Notebook Review: Rhodia Goalbook

Review by Laura Cameron

Earlier this year Ana asked me if I would be interested in reviewing a Rhodia Goalbook (Rhodia, $25.95).  I was still in my quest to try all things violet in 2018 so I requested one in the Purple colorway.

The Rhodia Goalbook is a soft-side leather planner organized a bit like a bullet journal.   Mine is a lovely dark purple color, with orange accents (elastic band, front pages, and ribbons).

Rhodia Goalbook

The Goalbook measures 5.8″ by 8.3″ (14.8 cm x 21 cm) and contains 120 dot-grid numbered pages, as well as a table of contents and some calendar pages.  The paper itself is 90 gsm ivory brush vellum paper made in Étival-Clairefontaine, France.  As I mentioned, there are two orange ribbons, and the end papers also contain an envelope at the back of the book.

The beginning of the book is very slightly structured towards organization.  The cover page contains a place for contact information, followed by several pages listed as “contenu | contents.”  I think this will be super useful to call out specific items on specific pages I might want to remember.

Rhodia Goalbook

Next there are calendars in two formats.  One is a perpetual calendar that lists the months and days in columns.  These would be useful for noting big events or occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc).  The next calendar is set up in blank thirds for each month.  Here you could track in more detail things that might happen throughout your year.

Rhodia Goalbook

Rhodia Goalbook

After that, the remainder of the book is lovely dot grid numbered pages for you to record anything and everything.

Rhodia Goalbook

The paper in this book is lovely and performs well.  The paper is very smooth, and I enjoyed writing on it using a variety of instruments and inks.  There was no feathering or bleeding, and only a bit of ghosting on the darkest, most saturated inks.

Rhodia Goalbook

Rhodia Goalbook

While I wasn’t sure initially how I would use the Goalbook, it has quickly become my purse staple. As you might remember, at the beginning of the year I purchased a Hobonichi Techo A5 planner to use. While I did use it for a while, the two big problems I had with it were its size and paper.  The Hobonichi is hefty, adding a lot of weight to my purse.   In contrast, the Goalbook is very light and portable.  The leather cover seems fairly sturdy and obviates the need for an additional cover, whereas I put the Hobonichi in a Chic Sparrow cover that I love, but adds even more weight to it.

As for the paper, I really love Tomoe River paper, but the weight used in the Hobonichi is so thin and transparent that I find it distracting to write on the back sides of pages when I can clearly see the writing from the front side.  While I can accept that in a notebook (like the Nanami Crossfield), not being able to write on half the days nicely doesn’t work in a daily planner.  In contrast, the Rhodia paper is thicker and with so little ghosting makes me want to use every page in the book.

I’m not really a bullet journal person, but I am a person who somewhat obsessively makes lists.  I’ve started making a new list each week, moving open items from the previous week to the new list (yeah I don’t sound like a bullet journaler do I?).  I’ve also started keeping longer term lists going: knitting projects to consider, upcoming reviews for The Desk, deadlines for longer term projects, and on and on.  Those lists I can record on my table of contents and find them easily.

So I have to say that the Rhodia Goalbook is definitely a win for me and at approximately $26 seems like an excellent investment to combat my aging (ever more forgetful) brain.


DISCLAIMER: The items included in this review were sent to us free of charge by Rhodia Drive for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

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3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. unquestionably (at least to me) Rhodia and Clairefontaine notebooks are the absolute best and what I use almost exclusively. Great review and although I keep my schedule in Outlook your review makes me think about writing it… perhaps when (if) I retire. 🙂

  2. Thank you for the review. I usually use Leuchtturm 1917s, but I have a special big project coming up that I want a dedicated notebook for and your review is tilting me towards the Rhodia. I do have a question though. I’ve tried other Clairefontaine notebooks with the bright white paper and was less than impressed with how it flattened some of my inks. I use some heavy sheening inks like Organics Studio Nitrogen Royal Blue and a TON of high shading inks. How do those show up on the Rhodia ivory Clairefontaine paper?

    Also, what are those lovely pens in your final picture?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Veronica – I’ll admit that I don’t use a ton of sheening inks in the Goalbook so I haven’t noticed whether the sheen is flattened at all. I’ll have to test that. As for the pens, from top to bottom they are Sailor Pro Gear Slim Cosmos, Pilot Vanishing Point Raden Stripe and a Carolina Pen Co. (Jonathan Brooks) pen. Thanks!

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