Find a Pocket Size Planner with High-Quality Paper

Space 17 Weekly Planner & Pelikan Fountain Pen

Space 17 Weekly Planner & Pelikan Fountain Pen

In order to conserve on size, space and weight many pocket-size planners use thin low-quality paper that may not provide a very satisfying writing experience. Where can a pocket planner be found with good quality paper? Quo Vadis, Exacompta and Rhodia come to the rescue! Clairefontaine has a reputation for creating some of the best paper in the world for writing, and these brands have chosen to use Clairefontaine’s French-milled paper for their compact datebooks.

The gold standard 90g bright white, super-smooth Clairefontaine paper that is fantastic for fountain pens can be found in two pocket-size Quo Vadis monthly planners:

Several Quo Vadis, Exacompta & Rhodia pocket-planners contain 64g bright white Clairefontaine paper that has an ultra-smooth finish. This paper is acid-free, pH neutral and PEFC certified.  You can find this wonderful paper in the following planners, most of which have a weekly planning format:

Another Clairefontaine paper variation is a light-weight, exceptionally strong 55g ivory paper. It is acid-free, pH neutral and PEFC certified. Both of these weekly planners contain this type of paper:

We’ve had many of our readers ask if Clairefontaine’s 64g white paper and 55g ivory paper are suitable for fountain pens. I can say that I’ve personally used it successfully with a fine nib fountain pen and select inks. However, this may not be true for all inks and all fountain pens. To help you decide if you’d like to try these datebooks for yourself, we created some samples using various nib sizes and inks. Take a look at the results below.

If writing with a fountain pen is the most important thing to you and not the size of the planner itself, we would recommend taking a look at this previous post: Fountain Pen Friendly Planners

Have you discovered any pocket-size planners with high-quality paper that you like to use? Please let us know what they are in the comments – we’d like to hear from you!

Front side of the page 64g paper. A Quo Vadis Business Planner (same format as University Academic) was used for this sample:

64g White Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test - Front

64g White Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test – Front

Back side of the page 64g paper (Quo Vadis Business Planner):

64g White Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test - Back

64g White Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test – Back

Front side of the page 64g paper (Biweek Planner):

64g White Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test (Biweek) - Front

64g White Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test (Biweek) – Front

Back side of the page 64g paper (Biweek Planner):

64g White Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test (Biweek) - Back

64g White Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test (Biweek) – Back

Front side of the page 55g soft ivory paper (Space 17 Planner):

55g Soft Ivory Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test (Space 17) - Front

55g Soft Ivory Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test (Space 17) – Front

Back side of the page 55g soft ivory paper (Space 17 Planner):

55g Soft Ivory Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test (Space 17) - Back

55g Soft Ivory Clairefontaine Paper Writing Test (Space 17) – Back

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Introducing the A5 Size Rhodiarama Webnotebook!

Rhodiarama Webnotebooks A5 Size & LAMY Safari Fountain Pens

Rhodiarama Webnotebooks A5 Size & LAMY Safari Fountain Pens

We are excited to announce that the Rhodiarama Webnotebook in A5 size has finally arrived at Writer’s Bloc from France! The Webnotebook has a lot of features to like. At the top of my list is the luxuriously smooth paper that performs very well with fountain pens. This ivory color 90g paper is made by Clairefontaine and it minimizes or eliminates fountain pen ink feathering, bleeding or see-through to the other side of the page. Rhodia Webnotebooks are sturdy and well constructed with an Italian leatherette hard cover. They make great gifts. I also find that both the expandable inner pocket and ribbon bookmark are very useful. So how does the Rhodiarama Webnotebook differ from a regular Rhodia Webnotebook? Here is a list of what we found:

Rhodiarama Webnotebooks A5 Size - Chocolate, Sapphire, Purple Covers

Rhodiarama Webnotebooks A5 Size – Chocolate, Sapphire, Purple Covers

How the Rhodiarama Webnotebook is different:

  • Covers available in a rainbow of color choices
  • Interior endsheets & expandable pocket have a fun, colorful zebra design
  • Elastic closure & ribbon marker are orange
  • Comes with either lined or blank paper (no dot grid)
  • Ribbon bookmarks seem to be shorter in length

How it is the same as the regular Rhodia Webnotebook:

  • Luxury 90g smooth, acid-free, pH neutral paper
  • Fountain pen friendly
  • 96 sheets of ivory paper
  • Hard cover is made with Italian leatherette
  • Embossed Rhodia logo on the front
  • Elastic closure
  • Ribbon marker
  • Rounded corners
  • Stitched binding
  • Available in both A5 & A6 sizes


As of today we have imported 3 of our favorite Rhodiarama cover colors: Purple, Sapphire and Chocolate; and all of these have lined paper. Take a look at all of the Rhodiarama colors on the Rhodia website (Black, Chocolate, Taupe, Beige, Anise, Turquoise, Sapphire, Iris, Purple, Lilac, Raspberry, Poppy, Tangerine, Orange & Yellow). If you could have just one of these colors what would it be? What kind of paper would it have? Blank or Lined? Why do you like the Rhodia Webnotebook?

Rhodia Webnotebooks & Portland City View

Rhodia Webnotebooks & Portland City View









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White Paper Habana Journals vs. New Ivory Paper Habana Journals

It has already been about a year since the Quo Vadis Habana Journals containing ivory paper were introduced to us here in the USA. How do these new Habana journals compare to the original Habana journals with white paper? It seems that the original Quo Vadis quality has not been compromised and many writers are still very happy with the performance of the new Habana Journal.

Things that remain the same:

  • The cover design and materials
  • Elastic closure
  • Ribbon bookmark
  • Pocket inside the back cover
  • The sewn binding
  • Sizes
  • Number of sheets (80) in the large Habana
  • Small Habana is still narrow ruled
  • Lined and blank paper options
  • Paper is still acid-free, pH neutral
  • Paper is still made by Clairefontaine and has an exceptionally smooth satin finish

Things that have changed:

  • Paper color is now ivory instead of white
  • Paper weight in the large Habana is now 85g instead of 90g
  • Paper weight in the small Habana is now 85g instead of 64g
  • Number of sheets in the small Habana is now 80 instead of 96
  • Paper is narrow ruled the large Habana
  • Lines on the paper no longer go all the way to the edge
  • Lines are now dotted so they are more subtle
  • New for 2012 – black, blank paper Habana in A4 size (approx. 8.25” x 11.75”)

It’s nice to see that the small Habana got an upgrade to 85g paper! I really like the new dotted lines that don’t go all the way to the paper’s edge since they don’t dominate the page as much but are more of a subtle guideline. The narrow rules in the large Habana allow you to get a lot more writing onto each page. It’s exciting to have the option of a new large A4 size Habana Journal. Depending on the size of Habana Journal you use and the pen you like to write with, you might either see more or less writing that shows through to the other side of the page. Writers who love bright white paper are sad to see the change to ivory paper, but I personally like variety and like to have a mix of paper colors in my notebook and journal collection. Too bad we don’t have the option of choosing either white or ivory paper for our Habana Journals!

For those of you that prefer white paper, we still have a small selection of white paper Habana Journals left in stock. Get them while they last!

Do you use a Habana Journal? What do you think of the new Habana Journals with ivory paper? Would you use a Habana Journal in the new large A4 size?


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R by Rhodia vs Original Rhodia Notepads

R by Rhodia notepads are relatively new on the scene and have some Writers wondering, “What’s the difference between original Rhodia pads and the R by Rhodia pads?” Using the popular Rhodia Bloc No. 12 we will endeavor to show you some of the similarities and the differences of these two well-loved notepads.

The Cover

One of the first things you’ll notice is that the original Rhodia pad cover has a glossy coating, whereas the R by Rhodia cover has a matte finish that is velvety to the touch. R by Rhodia calls this a “soft-touch” cover.

The original Rhodia front cover logo is somewhat larger than the R by Rhodia logo. R by Rhodia has an additional “R” in the lower right part of the front cover that is included in a band of contrasting color that is also on the back cover. The back of each cover has additional details about each notepad and indicates that both of them are currently made in France.

Both original Rhodia and R by Rhodia have flexible covers that are available in either bright orange or black. The difference is that when you flip over the R by Rhodia cover the underside color contrasts with the exterior – the orange cover is black on the underside and the black cover is orange on the underside. I personally really like this feature. Both covers are strategically scored so that they can easily and neatly be flipped over to the back side of the notepad.

The Binding

Both notepads are top staple-bound and have a study piece of cardboard inside the back cover to add support while you’re writing. Both of them have microperforated pages that can neatly be removed if desired.

(Original Rhodia on the left, R by Rhodia on the right)

The Paper

The paper is really the biggest difference between these two notepads. Original Rhodia has white 80g paper with violet lines (with the exception of one large notepad with yellow paper), R by Rhodia has heavier 90g ivory high grade vellum paper with subtle grey lines (if there are any lines). Since R by Rhodia has a heavier weight of paper there are less pages in each notepad – the No. 12 size has 70 sheets compared to the 80 sheets in an original Rhodia pad.

Original Rhodia comes in graph, blank, lined and lined with margin. At the time of writing this blog post R by Rhodia comes in either lined or blank. The lined version of the notepads (shown here) both have lines spaced about 7mm apart. One of the original Rhodia pads is available with a 3 hole punch. Both types of paper are made by Clairefontaine and have a smooth finish that a lot of Writers with fountain pens really love!

The Size

At present, R by Rhodia comes in three different sizes: 3 3/8” x 4 3/4”, 6” x 8 1/4” and 8 1/4” x 11 3/4”. Original Rhodia pads are also available in these three sizes plus an additional nine sizes for a total of twelve different sizes.

Which notepad is best for you? That’s for you to decide. Why not mix it up and try one of each! One thing is for sure, a lot of Writers are very loyal to Rhodia! What’s your favorite Rhodia notepad?


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What is Fountain Pen Friendly Paper?

If you are a writer that uses fountain pens you may have noticed that not all paper is created equal. The performance of your fountain pen may be spectacular on some paper, but less than desirable on others. How do you determine what paper is fountain pen friendly – that will give you the performance you want with your fountain pens?

The answer to this question is kind of like the answer to the question, “What is a comfortable pair of shoes?” Everyone has their own opinions and not all of them are the same, but there are some similarities in the answers. If you ask the question, “What is the most comfortable pair of shoes in your closet?”, then the answers will vary even more!

Many opinions of what fountain pen friendly paper is will include the following (but not necessarily limited to these things or in this order of importance):

1) The fountain pen ink does not bleed through the paper excessively.

2) The ink is not overly visible from the back side of the page.

3) The ink does not feather or has minimal feathering on the paper.

4) And for the lefties of the world I will add the ink must dry within a reasonable amount of time on the paper! In fact, this personally is my highest priority, otherwise I cannot use the paper with a fountain pen. I’m hoping the use of fast-drying ink will expand my fountain pen friendly paper selection.

If you ask the question, “What fountain pen friendly paper is on your desk?”, you’re likely to get a variety of different answers! Each fountain pen nib, each brand of ink, each color of ink and the paper in each notebook or journal will interact differently when used with each other. The equation pen + paper + ink = good/bad results changes each time you change a component of the equation. This is why in our online store we cannot say for certain which paper is fountain pen friendly and which is not. There are brands of paper that in general are known for good performance with fountain pens, but within a brand there may be several types and grades of paper, some of which may not be so fountain pen friendly.

There are many online reviews of various paper products that can be very helpful in making your choices. The Writer’s Bloc blog has a number of reviews with writing tests showing the performance of a limited number of fountain pen inks on specific paper and notebooks. Before purchasing your journal or notebook, why not do a search on our blog or use any search engine to find some reviews? From our own experience, experimenting yourself with pens, ink and paper will help you to find what you personally like the best.

So I must ask, “What fountain pen friendly paper is on your desk?”


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Fountain Pen Friendly Planners

Many people consider paper to be fountain pen friendly if it has the ability to prevent the following three problems: ink feathering, ink bleed through and show through of your writing (so that you can clearly write on both sides of the page).

Quo Vadis, Exacompta and Rhodia planners all have very high quality paper, and I would have to say their planners with 90g paper are the most suited for use with your beloved fountain pen. I’ve compiled a list of which of these planners contain 90g paper:

Weekly Planners with white 90g paper:

Rhodia WebPlanner 6×9
Prenote #24
President #16
Trinote #48
Minister #15
Executive #14

Weekly Planners with colored 90g paper:

Space 24 – soft green paper
Visual – soft green paper
Note #27 – ivory paper
Minister #15 – cream paper for the Habana and Smooth covers (discontinued)

Monthly Planners with white 90g paper:

Monthly 4 #76
Visoplan #67

Academic Planners with white 90g paper:

Academic Minister #34
Septanote #49
Principal #31
Scholar #55

I must also mention that the Quo Vadis Exaplan #66 21-month planner has 85g white paper. This paper likely performs almost as well as the standard 90g Clairefontaine paper.

As as lefty over-writer, my own personal requirements for fountain pen friendly paper are a bit different. In addition to the three requirements mentioned in the first paragraph, the ink must also dry fairly quickly on the paper to avoid smearing or I end up not wanting to use it. I compensate for this partly by choosing ink that dries reasonably quickly, but I am willing to compromise somewhat on the bleed-through, feathering and show-through issues to speed up the ink drying time.  I do well with the ink-proof paper inside Leuchtturm1917 planners. I believe this paper is typically 80g, so there is more show-through compared to a 90g paper. This issue may bother you, however to my liking, ink seems to dry more quickly on Leuchtturm1917 paper than it does on Clairefontaine paper.

While they are still in stock many of these planners with a variety of different covers can be found at Writer’s Bloc. If you see something you want and we don’t have it please feel free to ask if we can special order it. Planner season is upon us (what happened to summer?) – get your fountain pen friendly planner now before they’re gone!

What’s your favorite fountain pen friendly planner?


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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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