For the last couple of years, I've used the same notebook to do reviews for pens and paper, so I thought it was about time to put the spotlight on this workhorse notebook for a while.
The Rhodia DotPad Notepad No. 16 is an A5-sized notebook that has served me well for quite a while. I use the notebook exclusively for reviewing pens and inks, but it's such a great notebook that I've started using it for other things as well.
Size and usability
The A5 size is a personal favorite of mine. It's not too big, and not too small. That, combined with the staple top-bound layout really make me a happy camper. It's like a legal pad done right, but sized for notes and scribbles.
The cover of the notebook has a couple of pre-made seams that make it easy and clean to fold the cover back over the spine of the notebook. This keeps the cover out of your way when writing, and Rhodia even thought ahead and put their logo on the inside cover so that it's prominently displayed on the top of the binding.
Another thing I love about this notebook is the perforated sheets. In a notepad like this, perforated sheets seems like a standard, but the Rhodia has some of the easiest, cleanest perforations I've ever used. I rarely have any jagged edges when ripping out a sheet, and it looks clean even when you get down to the last pages of the pad.
For me, I think this notebook was meant to be ripped as you progress. Sure, you could leave the pages attached and fold them over, but that would become a problem after about 30 sheets. There's something refreshing about finishing a page of something and ripping it out to store, send, or whatever. It's also nice to open the notebook to a fresh, clean sheet on top.
The notebook contains 80 sheets of Rhodia paper (80gsm), which is a favorite among many, many people. Rhodia makes fantastic paper, and this notebook is no exception. It can handle anything you throw at it, including ink swabs from cotton balls, fat brush pens, and wide calligraphy nibs. If you've ever used Rhodia paper, you know what to expect. If you've never used Rhodia, you're in for a treat.
To sum up the paper, it's smooth, bright, and well-behaved. It's a bit on the thick side, but this isn't Tomoe River paper — it has substance.
Dot grid pattern
Finally, the namesake feature. Personally, I love a dot grid pattern on paper. It provides a lot of structure, but plenty of room to breathe at the same time. Graph ruling is helpful, but the lines can take over the page visually, and can get in the way of your work sometimes. The dot grid provides the same benefits of graph paper, but has a more minimal footprint. It's there when you want, but easily fades in the background if you don't want it. The flexibility of this pattern is why I love it so much, and Rhodia does a great job with it.
Wrapping up, the Rhodia DotPad is an essential notebook in my opinion. They aren't very expensive (less than $10 for the A5 size), have plenty of sheets, and work well with all types of pens and pencils. They're incredibly simple notebooks that are well-made and delightful to use. I heartily recommend them, or a comparable Rhodia notepad if dot grid isn't your jam.
(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)