Tuesday Talk Back: Big, Little, or Somewhere in Between?

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If you regularly use a bound notebook or journal, what size do you prefer, and why?

Shown above is a purple pocket sized (A6 3 ½ x 5 ½ ”) Rhodiarama Webbie, a large (A5 8 ¼” x 5 ½”) Landscape Webbie and an extra large (A4 8 1/4 x 11 3/4″) Quo Vadis Habana.

My go-to size for a long time has been A5. 5×8″ books allow for me, a decent amount of real estate to write as large as I like and/or to sketch without feeling cramped. I also think this size isn’t too large to stick into a purse or backpack. I find 3×5″ books a bit too small for my needs, – though I do like and have occasionally used the 4×6″ Habanas, which are even better for portability.

The 8×11″ Habana shown above? I’ve had it for quite a while but haven’t yet committed to a use for it. Fear of The Blank Page? Perhaps…

The Paper Project Week 5: “Size Matters” Your Chance to Sample 4 Different Size Rhodia Pads

Rhodia Products

The Paper Project is our way to offer a variety of Exaclair paper samples to 50 people each week. Every Monday, we will be offering paper samples from 1-4 products to 50 people on a first come, first served basis. (There is no limit to how many weeks you can participate!) Samples will be mailed once we reach 50 participants with recipients being notified via e-mail.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST – WE HAVE REACHED 50 PARTICIPANTS FOR THIS WEEK. TUNE IN NEXT MONDAY FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT 

This week’s Paper Project: “Size Matters” 

Since we know that many of you make your notepad selections by size in order to suit specific writing needs, this week, we are offering a variety of sizes of the classic head stapled Rhodia pads for you to try because who knows, you might just find a new size that you can’t live without! 

Week 5 samples include 1 sheet each of 80g white Rhodia line ruled paper from each of the following sizes: 

  • No. 8, (3 x 8 ¼”) 
  • No. 10 (2 x 3″)
  • No.16 (6 x 8 ¼ “)
  • No. 19 (8 ¼ x 12 ½ “) 

If you have been chosen to receive samples in any given week, please come back and leave comments on the corresponding week’s page. We also welcome you to blog or share to your favorite social media sites about your experiences.

Tag #rhodiapaperproject on Instagram and Pinterest. If you’d like us to see your Paper Project blog posts, post your links in the comment section on corresponding week’s page OR to our Rhodia Drive Facebook page.

What kind of comments are we looking for?

  • How would you use all these different sizes?
  • Tell us what you like/don’t like about the paper.
  • How do you like using pencil/pen/fountain pen on it.
  • Would you use it to write/draw/doodle/sketch etc.?
  • …and anything else you think we should know.

Need a few recent reviews for inspiration?

Rhodia Paper Project Week 1 at Nerd Uprising

re: Rhodia Ice “I love that the grey graph is dark enough to guide my lines but not so pronounced as to distract from the words themselves.”

Week #1 sampling group for The Paper Project at bjw-draw

“maybe the best paper I have ever used for ink drawings. It accepts all the types of ink I depend on in my work.”

You can also check out the reviews that people are posting in the comment section of the Week 1 Week 2 and Week 3 posts. 

If you are viewing this post via e-mail or on a mobile device, you may need to visit Rhodia Drive directly to see the entry form. (Entries must be received through the form – please do not post your name and address in the comment section of this post to receive samples. Thank you!) 

 

Noteworthy: Guest Blogger Mike Dudek from The Clicky Post

Mike Dudek Clicky Post

Mike Dudek of Dudek Modern Goods  and The Clicky Post is this week’s Noteworthy Guest Blogger

Do you ever look back on actions you’ve taken or choices you’ve made in the past that have shaped your “today”? The origins of my Dudek Modern Goods brand came almost by chance. On the contrary, like starting any blog, writing The Clicky Post was a very conscious decision and was one I knew I would be committing to from the start, but the creation of my line of walnut pen holders was something that evolved all on its own.

The start of Dudek Modern Goods was not intentional and began when I was visiting my local specialty lumber yard to purchase material for a home project I was doing. While perusing their aisle of scrap hardwood pieces they sell to hobbyists, I stumbled upon a good sized piece of walnut and thought “I could make something from this”.

Mike Dudek Modern Goods

As I had already started writing the blog and my collection of pens continued to grow, I knew I needed a place to store them when not in use and didn’t want to settle on a standard pen cup. Not that there isn’t a place for a pen cup, but when you start investing into nicer writing instruments you want a place to keep them that both protects and displays.

I don’t think I would call myself a true “minimalist”, but I do enjoy items that have a sense of simplicity and elegance. Beauty mingled with high functionality. Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it cannot be of high quality. These underlying thoughts are what lead me to create the first of my walnut pen pieces for my own use and to give to a few close friends early on.

Mike Dudek

I already had a workshop that I would tinker in making various things, so I ventured out and started brainstorming. As I had bought a precut piece of scrap walnut that was about 2.75” tall, 3” deep, and about 20” long (like a big rectangular bar), I had to come up with a design that fit these dimensions. I enjoy symmetry and decided to create my first design in a sort of square or “cube” shape that was 3” x 3” on top. In trying to find the right proportions (again, symmetry) for the hole configuration, I opted for a 9 hole pattern that was evenly spaced from the center. This created a nice aesthetic and balance, but also provided some ample room for the pens to sit comfortably.

Mike Dudek Workshop

There was enough material to make about a half dozen of these “cubes”, so I went to work and created my first finished pen holders that would later turn into the start of my Dudek Modern Goods line. They would later become simply known as The Cube. I documented this project of making the first Cubes on the blog through pictures which prompted readers to reach out to me about possibly purchasing them. Once I started hearing from more people and with motivation from friends like Dan Bishop from Karas Kustoms, I knew it was something I could offer to the community which was exciting and fun.

Little did I know it would branch out into what it is today…

Mike Dudek

In the past year and a half I’ve added 4 additional products to the line, done two product collaborations (another in progress), and have shipped my handmade pieces to 20 countries around the world. To say I am humbled is an understatement. As a creator, being able to share your work or products is extremely satisfying and the scale of support has been tremendous. I’ll take a minute to say thank you to all that have contributed to the creation and continuation of these products as I couldn’t do it without your help.

Mike Dudek

I’ve recently released a new product called The Divide which is a piece that holds both pens and pencils with a strategically placed notebook slot as to keep them separate or “divided”. In discussing the guest post on Rhodia Drive (thanks so much for having me), we thought it might be fun to pair up and do a contest/giveaway of The Divide and include some Rhodia notebooks to go along with it!

Enter to win The Divide – a $60 value, this coming Wednesday 11/19 on Rhodia Drive! 

As my habits have evolved into primarily fountain pens for my daily writing, I have turned to Rhodia as my go-to paper as it really one of the best products to use with a liquid ink. My desk/bag is filled with Rhodia products of all sizes with the Dotpads (black cover) N16 and N18 being my primary. A small thing, but something I appreciate, is that each page is perforated.

I love the way Rhodia paper interacts with my fountain pens allowing the ink to set upon the page rather than just being soaked in completely.

A big thanks again to Rhodia Drive for allowing me to guest post and good luck to everyone in the giveaway of The Divide!

The Art of Journaling: With Kids – PLUS – FP Day Contest Winners!

Image courtesy of dominiemahl on Instagram

Image courtesy of dominiemahl on Instagram

Oftentimes, children don’t have an outlet where they are safely able to communicate their feelings. Journal writing can be a very positive experience for children – especially when their efforts are encouraged and supported in a way that allows them to write without feeling like they will “get in trouble” for what they have to say.

In an article by Colorín Colorado, Helping Young Children Develop Strong Writing Skills the author suggests that the practical skill of writing is of value to children as an important form of communication, as well as being an essential element of a student’s education. The article also suggests a number of ways how you can help your child become a stronger writer.

Journaling For Kids at Home Schooling Ideas

“Journaling for kids is a wonderful way to open up new horizons. A journal can be a friend, a confidant and a mentor.”

The Benefits of Journaling for Kids at About Parenting

“For children who have a hard time expressing their needs verbally or making decisions about things, keeping a journal of their thoughts is a great way to help learn emotional organization.

Art Journal with Kids at Creative with Kids

10 Easy Steps to Introduce Journal Writing: Preschool – Third Grade at Waddlee-ah-chaa

Find a variety of posts about Journal Writing Prompts for children at Journal Buddies

Did you enter our Fountain Pen Day Contest? See if you are a winner by checking the list below.

M. David
SheilaM
Mark W
Joi
Jeff from Vancouver
Lynn Bustle
Monty
Shangching
B.Bennett
Drew
ginigin
Kris W.
Cari R.
Pat Hannon
John Ang
Michael
Mark Masterson
Steven Dennis
Herschel
DELively

Tuesday Talk Back: What is your preferred ruling width?

R Ruling

Over the years, we’ve received a number of requests for ruling in a wide range of widths, (anywhere from 4mm, to 9mm) and I’m guessing that a preference for a specific size of ruling is primarily related to the size of one’s handwriting.

While I prefer blank paper, (so I can write as big or as small as I want) I have no problems working with 7-8mm lined ruling. 9mm makes me feel like I’m back in grade school, and 4mm makes my eyes go buggy because all I see are lines.

Do you have a preference for a particular line width? Do you need this width for reasons other than the size of your handwriting?

Read about Ruled Paper on Wikipedia

Read about ruling in Materials and Techniques of Manuscript Production

Google Answers a Question on The History of Ruled Paper 

A Brief History of Lined Paper 

Noteworthy: Project Manager Derek Knoble talks about using Rhodia products on the job

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My name is Derek Knoble. I am a Project Manager for McKesson, a Forbes Top 100 company. I manage the implementation of software to our clients. On a daily basis I am on conference calls with clients, tracking the status of the many projects that I have going on at a single time, working my Six Sigma projects, and learning more about Project Management.

I started out in the support group for my company, where I learned that keeping notes of calls and projects that I worked on there was key to making sure that things went smoothly. I work out of an office building with access to lots of different types of notepads. One thing that I learned early on is that your standard, run of the mill notebooks do not work well with fountain pens, which I have a deep appreciation for.

I had to find something that would allow me to use my collection of pens while making it so that I could read what I had written previously, so my hunt began for the perfect notebook.

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I had not previously used any Rhodia products, and I am not sure that there is even a distributor of them in the town that I live in. I did some research online and saw how well many other fountain pen users had rated them. Sure, they were more expensive than the spiral notebooks found at your typical office supply store. However, I am not one to shy away from a product just because of price.

I started by ordering 2 Black Side Staple-bound A4 notebooks. The lines were wide enough to allow me to write as large as I needed to, and the texture and color of the paper was perfect! I figured that they would last me a while due to the size of the pages. However, I found that I filled them up quite quickly because I was actually enjoying the writing experience more!

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Eventually I decided that I needed something smaller for note-taking for the classes that I take on the side on my way to acquiring more Project Management certifications. I had been eyeballing the Ice series since it had come out and decided to pull the trigger on one. I decided this time to go with the Top Staple-bound No. 16 notepad. This has worked perfect for me! The graph paper is amazing and offers me the flexibility to be as creative on the pages where I have to draw out items, or follow the graph lines to create my own graphs.

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It is crucial as a Project Manager to make sure that you are keeping track of feedback from your clients, ideas for what to work on next, planning a timeline, and just keeping notes on what is talked about on status calls with the clients. Not dreading the writing experience because the pen is giving too much “feedback” on scratchy paper is definitely a nice plus. I found that the 80g paper in these notebooks is perfect for this.

I will most definitely be a Rhodia notebook user for life as I feel the product quality is fantastic. The price for what you get is well worth the initial investment. Showing notes to others around the office makes me feel better as well as I take more pride in what I am writing, as well as what I am writing on, as silly as that sounds.

Tuesday Talk Back: Ink Colors on Ivory Paper – Yay or Nay?

Ivory Rhodia Paper

I’ve always been a big fan of the way ink colors look on off-white or ivory paper and I’m glad to know that some of the folks from week 1 of The Paper Project discovered that they liked it as well.

“…first time trying ivory paper and I liked it a lot! I noticed that it really brought out some of the fountain pen ink colors”

“I agree…that the ivory paper of the Rhodia 80th really made the colors of the inks (gels and ballpoints) pop.”

“I was surprised with how the colors I like to use (relatively muted greens and greys) actually looked nice on the Rhodia 80th Anniversary ivory/grey/graph paper.”

“…although I prefer a lighter ivory paper, warm-toned inks look great on this one!”

“I really love Ivory paper, my absolute favourite in the lot. It enhances fountain pen ink colors.”

What do you think about using colored inks on ivory paper? Does it enhance the way the ink looks, or do you find it distracting? When choosing inks, do you think about how they will look on a warmer toned paper?

The Art of Journaling: Reasons Why You Should

Image courtesy of James Mercer jmercer on Instagram

Image courtesy of James Mercer – jmercer on Instagram

Aside from keeping a diary when I was a pre-teen, I didn’t really start putting pen to paper until mid  September of 2005. I am able note the exact moment in time because I remember making a special trip to Blick to purchase a fancy notebook and pen just for this purpose. (And then there’s this: The day after I bought the journal, I sat and talked with a psychic woman at a local holistic expo who distinctly told me that I needed to get myself a journal and and ink pen and start writing. <– Not making this up.) 

The first entries in that book listed crazy dreams, noted the end of one creative phase (jewelry making) and the start of another. (hand drumming) I wrote about the decline of my dog’s health and a job promotion that wasn’t working out for me.  That journal quickly became a trusted friend. The action of writing in it about whatever was important to me in the moment, became my therapy.

If you need any encouragement on why it’s a good idea to put pen to paper, check out the articles at the links below.

26 Reasons Why I Keep a Journal (And Why You Should, Too) at Huffington Post

“I can yell in my journal and no one will hear me raise my voice”

How to Journal in 10 Simple Steps at Journaling Saves

“Words, on a page. It’s really that simple.”

30 Days to a Better Man Day 8: Start a Journal at The Art of Manliness

“Why Keep a Journal? Your children and grandchildren will want to read it.”

Famous Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary at Brain Pickings

“Journaling, I believe, is a practice that teaches us better than any other the elusive art of solitude — how to be present with our own selves, bear witness to our experience, and fully inhabit our inner lives.”

How to start a journal – and keep it up at The Guardian

“You don’t need to create a masterpiece; you just need to write or draw something in the journal every day to get into the swing of it.”

10 Famous Authors on the Importance of Keeping a Journal at Flavorwire

“Why did I write it down? In order to remember, of course, but exactly what was it I wanted to remember? How much of it actually happened? Did any of it?”  – Joan Didion

Keeping a Journal Can Change Your Life at The Change Blog

“You will get better if you practice, and your journal is an ideal place to do so – no-one will laugh at clumsy phrases or failed experimental pieces, and you can write about whatever topics inspire you the most.”

The Paper Project Week 2: Your Chance to Sample 3 Different Blank Papers

Clairefontaine Triomphe

The Paper Project is our way to offer a variety of Exaclair paper samples to 50 (FIFTY! We’ve increased it to Fifty!) people each week. Every Monday, we will be offering paper samples from 1-4 products to 50 people on a first come, first served basis. (There is no limit to how many weeks you can participate!) Samples will be mailed once we reach 50 participants and recipients will be notified via e-mail.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST – WE HAVE REACHED 50 PARTICIPANTS FOR THIS WEEK. TUNE IN NEXT MONDAY FOR THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF THE PAPER PROJECT 

Week 2 samples will include 1 sheet each of these 3 6×8″blank Exaclair products:

  • Clairefontaine Graf It 
  • G Lalo Stationery (white) 
  • Clairefontaine Triomphe

If you have been chosen to receive samples in any given week, please come back and leave comments on the corresponding week’s page. We welcome you to blog or share to your favorite social media sites about your experiences.

Tag #rhodiapaperproject on Instagram and Pinterest. If you’d like us to see your Paper Project blog posts, post your links in the comment section on corresponding week’s page OR to our Rhodia Drive Facebook page.

What kind of comments are we looking for?

  • Tell us what you like/don’t like about the paper.
  • How do you like using pencil/pen/fountain pen on it.
  • Would you use it to write/draw/doodle/sketch etc.?
  • - and anything else you think we should know.

If you are viewing this post via e-mail or on a mobile device, you may need to visit Rhodia Drive directly to see the entry form. (Entries must be received through the form – please do not post your name and address in the comment section of this post  to receive samples. Thank you!) 

 

Noteworthy: Guest blogger Ron Manwaring from Pen Chalet

Pen Chalet Ron Manwaring

Today’s Noteworthy guest blogger is Ron Manwaring from Pen Chalet. Welcome Ron! 

I was first introduced to Rhodia because of my passion for fountain pens. Designing, building and maintaining the website for Pen Chalet has also helped, since we sell Rhodia pads and notebooks online.  I like to keep a small Rhodia pad at my desk or with me wherever I go, so I can jot down a quick idea or sketch out a new design. I also keep a short task list of thing to do so I don’t forget them and I can prioritize my goals. I find if I don’t write things down as they come, I may forget them later.  I am a big believer of the Chinese proverb, “The palest ink is better than the best memory”.

the_fountain_pen

I recently created an infographic on the fountain pen. When the idea came to me, I immediately grabbed a Rhodia pad and began to sketch out the idea. (Since Rhodia pads come in a wide range of sizes, it is easy to find a small notepad to carry with me at all times.) The infographic shows basic elements of the fountain pen; from the anatomy of the pen, to the nib and feed sections. It also shows a brief history of fountain pens, common brands and more.

In the fountain pen community, there are few notebooks that are “fountain pen friendly”. Rhodia is accepted by the community as one of those and considered one of the top choices by fountain pen users across the globe. I have found that I can lay down a lot of ink on the paper and it will not feather or bleed through. Many cheaper papers will soak in fountain pen ink, causing the writing to feather and bleed. The 80g Rhodia paper is smooth and durable, and the cover is coated- making it waterproof yet flexible, which makes the top staple bound pads ideal for carrying.

I enjoy what I do! I have been in web design and development now for over 10 years for various companies. Creating websites and digital images such as infographics gives me a sense of accomplishment. To be able to watch an idea take shape and then to implement it on the web and share with others is a lot of fun.

Many thanks for sharing your story Ron! Stay tuned for additional Noteworthy guest bloggers each weekend here on Rhodia Drive. 

NEW: The Art of Journaling – PLUS Anniversary Contest Winners!

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The Art of Journaling is a new weekly segment on Rhodia Drive where you can expect to read about the who, what, where, when & why of journaling. How is journaling defined? We see it as an individual’s record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept for (primarily) private use.

We will be offering various how-to’s and also be talking about the overall benefits of keeping a journal. Whether written by hand or filled with art, the possibilities are endless and we hope you will join us in the weeks to come.

I myself am a huge fan of  the stream-of-consciousness style of journaling. It’s the same kind of writing that Julia Cameron encourages doing as part of her “Morning Pages” routine in her bestseller, The Artist’s Way(PS – The Artist’s Way isn’t just for artists. It’s for anyone interested in personal development.)

*There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages* they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.

And now on to our next order of business – Announcing the winners of our Rhodia Anniversary Giveaway!

Elizabeth H.
Lisavi
Sherry Cohen
Max J
Janet A
Daniel Setareh
Chris D.
Eddie from Raleigh
S Burch
Dan from Mount Morris
Alexander Gruber
Vicki Nishioka
David Molitor
Ray Ambrosini
Kurt H

The prizes will be mailed out tomorrow (Friday) and you should all expect to receive them in the week ahead. Thanks to all who took the time to enter!

Tuesday Talk Back: Time it takes for ink to dry on the page – Important to you?

Herbin Ink in Clairefontaine

Clairefontaine and Rhodia papers are often cherished by fountain pen users because their water based inks typically do not bleed through or feather on our papers. How does this work? Clairefontaine manufactures the papers in a such a way that it resists more ink rather than it absorbs. (Want to learn more about paper manufacturing processes? Check out Clairefontaine’s Paper Vocabulary here.)

HERBIN Blotter paperDownsides to this process? For some, depending on the size of the nib, type of ink used, and or relative humidity, ink might take longer to dry on the page. (This is why blotting paper was invented. J. Herbin makes blotting paper)

Is the length of time it takes for ink to dry on the page important to you? Have you ever switched to a different paper because of it? Do you use blotter paper?

Tuesday Talk Back: The Benefits of a Consistent Source of Paper Manufacturing

clairefontaine_mill

The Clairefontaine company in France is now managed by sixth generation family members and is currently the only European manufacturer making its own paper for its own products. This guarantees consistent quality and better control over the environmental impact of the manufacturing process.

If you will, please tell us which of these things  is most important to you as a consumer:

  • Clairefontaine paper is made from pulp and wood by-products from forests independently certified by PEFC or FSC as sustainably managed.
  • Clairefontaine has reduced its water consumption through an advanced recycling method. The water is returned to the River Meurthe cleaner than when it arrived at the mill. The water is so clean when it is returned to the river people can swim, boat and fish downstream within sight of the mill.
  • Our paper is chlorine-free. A gift of nature, a mineral called calcium carbonate gives Clairefontaine paper its famous trademark qualities of extra white and ultra smooth.
  • The ink used in all Clairefontaine and Rhodia products abides by the most stringent European environmental standards. The inks are water-based and made from vegetable oil pigments.
  • We supply most of our own energy as Clairefontaine operates a dual power generation system (electricity and steam) which supplies 80% of the mill’s needs.
  • Through a plan for improving sorting at source and recycling/transforming, Clairefontaine has reduced the quantity of solid waste produced by the plant by over two-thirds. Packaging is designed to produce the least waste (returnable containers, bulk packaging, etc.) The waste from the water treatment plant is converted into agricultural compost. This is a first for the paper industry.

Who would like to see fountain pen friendly Rhodia Engineering paper?

Engineer Paper

We received a recent letter from Michael Marchesan asking us to develop an fountain pen friendly engineer’s pad. When Karen Doherty asked why engineers couldn’t use the standard grid, Michael responded as follows:

I used to do all of my math/science on graph paper for years until I began engineering study and realized the beauty of engineering paper. 

Engineering paper has it’s grid on the backside, which you do not actually write on. The grid shows through to the front of the paper which is blank, so you can have the benefits of writing on gridded paper, without actually writing on a grid.

When you tear your sheet off the glued-top-bound pad, it appears as if though you wrote in perfectly straight lines and did all your calculations, figures and measurements with incredible precision on a blank sheet without the distraction of a grid on your work.

The other benefit to this is that the grid does not show up when your work is photocopied from engineering paper.

Each grid on engineering paper is 0.2″x0.2″, with bold grid-lines forming 1″x1″ squares every 5 grids–great for scaling and doing precise engineering calculations and figures.

So who else out there would like to see Rhodia produce a fountain pen friendly version of this specialized paper? Spread the word and tell people to comment on this post.

European Paper Company: Ltd. Edition Rhodia ICE – Coupon code inside

European Paper Company

Boulder Colorado based online retailer European Paper Company is now stocking the Ltd. Edition Rhodia ICE products and is offering a coupon for $5 off an $85 purchase by using the coupon code ICE5 before 10/15.

Five sizes are available in this special edition of a customer favorite:

No. 11 –  3 x 4″
No. 12 – 3.375 x 4.75″
No. 13 – 4 x 6″
No. 16 – 6 x 8.25″
No. 18 – 8.25 x 11.75″

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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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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.