I’ve heard many people mention their issues with writing in new notebooks or coming up with ideas for what to put in their ever-growing collections of multiple brand new notebooks. Some feel like they’re just notebook collectors who appreciate the look and feel of a new notebook, pregnant with so much possibility. Others are frozen by the need for perfection and can’t bring themselves to write on a page. One writer told me that he purposely mars the first page in every new notebook, just to force himself to get over the fear of the newness and perfection—something he picked up from his dad who dinged with a hammer on day one every new car he bought to get over the preciousness of the new.
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.
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 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:
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…
There aren’t many published copies of annotated books out there, but you can get a limited edition replica of Francis Ford Coppola’s prompt book The Godfather Notebook for the movie’s 50th anniversary. It includes Coppola’s handwritten annotations on Mario Puzo’s novel.
This small, green pocket memo book with a “frame” layout seems to be the perfect form factor for short handwritten notes to post to Twitter. A Twitter notebook if you will. Thanks Midori.
If iA is getting into physical notebooks, I’m hoping they’ll also attach the other leg of the triangle with their app’s Micropub support and allow me to publish my handwriting to my website. See: https://boffosocko.com/2021/12/20/55799844/ for details.
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.