Archive for Guest Bloggers

Guest Blogger Gabe Couch: Designer at Few

Gabe Couch

I’m Gabe Couch, a designer and partner at Few. I’m also CEO of our internal startup, Tagless Style - an alternative online style service. Our group of friends launched a design and development conference in 2012 called Made by Few and last year Designed by Few which was a large part of launching Few, a mobile and web application development house. We are located in the center of Arkansas (The Natural State) and are working on creating a truly creative culture here. Continue Readering »

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

Does Writing Things Down Make You Smarter?


A recent post on 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 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?

Sandra Strait reviews the Clairefontaine Calligraphy pad

The Secret Life of Seeds & Spores

“I can’t wait to try out a glass dip pen on it.  I know the results will be beautiful, but I also anticipate a satisfaction in matching a beautiful paper to a beautiful pen, and capturing a sense of writing in a way as people have written for centuries.  That creates a connection for me.  Even though I’m a computer-fiend, I was a pen-and-paper fiend first, and the computer will never recreate that sense of connection.  Or the feeling that not only am I creating a beautiful thing, but that the act of creating it is beautiful in itself.  The action of making marks, moving pen across the page–these are artful things.”

Life Imitates Doodles blogger and artist Sandra Strait is a favorite of ours for reviewing our products because of her willingness to be so very thorough. As an artist myself, I know how common it can be in the moment to want to use a variety of mixed mediums on a surface that isn’t always intended to accept it. When anyone takes the time to test a wide variety of wet and dry mediums on an individual product, I find it incredibly helpful. In this review, Sandra tests this paper using pen and ink, fountain pen, rollerball, collage with glue and gel medium, acrylic paint, colored pencil, photo transfer, and finally, watercolor paint. You can read her full review which included loads of pictures, here. 

How to Take Notes: Guest Post from the UK’s Ryman Stationery

Rhodia Notebooks - Ryman Store

Writing Notes

Everyone, at some point, will need to write down a note to themselves. Whether it’s a shopping list or lecture notes, we all have to write things down to help jog our memories later on.

If your notes are usually two or three words scribbled in a dying pen, then you’ll know full well that bad notes are tricky business. Here are some tips on making notes for yourself, so that your ideas are as clear and inviting as the gorgeous Rhodia notebook that they’re written in. Continue Readering »

Guest Blogger Fred Pitts: Yellow vs White Rhodia Paper


Fredric Pitts: Review of two Rhodia No. 19 pads of lined paper – one white and one yellow.

“When I sat down to write with these two papers I will admit that I had preconceived ideas about how the experience would go… and I was wrong. I thought that the white paper would be great for fountain pens and, thus, my favorite. The yellow, reported to be toothier, would be great for pencil but not fountain pens and I rarely use anything but fountain pens. On both pads the lines are nicely spaced for my hand and the page has lots of real estate to write upon which is great for the desk top, not really my favorite size for travel. Continue Readering »

Guest Post: New Year, New Pen


Earlier in the year, I’d written a post about New Pens for the New Year and Jane Herman took the time to write about her wanting to try a new pen and then discovering an opportunity to test it in person. Be sure to visit Jane’s blog, Jane the Writer. 

“For some time, I’ve been eying these Papermate Flair pens, but was reluctant to buy the whole set without the opportunity to try one first. My chance came yesterday, when my sister and I stumbled upon University Stationery just two doors down from the movie theater where we’d spent the afternoon. The bins of individual brightly colored pens waiting to be tested and the piles of Rhodia notebooks and pads caught my eye immediately in this high-end, but cramped independent stationery store in the neighborhood of NYU. It didn’t take much to convince my sister we should pop in, and like a kid in a candy store, I tested pen after pen after pen, even though I knew all along that the blue ultra fine Flair above would leave the store with me.

The pen, a gift from me to me, got its test run in the office today and passed with flying colors. The ink is smooth, the color vibrant, the line fine and sharp, and, best of all, it doesn’t bleed through the pages in my brand new planner! If this experience is a sign of things to come, 2014 is off to a great start!”

What new pens have you purchased this year so far?


Guest Blogger Samantha Kimball: Some Thoughts on Journaling and Handwriting


Sometimes I get an idea stuck in my head like a song. There’s no melody, just this endless train of thought, which picks up passengers every time I click a link or open a book. Lately, journaling has both been the stuck idea and the means to exorcise it.

I’ve been journaling since I could hold a pen, and I have always kept a paper journal. Neither the journaling nor the choice of paper was a conscious decision, just a way of relating to the world. With a few breaks here and there, this habit has stuck with me through adulthood. Continue Readering »

Guest Blogger: Wayne H.W Wolfson – Dreaming Always of & In Paris

wwolfson for rhodia

“Street Sign” Wayne Wolfson

Dreaming Always of & In Paris by Wayne H.W Wolfson

2 A.M, off in the distance lay The Sacre Coeur now reduced to the shadow of a leviathan around which is a slopping hilled base that someone has scattered a smattering of stars around that continue to wink despite having been pulled down from the sky. It was my first night back in Paris and the next day I would be moving back into my familiar sublet.

First was the dying swan of pen ink from the borrowed pen which caused the waiter to give me an annoyed look
as he knew that there was now a finite number of times left that the pen could softly declaim;  Continue Readering »

Rhodia on the Road: In Cuba

Rhodia in Cuba

Kim King from the blog Consider the Lilies recently sent us this note and photo:

“Just got back from a month in Cuba, helping out with a series of eleven day-camps for children…fabulous experience.  Each campamento ended with an excursion to the beach for the children and an older family member… Rhodia on the Caribbean!

Aside from the joy of writing on something that represents practical, reliable, utility mixed with pleasing funkiness (Orange all the way for me… grid, dot, rectangle or square), I also now appreciate that the quality of Rhodia’s paper is directly related to how well the paper stands up in extremely hot and humid environments… no wrinkly edges or soggy pages in these notebooks!

I also love flipping back through Rhodias and noticing what I used them for…I can only imagine my future smile when I flip back through this particular pad in the years to come and see the lists of vocabulary, the quick paintings with a pen of what I could see at a given moment, the jotted lists of necessary materials for a given craft, the careful spelling out of words for children. Each pad is a sort of running memory of an experience fully lived.”

Guest Blogger: Bob Miano and his new Edison Pen Company #76 “Blow Filler”


Today we welcome guest blogger Bob Miano. All text and images courtesy of Bob. 

This is a new custom-made Edison Pen Company #76 “Blow Filler.”  Blow filling was one of many early means of filling fountain pens. Filling the pen involves blowing into a small hole at the end of the barrel while the nib is submerged in ink.  Blowing creates pressure inside the pen that compresses the ink sac.  When blowing is stopped, the pressure is released and the ink sac expands back to its original size – drawing ink into the sac. Continue Readering »

Guest Post: Bring Back My Webbie to Me!



Bring Back My Webbie to Me!
By Amit Yariv from Ramat Hasharon, Israel

It was the Great Winston Churchill who said, “I am a man of simple tastes, easily satisfied with the best”, a statement to which I (and I suspect quite a few of this blog’s readers) subscribe with heart and soul.

I am both a lawyer and a writer – both occupations I like quite a bit, one of them allows me to create reality unbound by the rules of logic, sense or common morals; the other one is my writing career. Continue Readering »

Is Handwriting Worth Saving?

Allow me to paint an image in your mind. You wake up tomorrow and find that you and everyone else around you began to sound the same. Would you be alarmed? If our voices one day were stripped away and replaced with this monotone robotic voice we would all lose a part of our identity. Our syntax, tone, pitch, the way your voice picks up a few notches when you get excited or the way your voice gets soft when you’re scared. It conveys a message that cannot be replaced.

Continue Readering »

Guest Post: Dave Marler reviews the Rhodia ePure

Like a child on Christmas morning, I excitedly opened the package from Exaclair knowing inside I would find the Rhodia ePure samples sent my way from the home office.

This would be my first experience with Rhodia products and I looked forward to seeing what all the fuss was about. Continue Readering »

Limited Edition Visconti Portofino and Rhodia

What do you think of this pen? Our friend Mike in Chi Town sent us this image of his recent acquisition.

“This is a Visconti Portofino L.E. # 26 of 150 made exclusively by Visconti for the Fountain Pen Hospital c2001.

What is so UNIQUE about this pen is Continue Readering »

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In Your Bag

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

Rhodia Customization Module

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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: 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 »

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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 »

Journaling Blogs

Other Sites of Interest


Exaclair Themed Videos

Rhodia Anniversary Video

Rhodia Classic Pad Showcase

PanPastel and Rhodia

Rhodia Fashion Show

Tom Bihn loves Rhodia

Clairefontaine Basics - Life. Unplugged Clairefontaine vs. Rhodia

Alberto Lung reviews the Rhodia Pencil

Testing a vintage Mabie Swan fountain pen with a lot of flex - on a Rhodia Pad

Click here to read the story behind this video.


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.