Clairefontaine Paper Variations

Clairefontaine is well-known for making high quality paper in a large variety of sizes, styles and purposes. How do you go about deciding which kind of Clairefontaine paper is best to fit your needs? Here’s some handy information from the Exaclair website that can really help:

Clairefontaine Paper Chart

Product Weight Description
Notebooks 90 g Extra white paper, except for spiral multi-subject which is a light pastel color. Ruled, ruled with margin, French ruled, graph, blank, staves (music notebook), staple bound, spiral, clothbound, hardcover
Pads 90 g Extra white paper, staple bound, spiral
Triomphe Tablets 90 g Extra white, blank, ruled
DCP Paper 100 g Bright white, blank
Graf it Sketch Pads 90 g White
Spiral Drawing Pads 120 g White, medium tooth surface
Spiral Sketch Pads 90 g White, medium tooth surface
Spiral Watercolor Pads 300 g White, cold pressed
Calligraphy Pad 130 g Ivory, simili Japon paper
“Fontaine” Watercolor 300 g 100% cotton rag, natural white, cold pressed
“Ingres” Pastel Pad 130 g White – slight ivory tinge
Color – assorted, sand, almond, ochre, sooty black
Laid finish
Oil Pad 240 g White – linen texture
Acrylic 360 g White, hot pressed
Pollen Stationery 210 g
120 g
22 colors
All sheets and cards
All envelopes

In addition to the difference in types of Clairefontaine paper, many people wonder how Rhodia paper compares to Clairefontaine paper. If you’d like to know the answer, the Rhodia Drive blog explains the difference between Rhodia and Clairefontaine Paper.

Cole at The Orchard gives us her take on the differences between Clairefontaine Digital Color Printing Paper, Ingres Pastel Pad, Graf it Sketchpad and the Kalligraphie Pad, as well as giving us a nice comparison of the Rhodia Webnotebook and the Quo Vadis Habana Journal.

What’s your favorite Clairefontaine paper?

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Don’t Be List-Less!

Do you keep lists? To-do lists, shopping lists, goals, action plans, appointments, what else do you keep lists of? Even though I have an iPhone and a lap top computer I still like to have my lists on paper. I find that the act of writing my thoughts down on paper helps me to remember things and to reorganize.

Daily to-do lists are really helpful if you’re busy like me. I like to write all of the most important to-do items at the top of my list, and write the less important tasks at the bottom. If I happen to be driving around that day I group my to-do items by location to make the most of my time and travel expenses. One of the most satisfying things about having a paper list is crossing the tasks off as they are completed! The next day I carry over any unfinished tasks to my new list.

A suggestion I recently heard but have yet to try is writing each of your to-do items on separate index cards. Then divide your index cards into two groups – the first group is for tasks you would like to get done today, the second group is for things to do tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, reorganize your index cards into the same two groups and repeat. Exacompta Index Cards would be great for this purpose since they are so wonderful to use with fountain pens. They also have a grid pattern on them so that any edge of the card can be the top.

One trick to making paper lists work is remembering to bring them with you! I often tape these lists to the door I go through when I leave in the morning so I’m sure not to forget them. Now, Bob’s Your Uncle has made this even simpler with their Handy Handle Pad. No more tape is required since this notepad hangs right on the door handle. If you’re the type that has a pretty extensive daily to-do list Bob’s Your Uncle also makes the No Tomorrow Planner Pad with generous space for appointments and other lists. Just tear off the page and go! If you like to make lists of pros and cons when making decisions there’s even a list pad for that, the Yeah…But List Pad has two columns especially for this purpose.

There are many shapes, sizes and styles of list pads to choose from. Behance, known for its Action Method product line, has a couple of pocket size options to help increase your productivity – the Action Runner and Action Cards. Padblocks makes magnetic list pads with birds or dogs as well as list pads decorated with cats and flowers. Rhodia has list pads in orange and black, and we even have a Googims Time is Money checklist. What’s your favorite list pad and what do you use it for?

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Equation for the Perfect Writing Tools

If you are particular about what you write with like me, you may agree that the following equation, when put together just right, adds up to a great writing experience:

Pen (A) + Ink (B) + Paper (C) = The Perfect Writing Experience (YAY)!

There is no right or wrong answer to this equation since the answer will depend on the preferences and tastes of the writer.

I’m still in the process of experimenting with pens, inks and papers to see what works for me. Being a Lefty adds some additional challenges since I’m always trying to avoid a big mess of smeared ink. Much to my dismay, I’ve discovered that I am not able to use Clairefontaine’s fabulously smooth 90g white paper for everyday writing with a fountain pen. Almost all fountain pen ink dries too slowly on this paper for my style of left-handed writing and I make a huge mess. *Sniff* However, I can use this paper successfully with a fine nib Platinum Preppy fountain pen using Platinum ink cartridges, Pentel Energel or Slicci gel pens, or some other non-fountain pens and pencils. I’m in the process of testing other types of Clairefontaine paper such as the Graf it sketch pads to see if I can use it regularly with fountain pens. It seems that I need a paper that is slightly absorbent and not too coated, that still resists ink feathering and bleed-through. Right now I am loving J. Herbin Ink since it seems to have a pretty decent drying time. As regards to the pen I use, well, is it possible to have too many pens? I tend to write with whatever I’m in the mood for that particular day.

This is where I need to hear from you. Please leave a comment and tell me what your perfect writing tools are. I’d love to get some valuable tips from other writers!

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Dot Grid Notebooks

Dot grid paper is a fun alternative to traditional ruled or graph paper. With a dot grid any edge of the page can be “up”.  This paper is visually less cluttered than graph or ruled paper, but still provides a guide for those who like to keep their writing in a straight line. A great choice for those who like to write and doodle on the same paper! It’s nice to see the variety of choices is increasing for those who prefer dot grid paper.

Rhodia just introduced the dotPad which is a top stapled notepad available in four different sizes. The Rhodia dotPad contains white paper with pale violet dots in a 5mm x 5mm grid. This paper is super smooth and loved by fountain pen users around the world. We have a handful of these notepads available with more to follow.

The Behance Dot Grid Book is a large spiral-bound notebook filled with white paper dotted by a light grey geometric dot matrix. Behance’s other notebooks such as the Action Book and Action Pad are designed to increase productivity and organization in your life and incorporate dot grids into their designs.

Bob’s Your Uncle Pretty Vacant spiral-bound notebook offers cream colored paper with pale green dots. Gotta love the green dots! Great for doodling, sketching, drafting, or writing and made from responsibly managed forests.

WRITERSBLOK notebooks have a stitched binding, are available in small, medium and large sizes and contain cream paper with a very subtle light grey 5mm x 5mm dot grid. You can feel good using these notebooks because a percentage of sales from WRITERSBLOK goes to literacy-related programs around the USA.

Do you love dot grid paper as much as we do? What do you use your dot grid notepads for?

UPDATE: Writer’s Bloc now has a webpage dedicated to Dot Grid Notebooks. Take a look and check out the latest notebooks with dot grid paper. 

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What is 90 g Paper?

When paper has a weight of 90 g (or gm/m2, gsm, g/m2), this means that one sheet of this paper that is one square meter in size weighs 90 grams. Paper that is 80 g would most often be lighter and thinner than 90 g paper, paper that is 100 g would be thicker and heavier. This European measurement is approximately equal to the English measurement of 24 lb. bond/writing or 60 lb. text paper. I’m not even going to attempt to explain the complicated English method of measuring paper density, but you can read about it on Wikipedia if you wish.

Clairefontaine 90 g paper is well-known and loved by fountain pen users the world over. The weight of this paper combined with Clairefontaine’s super smooth finish performs very well with fountain pen nibs and ink. There is very minimal, if any, problems with fountain pen ink on this paper such as bleeding through the paper, feathering or showing through to the other side. If you haven’t already tried Clairefontaine’s famous paper why not add some to your collection. Your fountain pen and your hand will thank you!

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