I’m a longtime Moleskine devotee, and I haven’t ever found any brand of notebook that’s as useful for jotting notes on the go. However, when I saw this new type of Rhodia classic stapled notebook on Rhodia Drive, I new I had to give them a try. Rhodia has eliminated two of my biggest problems with the Moleskine Cahier – the lack of durability in the paper cover (something that wouldn’t have been an issue if they hadn’t discontinued the Volant line) and the size of the pocket version.
The covers on the Moleskine cahiers are fine if you’re simply storing them in a briefcase or a bag. However, if you keep the cahier in a pants pocket or change bags a lot, the cover wears out extremely fast, especially if you don’t fill it fast enough to need a new one quickly. Rhodia solved this problem by adopting a thin plastic-coated cover for their smallest pocket notebook.
Also, the size of the cahiers is continually an issue for me because I prefer to carry them in my pants pockets, and the Moleskine cahier is just slightly too large to fit comfortably when seated. The Rhodia stapled pocket notebook measures 3 X 4 3/4 inches, making it an even more compact solution than a hipster PDA. This is the absolute perfect size for carrying around in a front pants pocket.
Are there any cons to the Rhodia version of the cahier? None of the pages are perforated, so they’re not as convenient for tearing out notes. I’m not sure how much of an issue this will be for me since I don’t think I’ve ever torn out a note from my Moleskine cahiers the entire time I’ve been using them. Of course the Rhodia pads also lack the back pocket, but the cahier’s back pocket (really just a flap) was so flimsy that using it practically destroyed it anyway.
All in all, it looks like this version of the classic Rhodia stapled pad (available in black or classic Rhodia orange) is a big improvement on the Moleskine cahier for on the go notetaking. I’ll report back after a few weeks of test-driving. You can see more photos of the Rhodia pad compared to various Moleskines, or you can snag your own from Ship the Web here.