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)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] C presents The Quo Vadis Habana Notebook posted at Takenotesonthis’s Blog, saying, “Hopefully my wonderful experience will […]

  2. What a great review! And, an excellent, informative blog, in general. I especially like the extra effort you made with the pen variety.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write
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