than a bracelet can be adjusted for tension.
    – Stan
    Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 12:27

You could attache the pen via tape or through a hole in the key to a retractable ski pass holder (don't know the english word, in german it's a Skipasshalter). These have a sting attached to them which will go back into the body after it was retracted.


These are most of the time cheap giveaways but there are also metallic "better looking" ones. If you attach one of those inside your jacket or perhaps your sleeve (as @Carl suggested in his answer) it is our of sight.


It's not a very elegant solution, but you can put it in the side of your sock. Its hidden and easily accessible.

  • why the downvote? this seems like a totally legitimate solution to the proposed question
    – celeriko
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 17:57

Try using a carabiner retractable keychain pen, or maybe using your phones text (or note) capabilities (thusly avoiding the need of a pen).

If those fails (or doesn't suit you), use the pen clip to attach the pen to the inside of your shirt. Either in the collar, or if a buttoned shirt horizontal somewhere above the waist line. That shouldn't go against uniform policies and be less visually intrusive than anything hanging from the waist.

Yet another option would be to have a carabiner pen (of some sort) and attach it to the car key when driving, and your belt loop when walking.

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