RD: Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
TL: My name is Tim Loblaw, and, yes, I do actually have a brother named Bob. Believe me, I’ve heard the jokes long before it became popular on Arrested Development (http://arresteddevelopment.wikia.com/wiki/Bob_Loblaw).
I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where I’m an educational developer at a local community college. Educational developer is simple a fancy academic way of saying my role involves teaching-the-teachers. In addition to my full-time job at the community college, I’m a part-time postgraduate research student at the University of Nottingham in the UK, completing a Professional Doctorate in Lifelong Education.
Basically, I’m an example of the global reach of Rhodia: I’m a Canadian, studying at a UK university, using notepads that originated in France.
RD: How and when did you first discover Rhodia products?
TL: I purchased my first Rhodia in 2009 from a local stationery store. It was an orange no. 11 pad. I was attending an academic conference and wanted some sort of small pad to carry from session to session. The reason I know it was a no. 11 pad is because I still have it in my desk at work. The conference was so informative and transformative, I didn’t want to lose the notes and sketches I made from the sessions.
RD: Which are your favorite Rhodia products?
TL: I use the Rhodia Office Exabook for ‘every day carry’ at the college. The Exabook is my go-to journal for notetaking at meetings. I’ve only had it for a year, but I’m already on my third refill.
My favorite Rhodia product is currently the Essentials Box (and all the goodies inside). I had been coveting the Box for a long time after seeing one online. Eventually, I convinced a local retailer to stock some.
RD: Do you always use the same product(s) or do you change periodically?
TL: As an educator and postgraduate research student, my classroom and fieldwork requires handwritten memos and notes. I discovered Rhodia because I needed a notebook that was ‘fit for purpose.’
With respect to using the same product or changing them periodically, my answer is, “it depends.” I find I use products cyclically. When I’m in the classroom, I keep a no. 11 pad ready for quick reflective notes to myself. When I’m stuck at my desk working on something more involved, I rely on a journal.
RD: Do you use them in any way that is specific to your work?
TL: I don’t use the actual Rhodia products in any unique way. However, I do use different colors of pens regularly when I write for specific purposes. The writing technique I’ve adopted is to hold pens of different colors between my fingers in my non-writing hand. I then switch between the different colors to capture different types of my writing. For example, I might use black ink to record descriptive comments about a piece of text I’m reading or comments made in a meeting, but I’ll alternate to blue ink when I want to add my own interpretive/reflective comments about that text or meeting.
RD: Does using Rhodia products make your job easier in any way? (Do quality tools make the job easier?)
TL: I’m a lefty so the quality of the paper is always important to me. As an overwriter, I find Rhodia paper doesn’t smear for me. Like I said, it’s all about being ‘fit for purpose.’
RD: Pencil, pen, or other? Favorites?
TL: Definitely pens. I’ve recently become a fountain pen convert although I’m still in the starter pen phase (Pilot Metropolitan and Kaweco Classic). Until I get more proficient with a fountain pen, my go-to is a Stabilo rollerball.
RD: Where do you regularly purchase Rhodia products?
TL: Luckily, Calgary has a few shops where I can find Rhodia products:
- Reid’s Stationery (http://reidstationers.com)
- Madison + Page (http://www.madison-page.com/store/)
- Luke’s Drug Mart (http://lukesdrugmart.com)
RD: Is there any way we could improve on your favorite product?
TL: From my photos, you can probably tell I’m a fan of the ‘orange & black.’ Therefore, more boutique items would always be appreciated. For example, I’d be the first in line to purchase a ball cap…which makes me think you’re missing a wonderful promotional opportunity to pair up with the San Francisco Giants (who also use orange and black in their branding).