Whitelines paper


Whitelines Package
Can dark rules on white paper really impair both reading and writing? Is white paper harsh on the eyes? Do you want to avoid lines in photocopied pages? Is there an alternative?

It’s a fairly bold statement to claim a fundamental improvement in writing paper, but that’s what the Swedish stationer Whitelines asserts. They sell notebooks and pads of paper in a faint gray colour, with the rules in white.
Whitelines Wirebound Notebook
I ordered a selection of products with square ruling (a.k.a. “graph paper”) – wirebound A4 and A5 notebooks, stapled A4 and A5 composition books, glued A4 and pocket notebooks, and A4 and A6 paper pads. Shipping from Sweden to Canada took an astonishingly quick three days. They have their organizational act together!
Whitelines mark
All the products share the same paper, a bit thinner than I would have liked, patterned front and back with the white grid on a gray background. There is also a mark, “Whitelines Patent Pending”, on every sheet of paper.
Whitelines Pad
So how is it? Nice, very nice. Ballpoint, fountain pen (a medium nib Lamy with Montblanc ink), and pencil work well, though the paper is thin enough to show through anything dark.

Is it easier on the eyes? If you work in an office with overhead flourescent lights and computer monitors everywhere, probably anything might be easier on the eyes. It’s really hard to say – it is certainly pleasant enough.
Whitelines Glued Notebook
There is also a more subtle effect – the lines are there, but less prominently than on regular paper. It could be true that it is a less distracting structure for some.

One thing I’m ambiguous about is the amount of branding, though it’s a nice bright orange, and it doesn’t impair using the paper.
Whitelines Composition Book
Would I buy more? They’re a lot of fun, which I think would be the deciding factor. After using them for a while, I might choose a preferred format (so far I’m using the A5 composition book the most) and get a personal stash. Of couse, something else might come along in the interim.

Question: pencil for photo paper


I just received an interesting question. Can anyone help? The question is:

What type of pencil would be ideal for writing on the back of glossy photo paper?

The individual is hoping to avoid using a pen.


The Staple-less “Stapler”


The Staple-less “Stapler” may not be an accurate name. It is a small paper binder that makes small cuts and folds in two or more paper sheets, creating a tucked loop that holds the sheets together.

The main negatives I can see are that it isn’t good for too many sheets, and it isn’t as permanent as a stapler. But on the plus side, it won’t cut your finger, it doesn’t need staples or any other type of refill, there is no rust on your documents after time, and it’s cheap, lightweight, and portable. What’s not to like?

I got one a few months ago, and have found it to be a reliable and useful desk accessory. It is perfect for quickly attaching a few pages.

pencil talk 1st anniversary: The Rhodia Pencil


This blog is now one year old! The first post was on an iconic stationery item: the Rhodia pad. A year later, we’re happy to welcome an accompanying Rhodia pencil.
The Rhodia Pencil
The pencil is painted in Rhodia’s famous orange. It’s very distinctive, with a triangular body, black dyed wood, black ferrule and black eraser. The imprinting is minimal: each side has Rhodia’s two fir tree logo and name.

I’m not sure how well the photo reflects this, but the pencils were covered in graphite dust when they arrived. And not just a light dusting – enough that I’m not sure they can all be fully cleaned up. It seems very odd for a pencil at this price point. The Palomino is the only other pencil I’m aware of with this presentation issue.

The pencil handles nicely, and the lead is rich and dark. I’m not a huge fan of erasers being on a pencil, but these seemed sleek, and are very effective at erasure.

There is no country of origin stated, though I have a suspicion.

Overall, they’re nice pencils, and ideal for jotting notes in your Rhodia pad.

Leave my Rhodia Pad alone!

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Paul Smith for Rhodia

One of the delights of the Rhodia pad as a product is it’s consistency – the iconic orange colour, the unchanging format and presentation, the year after year weekend newspaper reports “discovering” the writing pad manufactured for longer than most of us have been alive. So it’s alarming to see something different. What are these splashes of non-orange colour on my Rhodia pad?

It looks like Paul Smith has embellished a Rhodia Pad! Leave my Rhodia pad alone!

The Paul Smith version looks nice – no doubt – but brand managers should know that some of us just don’t want these classics tampered with.

Moleskine memo-pockets: useless?


Moleskine Memo Pockets: Useless?
Is the memo-pockets the most useless Moleskine variant?

One of the charms of the Moleskine notebook is the useful backpocket. So why not add even more pockets? Why not go even further and remove the paper, and offer a Moleskine with nothing but pockets? Well, this has actually been done.

What one gets is the world’s most expensive unusable accordion folder. I bought the small version two years ago. My intended use was to help organize a trip. But even in 2003, most tickets and receipts were much too large for the Moleskine pocket. There are only six pockets, so what can be done with them? The pockets are not labelled, and it would probably be quite hard to do so, due to the need to fold everything back into the cool Moleskine form factor.

My fault I thought – I need the large model. Wait – it’s still too small for train tickets, hotel receipts, and most documents that I’d want to put in there.

So – what can be done with them? Any ideas?