Clairefontaine Loose Leaf Paper Rules!

Clairefontaine Loose Leaf Paper Package
Clairefontaine Loose Leaf Paper Package

Just about everyone in the USA and Canada is familiar with the bulk packages of loose leaf paper for 3-ring binders that are purchased in late summer at the the beginning of every school year. Loose leaf paper is generally utilitarian: very cheap in quality and price and not meant for enjoying the pleasure of writing. If you’d like loose leaf paper that goes above and beyond common no-frills paper, the exceptional quality of Clairefontaine loose leaf paper will take you to a much higher level.

Clairefontaine Loose Leaf Paper - Ruled with Margin
Clairefontaine Loose Leaf Paper – Ruled with Margin

Clairefontaine is a French paper manufacturer that is famous for the fine quality of its products. Their loose leaf paper has a weight of 90 g so it is thicker than ordinary binder paper. The paper has an ultra-smooth finish that keeps your pen happily gliding across the page. Fountain pens write like a dream on this paper because there are very few, if any, problems with ink feathering, bleeding through or showing through the paper.

Clairefontaine Loose Leaf Paper - Pastel Graph
Clairefontaine Loose Leaf Paper – Pastel Graph

Clairefontaine standard loose leaf paper is bright white so you can really enjoy the full impact of any color of ink you choose to write with. It is also available in packs of pastel colors that can be useful for organization. The paper has pale violet lines and comes in these formats: ruled, French ruled, graph (5 mm x 5 mm grid) and blank.

Many of these loose sheets are metric A4 size which is approximately 8 1/4″ x 11 3/4″ compared to common 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper in the USA. They are meant to be held in 3-ring or 4-ring A4 size binders which can be rather hard to come by in the USA but they are regularly imported and sold at Writer’s Bloc.

The funky arrangement of holes punched in this paper allows it to fit inside American 3-ring binders, but the paper will stick out a little from the top and bottom of the binder. If you need to use an American standard size binder, this problem can be solved by taking the paper in to a local print shop or office supply store and having a little trimmed off the bottom and top of the pages.

Clairefontaine 4-Ring Binder for Loose Leaf A4 Size Paper
Clairefontaine 4-Ring Binder for Loose Leaf A4 Size Paper

Clairefontaine also has double sheets, which are A3 size pages folded in half to make a double A4 size sheet that’s connected at the spine. In French they are called “Copies Doubles Perforees” or in English “Double Sheets”.

Clairefontaine Double Sheets - French Ruled
Clairefontaine Double Sheets – French Ruled

Since Clairefontaine manufactures their own paper, they can guaranty consistent quality and they can control the environmental impact of the manufacturing process. Their paper is made from materials sourced from certified sustainable forests, is chlorine-free and is only printed with natural inks. Clairefontaine supplies most of their own energy and they are committed to waste reduction and recycling.

We love Clairefontaine loose leaf paper so much that we make a special effort to import it from France. It takes a few months of travel in a shipping container to get it to the USA but we feel it’s definitely worth the wait!

Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test - Front
Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test – Front
Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test - Back
Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test – Back
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New! Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner Review

Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner and Platinum Cool Fountain Pen
Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner and Platinum Cool Fountain Pen

Brand new from Quo Vadis this year is the Plan & Note Weekly Planner. It has an open format, which means it doesn’t have an hour by hour schedule or a lot of extra details. It simply and effectively gives you the space and freedom to organize your days according to your own personal needs.

It has one week on two pages, with Monday through Thursday on the left page and Friday through Sunday on the right page. Each day has 7 blank lines for recording your appointments, thoughts, memos, plans and adventures plus an extra eight lines for notes on the bottom right. It does make a note of major holidays as well as phases of the moon. The week of the year is mentioned on the bottom of the right page.

Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner - Open Format
Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner – Open Format

The very beginning of the planner has a page for your personal information and a page with a calendar of the current year. There are also 12 monthly planning pages – one for each month of the year. Each month has a six-week Monday through Sunday calendar grid to keep your plans on track. Major holidays and phases of the moon are listed here.

Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner - Monthly Planning
Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner – Monthly Planning

The back of the Plan & Note Planner has a one page calendar for the next year and 2 pages of anno-planning for keeping track of future events.

Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner - Anno-Planning
Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner – Anno-Planning

There’s also a bound-in 9 page address book for recording snail-mail addresses, email addresses, phone numbers etc. The very back of the planner has an extra 2 lined pages for notes.

Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner - Address Book
Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner – Address Book

The Plan & Note’s paper, cover and binding are all noteworthy. First, the brilliantly smooth paper is made by Clairefontaine. The large Plan & Note Desk Planner has glorious 90 g paper that works wonderfully with fountain pens. The pocket size planner has 64 g paper to keep it nice and compact. The pages are bright white with 2 color printing and have tear-off corners to help you find your place.

The cover is flexible with a pleasing velvety soft touch. It is streamlined and simple with only the year and Quo Vadis logo blind embossed on the front and only a logo on the bottom center of the back. The cover is mostly black, with a colorful re-inforced spine and matching elastic closure. This year’s colors include Turquoise, Rose and Violet.

It has a stitched binding so that pages won’t fall out and it can open flat. The spine is flexible enough that the planner can be completely opened backwards without breaking.

Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner - Flexible Spine
Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner – Flexible Spine

The Quo Vadis Plan and Note comes in two different sizes: a 6″ x 8.25″ Desk Planner and a 4″ x 6″ Pocket Size Planner. These planners are not on our shelves just yet, so send us an email if you’d like us to order one for you!

Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner - Turquoise
Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner – Turquoise
Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner: Turquoise, Rose and Violet
Quo Vadis Plan & Note Planner: Turquoise, Rose and Violet
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5 Essential Rhodia Products to Help You Thrive at the Office

It’s a jungle out there! If you’ve ever worked in an office you know what I mean. Stock up on these Rhodia essentials and thrive during the daily workplace chaos.

Rhodia Meeting Book & Vanishing Point Fountain Pen
Rhodia Meeting Book & Vanishing Point Fountain Pen

Rhodia Meeting Book

When your day at the office or at client meetings includes taking detailed, specific notes that you need to refer back to in the future, the Rhodia Meeting Book comes to the rescue. Its paper is in the Cornell Notes format, which is an effective layout for taking notes during meetings and then adding cues to help you to find specific details later. If you’re not familiar with how this method can help you, take a look at our previous post “How to Use The Cornell Note Taking System Effectively for Business or Client Meetings.”

Rhodia Pencils
Rhodia Pencils

Rhodia Pencils

The triangular shaped Rhodia Pencil won’t roll off your desk and is comfortable in the hand. The orange body perfectly matches your orange Rhodia notepad and the black wood around the lead makes a bold statement.

Rhodia Ice Bloc 13 with a LAMY Al-Star Fountain Pen
Rhodia Ice Bloc 13 with a LAMY Al-Star Fountain Pen

Rhodia Bloc Notepads

Rhodia Bloc Notepads are the iconic product that Rhodia is famous for: top staple-bound paper notepads and bright white 80g paper with a 5 mm x 5 mm violet grid. Each page is microperforated at the top so it can cleanly and easily be removed. There are probably about a million different uses for these everyday notepads! These notebooks come in a wide range of sizes, colors, styles and paper types.

Rhodia Webnotebook - Medium, Orange, Dot Grid
Rhodia Webnotebook with Dot Grid Paper

The Rhodia Webnotebook or Rhodiarama Flexible Notebook

Pull out a classy Rhodia Webnotebook to impress clients and coworkers at business meetings and the premium paper inside pairs perfectly with your executive fountain pen. Rhodia Webnotebooks and Rhodiarama Flexible Notebooks are perfect for use as guest books, corporate gifts, etc. These durable notebooks are great for everyday notes and come in a variety of colors, sizes, formats and paper styles.

Rhodia Weekly Webplanner with a Black Cover
Rhodia Weekly Webplanner with a Black Cover

Rhodia Weekly Webplanner

Who doesn’t need a calendar to keep their busy office schedule organized? The Rhodia Weekly Webplanner has your weekly scheduling on the left page and a page of Rhodia’s famous grid paper for notes on the right. This leather-like hardbound planner has a stitched binding to keep pages from falling out. It’s available in pocket or desk size, with an orange or black cover.

What are your favorite essential Rhodia products for work?

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What’s the difference between Clairefontaine and Rhodia?

Clairefontaine vs Rhodia
Clairefontaine vs Rhodia

Both Clairefontaine and Rhodia brands of paper notebooks have some of the best paper in the world for writing and they are loved by writers from many lands. What makes Clairefontaine and Rhodia different?

Today they are owned by the same parent company Exacompta Clairefontaine, but originally they were two different companies. Clairefontaine began making paper in the Vosges region of France in 1858 and began making stationery products in 1890. They were the first company to make school notebooks in France.

Henri and Robert Verilhac, two brothers from a family of paper merchants, created the first Rhodia notepads in 1934 in Sechilienne, France. The name Rhodia comes from the Rhone River and legend has it that the Rhodia logo with two fir trees symbolizes the two founding brothers. Rhodia was purchased by Clairefontaine in 1997.

Clairefontaine Side-Wire Notebook with 3-hole punch
Clairefontaine Side-Wire Notebook with 3-hole punch

Clairefontaine’s signature notebooks are for students and come in a variety of sizes, colors and binding styles. The paper inside is bright white 90g French ruled or college ruled.

Rhodia’s signature notepads are top staple bound and contain bright white 80g graph paper with a violet 5 mm x 5 mm grid. They are easily recognizable by their bright orange cover and appeal to artists and designers.

Rhodia Top-Staple Graph Paper Notepads
Rhodia Top-Staple Graph Paper Notepads

Clairefontaine manufactures both their own paper and the paper contained in Rhodia notepads so it is consistently of the same high quality. This paper is well known for its extra-smooth finish and its ability to handle fountain pen ink, reducing or eliminating any ink bleeding through or showing through the paper.

Over time, both Clairefontaine and Rhodia have expanded their selection of paper notebooks to include a wide variety of products for all sorts of different writing and creative needs. You can take a look at a large selection of their extensive product line at Writer’s Bloc.

Which one should I buy: Clairefontaine or Rhodia? Both are great choices! If you’re looking for specific features, in the USA the brand that has the best selection is as follows:

If you like plain, conservative notebook covers try the Clairefontaine Basics series or get a Rhodia notebook with a black cover. Most Clairefontaine paper has a weight of 90g. If you prefer a lighter weight of paper Rhodia has a good selection of 80g paper (although they have a lot of 90g paper as well). Take a look at the Clairefontaine and Rhodia paper writing tests at the bottom of this blog post if you’d like to see a comparison.

Clairefontaine Basics Cloth-Bound Notebook in Black
Clairefontaine Basics Cloth-Bound Notebook with a black cover

If you’ve never had the opportunity to try Clairefontaine and Rhodia notebooks and you want to find out for yourself why people love this paper so much, we’re giving away a limited quantity of sample paper packages. Each package includes:

  • 2 sheets of Clairefontaine 90g ruled paper
  • 2 sheets of Clairefontaine 90g graph paper
  • 1 sheets of Rhodia Ice 80g ruled paper
  • 1 sheet of Rhodia 80g ruled paper
  • 1 sheet of Rhodia “R” Premium 90g ivory ruled paper
  • 1 sheet of Rhodia 80g dot grid paper
  • 1 sheet of Rhodia 80g graph paper

To receive one of these sample packages, please send us an email with your mailing address (USA mailing addresses only) or request a sample with your online order by mentioning it in the comments box during order check out. Once you get started with this fabulous paper you’ll never want to write on anything else!

Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test - Front
Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test – Front
Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test - Back
Clairefontaine 90g Paper Writing Test – Back
Rhodia original 80g white paper writing test - front
Rhodia original 80g white paper writing test – front
Rhodia original 80g white paper writing test - back
Rhodia original 80g white paper writing test – back
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The New & Improved Quo Vadis Minister Planner

Quo Vadis Minister Planner - Black Soho Cover
Quo Vadis Minister Planner – Black Soho Cover

This year Quo Vadis is offering us a new and improved version of their Minister planner, available both in academic and calendar year formats. The Minister weekly appointment book was already an enduring favorite, so how was it improved?

Quo Vadis Minister - Monthly Planning Pages
Quo Vadis Minister Monthly Planning Pages and a Platinum Cool Fountain Pen

The most significant improvement to this planner is the addition of monthly planning pages, one page for each month of the year. Each of the 12 monthly planning pages includes 6 Monday-to-Sunday weeks, so there is plenty of room to jot down notes on days just before or following the end of each month. Each day has a record of what day number of the year it is as well as how many days in the year are left remaining. The phases of the moon as well as some common holidays are also mentioned on their corresponding days. The monthly calendar grid gives you about 7/8″ x 1-1/8″ of space per day.

Quo Vadis Minister Planner
Quo Vadis Minister Planner

The next thing I noticed is that the planner now has crisp grey and teal print instead of just grey print as is in my Minister from a previous year. The teal adds some subtle highlights without being too bright.

The Quo Vadis Minister maintains its high quality with smooth, extra-white 90g Clairefontaine paper. The outstanding paper is definitely a major highlight of this weekly planner. This paper makes it easy to write on both sides of the page since it minimizes any ink showing through or bleeding through to the opposite side of the page. Fountain pens write like a dream on this paper!

Quo Vadis Minister - Anno-Planning Pages
Quo Vadis Minister – Anno-Planning Pages

The contents of this planner have changed a little bit, especially in the beginning section, so if you’ve been using the Quo Vadis Minister to schedule past years you may notice a few differences. Immediately following the title page is a 2-page annual plan for the current year – the organization of your year at a single glance. On these anno-planning pages each month has one column for jotting down outstanding events throughout the year. Here’s an example of a couple of pages where you’ll notice the teal highlights – each Sunday and major holiday has been highlighted with a pale teal color. Phases of the moon also show up on these pages. Following the anno-planning pages are the 12 monthly planning pages (mentioned above) and then the weekly planning pages begin.

Quo Vadis Minister - Weekly Planning Pages
Quo Vadis Minister – Weekly Planning Pages

The weekly planning pages make up the bulk of the content in the Minister. One week is displayed on two pages, starting with Monday on the left through Friday and Saturday on the right page and Sunday at the bottom. Here’s a list of the details:

  • 8 am to 9pm schedule in 1/2 hour increments
  • Each day has a small box at the top for listing priorities
  • Day number of the year and days remaining is mentioned
  • Week number of the year in top right
  • Quarter number of the year in top right
  • 3-month calendar view also in top right
  • Current week is highlighted in the 3-month calendar
  • 3″ wide column on right page for phone numbers, email addresses, websites, expenses, notes and whatever else you want to record
  • Teal week number of the year tabs along the right side
  • Phases of the moon
  • Major holidays
  • Tear-off page corners
  • 12 months + 3 weeks of weekly appointment pages (December to December in the yearly planner, July to July in the Academic version)
Quo Vadis Minister - Weekly Planning Pages
Quo Vadis Minister – Weekly Planning Pages

The final section following the weekly planning pages in the calendar year version of the Minister begins with a new 2-page monthly plan for January of the following year (different in the Academic version). The features of this monthly plan are the same as the earlier monthly planner pages with the addition of a notes column on the right side of the right page. Then you’ve got another 2-page annual plan for the following year, world time zones and several maps, one lined notes page and a 3-year calendar on the very last page.

Quo Vadis Minister Planner
Quo Vadis Minister Planner

The Quo Vadis Minister Planner currently comes with an extra booklet that serves several functions. Page 1 is ruled for notes, pages 2 and 3 are for listing important anniversaries, etc throughout the year. After this there are 6 pages for recording names, addresses, websites and email addresses. There are 2 pages for writing down your passwords, 9 ruled pages for notes, 8 blank pages and 4 dot grid pages. A little bit of everything is in here! Additional address/memo booklets can be purchased separately from the planner.

Quo Vadis Minister - Password Pages in Notes Booklet
Quo Vadis Minister – Password Pages in Notes Booklet

The Minister has a sewn binding that enables you to open the book flat without the risk of pages falling out. It’s 6-1/4″ x 9-3/8″ in size (16 x 24 cm).

Texas, Club and Soho leatherette covers are available as well as Duo Leather covers. These covers can be refilled year after year without having to buy an extra cover every year.

To check out a writing test to see how well fountain pens and other writing instruments perform on this paper take a look at our review of the Monthly 4 Planner that contains the same type of 90g Clairefontaine paper. Scroll to the end of the post and you’ll find our tests.

Have you used Quo Vadis Planners? Which one is your favorite?

Quo Vadis Minister Planner with a Lilac Club Cover
Quo Vadis Minister Planner with a Lilac Club Cover & extra bookmark
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