The wonderful people at Exaclair/Rhodia Drive are doing a paper project, it’s a chance to sample various papers without investing in an entire notebook! I subscribed to week 4 and on Monday received my samples, a sheet of my favourite paper and an index card that is now my absolute favourite (it’s now on my wishlist despite my index card stash). I’ll surprise you, it’s true, I love this paper in all its pastel shades.
So what’s interesting about this test and why I jumped at it is that I’ve been using Clairefontaine paper for a long time. I bought this 120 sheet multi-subject grid notebook in 1996 for $3.36 from Pearl Paint in East Meadow, NY.
My question: had the paper changed? Did I still love it?
No fear! It is definitely the same lovely paper I remember. There are improvements in printing the grid lines over the past 18 years, the line is sharper and I think very slightly finer. The ink is still the same beautiful violet blue line that I find very refreshing on the eye.
I didn’t spend much time testing this paper as I know it and quickly reaffirmed my love of it. Something I had never done before was to test it with various pens. While I haven’t performed an extensive test, I was delighted to find how it behaved with fountain pens and super fine pens, I spent most of my time writing in pencil for my maths class. As I had no fear and wanted to fully test the sheet, I even took a Sharpie to it. I love the smoothness and I love this paper. I think that after I work through my waiting lineup of notebooks I will return to this favourite for my daily work logs.
Now 3×5 index cards are something I have an inexplicable love affair with. Maybe it comes back to my wanting library check out cards in the back of all my books when I was seven, I don’t know. This is the size I like for a wide variety of things and almost always have several near at hand. A few years ago the 99¢ store had a bunch of cards in stock and they were different from what I could normally find at that price. The ruling is portrait, they’re a decent stock, and they were 2 for 99¢ so of course I stocked up. I love grid paper even more, though haven’t found a grid-card I like. The grid ones I have are only printed on one side and the card stock is rough, encourages bleed through, and definitely cannot stand up to a day of abuse. These index cards are now my new favourites. Though it will be quite some time before I can justify buying new cards!
What’s delightful about these? They have the same happy grid on both sides as my favorite notebook and can take any writing instrument I grabbed (including a big ol’ sharpie), without bleeding through. The paper is smooth and can stand up to some time in my back pocket. While they’re a bit fancy for my meal planning and grocery list, I would be delighted to use them for daily planning cards.