05 September 2019

Rhodia A5+ Notebook

We are in 'return to school' season this week, typically our local French supermarkets tend to expand their stationery displays during this period each year.

I was strolling through the area at the front of the store the other day and I spotted this particular A5+ notebook with pre-punched holes. I was instantly interested, so I popped one in our shopping basket.

The pages are 12 mm wider than normal A5 but the same height. However, the pages are perforated and when removed from the notebook they measure exactly A5.

They come with a plastic sheet in the front that has a ruler and three book marks you can press out of the sheet. This whole sheet can also easily be removed too.

The paper is 90 gsm and each page is the same front and back with a header area and a working area below.

I have done a pen test and there was absolutely no bleed through with the selection of pens I used. They were all typical pens I would use in this type of notebook.

The details on the back cover.

When I got this home I measured the hole spacing and realised this wasn't quite what I thought it was when I was in the shop.
  • A = 45 mm
  • B = 65 mm
  • C = 80 mm
So the combination of the A<>B<>A holes is known as 'European A5 4 ring spacing' and C is traditional 80 mm 2 ring spacing. 

My post from way back in 2012 covered some of these: The Great Organiser Hole Spacing Conspiracy but I will 'borrow' the photos to explain further. 

So the 80mm spacing is ISO 838 spacing these are very common in Europe for 2 or 4 ring binders that you find in any store. They have 2 or 4 rings each spaced by 80mm. 4 ring for A4 sheets, 2 ring for A5 sheets. 

The A5 European 4 ring system is less common. I discovered it on this drawing, it is the third one down from the top:

So if you look at the page and then add in where the holes would be for Filofax A5 it looks something like this:

As you can see you end up with slotted holes at rings 1, 3, 4 and 6 and additional normal holes at rings 2 and 5, these two would keep the paper stable on the rings if you re-punched this notebook for use in a Filofax A5 organiser.

The 'European 4 ring A5' system is used in a few products I have come across, for example this A5 conference folder and it was used also in the Gillio A5 Address Book.

The pages in this notebook at perforated and when 'torn' out (carefully) they are the correct A5 dimensions and as you can see above the holes are perfectly punched for this Gillio Address Book.

The plastic ruler is really intended to be used in the notebook the cut out holes are spaced at 76 mm, this aligns perfectly with the coils of the notebook.

I modified one of these to fit the ring system though by punching some holes in the plastic like this:

You might have also spotted that the notebook I bought in my local supermarket is quadrille ruled pages. This is very common here in France for reasons I'm not 100% sure about. However I discovered on the Rhodia site that this same notebook is also available with lined pages, so I ordered one from Amazon.

The cover sheet is slightly different but the pages and the ruler and book marks are exactly the same. 

The book mark. 

I will be returning to my French classes within the next couple of weeks. I intend to use this notebook for my notes and the Gillio 'address book' to store the notes. 


  1. I just love Rhodia notebooks, so thanks for this post. Very interesting. xx

  2. Cracking post Steve as always and a great new product. Thanks for the Amazon link, I just ordered one!

  3. Do they make Rhodia (or any other supplier) in personal size?