Elegant and intelligent, Exacompta products follow a French philosophy that even simple tools should be good quality and a pleasure to use. Recently, Gail Young took the time to review her new Exafolio, a “green” product whose design provides features for organizing, filing, and storage.
“I’ve carried many portfolios over the years, from job interviews and reporting assignments to board meetings and jury trials. Some have been those presented by organizations, which are very spiffy–until I was no longer associated with the group whose logo was embossed on the front.
And some I have purchased after persuading myself that I just had to get another one because the ones I have don’t work perfectly for me. But nothing was exactly right:
- One is too flimsy; another has business-card slots that won’t retain the cards securely.
- One that I bought for its good looks is too heavy even when it’s empty.
- Another zips closed, which is just plain tedious and noisy.
- None ever seems to have see-through pockets, so I’ve had to root around like a squirrel, desperately seeking an Altoids for entertainment.
All in all, I know I’ve been real Goldilocks-y about it, but I know I’m not alone.
So, being a fanatic about Rhodia pads, I was delighted to come across Exacompta’s brilliantly designed Exafolio. Here are the joys of it:
- Not only does it hold a Rhodia #18 pad, it can also hold the Rhodia staple-bound notebook that’s 21 x 29.7 cm; sometimes I’ve carried both. The flap that holds the pad or notebook in place has been brilliantly designed to accommodate either.
- It has a capacious accordion folder on the left with six pockets. Thanks go to the thoughtful designer: each pocket has a tab and a cut-out for easy document viewing. Even a sheet of labels for the tabs is included. And another lagniappe: the folder can be secured with the elastic band and chrome button. I can load it up with a #18 pad, the notebook, and a lot of paper and file folders, and it still closes smoothly.
- The two zippered pockets on the left, one large and one small, are further proof of the designer’s genius: they’re made of mesh so that you can see what’s in them! The mesh is not too large a pattern either, so paper clips don’t fall out.
- The three pen/pencil holders are securely made and will hold almost any size pen–except for a chubby one like my old Rotring Core fountain pen, but it fits in the large mesh pocket just fine.
- The portfolio has a snap-button closure–so much faster than a zipper!
- It’s made of 80.3% recycled polypropylene, which has several advantages:
- Although perhaps it’s not as elegant as leather, you are vindicated for this lack of elegance by its ecological soundness.
- It doesn’t hold or show dirt, and takes just a quick swipe with a damp cloth to clean.
- It’s practically weightless!
- The exterior appearance is subdued–black with a blind-embossed “Exafolio” on the bottom left and a small red-orange half-moon mark before the name. Obsessive-compulsive that I am, this is a pleasing complement to the orange pad cover.
- The final dealmaker for me: price. I found mine online for a mere $28.00!
After using mine for a year now, I’ve concluded that the Exafolio is what I’ve always wanted. That feeling I used to have with all my other portfolios, “Gee, if it only had . . .” is totally absent. Life is rich and full!”