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Tuesday Talk Back: Ivory paper with grey lines – your thoughts?

Ivory Rhodia Paper

The new Rhodia Anniversary notepad set contains the same ivory paper as in the Webbie (Webnotebook) and the R by Rhodia premium pads – 90g with grey graph ruling.

How do you like the 90g ivory Rhodia paper? Do you prefer it over the white? Prefer the grey ruling over the blue? We’ve heard a few people talk about fountain pen ink colors on white vs. ivory – what are your thoughts on that? Are there any other Rhodia products that you’d like to see use the ivory paper?

Rhodia on the Road: Show us yours!

Out on the field

Image courtesy of Robin Massingill – robin_mr on Imstagram

We would love to see where you’ve been taking Rhodia on the Road this year. Send your images to stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com to be added to our Rhodia on the Road Fan Photo Page. Interested in being a guest blogger? Include a paragraph or two with your image telling us a little bit about who you are, how you use your favorite Rhodia products and where you’ve taken them on the road and we’ll review it for publication on the blog. 

PS: On Instagram? Tag your images #rhodia

2016 Rhodia Planner Change

rhodia-planner-2015_2000_750

Work has started on next year’s catalogs.  This includes 2016 planners.

We are seriously considering a change for Rhodia WebPlanners, or Rhodia Weekly Notebooks as I like to call them.  The change includes moving away from a bound hard cover to something else. The format will remain the same–week on left, page in graph for notes on right.

In the new version, the Rhodia planner, both pocket and desk, will have a firm orange cardboard cover which can be used as is, or inserted into black smooth or grained leatherette cover for people who prefer a refillable option.

The planner will be lighter, and also less expensive.  We may expand the line to include Academic Year (August-July) in addition to Calendar Year (January-December).

We think these changes will expand its appeal, especially to people who like to work out ideas, problems and designs on graph paper.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

 

Tuesday Talk Back: You don’t like the notebook you started… Now what?

Notebooks

Question: What do you do with the journal or notebook that you started, but ended up not liking?

Before I started writing for Rhodia Drive, I used to do a lot of product reviews on my personal blog in search of the perfect pen, ink and journal. At that time, the perfect notebook for me was one that was first and foremost friendly to fountain pen inks. Other preferred features included being able to both open and lie flat, pages with rounded corners, and a rigid cover so that I could write with the book propped on my knee. I ended up testing many, many journals.

(Some people use the words journal and notebook interchangeably. I tend to use “journal” when describing a notebook whose pages are not removable.)

If I really didn’t like the book, I’d either give it away or recycle it. If I liked it, I’d obviously use it – but there were one or two that while I didn’t love them, I thought had a few redeeming qualities. These ended up hanging around on the shelf a lot longer than I’d intended.

Case in point – I just finished a book that I’d started in July of 2010. I didn’t love the book when I first bought it, mostly because it wasn’t fountain pen friendly and the pages had noticeable grain. Four years ago I decided to turn it into a mixed media art journal and had started drawing on the first few pages but once again, I quickly abandoned it.

I came upon the book once again this past April, when I decided that I either had to use it or get rid of it. Knowing that I’d created art in it, I didn’t really want to let it go and so I tried again. Five months later, it was filled with a combination of writing and sketches, all done in pencil and it felt good to have finally finished something that I’d started so long ago- even if it was just a simple journal.

So if I may ask, what do YOU do once you’ve started working in a journal or notebook, then decide you don’t like it?

(Once in a blue moon, if I’ve been in a journal for too long sometimes I get antsy and want to move on even if it is a journal that I do really like. In which case I’ll either finish the last pages with collage, sketches, poems, affirmations, intentions, prayers and/or overall positive words of encouragement.)

More Rhodia Yellow?

Yellow Rhodia

We have started to receive requests for the yellow Rhodia paper to be available in additional options. Is there a particular format or ruling that you’d like to see filled with the yellow paper? dotYellow? Or yellow paper in the Meeting Book?

We are always very appreciative of your feedback regarding the design of our products.

What are you grateful for today?

Gratitude Journal

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today (and everyday) is a good day to be grateful.

What are you grateful for?

Exaclair Catalog 2015

rhodia pocket 2

Our catalog development process will swing into gear in the next 3-4 weeks.  I would like to reach out to our Rhodia fans and get your input for the catalog.  What products do you see on the French catalog and French Rhodia website that you wish were available in the U.S.?  Please let us know by commenting on this post; or feel free to write to me directly at karen@exaclair.com.

We cannot make changes to current products, although we can and do forward your requests, praise and complaints to the product chief in France. We also can offer fan suggestions for new types of Rhodia products.  Do you have any you would like to see Rhodia manufacture?

Thank you so much for your help and support.

 

 

Who would like to see more options in wirebound Rhodia products?

Wirebound spiral Rhodia pad

Exaclair currently offers a limited variety of Rhodia wirebound (spiral) notebooks and we’d like to know if you like them, how you are using them, and whether or not you’d like to see additional options made available in the future. I myself would love to see anything blank or dot- especially a dotReverse.

Current options can be seen here and include products such as the Wirebound Notebooks, 4 Color Book, Elasti Book, Reverse Book, Top Wirebound Pads and two versions of the Meeting books.

Favorite Ink Colors: Summer of 2014

Herbin Inks

I know that many of our fountain pen friends enjoy switching out their inks to mark the changing seasons. Did you have any favorite brands/colors that you used or discovered this summer? Did you make any recent purchases that you are looking forward to using this fall?

Did you discover any new all-time-favorite ink colors at any of the recent pen shows?

Would you be interested in a little more… coloR?

C_amb-rhodia-colorR-1050-620

The Rhodia R series of premium tablets boast super smooth off-white 90g paper and a ”Soft Touch” coated cover. Have you tried them yet? Do you like them? Would you be more inclined to buy them if you had a few more options on cover color? Which colors offered, (you can see them all here) would you like to see most?

As much as I love purple, I’m really digging that red.

Back to School?

Group of Exaclair products

A lot of children in our area are going back to school today. Since I don’t have kids, I only know this from seeing everyone’s “First Day of School” pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Seems odd for them to be starting in August, I don’t remember ever going back to school at any other time than after Labor Day weekend.

This got me thinking about one of the things I enjoyed most about going back to school- shopping for new school supplies. Three ring binders, loose leaf paper, pencils, pencil cases, pink erasers, Trapper Keepers and EraserMate pens.

I was artist in residence for a day this past spring at a local private school (Pre k through 8th grades) and the older kids all carried iPads. No paper, no pencils. All of their school work was done on the iPad.

This left me wondering what types of school supplies, if any, are still being used in schools across the US or abroad.

Throwback Thursday: Favorite Vintage Pens

Parker 51 Fountain Pen

I love a lot of things vintage for their classic design. Classic, as in that sweet combination of simple, practical and durable.

When I first started writing with fountain pens, I wanted nothing more than to exclusively use vintage, but it never seemed to work out for me. One after another I’d buy a vintage piece (typically  on the cheap) that would work for a while then ultimately, a seal or sac would break, the nib would bend or get scratchy, or the ink would stop flowing properly. I began to see vintage pens as fragile creatures and became reluctant to invest in their restoration. As much as I love vintage, there was a part of me that didn’t like knowing that a favorite tool would be difficult to repair or replace and so I began to favor more modern designs like Lamy’s Safari, Pelikan’s M200 and the Sailor Sapporo – though I can’t tell you how many times I’ve poured over the offerings on sites like Vacumania, longing for a silver celluloid Parker Vacumatic, or a fully functional Parker 51. (Mine has a cracked front section and needs a new seal/sac) 

Do you have a favorite vintage pen? If you take a picture of it and send to to me at stephanie@rhodiadrive.com I’ll include it on our Favorite Pen Fan Photo Page.

 

More Dots?

dot Webbie page

We know that you love our dots, but how could we make you love them more? I myself would like to see Rhodia spiral bound dot notebooks. Are you familiar with the Exacompta index cards? I would love to see dot versions of these as well. (Exacompta, Rhodia, J. Herbin and Quo Vadis, are all brands under the Clairefontaine parent company umbrella. Decopatch and Brause too.)

022509 002

Optical Character Recognition and Colored Inks

Herbin Inks

Optical character recognition, (OCR) is the mechanical/electronic conversion of scanned or photographed images of typewritten or printed text into machine-encoded/computer-readable text. It is widely used as a form of data entry from some sort of original paper data source, whether passport documents, invoices, bank statement, receipts, business card, mail, or any number of printed records. It is a common method of digitizing printed texts so that they can be electronically edited, searched, stored more compactly, displayed on-line, and used in machine processes such as machine translation, text-to-speech, key data extraction and text mining. (Per wiki)

If you are using an OCR app to digitize your handwritten notes, have you taken notice whether there are any issues when using colored inks? What about colored inks on white versus ivory or yellow paper? Do you have any favorite OCR apps or software that you’d like to recommend?

Does Writing Things Down Make You Smarter?

cropped-M1000-Blog-Header

A recent post on mypenneedsink.com about writing things down caught my eye. I asked the writer if I could have permission to use the first paragraph of his post to share with all of you on Rhodia Drive. I thought his ideas might spark some good conversation and insights from the group, on whether is notebook system, and writing things down vs. typing on a keyboard has additional benefits besides the pleasure of writing.   As our conversation progressed, I asked him if he would like to write about the topic on Rhodia Drive.  I am delighted to introduce Bob, from My Pen Needs Ink. Visit him there for other pens, paper and ink adventures.

***

Hello from a guest poster you may not recognize, though I hope to change that in the future.  I’m Bob and I blog over at www.mypenneedsink.com about pens, paper, writing accessories and life experiences of a pen enthusiast.  I was honored to be asked by Karen to guest post here on Rhodia Drive about my use of project notebooks.  I hope to hear from you and get the opportunity to share experiences.

I think writing things down makes me smarter. OK, maybe not really smarter but at least a better retainer of information.  I have always had a To Do list personality but I get more benefit from penning thoughts than just writing tasks down and crossing them off later. I seem to retain knowledge better when I record my thoughts with ink on paper.  I have recently converted to a journal or notebook for each of the variety of projects that keep me busy.  The board of my home owners association, my daughter’s wedding, longer term home improvement projects and the like. These usually require meetings or visits outside my home or office whether it’s over lunch with my daughter or at the home center for that next piece of lumber.  I just grab the appropriate project notebook, my favorite pen and I’m ready.

One could successfully argue that the safety of paper notebooks is risky due to loss or damage but I would call it a wash since electronic media can crash, get damaged and get lost as well.

My preferred format is the side staple bound notebook with fountain pen friendly paper. The side staple format lays flat in my briefcase and stacks easily on the desk. Each notebook has a label on the front and the back courtesy of the little plastic tape label makers you can get at any of the office supply stores. Labeling front and back helps with quick retrievals when fumbling around in my briefcase.

All my entries start with a date and after that it’s free form.  It could be a contact phone number, a window treatment measurement, a drawing, a price quote or any type of information that is hard fro me to keep track of in the different formats of the electronic project management software/apps.

I’m not building space shuttles but for me juggling right at my capacity of what I want to do and what I need to do these notebooks work great for me.

What do you think? Have you found writing things down help build your knowledge base?

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In Your Bag

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of Rhodia in your bag to: stephanie at rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page.  ... Read on »

Rhodia Customization Module

Visit our customization module at Exaclair.com

Grab Your Camera and Show us Where You Buy Your Rhodia!

Target? Dick Blick? Borders? Art Brown? We want you to show us where you buy your Rhodia... The next time you are out and about,  snap us a picture of where you buy your Rhodia products so we can assemble an online gallery of local retailers. To... Read on »

Favorite Pens

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of your favorite pen: stephanie@rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page. ... Read on »

David Allen of GTD on Rhodia

David Allen is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the time management method known as “Getting Things Done”. David comments on the Rhodia Meeting Book: “I love this Rhodia pad. First, the paper stands... Read on »

Chef Hosea Rosenberg on Rhodia

Season 5 (Bravo Network) Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg, originally from Taos, New Mexico, was always good at math. After graduating 3rd in his class at Taos High School, he moved to Boulder, CO to study at the University of Colorado. His dream... Read on »

Download the Life Noted App

Life Noted App

Visit the App Store on your iOS 7 device to download Life Noted

Would you like to be a guest blogger on Rhodia Drive?

If so, contact me via e-mail at stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com with your proposed subject matter. We are looking for posts ranging in length from 100-500 words. Photos to accompany the article are a welcome bonus. If you have been reading... Read on »

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About

Rhodia Drive is a blog about Rhodia notebooks and the people who use them. It’s a place where devotees of this “French orange notebook” contribute ideas, experiences and links on the latest tools, events and general notebook-related news.

Rhodia Drive attracts creative people passionate about their Rhodia. Designers and artists, writers and pen collectors, thinkers and free spirits—anyone who loves notebooks—come together on Rhodia Drive.