My Pens Love the Exacompta Forum Journal


Need a new journal? The Exacompta Basics Forum Journal has a lot going for it not the least of which is that it is designed to fit any Exacompta Club or Nostalgie Journal cover. Lots of variety so there ought to be something to suit most everyone.

No covers to test but I did receive a refill journal from Exaclair that has turned out to be quite different than I expected.

The tan-colored, plain board cover allows the refill to work as a basic notebook. However, the elastic band closure is attached in a manner that interferes with comfortable writing and makes the right side quite lumpy as you work through to the back half of the book. If you can make do without the band, the elastic can easily be removed leaving behind only two tiny holes. With a Nostalgie or Club cover, that elastic band is unnecessary anyway.

The refills have sewn signatures, so the pages will lie flat and not fall out. The 80g acid free, creamy Clairefontaine paper is very light-weight compared to most of my other journals. No feathering, true ink colors, and a smooth satin finish make the Forum Journal great with fountain pens.

However, mild to moderate show-through happened with every pen and ink I tested. Bleed-through was rare so for most writers, both sides should be useful though some folks will find only the right side will work. The refill alone is about 5/8″ thick. With a cover it would be even thicker. Since I find writing on the left side difficult in a book of this size,  single-sided writing worked well for me.

The advantage to that thickness is lots of paper. The blank and graph versions contain 200 sheets of 4 3/4″ x 6 3/4″ paper. There is an undated 365 page version, too.


Exacompta Forum Journal Ink Test

Exacompta Forum Journal Ink Test


The more I used this paper, the better I liked it. A larger size with more narrow line-spacing would be my preference but the smaller journals are more versatile. My fine and extra-fine fountain pens and inks absolutely loved the Exacompta Forum Journal. Bet yours will, too.



  1. I am glad to hear the good review. I just bought one of these to add to my ever-growing pile of notebooks I plan to use at some point in the future.


    • Let me know how you like your Forum Journal. The paper has such a nice texture for my purposes but I’d like to hear what other fountain pen folk think of it as well. 🙂


  2. I bought one of these with the Club cover (lilac) for my “next journal” pile. I love the paper. It is a bit thin, like you mentioned, but it’s such a great little journal. I have the “undated 365” refill.


    • The lilac cover looks so pretty and a sure standout in the too often somber-colored world of black journals and black fountain pens. 🙂


  3. Hello, Inkophile,

    I write again from Brasilia, Brazil. This time, please advise me: The last time I was in the US I purchased a fantastic Namiki Falcon. Now, I am planning to get a Sailor. What would be your advice on this pen? I heard the 1911 series is very good but I have seen other models, such as the Sapporo. Can you help me in this regard?
    Once again, thank you so much for your time and attention.


    • Hello, again. Glad to hear the Namiki Falcon has worked out well for you. Sailor pens for the most part are more free-flowing than Pilot/Namiki pens and perhaps a little less fine though that may not hold true from pen to pen. Recommending one from the significant number they offer would be a challenge.

      The 1911 series is excellent and very well-made but I only have experience with the 1911 (called International or Standard) and a few Sapporo pens. Sailor offers dozens of models I have only seen in photos.

      To get more information and narrow your search check out Nibs.com and the Asian pen forum at Fountain Pen Network. Let me know if that helps or if you have more questions. Or go to Sailor for all their pens though you would have to order from a Japanese vendor for many models.

      Prices do vary a bit and I can point you in a direction when you are ready. Drop me an email for a couple of names. I won’t post that information on Inkophile as I don’t want to promote one retailer over another. Or you can check out my list of pen vendor links. Maybe one of them will have a special price that is too hard to resist.


  4. Dear Inkophine,

    Thanks indeed for this useful information. I saw the picture of Sailor Professional Gear. It seemed a very good pen. Do you perhaps have an idea on its quality and performance? Anyway, I will do what you have suggested and visit those two websites. I will let you know about my decision.
    Keep up your excellent work in publishing this space.


    • The Pro Gear is an excellent pen. It is basically a 1911 with flat end caps and is the newer model.

      Glad you like the site. Come back soon!


  5. Beware the older versions with 60g paper. I have one of the undated style and the bleed through with B or stub nibs and supersaturated inks such as Private Reserve is terrible!


    • Too bad there are some of these notebooks that aren’t good with wide nibs and heavily saturated inks. I love thin paper but it isn’t good with all pens and inks. You are right about that.


  6. Hi Guys,
    Just stumbled upon this site. It looks cool and I think I will be having a good time over here.

    Welcome me 🙂


  7. Sounds like the Exacompta is a pretty good choice. Nice job on the review.

    However, if you ever find the perfect paper outside of buying a real journal, might I suggest creating your own journal. I have a simple tutorial on my website at: http://iheartjournals.com/making-a-journal-using-thread-binding

    You can create a custom journal using your favorite supplies in under 30 minutes.


  8. […] reader in southwest Wisconsin uses a daily undated Exacompta Forum journal to track birds and other species. “I had been looking for one with dates but not days to use […]


  9. […] reader in southwest Wisconsin uses a daily undated Exacompta Forum journal to track birds and other species. “I had been looking for one with dates but not days to use […]


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