The Quo Vadis Habana Notebook

Before I begin with my review for the Habana Notebook, I would like to thank Karen Doherty, Vice President of Marketing for Exaclair Inc., for graciously sending me this amazing journal to review. Exaclair’s website is found at and the company is the US distributor of Clairefontaine, Exacompta, Rhodia, Quo Vadis, G. Lalo, Brause, J. Herbin, Mignon, and Decopatch products.

The Habana Notebook


The Information:

  • Lined paper, with roughly an inch of free space on the top of each and every page.
  • Rounded corners
  • An elastic band
  • A pocket insert attached to the inside of the back cover
  • 80 sheets of 90g Premium Clairefontaine Paper. Acid free and pH neutral.
  • Notebook comes in two sizes: Pocket and Large. Dimensions are, respectively, 4″ x 6 3/8″ and 6 1/4″ x 9 1/4″.
  • PEFC certified

For this review, I’m going to direct it more towards its application with school and note taking purposes, as I find there are many many more reviews regarding how well fountain and calligraphy pens perform on these journals. In other words, to steal some from Quo Vadis’ planners, this review is dictated towards the ‘modern student.’

The Habana notebook features a rather elegant “leatherette” material cover, which in my opinion feels like rubbery, soft feeling leather. I personally really like the cover, as it’s really smooth, yet very sturdy. However, depending on how much you use the Habana, it might become compressed and possibly disfigured if in contact with heavy objects. For instance, the rubber band closure has already created a small indent on the cover. On the front, you’ll also see rounded corners which can come in handy, to avoid getting uncomfortably poked in the stomach, when writing with your notebook on a comfy sofa chair.  On the bottom of the front cover, the signature Quo Vadis monogram is subtly located on the bottom right-hand corner. I like the smoothness of the design, and how it doesn’t necessarily have to jump right at you to catch your attention. On the back cover, the words Quo Vadis, along with the monogram, are again etched in very subtly in an attractive fashion. Overall, I find the cover to be rather enjoyable and attractive on this Habana notebook.




The Habana notebook also comes with premium 90g Clairefontaine Paper, which is a definite plus. However, many people seem to dislike the shade of white the paper comes in; others prefer ivory, when this paper is simply bright white. For all pen users alike, I can see why a paper’s color would be an offset, but for me, any shade of white will do. If you don’t mind the fact that a Moleskine notebook’s paper may be slightly more yellow than the Habana’s, or that other Clairefontaine and Rhodia notebooks come with ivory colored paper, then I don’t see why there would be a problem with the Habana. And besides, this is great Clairefontaine paper we’re talking about, so it’s high quality stationary nonetheless.


For the feathering and bleeding test, I decided to use pens that one would find in an office or school setting. I believe that for the most part, people don’t tend to use fountain pens in school and at work as often as they would use the pens that I have included. Nonetheless, I could most definitely be wrong, so I decided to include a pseudo-fountain pen, the Pilot Petit 1. I’m sorry if you are disappointed with my lack of fountain pens, but I tend to use roller balls more frequently anyways.



From the list of pens written on the sample page, I hoped that you were able to see that I tried to incorporate various types of writing utensils. I used a fountain pen, Sharpies, Gelly Roll pens, normal BIC pens, rolling ball pens, fineliners, pencils, highlighters, marker, color pencil, and more. As you can see, despite the controversial shade of white, the paper beautifully represents each and every color, as well as most writing utensils. Each and every utensil was extremely easy to write with, and there was simply no skidding or stopping when writing on the paper. The only exception was the Gelly Roll pen, but only because the ink was drying up after having not been used for a year or so. In addition, there was virtually no feathering or bleed through. The only sign of bleed through was with the two Sharpies, which is of course expected. Even with the Sharpie markers, the paper was able to withstand the ink and only show somewhat minimal bleed through. The 8mm lined ruling is also somewhat wider than I am used to, however it is not a very big concern. Nonetheless, Clairefontaine paper is topnotch stuff.


There are also many other delightful surprises that come with this fantastic notebook. As mentioned before, on the back cover there is an inside pocket that is expandable for storage. I really don’t tend to use the back folders, but they are very helpful for holding things, such as sticky notes, index cards, photos, and many other things. And on cue with a scholastic review, it is absolutely PERFECT for any class that is in high demand for index cards, such as English or Spanish.


I was also able to take a snapshot of the binding of the Habana, in case any of you were interested in seeing it. The binding also allows the notebook to lie entirely flat, which is not only a plus for students who take notes on desks, but also for the everyday writer and journalist.


All in all, I really enjoy using this versatile notebook. Whether you are a student or a casual writer, the Habana notebook has many great aspects that keep it appealing to everyone alike. With high quality paper, a beautiful cover design, and other great features built-in, the Quo Vadis Habana notebook is simply a must-have. If you are interested in buying the Habana Notebook, (the one that I am using), go to For more information, feel free to visit and explore around the site, as something will bound to spark your interest. I hope you found some interesting notes, and I’m definitely looking forward to making some more in this notebook. Until next time…


To return to the First Edition of the Carnival of Pen, Pencil, and Paper visit:

For more information on the Carnival of Pen, Pencil, and Paper visit:

Published in: on July 18, 2009 at 3:50 am  Comments (5)  

Summer… It’s Time For Tennis!

Everyone who knows tennis knows that it’s best in the summer. Sure, playing with your friends and coaches in a plush, indoor tennis court is a fair simulation of the sport, but the true tennis player knows that outside is where it’s hot – literally. In the summer, you can still play indoors, but the atypical smoldering heat with low-powered fans becomes excruciatingly unbearable. Just go outside.

I remember playing tennis in the spring for my school team feeling as if I had shed away the cocoon of a slow and cold winter. I definitely was not adjusted or used to the dimensions and ‘feel’ of the court… us tennis players know what happens when you stay indoors too long. When I got ready to serve, and then felt a gust of wind, I knew that this is what I had been missing in my tennis games. The aspect of nature.

The past week that I had spent playing tennis was almost brutal. Having returned from a three week hiatus of nothing but adorning suits and ties, I was what you would say ‘rusty.’ Nonetheless, I have recovered from said embarrassing incident and hopefully the next time, it will be more bearable.

I played with a Babolat Pure Drive Cortex Standard Racquet ($175) with Babolat Hurricane Pro Tour Gauge 16 strings, at an initial tension of 65lbs… which most likely fell to a 60 or 61lbs by now. In addition, the handle is size 4 1/2 and the overgrip I use is Prince Microtac. I’ve tried the Wilson Pro Overgrip and the TournaGrip, but for some reason I switched over to using the Prince just a week or so ago. In addition, I used the Babolat Custom Damp (Blue & Red) and frankly, they’re the best shock absorbers I’ve used to date (they definitely beat out those silly Djokovic frowny face ones).  Although I have two of these racquets (identical in everything except for the color of the shock absorber and overgrip), I decided to “demo” two other racquets: the Babolat Aero Storm Racquet 2008 ($185) and the Head MicroGEL Extreme Racquet 2009 ($180). With both of these racquets, I felt as if my volley and net game were significantly improved in comparison to with my Pure Drive. Yet, I felt as if the Aero Storm racquet was a little clunky, as the head of the racquet has more weight than the head of the Pure Drive. I think my Pure Drive allowed me to play more consistently and with more spin than both the Aero Storm and the Head MicroGEL Extreme, but all three were great. And today was a doubles day, so the other two racquets came in handy.

The loud and crisp “pop” of the tennis ball and the squeaking of the tennis shoes are ever so reminiscent of the tennis season. With Wimbledon and the French Open already past, fans have yet to witness the US Open 2009. When fall comes around, the leaves blow around as the temperature begins to drop. Yet tennis still continues on, all year round, whether it be indoors, outdoors, or both.  Summer will surely be one to remember, regardless of whether or not you share adoration for the sport of tennis, so be sure to take notes especially on this one.

Published in: on July 15, 2009 at 12:51 am  Leave a Comment  

School Supplies

For some odd reason, the time of the year when I am most academically stimulated is right after my finals. For example, I scavenged double copies (saves my back!) of my Spanish textbooks, Precalc textbooks, and already purchased my American History and Chemistry textbook for next year.  I know, it sounds like a lot of fun. But in all reality, whenever I buy new school supplies or textbooks, I always feel so eager to just jump in, be extremely neat and organized, and just study and work away the nights… but it never ends up that way. One of the planners that I bought for next year was the red Quo Vadis Equology Textagenda. 


I found this to be rather interesting, having owned a previous Quo Vadis Scholar Planner. Apparently, the entire Textagenda is ecologically friendly, with all parts of the planner being recycled, not just the paper. The Textagenda is comprised of 85% recycled material while still maintaining 90 g alkaline/neutral paper. The paper is actually very high quality, compared to other recycled ones, but it’s not as smooth or white as other Quo Vadis or Clairefontaine stationary.  Nonethless, this is expected with recycled stock.

I also recently plopped down $11 on a teal and orange Clairefontaine Clothbound Notebook. I really like how it’s not stapled, which pretty much minimalizes the creasing. However, the first and last page that are attached to the cover and back pages are always a pet peeve of mine; you pretty much can’t use the first or last pages. Clairefontaine is not only famous for its luxuriously smooth and white paper, made from environmentally controlled forests, but also its renowned cloth binding, which matches the cover. I bought my book Ruled, as I plan to take notes with it in one of my classes, of which will be special just because of this notebook. There are 5 sizes, I bought large, and there are 96 sheets (well really only 94).


Clairefontaine Clothbound Notebook


And finally, before I bid adieu to you on this very first post of mine (yay!), I bought one last thing online. A Moleskine Reporter 3.5 x 5.5 Ruled. I know. The dreaded, but famed, Moleskines have somehow managed to persuade me enough to buying one of them. Alas, it was ONLY because… 1. B&N has an online deal of paying $10 for free shipping… 2. I received a Gift Card as an award (will elaborate later)… and 3. Because I somewhat feel as if I need to repay my lovely school newspaper back with a gift to my profession.

So, this year, after toiling away at my lowly job as a freshman worker on the school newspaper, I managed to send out more than just a few articles, especially front cover articles. In the end of the year, I was given an award, a gift card to B&N, and was promoted to a head position on the editorial staff! Snag! So, I feel as if I should repay my kind fellow staff members by working even HARDER next year, and possibly even presenting a more ‘official’ role with more ‘luster.’ So I wanted to buy a reporter notebook, instead of writing on backs of wasted print offs.

Originally I really wanted to purchase the Live Inspired Reporter “Why Not’ Notebook, since it was only $8, had great paper quality, and even had an interesting quote, neat tidbit, on the botom of each page. Neat. Real neat. Too bad it’s kind of under the covers and not really that promoted, so not only can I not find it in many big name stores, let alone small shops, but their shipping kind of outvalues the Moleskine… oh well!


Well, I’m off to living my life some more. Expect to see me soon, and remember, take notes on this!

Published in: on July 5, 2009 at 4:56 am  Comments (1)