On average, the typical A5 sized notebook (Leuchtturm, Hobonichi, Stalogy, Moleskine, Midori, Clairefontaine, Apica, Kleid, etc. ranging from 192 to 368 pages) has an equivalent square footage of writing surface to the front (only) of about 420 4 x 6 inch index cards. On a cost basis, for the same amount of money, on average one can buy 1,200 index cards for what they’re shelling out for equivalent notebooks.
This is why I like having stacks of index cards at hand. They’re beautiful and lovely, but if you screw up or make a mistake, it’s just one card. Copy it and throw the imperfect one out if you need to. (Though I find in practice I don’t ever do this.) Because they’re not bound together, you’re also not bound by what you write on one card needing to fit in with what you write on any of the others. There’s no worrying about what subject you’re going to write on this one card tying you to something the way writing in a single subject notebook might. Did this sort of fear exist in the users of 17th century commonplace notebooks, or was it something that evolved in the 20th century with the idea of single subject school notebooks?
My nicest index cards don’t carry the same baggage as my nicest notebooks.
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: https://finecardstock.com/product/memo-pads-paper-white-4×6/, 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-Wp0sLpnMY. 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.
Has anyone else done this or anything similar? How about wallets, folios, or thin covers? What’s your experience?
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…
First and foremost I want to extend my congratulations to Brad Dowdy of The Pen Addict (the legend) and his colleague and newly made celebrity, Jeffrey Bruckwicki, an amazing seamster (cool word) who is becoming a legend in his own right. These two gentlemen recently set out to create a Kickstarter campaign to present to the world their new brand, Nock Co., and their first offerings in a line of affordable pen, pencil, and notebook cases.