Be the Coolest Writer on the Bloc with Rhodia Ice Notepads!

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

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

Rhodia Ice special edition notepads were introduced this year to commemorate Rhodia’s 80th anniversary year (1934-2014). Rhodia’s website explains why this design was chosen:

The silver and white pad is emblematic of Rhodia’s simplicity and minimalist design. It has beauty and character and a little bit of mystery. It is quite different than anything else—just like Rhodia.

 

Rhodia Ice Notepad - White Cover with Silver Logo

Rhodia Ice Notepad – White Cover with Silver Logo

Rhodia Ice notepads share a lot of characteristics with the traditional orange and black Rhodia pads, but there are a few differences too. The most notable difference is the cover – it is white inside and out with a striking silver Rhodia logo on the front cover. The white laminated cardstock cover is not as glossy as traditional Rhodia pads, but it is not as matte as Premium R by Rhodia notepads. If I wanted to describe it using interior paint finishes, I would say it has a satin finish. The cover is scored along the top so that it folds back neatly.

Rhodia Ice Bloc 11 with Graph Paper

Rhodia Ice Bloc 11 with Graph Paper

The second most notable difference is the paper. It is still the high quality 80g white paper from Clairefontaine that you have come to expect from Rhodia, but instead of pale violet lines it now has muted silver-grey grid or lines. I find the pale grey color of the grid lines to be more subtle than the traditional violet grid lines. If you write with fountain pens you are going to love this paper!

Rhodia Ice Bloc 11 with Lined Paper

Rhodia Ice Bloc 11 with Lined Paper

Both the Rhodia Ice pads and the traditional Rhodia Bloc contain 80 sheets of acid-free, PEFC certified paper. The graph paper has a 5mm grid and the ruled paper has a line spacing of about 7mm. Each page is micro-perforated so that it can easily be torn away from the notepad when you need it.

Rhodia Ice Bloc 18 with a LAMY Al-Star Fountain Pen

Rhodia Ice Bloc 18 with a LAMY Al-Star Fountain Pen

These Rhodia notepads are top staple bound and have a sturdy cardboard back to provide support while you’re writing.

Rhodia Ice 80g Paper Writing Test - Front

Rhodia Ice 80g Paper Writing Test – Front

We tried a variety of fountain pens and inks on this paper to check out the performance. Above you can see the front side of the page, and below is a scan of the back side of the same page. Overall, the results were excellent on this high quality French paper.

Rhodia Ice 80g Paper Writing Test - Back

Rhodia Ice 80g Paper Writing Test – Back

At the time of writing this blog post, the Rhodia Ice Bloc comes in five sizes that equal traditional Rhodia Bloc sizes: 11, 12, 13, 16 and 18. Each notepad is available with either graph or lined paper. We want to thank Sunny from Exaclair for sending along a couple of samples for our blog post! Have you tried a cool bloc of Rhodia Ice? If you have, what do you think?

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Awesome Grad Gifts for 2014

It’s time for all of the toil and hard work to finally pay off for the new group of 2014 graduates! If you’d like to wish them success in their future endeavors by giving them a graduation gift what should you give? We thought about a few of the student personalities we know and came up with some suggestions for you:

The 18 Going On 30

Rhodia Leatherette Pad Holder with Notepad, LAMY Safari Fountain Pen, Aston Leather Single Pen Case.

Got a future business tycoon on your hands? Let him/her look the part while they wait for their age to catch up! We love the all-black theme of this gift, but these items come in brighter colors as well.

The College Bound

The 5 Book, Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen.

Take some stress off your freshmen and help them get organized. The first year of college can be overwhelming and this book can be a helpful guide to setting life goals and making a long term plan. The classy, yet affordable, Pilot Metropolitan fountain pen is the perfect tool for writing down thoughts and goals.

The Socialite

Bob’s Your Uncle 8 Days a Week Planner, Preppy Fountain Pen Set, Ple Ple Pen Wrap.

For the social butterfly, summer is the busiest time of the year! Your Grad will never have a dull moment this summer and will be able to plan their brunch dates, movie nights, and beach trips down to the hour. Color code activities with a set of Preppy pens and carry them in a fun and convenient Ple Ple pen wrap.

The Artist

Brause Calligraphy Gift Set and a Clairefontaine Calligraphy Art Pad.

Give your student a classic and hip way of expressing their creativity! Introducing your student to calligraphy can give them a skill that will stand the test of time.

The World Traveler

Rhodia Webnotepad, LAMY Pico Pen.

For the organized nomad, these pocket sized items are easy to travel with and great for note taking, list making, and sketching. A great place to jot down how to say “where is the restroom” in multiple languages for reference when in a pinch!

The Indecisive

Gift Certificate – For the impossible to shop for…and everyone loves a gift card!

What gift will you buy to congratulate the Grad in your life?

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Dot Grid Paper: Think Outside the Box and Color Outside the Lines

Have you tried dot grid paper? It’s the new freckled kid on the block! In contrast to traditional wide rule, college rule, narrow rule, French rule, graph, grid, blank or plain paper, dot grid paper has a grid of evenly spaced dots designed to be subtle guides for your writing or sketching. Frequently these dots are spaced at 5mm intervals across the page and could be compared to the intersections of the lines on 5mm graph paper. However, since there are only light colored dots instead of the busy lines on graph paper, the dotted format is a much less intrusive way to guide your pen or pencil across the page.

If you wanted to give dotted paper a try, what options are available to you? This blog post is our shopping guide to some of the dot grid paper we love.

Dot Grid Paper Journals

Rhodia Webnotebook - Medium, Orange, Dot Grid

Rhodia Webnotebook with Dot Grid Paper

The dotted Rhodia Webnotebook has deliciously smooth ivory colored 90g paper that pairs well with fountain pens. The Italian leatherette hard-cover comes in either orange or black, and the journal comes in both medium and pocket sizes.

 

Leuchtturm 1917 Hard Cover Dots Notebook - Gray Cover

Leuchtturm 1917 Hard Cover Dots Notebook – Gray Cover

Leuchtturm1917 makes a classy hard cover journal with quality 80g off-white dot grid paper. A cool feature of these journals is that they have numbered pages and a blank table of contents so that you can easily find your place when you need to.

Dotted Reporter Style Notebooks

Rhodia Webnotepad - 3.5 x 5.5, Black, Dot Grid

Rhodia Reporter Style Webnotepad – 3.5 x 5.5, Black, Dot Grid

When you need to take notes or make sketches on the go a reporter style notepad sure comes in handy. Take some dotted paper on the road with the Rhodia Webnotepad.

Dot Grid Top-Stapled Notepads

Rhodia DotPad No. 18 - 8.25 x 11.75" Black Cover

Rhodia DotPad No. 18 – 8.25 x 11.75″ Black Cover

Rhodia DotPads have bright white paper with a 5mm grid of pale violet dots. These notepads are so versatile you can use them just about anywhere!

Dot Grid Sketch Pads

Clairefontaine Graf it 90g Sketch Pad - 6x8, Dot Grid Paper

Clairefontaine Graf it 90g Sketch Pad – 6×8″, Dot Grid Paper

When you frequently use a pencil for writing or drawing, paper with just the right amount of tooth is much appreciated. The Clairefontaine Graf it Sketch Pad has white 90g acid-free paper with a subtle grid of pale violet dots. These notepads are versatile enough to be used as either a sketchbook or a notebook.

What’s your favorite dot grid paper? What do you like to use it for?

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Rhodia’s High Quality Writing Paper

Rhodia Bloc No. 16 Notepads

Rhodia Bloc No. 16 Notepads

Rhodia is well-known and well-loved around the world for its orange notepads full of high quality writing paper. In contrast to many kinds of low quality paper, its super smooth writing surface works well with fountain pens and minimizes ink bleeding or ink feathering. Rhodia paper is acid-free, pH neutral and comes from responsibly managed forests. Rhodia notebooks and notepads come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and binding types, and the paper comes in graph, ruled, dot grid or plain formats. In general, Rhodia paper falls into two categories: 80g white or 90g ivory. If you haven’t tried Rhodia notepads yet, which type of paper should you choose?

We’ve used a number of pens, pencils and ink to write on both types of paper to help you make your choice. Each scan is unretouched and shows the writing results on the front and back of each page. Both types of paper have a very smooth surface and are fountain-pen-friendly. Ink had very little, if any, feathering or bleed-through (the exception is the Sharpie pen) on our samples and you could easily write on both sides of the page. If this type of high-quality French paper sounds like what you’ve been wanting to write with, we can highly recommend Rhodia!

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

Rhodia 90g ivory paper writing test - front

Rhodia 90g ivory paper writing test – front

Rhodia 90g ivory paper writing test - back

Rhodia 90g ivory paper writing test – back

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How to Use The Cornell Note Taking System Effectively for Business or Client Meetings

You may have used the Cornell note taking system to get you through college and found this method to be very helpful for studying. Now that you’re part of the professional world you may still be taking a lot of notes. How can you use Cornell notes effectively during business or client meetings?

The page layout for using Cornell notes for business is more or less the same as Cornell notes for study. Each page is divided into 3 sections. If you’re using 8.5 x 11″ paper you’ll want to create a head section that includes the first 2″ at the top of the page for the Title and Agenda. Next you’ll want to create a column on either the left or right side of the page that is about 2″ wide for Cues. The remaining large area of the page is used for Notes.

If you have an opportunity ahead of time you can prepare by writing the date, title and agenda in the Title and Agenda section. Other useful information for this section could be the name and contact info of the customer, or names of people that attended the meeting.

The Cues column is useful both before and after your client or business meeting. If there is a list of questions or information that needs to be gathered during the meeting, in advance write the questions or keywords in the Cues column leaving plenty of space between each keyword. Then when the questions are answered or as the information is gathered during the meeting, write this information next to the keywords in the large Notes area.

After your meeting has concluded you can use the Cues column to stay organized by making to-do lists, noting appointments, deadlines, priorities, names, contact info and writing keywords next to the main points in your Notes section.

During your meetings you’ll want to focus on using the large Notes area of the page for taking detailed notes. Of course these notes will vary widely depending on what your field of work is. They could include drawings, layouts, measurements, sketches, requirements, procedures, news, diagrams or charts. Format the notes to your preference using an outline, bullet points or a linear style. To keep up with the stream of information you may want to abbreviate and paraphrase as much as possible. It is helpful to leave space between topics and main points in case you want to fill in some details later.

If you’re looking for a notebook that is specially designed for taking Cornell Notes you might want to check these out:

Moleskine Professional Notebook – Extra Large, Black Hardcover
Moleskine Professional Notebook – Large, Black Hardcover
Rhodia Business Collection Meeting Book 90 – A4+ Large
Rhodia Business Collection Meeting Book 90 – Medium
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Large with Black Cover
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Large with Orange Cover
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Medium with Black Cover
Rhodia Classic Meeting Book – Medium with Orange Cover

Adapt these suggestions to your individual circumstances to stay organized and on top of your work load. Do you have any helpful suggestions or tips you would like to share for using Cornell notes during client and business meetings?

Cornell Notes for Business or Client Meetings

Cornell Notes for Business or Client Meetings

 

 

 

 

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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

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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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Six Essential Back to School Supplies for 2013

Back to school is an especially exciting time for pen, pencil and paper geeks. All of those fresh school supplies in your backpack and new writing instruments in your pencil case are almost reason enough to go back to school! Here at Writer’s Bloc we are especially fond of these things and have a few suggestions for your back to school arsenal.

1) Notebooks

Need a lot of new notebooks? Check out our quantity discounts to see if there are any of your favorite Clairefontaine or Rhodia notebooks such as this set of 10 medium size lined Clairefontaine side-staple notebooks. Don’t see the notebook you’re looking for? Email us and we’ll give you a quantity discount quote. We’ve carefully planned our quantity discounts to give you the best value on both shipping and notebook price.

2) Academic Planner

Keep yourself organized with an academic planner that is specially designed to keep track of your schedule throughout the school year. The Quo Vadis Academic Minister includes 13 months of plans that run from July of one year through July of the following year. Its 8 am to 9 pm weekly schedule spread over two pages gives lots of room for tracking a detailed action-packed schedule. For something quite similar, only pocket-size, take a look at the Quo Vadis University Pocket Planner.

Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Highlighters

Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Highlighters

3) Highlighters

No school year would be complete without lots of highlighters for studying. The Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Highlighter is one of my favorites since it stands up to heavy use, can be used with inkjet printouts and can be re-inked with the Textsurfer Classic refill station. For something completely different try a Staedtler Textsurfer Gel highlighter. It has a soft wax lead that glides over paper effortlessly and will never bleed through, even on the thinnest paper.

Le Petit Prince Pencil Case by 7321 Story

Le Petit Prince Pencil Case by 7321 Story

4) Pen & Pencil Case

Corral your pens, pencils and highlighters with a flat-bottom pencil case that will sit upright on your desk. 7321 Story’s fabric Le Petit Prince Pencil Case is decorated with whimsical illustrations from the storybook by Antoine de Saint Exupery. If soft sheepskin leather is more your style the Clairefontaine Basics Square pencil case holds a good quantity of your favorite writing instruments.

Myndology Disc Bound Index Cards

Myndology Disc Bound Index Cards

5) Index Cards

Index cards are a useful tool for studying, collecting quotations, making flash cards and more. Keep your index cards in order and re-order them anytime you like with Myndology’s disc bound index cards. Exacompta index cards have grid lines so they can be used in whatever direction you want to turn them, can be color coded since they come in a pack with a variety of colors and as a bonus work well with fountain pens.  Myndology and Exacompta index cards are lined on both sides to make the most of each card.

Palomino Blackwing Pencils

Palomino Blackwing Pencils

6) Pencils & Art Supplies

Need to erase mistakes? Planning on taking a drawing and sketching class? Palomino Blackwing Pencils constantly get rave reviews from artists who prefer a soft, dark line! They are also available with a firmer lead for both writing and drawing as the Blackwing 602 pencil. Pair these pencils with a Clairefontaine Graf it sketch pad and you’ll be all set for class.

These are some of our favorite paper and writing related tools for back to school 2013. What are some of your favorites?

 

 

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Graduation Gifts 2013

The 2013 school year has almost come to a close for many happy, relieved and proud Graduates. What will you get your Grad to celebrate their accomplishments? We’re happy to share a few of our ideas.

1) The 5 Book

The 5 Book has got to be one of the ultimate gifts for any Graduate. As Grads enter college or the work force they face the challenge of setting goals and making many decisions. What can help? The 5 Book was designed to stimulate thinking and direct your Grad to goals they can use to map out the next five years of their life. Really, I think just about every one of us could use this book.

(Aurora Style Fountain Pen in the color Aquamarine)

2) A Classy Pen

A classy pen can last a lifetime and then be passed on to a future generation of Graduates. Even in a world full of technology a fantastic pen is a gift that is really appreciated. Chances are your Grad has not yet experienced the pleasure of writing with a fountain pen. The sleek modern design of the Aurora Style fountain pen was created with young professionals in mind. Fill it with some Aurora fountain pen cartridges in a deep black ink and impress a hipster!

(Delta Vintage Rollerball Pen in the color Deep Ocean)

If you feel that a fountain pen is a little too old-fashioned for your Grad, a quality rollerball pen that can be refilled with fountain pen ink is a good alternative. A classy rollerball pen works well when signing documents that produce multiple carbon copies. Pulling out a beautiful Delta Vintage rollerball pen for the signature that finalizes a deal is sure to impress! J. Herbin ink cartridges in the color Bleu Nuit would be a nice match.

3) Leather Pen Case

When you invest in the gift of a classy pen, a genuine leather pen case is the perfect accessory. It protects your pen from damage when it is carried in a purse or briefcase. Aston Leather has many fine leather pen cases to fit your Grad’s needs. The Aston single pen leather slip case is a simple, reasonably priced popular choice that comes in three choices of  color.

4)  Rhodia Meeting Book

The Rhodia Meeting Book can help keep a young professional entering the business world organized and on top of their project deadlines and goals. It’s more than just for work meetings though – the layout is based on a method of note taking designed by a professor at Cornell University. This note taking method can help any college student refresh their memory for mid-terms and finals.

(Moleskine Audio Cassette Journal)

5) A Unique Journal

This is an action packed, eventful time of a young person’s life. A unique journal is a great outlet for emotions and channeling creativity. The Moleskine Audio Cassette Journal celebrates the 50th anniversary of the audio cassette with a fun retro design..

6) Eurogames

Chances are your Grad could use some inexpensive R&R with their friends. Why not introduce them to a Eurogame and they can discover for themselves why these games are increasingly popular! Settlers of Catan is a great gateway to the world of Eurogames.

Do you have a Grad in your life? What gift ideas or special plans do you have in mind for them?

Want to win a $25.00 gift certificate to spend at Writer’s Bloc? See the comments below for details!

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New Rhodiactive Professional Business Collection – Meeting Book Review

(Large A4 Size Rhodiactive Meeting Book 90)

This year Rhodia introduces us to the Rhodiactive Business Collection: a new line of notebooks and notepads with a professional and contemporary look. They are designed to help you stay organized and efficient in the business world. So far, the Meeting Book 90 is the only part of this collection available in the USA.

Rhodia already has a Classic Meeting Book, so how is the new Rhodiactive Meeting Book different? The most outstanding difference is the paper – it contains premium 90g extra white paper that has superior opacity and strength. This means that you can write on both sides of the page without having significant issues with ink showing through or bleeding through the paper. If you are not already familiar with Rhodia paper, it is well known for having a smooth satin finish for effortless writing. It is also acid-free, pH neutral and PEFC certified. Besides helping you look classy and organized during business meetings, the Rhodiactive Meeting Book allows you to bring along your fountain pen!

(Rhodia Meeting Book with an Omas Arte Italiana Cruise Fountain Pen)

The cover of the Rhodiactive Meeting Book is also new – it is made of a sturdy, black 100% recycled polypropylene with a little bit of a linear texture to it. In comparison, Rhodia’s Classic Meeting Book has a waterproof coated cardstock cover that is available in both orange and black.

All of the Rhodia Meeting Books have the same pre-printed page layout with sections for Date, Notes and Action. This format is based on the Cornell note-taking system developed by Walter Paulk, a professor that worked at Cornell University. The “Date” and lined area at the top of each page are used to record the date, title or theme of a meeting or lecture and perhaps a brief summary. The large “Notes” area is for taking paraphrased notes during the meeting, and the smaller “Action” column is for key words and for your “to-do list.” If you are taking notes during a class, the “Action” column can be used to write questions relevant to the notes that can be used later while studying.

Interestingly, the number of lines on each page of the medium size Meeting Book and the large size Meeting Book are the same. The medium size page is just a shrunken version of the larger page – the medium size notebook having a line spacing of approximately 5.5mm and the large notebook with an 8mm line spacing.

Each page is micro-perforated near the wire spiral so that it can be cleanly removed from the notebook. Once the paper is removed from the large Meeting Book the page is A4 size – about 8.25” x 11.75”. The overall size of the large Meeting Book including the spiral is larger – about 9.25” x 11.75”. The medium Meeting Book is about 6.75” x 8.25” including the spiral and once the page is removed it is A5 size – about 5.75” x 8.25”. Both sizes of notebook contain 80 sheets/160 pages and the black double wire spiral is designed to prevent snagging.

(Rhodia Meeting Book with a Pilot Vanishing Point Fountain Pen)

The Rhodia Meeting Book is definitely a useful tool for those that take notes during business meetings or classes. Have you used a Rhodia Meeting Book for taking notes? Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

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Rhodia Pad Holder Review

Rhodia Pad Holders are like classy dinner jackets for your Rhodia notepad! Over the past couple of years Rhodia has expanded their selection of orange and black pad holders to fit 8 different sizes of Rhodia pads. If you’re a fan of Rhodia’s iconic super-smooth graph paper, you may be wondering if one of these pad holders with pen loop should be adorning the top of your desk.

The Rhodia pad holder is made of a lightly grained leather-like material with an embossed Rhodia logo on the front cover. The cover is stitched together around the edges with matching thread and the exterior comes in either bright orange or classic black. The cover material is quite durable and is an attractive way to protect your Rhodia pad especially if you like to toss it in your purse or carry it in a pocket or briefcase.

The interior of the pad holder is black and has 2 pockets. One pocket is designed to hold the back cardboard cover of your Rhodia pad and the front cover too – if you flip the front cover back behind the notepad it will hold it out of the way. The other pocket is there to hold business cards, notes, receipts or whatever you want to save or keep handy.

The cover itself is flexible, so if you’re looking for a stiff-as-a-board cover with firm support this is not it. However, the cover definitely does add some support to your Rhodia notepad while you are writing.

Originally, Rhodia pad holders did not have a pen loop, but this is now a standard feature on all of the newest covers. The pen loop seems to be made out of the same material as the cover so it is not stretchy like an elastic is. This loop must have been designed specifically to hold the triangular Rhodia pencil since it fits perfectly, so perhaps this should be called a pencil loop instead. A slim pen such as the Pentel Slicci gel pen will also fit in this pencil loop. It’s a practical feature if you need to have a writing instrument on hand at all times.

Are you using a Rhodia Pad Holder? What size do you use and what particular writing instrument do you keep in the pencil loop?

Rhodia Pad Holders are currently available in these sizes:

3.5” x 4.5” (fits Bloc No. 11)
3.75” x 5.25” (fits Bloc No. 12)
3” x 8.25” (fits Bloc No. 8)
4.5” x 6.25“ (fits Bloc No. 13)
5.75” x 5.75” (fits Bloc No. 148)
6” x 8.75” (fits Bloc No. 16)
8.25” x 11.75” (fits Bloc No. 18)
8.25” x 8.25” (fits Bloc No. 210)

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