Index Card Accessories for Note Taking on the Go

Index Card “Notebooks”?

Before I go the DIY route, has anyone seen gummed 4 x 6″ index cards available for sale? I’d love to have a bunch of index cards temporarily glued together almost in notebook form for easy use and portability.

I’m looking for something along the lines of traditional note pads or memo pads like this:×6/, but which used a thicker index card stock.

I know there are a handful of manufacturers who make spiral bound versions with perforations for tearing cards out, but I’m looking for something a tad less bulky for putting in a back pocket or jacket pocket. I’ve also considered using binder clips and even book rings, but again, I’m trying to slim the system down.

If there’s nothing great, I may just go with my favorite cards and DIY with some PVA Glue which is often used in book binding and is suggested frequently in crafting videos like: In the end, this may be the best route to allow me to choose my favorite cards in addition to how thick I can make the “notebooks”.

Note card cases, folios, and holders

Similar/related/useful things I’ve come across in this related space:

Kaitiaki 3×5 Inches Index Card Organizer, though they don’t seem to have anything for 4 x 6 inch index cards.

Rite in the Rain (zettelkasting in the elements while hiking anyone?), though they all appear to be designed around 3 x 5″ cards.

Oxford At-Hand Note Card Case, this could work, but as ever, it only seems to be available for 3 x 5″ index cards

YOAVIP 4×6 Index Cards Clear Plastic Holder looked interesting, but was a larger, notebook sized version, though still had some useful portability features, yet might be a bit persnickety for regular in-and-out usage.

Other ideas?

Has anyone else done this or anything similar? How about wallets, folios, or thin covers? What’s your experience?


This is ultimately what I ended up doing

A notepad for my Zettelkasten! 🗃️
30 index cards, some bookbinder’s (PVA) glue, a brush, some clips, and ten minutes of craft time. We’re ready for the road…

Wooden table featuring a deck index cards bound by glue at the top stand up near some PVA adhesive surrounded by some binder clips, a paint brush, a Lochby case of fountain pens and a stationery bag.

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, IndieWeb, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

33 thoughts on “Index Card Accessories for Note Taking on the Go”

    1. Chris Aldrich says:

      I’d mentioned binder clips (the same thing), which I’ve used and want to get away from for something slimmer, particularly if they’re in a pants pocket.

  1. Lisa says:

    I use a Nock Sinclair 3 pen case with a good stack of index cards for dedicated all day research library trips (see Rickshaw bags (

    But I started using Levenger Pocket Briefcases in the 1980s.

  2. @Medievalist Thanks Lisa for the reminder about Levenger. Perhaps it’ll help someone, but sadly I’m looking for things in the slightly larger 4×6″ range. Despite that Levenger will do custom orders for 4×6 cards, they don’t seem to have pocket briefcases for them. Given the support, I suppose I’m glad I didn’t opt for even larger cards, though I suppose there is a fair amount of material for larger notebooks in that range.

  3. @Medievalist I think I might look into it if I go in a leather-based direction, but if I did a material/canvas/cloth direction, I think I’d just design and sew it myself. I like the look and feel of some of the Lochby stuff, so maybe a slightly larger hybrid of their Pocket Journal and their Quattro (pen holder)?

  4. @MultoGhost Thanks for this. I had already started down some of the Richshaw rabbithole at the suggestion of @Medievalist. The Diplomat is somewhat close to the Lochby Pocket Journal I’ve got which is the typical 3.5 x 5.5 Field Notes standard size. It would be so nice if they were large enough for 4×6 or A6 form factors…

    I do like that a lot of what Rickshaw has would match relatively well with my Timbuk2 messenger bag. The travlers bag looks promising as does the Sinclair Model R that Lisa suggested. The Coozy Case might also work along with some other of their pen cases.

    Thanks for the recommendations! 🖋️🐰🕳️

  5. @aa There is a wealth of journals/planner covers for the traditional Field Notes notebooks (3.5 x 5.5″), but almost nothing for a similar A6 (4-1/8 x 5-7/8″) or standard 4 x 6″ index cards which are incredibly close to the A6 size. I’m looking for something simple in the vein of this leather wallet-like cover that would accomodate something of these sizes. The A6/4×6″ format is still just small enough to fit into most coat pockets as well as rear pockets and a cover that would fit them could also be marketed to fit the slightly smaller 3.5×5.5″ notebooks as well. I think that one product could cover the whole space. Another similar example, although canvas of the smaller format is Lochby’s Pocket Journal.

  6. Owain Glyndwr says:

    If a binder ring is too bulky, then a rubber band will be a secure and minimalist approach. They were popular when Hipster PDA’s were first developed nearly 20 years ago.

    1. Chris Aldrich says:

      Diolch Owain. Thanks for the suggestion, perhaps some might like this minimalist approach. I’m aware of the history of the hipster PDA and even had one for a while back in the day. Ultimately I wanted something more easily slipped in and out of pockets, so rubber bands were also out from the start for me. I ultimately took the book binding glue route: So far, it’s working relatively well.

  7. I use the old hipster PDA method, and just bulldog clip some cards together. Pull one out when it’s needed… for what it’s worth, my “productivity system” is mostly based around the 43 folders system, but just implemented using index cards, along with some other additions that I find work well for me. So I’m using 4×6 notecards all the time.

  8. Nice, I 100% get the “screw it, I’ll make it myself” mindset. Don’t have any suggestions for improvement at this point, unfortunately, unless you’re crafty enough to just make the wallet you need. You could even make it out of paper covered with something like packing tape or contact paper, make it water resistant.

  9. Isn’t there a numbering system to go along with zettelkasten? You should pre-print the numbers on the cards before binding them, using a printer. Oh, or using blank cards and printing your own layout, like a space for the topic, and lines for the notes.

    You might check etsy for a custom made index card holder, or find someone to commission one.

  10. Ray says:

    Late I know, but you may want to look through Etsy for some that might fit your requirements. It’s where I found an excellent waxed canvas notebook pouch with pockets on one side and slots for pens on the other. (see: – it’s no longer for sale but I see similar there).

    Am new to the Zettelkasten thing but am looking forward to it assimilating me. ; )


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