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  1. The Paper Plane - Exacompta Bloc FAF I've been enjoying this little corner of the web for some time now, mainly focusing on inks and pens. But these are more or less useless without the humble paper or notebook that will let you capture your thoughts. So here comes the "Paper Plane", where I review some of the paper and notebooks that I've enjoyed using over the years. Today's guest is the Exacompta desktop note block, a handy tool for quickly jotting down short notes. Founded in 1928, Exacompta was originally a workshop for the production of account books and diaries. This workshop is located in Paris on the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin, in buildings designed by the architect Paul Friesé. Now a historic monument, the site extends to adjoining buildings and is home to the largest factory in the heart of Paris where stationery, filing and diaries are still manufactured. The Exacompta Bloc FAF (Fabriqué en France) is a nice-looking desktop note block with a retro design. It essentially consists of an aluminum baseplate with brass screws and washers to fixate a pad of loose-leaf paper. Simple but effective. The result is a very functional note block, that looks much better on your desk than a pack of post-it notes. The note block comes in three different sizes (170x100 mm, 197x115 mm and 220x135 mm). I got myself the small version which fits just perfect on my desk. Small rubber feet ensure that the note block stays in place while taking notes. All in all, a very functional desktop accessory with a cool design. And an inexpensive one at that: the 170x100 small version costs 19,95 EUR (taxes included) and comes with a 170-page bloc of paper. Refills can be bought for 4,50 EUR. Exacompta uses Clairefontaine 70 gsm paper for its refills. The paper has a light-grey 5 mm dot-grid, and is fountain-pen friendly. Sheets are micro-perforated at the top, making it super easy to tear off a page. Below is a photo of the front and back of a sheet of paper, on which I made some scribbles with multiple pen/ink combinations. If you are looking for an alternative for the boring pack of post-it notes, this desktop block with its good-looking retro design certainly fits the bill.

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