Levenger Pocket Briefcase - Recommendations?

Greetings All!
I've been using a basic Hipster planner (filled with DIY forms, of course) for a few months now, and am very happy with the format after a few versions and the usual tinkering. I find that I don't actually use as many forms as I had thought I'd want (surprise!) so it's mostly blank forms and a few calendars and reference cards. I'm ready to make the leap to something nicer and more presentable - you know, cleaned up for the public!

I'm looking for comments on the various Levenger options. Leaning towards the International Pocket Brief, but I'm concerned it may be too big (thick) to fit comfortably in a shirt pocket (I don't like to sit on my planner). How do you find it in real life? Would I be better off with the basic Shirt Pocket version? Don't need the pen version as I love my Cross Ion and/or Pilot G-6.

Thanks in advance!

Reese Laundry - hPDA neophyte :-)

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Levenger Pocket Briefcase

I recently purchased the International Pocket Briefcase from Levenger and I love it. I usually carry it around in my front pocket and I don't really notice it at all. At first it was a bit bulky but after a couple of weeks it just seems natural. The only thing I did notice was when I switch pens I notice it. I was carrying a Pilot Vanishing Point but it was getting a little more abuse then I would like so I switched to a Pilot G-2 Pro and that was a little too big for it so I went to a Sanford gel pen and it seems OK. I would like to find something else to use with it though, I may look at something else from Pilot, I like the ones from them so far.

The thing I like most about it though is having a writing surface all the time, it can make things a lot easier. I usually carry about 8-10 cards behind the pocket and this makes it fairly steady to write on.

I would recommend this to anyone that can deal with the size of it.

Go with the regular pocket brief

if you're looking to carry in your front shirt pocket, I'd recommend the regular pocket brief (not the international). i've got one of each, but use the regular one much more often. IMHO the int'l is really a wallet replacement that has to go in the back pocket (or a jacket pocket or computer bag)

you can get as much card storage in the regular, and if you don't need the credit card slots/id window, i think it makes sense.

Re: The Pocket Brief

Thanks for the comments, Izzy and Kkylr:
I would indeed be carrying it primarily in my front shirt pocket, not pants, so I'm getting the sense the International would be on the large side. Christmas is coming so I'll need to decide relatively soon!


Levengre briefcase: Excellent but not a hipster

I have a Levenger Pocket Briefcase that's at least 10 years old given to me as a gift many years ago. I highly recommend it -- I use it constantly, but it's really a capture device for me, I don't think it would serve well as a complete classic hipster pda in its original 'conception' (http://www.43folders.com/2004/09/03/introducing-the-hipster-...). It won't fit the variety of calendar, action cards, project cards, etc. that I really require - you must use a fully stocked classic planner or a classic stack of cards bound by a clip. It simply won't fit. I keep a diy calendar card for quick ref when my planner is not close, a satellite action card (SAC), and a phone/medicine reference card along with a variety of blank, lined, and checklist cards for on-the-go capture a la GTD. The Levenger briefcase is terribly well-suited for this, esp. as it provides a portable writing surface for cards. There's a new version with a middle pocket - That would be good for the contast calendar cards, leaving the filled-out card pocket just as an GTD inbox.

My major complaint though is that it's large, it subjectively weighs more that the cards I carry and limits the number of cards that I could conceiveably carry - hence my provison that you cannot use it as a planner in itself, but rather for capture and SACs.

I also have a mini version of the Pocket Briefcase which is a one-pocket 2.75 x 4 inch replica of the classic brieface, which fits 2.25 x 3.5 inch Levenger cards (another old gift). Sadly Levenger has not sold this wonderful little thing for many, many years, and you can't find cards for it, fortunately it fits business cards and Next Action Cards (http://www.nextactioncards.com/) nicely. I don't know if you can find things like these on eBay or the like, but this is a wonderful capture device, as the full Levenger briefase is too large to fit into about 1/2 of my shirt pockets, and this version fits nicely into other pockets and places. Of course, there are many similar sized and equally useful tiny notepad holders, which you can find at Staples, OfficeMax, Target and so on, which are not as luxurious and expensive as these Levenger things (which I would be buying if people didn't constantly use the Levenger catalog as my gift wish list :-)

I should note, I originally got into the constant carrying of a notepad (20 years ago) not as a way to fit into the GTD system. Rather, I had a constant stream of thesis advisors and then managers who practiced the art of "management by walking around," leaving to my memory what were often my most critical directives, with much detail that needed to be captured - later this was a natural fit to GTD.

I see that your Hipster is as big as mine...

Thanks for the thoughtful response.
I do use a Classic-size planner as my main organizational tool for weekly calendars, projects, NA lists, contacts, etc. The hipster I use mainly as a GTD-inspired capture tool rather than what Merlin Mann originally intended. I've designed and printed my own note cards ala the Levenger custom 3x5s (a fun way to learn Illustrator IMHO). I have some that are simply personalized and others that are business customized with our company logo and all my contact info. They make great calling cards with room for a note or two, unlike a business card. There are just a few other cards - a monthly overview calendar or two, a contact reference card and a Satellite Action Card or two - essentially just like you! So, the new style Pocket Brief, with the writing surface and a couple pockets for reference and filled-out cards is what I need, I think.

I have explored a bit online, as well as Staples, OfficeMax, Target, Walmart, etc and haven't found anything I could use. Notepad holders are made to hold a notpad (shocking!) and I haven't seen how to use them with the larger 3x5s. I keep looking though!

Thanks again,

Levenger has a bizcard size jotter again!

Would you believe that Levenger has that bizcard sized pocket briefcase again? They also have a version with a pen pocket and pen, albeit a bit pricier. Also, the printed cards are in stock.

Slim Wallet Writer
Price: $28

RE: the International Pocket Briefcase. I had one, but found that it was too wide for my shirt pockets. I bought a Levenger Flip Pocket Briefcase, which is about 1/8" narrower than even the regular Pocket Briefcase, so it does fit the front shirt pocket on my aloha shirts, and leaves room for a fountain pen or two. I guess our shirts don't have as wide a pocket as most dress shirts.

However, although it's nowhere near as elegant, I'm experimenting with Circa bound Hipster PDA with a select grouping of cards. It fits my pocket quite well and provides enough support to write on. It can carry more cards than the pocket briefcase. Levenger has just released models like this as the Circa PDA series. (Great job, Ryan!)

Now, if only the new Circa PDA translucent covers were available separately. (hint, hint) Laminating a Hipster PDA cover card with packing tape just doesn't have the same cachet. :-)
Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
B. Banzai

Pocket Brief Update

Just wnated to post an update to my topic here. I did indeed get a nice monogramed Levenger Pocket Brief back at Christmas time, and I love it. Quality is excellent and I carry and use it daily as my capture tool.

I do have one gripe with the design - one I haven't seen mentioned before. If anything, it is slightly too long to nicely hold 3x5s in the front writing slots. I find that cards will slip down into one end and pop out of the other. I need to adjust them once in a while and center them again so they won't come out on me. I believe the whole thing could be 3/8 - 1/2" shorter overall.

Just some feedback, Ryan. Otherwise I am entirely satisfied.

Best, Reese

I Noticed That Too

I bought a Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase in December, and have also noticed that one end of the cards sometimes pops out. I don't use mine very often though. This was a purchase I made without thinking about the practical application first. I work in a business casual office environment, and most of my winter shirts do not have pockets. So, I rarely carry it. I'm using a PocketMod stuffed in my pants pocket these days instead.


More Cards = Better Fit

I have noticed that it mostly happens once I'm down to just a couple of cards. If I fill it back up, they fit more tightly and don't move and pop out.


Follow-up (DUH!)

I never came back to commenbt on this, so I thought I should. I got around to measuring the cards, and it turns out they were short by a 1/4". When I had them printed and cut, they must have had "shrink to fit" turned on and it shrunk the page of cards just enough that when cut down, they were too short. A new set, printed at full-size, fit fine adn stay put, even with just 1 or 2 cards left.

So, it was MY issue, and not a short-coming of Levengers. Apologies!

I never finish anyth

after saying i would not

after saying i would not because of the shipping issues, i did break down and order one. now i got it in and i have a question. the description says "# Full-grain leather"

but i have to say it does NOT feel like it at all. the whole back has a plasticy feel and doesnt smell anything like leather. i have compared it with all my other levenger leather products and have to say it feels different.

but this could all be in my head. is this all in my head?

Levenger stole ALL of my money, but they left me all these nice, shiny organizational tools.

Mine is real leather

Sorry to hear you aren't so satisfied (again). Maybe Levenger is just your arch-nemesis. :(

Mine is certainly all real leather by feel and smell. I've been VERY happy, and it's held up to daily use and abuse, falling out of my pocket and getting kicked around on the floor, and so on, with no problems. Somewhat scuffed, but that just shows I use it.

I never finish anyth

its ok been reading about leather

its ok, i have been reading about leather grades. and there is a weird full grain grade that is full grain but can be stiffer, which is what i now believe the thing to be. i just wish they had a bomber one what was not a wallet just a card brief case and thats what i would have gotten.

so i am not unsatisfied. just...less extremely satisfied than i usually am. if that makes any sense.

Levenger stole ALL of my money, but they left me all these nice, shiny organizational tools.