Rhodia Web Book

Well, once again, I’ve gotten behind on updating things here. But thanks to the Karen and the fine folks at Exaclair,( www.exaclair.com ) I got a really neat journal to review, the Rhodia Web Book. If you do a search for these journals, you’ll find a lot of reviews….but, well, here’s another one.

First a note about how I use journals. Typically, I utilize two journals at any given time. I usually carry a small journal for work notes & “to-do” lists with me all the time. For daily “writing”, that is, documenting everything my 4 kids destroyed on any given day and my thoughts pertaining to the upcoming WWF Ultimate fighter match between Sarah Palin and Tina Fey. These journals are usually a larger 5 x 8.5 inch Moleskin style books.

This particular journal is 3.5 x 5.5 inches. It’s also a Moleskin style, but Rhodia has far surpassed the venerable Moleskin at least in terms of quality. This one is orange (I think they make a black one as well) and has a cool “rubbery” feel. The Rhodia logo is embossed on the front cover, which I know some people won’t like, but I think is pretty cool. Consistent with this style of journal, the Rhodia features a pocket integrated into the back cover, and a silk-style ribbon for a bookmark. But it’s the paper that is the star here. It features 90g super smooth paper with 22 lines on each page. There is a small Rhodia logo in the bottom right hand corner of each page. This journal handled my fountain pens and various inks better than any other journal I’ve ever used, save one.

Figure 1 the Piccadilly Primo

The Piccadilly Primo Journal. Though in fairness, the Piccadilly’s paper is so heavy, that it results in a thicker journal than I want to carry with me daily. That being said, some pens and inks still bled though the Rhodia. Still, it’s far superior for fountain pen use compared to any others I’ve tried in the Moleskin style.

Figure 2 Front page of ink samples

So, for the Pros and the Cons:


  • Looks and feels good. I like the “rubberized” cover – may sound silly, but it just feels good.
  • The paper is just fantastic. Smooth to the touch and to write on.
  • Construction quality is top notch. Mine gets tossed around and occasionally rides in my hip pocket. It’s held up very well.
  • It’s unique. You just don’t see that many folks carrying around a bright orange journal.

The Cons:

  • Really, only one complaint, the price. You can find these online from about $14.50 up to as much as $18 plus shipping. There is a local pen shop here in Lexington that carries them for $15. I guess you can argue that you get what you pay for, and in this case, it’s true. Compared to the real Moleskin, it’s a superior product. Further, if you’re like me and usually use fountain pens, this journal will out-perform any other journal in it’s class (at least all the ones I’ve tried thus far, ie Moleskin, Ecosystem, C.R. Gibsons Markings). However, If you’re a ballpoint, rollerball or gel pen user, you won’t see as much of a difference.

Overall, a fantastic journal!

Ecosystems Journal

I feel faint….. Two posts in one week. None prior over several months. I’m a little sweatty here, excuse me.

Several months ago, I mentioned picking up a new journal by Ecosystems, and promised a review to follow. As I’m about to finish this one, I guess that time has come.

First, this is my first attempt at a video blog:  

Now for some old fashioned pictures,

I Want To Find the Perfect Journal…

I want to find the perfect journal. I use two basic kinds regularly. To keep track of my life in general, I use a combination of Blackberry 9700 and a Moleskin (usually a knockoff) in the 3.5 x 5.5 size. I use the journal for my daily “to-do” stuff and general notes. I’ve toyed around with other things (Rollabind & Levenger Circa stuff) but I keep coming back to this form factor. I’ve used a “genuine” Moleskin in the past with graph paper, and loved it. However I didn’t don’t love the price. I generally use a knock off made by C.R. Gibson called The Markings Notebook. These have bonded leather covers (in black or brown), ivory colored paper, a satin bookmark colored to match the cover, and a standard rear pocket folder. I have had one of these give me some spine problems, but overall the quality has been good. Tough to beat for the price. Though as a fountain pen user, I find the paper of the Markings Notebook leaves a lot to be desired. My moleskins have had better paper for fountain pen use, and that’s not good….

My wife gave me this Piccadilly journal for Christmas. Though it’s the same size as my small journals that I generally use for “work” stuff, I’m using it right now as my daily “thoughts” journal as opposed to the size I usually use for that, 8 x 5 inches. I don’t like this size for this purpose, but the paper…..Oh my, the paper! White and heavy, the best paper I’ve ever written on in a journal. Absolutely NO bleed through from even my (generally) worst offending inks. Just awesome.

So here’s what I want. I want a journal for my daily work stuff in a Moleskin-like form factor, but with paper like this Piccadilly. And priced like the Markings Notebook. There’s a review of a Piccadilly note just like I’ve described at Black Cover (http://blackcover.net/?p=30 ) from 2008. The problem is, I can’t find it anywhere. That’s my other big criteria, I’ve got to be able to actually get this beast at the Markings price. A journal online, priced at $4.00, with shipping of $10 just doesn’t work for me. I think if someone could come up with this, there might be a lot of $$ to be made……..

A final note. While out looking for my “perfect” notebook/journal, I picked up a new one, manufactured my Ecosystem. Review to come some. Maybe I’ve found it?