Commercial Hipster


My DH asked me today if there was a commercially available hipster planner, and whether I thought there would be a market for one.

I seem to recall seeing one hipster variant with preprinted index cards and a binder of some sort--available on a website. And there are a bunch of different binder/pocket arrangements with blank cards or without. But I couldn't really put my finger on a commercial hipster per se.

My thought was that we're all so unique in what we want that it would be easier to offer an a la carte menu of components and let folks select their own bits than to try to make a canned system like you see with Covey and others.

What do you think? What would go into a commercial hipster that would make it more valuable than a stack of cards and a clip?

Binding options: None, One Ring, Multiple (loose) Rings, Rolla/Circa, Spiral, Clip, Ring Binder (open or zip), closed container, something attached to a wallet..

Paper options: Blank, Ruled landscape, Ruled portrait, Grid, Action list, schedule timeline..etc..

Dividers: Yes, No

Writing tool: Pen loop, enclosed pen/pencil, none..

Other options? Pouches/envelopes? Calculator? Flashlight?

Note: I'm not really seriously considering this, just kind of tossing the idea into the ether. What would it be like if you could go into an office supply store and pick up your dream tool right off the shelf?


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Hi, I saw something at

Hi, I saw something at Target that was like a Hipster. In the Stationary Dept. Had a Book Binder Post Screw holding the index cards together and a rubber band (like a pony tail holder) holding it together. Was cool for one to ust pick off of the shelf.

commmercial hipster - What to include


I like where this is going.

I completely agree that a canned system takes some of the fun out of personalizing the hipster. So a simple design that encourages mod'ing would be more appealing than a bundled collection of templates that illustrate out-of-the-box potential?

My thoughts on essentials for the basic form were to include a binding, a set of dividers, a pen loop, and a way to keep the notebook closed. Eric Shotwell did a great job of documenting his prototyping on Flickr of this subject :

So what paper elements would be essential in an hPDA in its simplest form?

I'm also really interested in how users carry their hPDA's.

Douglas started a topic concerning hPDA cases last year, that drew out some great responses. I was pretty compelled by rkfoster's admittance that he used a pocket protector to carry his stack. I really like this, and was wondering if anyone out there has come out with any other methods for carrying their hPDA's.

[-If we haven't met yet, I want to disclose that I work for Levenger-]

carrying hPDA

Has anyone thought of, or tried, using the new 3 x 5 folders that Levenger has?

More pretty colors!

I think innowen talked about using them in a recent article she wrote. I've been coveting them for a while, because they are so cute and I love the colors. I just need to get back into using 3x5 stuff so that I can justify buying these little gems...

Somebody convince me that I need to add more toys to my stable, please!

Generic vs. Custom Parts

The problem I see with items like the RealSimple Card Wheel (the thing bought at Target) is that it uses non-standard cards. So you either end up paying high $$$'s for Their Cards or you fudge it as best you can and get something looking a bit scruffy.

Also, considering how personal and individual an organizer is, I believe it would be real difficult to approach the necessary diversity from a commercial point of view. Your "Dream Tool" and mine may not be the same thing.

A possibility worth more-than-casual consideration would be a line of physical products intended to support an effort like this site is dedicated to. Things like binders of various sizes and hole punches and such, leaving the final configuration up to the end user.
OK, now that I actually went back and CAREFULLY read the original post, I see that I have restated a lot of it.

So, now let me get specific: Binding options: I believe it best to have an option that allows one to add/remove/rearrange the pages. A clip or case makes that reasonably simple. Anything requiring a punch would necessitate having a punch or having pre-punched filler material. With that requirement, the actual content (page types and dividers and such) become a personal choice.

An included writing instrument is, I believe, a second necessity. Specifics can be hashed out later.

The rest is extra fluff to me, but I will not insist that anything is ommitted just 'cause I have no use for it. This is about setting up the organizer that works for You.

Combine a small-but-diverse set of physical supplies with the informational resources here and I think we would have a serious kick-butt combination.


OK, so if we wanted to do a serious a la carte menu and be your one-stop-shop for all things DIY Planner, we'd have to have..

For the print-your-own set
bright white paper
colored paper?
cardstock (various colors & weights)
plain index cards (3 sizes, various colors)
ruled index cards (same)
business card stock (pre-perfed)

punches for various types of holes, numbers of holes, sizes of stock

Writing instruments:
everything from high-class high-dollar to el cheapo, fountains, ball points, gels, pencils, charcoal..

all the stuff mentioned in the original post

Cases & storage boxes:
Memo pockets, plastic cases, paperboard cases, business card cases, index card storage boxes..

Gadgets & other bits and pieces:
bleachers & other stands (scrabble tile stands)
post it notes and flags (including the coveted black notes)
plastic accessories? covers?
paper envelopes & slash pockets
self stick tabs and tab sets
writing instrument cases
hair bands (pony tail holders)

And then pre-printed forms for those who don't want to print their own:
checklist (preprinted with titles a la GTD?)
Commonly used tab labels (to go with the tabs and tab sets)

What else? That would be a heck of a stationery shop, don't you think?


Or, at least a guide...

Wow, stocking all this stuff, plus all the other items people will probably want would be quite a job. However, in the spirit of D*I*Y, I think it would be possible to at least create a guide or tutorial for getting started. The guide could have pictures of possible setups, links to order cool things, and of course, the templates.

One of the big attractions of the D*I*Y is customizing your own planner. In my extremely humble opinion, once you try to standardize everything to make a complete package, you lose the flexibility and creative angles of setting up your own planning environment. The act of having to think through your own working processes helps you figure out what you actually need in a planner.

However, I can see a lot of value in compiling a somewhat concise guide to working through this process. shris, you have a darn good start already in this post - suggesting options for binding, products to use, fun things to drool over...


There is always The Bazaar

A bizarre idea, eh ? :)

The Fun is in the Journey

I like all of the suggestions made thus far, but put me in the "I don't want a pre-packaged kit" camp. That is so overdone already. I'm not even convinced that I'd want all the resources in one place. I enjoy noodling around different websites to learn all about Hipster PDA's. Its like I used to tell my dad years ago, "I don't enjoy the fishing trip nearly as much as the preparation that goes into it".

So True!

That's so true, Roberto! So much fun is in the research, whether it's online or in the local Office Supply Store. Still, some starter hints for people who feel timid about modding stuff might be fun. I will mod *anything*, or use an item intended for some completely unrelated purpose - that is so fun.


Inspiring Creativity

When I saw your post with the origami business card-sized holder, I thought to myself "Oh my goodness, that is one creative & talented DIY-er." You truly can mod anything! I've always wanted to learn origami, but alas, that may be beyond the capabilities of my ten thumbs. You see, I was nearly held back in kindergarten because I couldn't make the corners meet when folding a piece of paper in half. And things haven't changed much in the following 40 years.

Well, stay tuned

I'll be writing a tutorial on the origami mini pocket briefcase soon. Really, it's easy to make, and I bet you will be able to do it!



Are you referring to the single or multi-pocket variety ?

multi pockets

It ends up having several pockets.



I've got a drawing for a four-pocket business card holder you fold up from a letter sheet of paper. I think A4 would work fine too. I found it on the internet about six or seven years ago--and that was a copy from a copyrighted drawing in a book.

This particular model has two covered pockets and two 'jotter' style pockets. I made a few of them from stiffened fabric to hold cards in my purse--both the plastic and paper variety.

I might have to dig it up and see if I can mod it for other card sizes. :)


A True Optimist

Sarah, you are quite the optimist (or a gifted teacher) if you believe that I will be able to fold up a piece of paper into a mini pocket briefcase. You should have seen the steam coming out of my ears the day I tried to fold Doug's DIY Hipster cover. Perhaps if I dedicate an entire weekend to the endeavor. Hmmmmm.....

The world is not yet ready...

For the one-piece Hipster PDA cover and case that I developed over a year ago. The layout, looking much like the plan for a highly advanced spacecraft, took three days of cutting, folding, spindling, mutilating, and otherwise experimenting on a defenseless piece of card stock to achieve. One of these days, it shall be my Gordian Knot, there to puzzle DIY'ers into fits of rage and insanity, till someone sees fit to slash it and toss it in the dumpster.

all my best,

Go to the Scrapbook Store!

If you have a large scrapbooking store near you ( I love Archiver's), they have lots of cool things you can use to personalize your hipster planner. I started with one of the blank books. Mine has pockets cut out using the die cut machine--I love color and pattern so I just pick out the paper or cardstock I like and the pocket gets punched out. You then just need to fold and glue. They have all kinds of clips, labels, tags and so on. My planner looks more like an altered book--probably too fussy and distracting for most people, but I need it to be appealing to me as motivation to use it.

They do not have the actual planner pages, but I was impressed to see that this year one of the companies has introduced a make your own wall calendar kit.