The Rhodia Meeting Book comes in both an A4 and an A5 version and you can get either in black or orange. They both come with 80 sheets (160 pages) of 80gsm paper that are formatted with a date, notes, and action section. There is also an unlabeled section at the top, which I’ve taken to using for the meeting description and participants. The pages are also micro-perforated and separate very cleanly and easily.
The Rhodia Meeting Book cover is made of a flexible but sturdy feeling cardboard stock that is also coated and waterproof. You probably cant tell from the pictures, but unfortunately mine came from Amazon and looks like someone might have used it to play floor hockey due to all of the scratches in it, but I don’t think that normal use will cause anywhere near this level of scratches. You will also notice in the above photo that the cover and pages are bound together by a nice sturdy double coil binding.
At a cursory glance you can see that the spacious and clean layout of the Rhodia Meeting Book lends well to getting important information documented and easy to find. You would never be able to tell from this photo, but the micro-perforations that run down the edge of the paper are just a hair to the right of the yellow margin so that when you tear the page off, none of the yellow is left on the part of the page that you have written on.
A close up writing sample in the Rhodia Meeting Book shows that it handles a variety of pens and inks very well. You are looking at a fine and broad fountain pen sample as well as some sharpie pens and a Uniball Jetstream hybrid ink pen. They all wrote very smoothly on the bright white 80g paper, which is to be expected on paper of this quality. As for show through on the other side, it wasn’t bad but was definitely noticeable to me when I turned the page. Its one of those situations where if you hate show through you may not like this, but if you are OK with a reasonable amount of show through you will have no issues here. Oh, and speaking of the back side, those look the same as the front but without the line for a date and without the six unlabeled lines as well. The Notes and Action sections are just slightly longer on the back side of each page. I’m not sure I like this layout for the back of each page just because you may not always have a list of action items and notes that run two full sides of a page, so it could end up being a little wasteful. I’d much rather give up the 6 lines of space for a date and new meeting subject/participant to be filled in if its indeed a new meeting. If not, its easy enough to just note that its continued from the other side. Not a big deal, just my own personal preference.
Initially I was curious about the orange stripe on the corner of each page. My first thought was that it was some sort of tabbing to find sections, but then I realized that the location is the same on each sheet. Once I looked at a few filled out sheets though, I realized what I think the function of this short orange strip is. I think it acts as a visual cue to show the break of where the top section of unlabeled lines ends (the section I said I use for the meeting subject and participants) and where your Notes and Action items begin. Its a nice and unobtrusive way of separating those sections without using a horizontal line that could get in the way of your note taking.
Overall I think the Rhodia Meeting Book is a very clean and neat way to track all of your meeting notes, discussions and action items. It allows you to have them all in one place and in one format for easier reference in the future. If you don’t want to take my opinion on it, just ask the President of Clairefontaine since he is the one that designed the format so he could use them in all of his meetings to keep organized. You can grab your own Rhodia Meeting Book and start on the path to having more organized meeting notes, and maybe you can be the President or CEO of your company too one day.