Containing your thoughts - How do you archive your 3x5's?

I have a little project in the works over at Levenger for 3x5's. As an experiment, I'd like to try and get some community input. I thought this might be a neat opportunity for members to influence product development in its initial stages.

_______

Topic: vertical desktop index card organizers & storage

As part of the brainstorming process, I'd like to learn more from long-time 3x5 users.

*- What kinds of Actions, Ideas, Contacts, and Etc do you archive?
*- How do you divide your stored cards between active [regular use] and inactive/reference [longer than a month]?
*- What functional elements are important to you in a stationary filing system?

[* Index Card Filing Cabinet * Wooden Card Catalogs * Recipe Boxes *]

What works with these types of containers, and what would an ideal 3x5 organizing tool look like?
_______

This an opportunity to collaboratively co-create a new product, and also to share your experiences and organization stories with the crowd.

What would you like to see?

Thanks,
Ryan

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From the hip: Long Term / Reference

For anything I would want to keep on hand for a long period of time, I usually digitize it for storage and print it out as necessary when the current working copy either wears out or is outdated.

Example: Address Book
I keep several blank pages handy for new info, but I update my e-address-book regularly and re-print it periodically. Usually when I run out of blank space.

Is that the kind of thing you are wanting ?
-----------------------------------
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Containing 3x5's

I'm actually interested more in physical storage units for 3x5's that would remain on a desk.

I've seen a few folks over at 43F go so far as to order small library-style card catalogs to help them organize.

[I've developed a bizarre fondness for those fixtures now absent from the modern library - probably best for another topic.]

What would innovative 3x5 desktop filing look like?

Lotsa Little Boxes :)

How about something like the Tasker Card Box with a lid ?

-----------------------------------
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Notecard Management

*- What kinds of Actions, Ideas, Contacts, and Etc do you archive?

-> I typically archive Agendas, Project Planners, and Notes from various meetings.

*- How do you divide your stored cards between active [regular use] and inactive/reference [longer than a month]?

-> Inactive cards usually get put into my tickler system (43 folders), or in a someday/maybe file.

*- What functional elements are important to you in a stationary filing system?

-> Not sure what you're looking for here, but I'm currently grappling with the best way to keep cards neat within my files. I'm experimenting with a home made "info pocket" within letter-sized manila folders. I also made a few notecard size file folders to use. I'm trying to avoid notecards falling out of my files when I toss them on my desk.

--Bob

Card Filing

Hi.

I have two boxes. One has a hinged lid, the other has a separate lid that is rarely used. The hinged lid box is about 6x6x4 (inches) made of wood, the other is closer to a foot long, made of snap-together paperboard.

Usually the wood box is the 'current/active' box and the other box is the 'done & spares' box. In the active box I used a 43 folders organization for most of my cards, but also some project tabs and A-Z tabs for contact info. In the done/spares box, I had tabs for each type of spare card and tabs for the months.

Stuff stays in the 'active' box until it's 'done' unless it's project-related, in which case it stays in the 'active' box until the whole project is done. Once it's done, then the card moves to the 'done' box, in front of the tab for the current month.

I don't have a box for 'future' or 'reference' the way folks might if they were using their cards for ideas rather than actions. I only use mine for actions, generally. Someday/maybe is a 'project' in my system, so the stuff on that list gets filed in the 'active' box until I actually do whatever the action is.

For the monthly, daily, and A-Z tabs, I used off-the-shelf tabs. For the others, I used ordinary cards with stick-on tabs and handwritten labels. I also used a mini-stapler to attach 'overflow' cards to the top card of a topic (like meeting notes), and bright-colored sticky notes (long and narrow) to flag important things coming down the pipeline or modify the content of a 'recurring' card. Stuff that was 'done' and more than three months old or so would get bound with a rubber band so it could be moved to 'out of sight' storage.

So a 'bundle' for a filing set would be at least one set of A-Z, 1-31, and Jan-Dec tabs, a couple packs of plain or ruled cards, a pen, a mini-stapler, and a set of neon sticky notes. An extra pack of monthly tabs wouldn't be bad, but might not be necessary. Same same for rubber bands.

I used all my cards in landscape orientation.. :)

shris

Categories and Tabs for 3x5 Organizing

shris,

Great stuff! Your description made it very easy to visualize your setup.

I also appreciate your detailed suggestion for what should be included in a component bundle to make the containers function.

Thanks,
Ryan

Quarter Letter

Hi Ryan.

Just a caveat.. I am moving now to a quarter-letter rollabind instead of 3x5 cards. Working on a similar arrangement in the new size, but obviously I have trouble with the storage box in this size. :) It would fit in a 4x6 wood box, maybe, but now I'm using paper instead of cards so they wouldn't stand up alone as well.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that the lovely clear description may not apply to anyone else--and it doesn't apply very much to me anymore either! :)

shris

You could print on card stock

Instead of printing your forms onto regular paper, use card stock. Then they'll stand in your boxes. Just a thought!

Reese

Sorry to veer off topic - my bad ;-)

For the record, and to stay on-topic, I don't archive cards myself. My shirt pocket brief is filled with short-term notes and blank personalized cards (that I did myself in Illustrator - thanks for the idea, Levenger!). Cards are almost purely a collection tool with no need to save them.

i'm new to 3x5s but

I thought I would mention how I will be handling any 3x5 from my hPDA that needs to be archived or stored...

I have a recipe style box with an attached lid. It is inexpensive and plastic but... a fancier more expensive device will be on my wishlist once I decide if 3x5s are truly for me.

I like the idea of this: Moleskine accordian file ... Maybe there a circa version possible or a fancier upscale type rendition. I will be looking for something similar to this on my bargain sale trips to the local stores. I like to test out things before I invest :o)

I think it is really great how Levenger is interested in consumer feedback for existing products AND product development! I wish more companies adopted this connection with their customers...

♥---♥---♥
my artwork

Musically Off Topic...

Hi Sara, If you like the Moleskine accordion file why not make your own?

Homemade Accordion Hipster

hPDA Expanding File

Helma's Folded Hipster Purse

Business Card Case - Origami Style

wow

Wow~Thanks much! This site is overflowing with useable things~!
I'll have to add this to my list of "ToDos"...

I found THIS during my adventures today...

Not sure which one would be more applicable to my needs.

♥---♥---♥
my artwork

additional thoughts

I used to use 3x5s for contact management. I printed out address labels with phone numbers and other contact info, and attached them to 3x5 cards. I then used these cards to call. When I called, the date and time were written, and then the response. If the call was successful, and I got a meeting, I had a tickler section in my "box" where, upon filling out the meeting info, the card would go to have a letter written and printed. Once that was done, it would go into my tickler for follow-up 2 weeks before the meeting date. If a call did not produce a meeting, but requested more information, or maybe a further followup call, the card would go to yet another appropriate section. I had the typical 43 sections of a tickler file, but also separate slots for upcoming years (I think 2 years in advance). Oh, I also had two ticklers--one for meetings, and one for other contacts. If a contact went "inactive" I also had an alphabetic file for those cards, which I have never thrown out. I stopped using that system after a couple years, when the number of cards got to unwieldy for me, but I have always looked fondly on that time. It was visible and visceral. I adapted my computer software to emulate that process, but nothing has equaled it.

I have always wished I had a good system for storing and organizing my file cards. If I had had something beyond recipe boxes, it might not have failed so dramatically (lost opportunities, missed followup calls, etc. due to the complexities of trying to keep on top of my cards while simultaneously traveling all over the States).

And since people who use 3x5s are likely to be both mobile, and needing of long-term storage, something that can help with both is what I think would be needed. My first thought is of some sort of briefcase-sort of carrying device, with top access, rather than front. What would also have been nice for me would have been the ability to quickly grab a subset of cards, and have something ultraportable to carry them in, without the potential for losing or scrambling them up. One thought I have is of pockets to put the cards into, but to make them expandable without being unwieldy seems an impossible task to me. :-)

However, if I think of it this way--a small briefcase where in you put the entire "drawer" or slide of cards intact would have been nice. The travel case also has to be able to be carried in multiple orientations without spilling or scrambling its guts all over inside.

One other benefit of having the top open in any system is to aid in quick and easy sorting and filing. I used to work in a library, and mucking with many card catalogs was an effort in frustration, as it seems my library liked to overstuff their catalogs. ;-) Some system that offers both security and quick access would be the bee's knees.

But I do like the idea mentioned of providing a rather complete set of dividers--complete tickler, with years, A-Z, number, maybe also 1-10? or even 1-50? And maybe multiples of all of them.

Looking back, it seems my demands are rather high--portable, yet stationary, open, easy access, yet secure. Small, yet large.

I don't know how much help my thoughts were, but hope you can find something of use here.

3x5 brief case

jonglass, check out this item from Pennzoni. I think it may interest you.

Brian Sitko

http://www.pennzonidisplay.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD...

Ouch!

That's some piece of kit! I like the idea, but maybe more of a leather briefcase size or look... I think that thing could be used as a lethal weapon! ;-)
Thanks for the link.
-Jon

Check out this website

You might like to visit http://www.pileofindexcards.com/

This blogger has set up an extensive index card system and has come up with some storage solutions. He might have some more ideas for you if you contacted him.

check out pile of indexcards and inno's thoughts

Ryan,

Definitely check the above pile of indexcards website out. I saw it last December and have actually been using the methodology here with my hipster to capture notes. And so far, it's been the BEST methodology for me to even capture everything in my head.

I'm using the Oxford quad ruled cards in a landscape format to capture the details of the idea. One idea per card, marked and annotated as per pile of indexcards. Currently at work (where I seem to do most of my capturing) I use a Sakura Gel Pen to write and mark cards. But I have not forsaken DIY's forms. For the times I use those cards to capture ideas, I turn them from portrait down to landscape and then mark the edges just as I would the quad card. Once I've capture the desired idea on card and have finished using it, I move it to a long term 3x5 storage box. And I keep everything, every single card. Right now, storage is not an issues for me as I just started and I write maybe 2-5 cards a day, but I can see that keeping these records over years... may become an issue. But I won't worry about that until I get there.

Honestly, I've been wondering what gear I could use from Levenger to make this easier and I know that your new Tasker Card Holder is almost perfect for what I've thought about as the best way to grab blank cards and start writing on them, as I'll ever see. And it holds pens! I'm contemplating getting one of those but would not need all the tracker cards. The tabs are great but they're also printed... how about a set of blanks for our custom use? So I'm waiting until you give us an option to buy without all the cards. If I do like this box, you realize I will buy another for work. :)

As far as storage boxes goes, I definitely want something more stylish than the boxes I have. The storage box I currently use is a plain 3x5 box that snaps together and has a slip on and off lid. It's black and the snaps sorta make it look nice but it's not what I intended on getting for this setup. I want something sturdier and maybe wood. The one thing I've noticed that the storage box could use is some device to hold cards up without falling over. Currently I use a few unopened decks of index cards stacked lengthwise to keep the cards from toppling over. What I'd like to see is a system in the box that spring loads to help keep the cards straight up and down, or gives me the freedom to slide a piece of wood back a notch as I add more cards. I'd prefer the sliding wood-notch method better I think, seems a bit classier.

I also agree that there needs to be a component bundle of standard monthly cards (or numbered, or lettered, etc.) offered in nice colors. I have a set of month cards and have been using them, but I'm not sure why I really need these other than to see how many cards I use up in a month. Of course, this may change as I add more cards throughout this year and see what I'm doing with the cards. So I'd like the option to have blank tabbed cards (both in portrait and landscape tabs) so I can write on them with my own categories.

Of course, having a better card stock of quad-ruled index cards would also help big time. Pile of Indexcards mentions a brand that is only purchasable in Japan but they seem to be cut exactly the same every time. Over here, the only option we have is Oxford. And I hate how Oxford's cards are not cut identically every time. I'd love to use your brand of index cards but the quad ruled is contained in a small area and I would want it to extend fully to at least one width and one length so I can utilize more space per card.

I didn't mean for this message to be so long, but apparently I feel passionate about this sort of equipment. It also gives a good peek into how I use the cards and what works best for me as well. I can take pictures of my gear and what I do to each card for more proof of concept, if you'd like.

But yeah, storage boxes for 3x5 cards have GOT to be better than what I've seen in Office Depot or Craft Warehouse. Ugh.

Cheers,
/innowen

3x5 Storage

Thanks for the lead to Hawk's site. I think he has some great ideas. His workflow is pretty impressive.

I came across a box that has a mechanism that would keep the cards upright. I thought you might like to take a look: Brian Stiko's Flickr Stream

I'm excited to see the reaction to the Tasker box. I also agree with you about the value of some blank tabs. We have two versions: ADS3725 WH & ADS3855. They aren't currently up on the website, but they are in the stores. link to photo

I'm hearing a lot of support for some alphabetical and 43F tabs.

Re: I didn't mean for this message to be so long, but apparently I feel passionate about this sort of equipment. It also gives a good peek into how I use the cards and what works best for me as well. I can take pictures of my gear and what I do to each card for more proof of concept, if you'd like.

Pictures are always great. I bet others on here might like to see them too.

Thanks,
Ryan

Vertical tabs

Ryan, those vertical tabs are SUPER SWEET. Are they plastic? Or cardstock? Looks like plastic. I need some! They don't come up on the website yet. Why don't you open a store in my town, hmmm?

I love that oak card dispenser on Brian Sticko's site. That's fantastic.

Innowen, please do post photos. I enjoyed your article "What's in my hPDA" I think it was called so much. You made me want to go 3x5 again, and now if we get all these groovy accessories, I will have no choice!

:)

-Sarah

pictures coming...soonish....

Sarah,

Thanks for the kind words. And yes, I'll take pictures soon and post them somewhere on my domain (guess no time like the present to get the gallery application up and running, right?) so you can all see what toys I've been currently using.

If you loved my hipsterPDA article... and you're interested in index cards... then wait until I post my article tonight, you'll LOVE what I'm writing, right now. :)

Ever the tease...
/innowen

vertical storage?

I've used an empty 3x3 note pad holder that was about 3 inches high to store 3x5 cards vertically. Dunno if you can get those separately, without the note paper. You could also use a suitably sized pen cup, and there's a few of those in Levenger's catalog.

Some 3x5 index card boxes, if they're deep enough from front to back, can be used to store cards vertically. I often used index card boxes for storing 3.5" diskettes, stacked vertically. If you're thinking about developing a product, you might consider developing index card tabs that are oriented vertically too, to go with your storage solution.

Walter
-----------------------
Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
B. Banzai

3x5 holders

Hi. I am very happy to have found this site because I am a 3x5 index card person from way back. I am always on the lookout for accessories and new card styles.

My husband constructed a small open-topped box for my blank cards to be stored horizontally. He carved a "half moon" shape out of one of the short sides for easy card retrieval. It works very nicely. He also made a large wooden storage box for me complete with leftover countertop material for that "classy look" (We were redoing our kitchen at the time. It's about the size of a large shoebox with a wooden divder. Each side, however, is just big enough to house the cards-very nice also. It would probably be nice to have a hinged lid.

Pictures?

I bet I'm not the only one who would love to see pictures of your husband's handiwork! ;-) Can you post pics here on on the DIYPlanner group on Flickr? Thanks!

-Jon

Pictures

Hi Jon: We will try to send those 2 pictures a little later in the week when I go back to work. Work is where my large container is and I have the small one here at home. My husband can't believe what he did was any big deal but he also doesn't know how talented he is either.

Thanks!

-Jon

3x5 container pictures

Hi The pictures of my husband's "creations" are here www.flickr.com/photos/circa. I will love to hear feedback. Please note the container he made with 2 sections matches our countertop. I really love it.

Very, very handsome!

My father was very handy with building things, too -- I still have several 'custom fitted' sets of shelves and a hutch and a neat revolving desk-top book case he made for me in college.

Exactly what you need, built for you with love.

Nothing's better.

3x5 use

Jon: I am thrilled that there is a site for 3x5 enthusiasts ! I have had a wish to put my "whole life" on 3x5s. Any idea if anyone else has done that? I am talking about daily to do lists , projects, routines and the like.

3x5 for everything

Hi.

I did for a while last year. My wood box wasn't very portable, though, so I've modified my approach quite a bit since then.

shris

Portability

I wonder about a wooden box with a handle; something not cumbersome. Do they make anything in plastic that would accommodate the 3x5s? Levenger? Can you talk about how you modified your approach or did you already go into that ? Thanks for any feedback you may have. Circa

My evolution

Hi.

My original boxed system is described *here*, along with my musings and prototypings of the next system I tried. That one is pictured *here*.

From there, I went to a Classic sized paper-based system (rather than cards and pockets) very briefly. I got sick of the huge thing sprawled over my desk and the utter impossibility of finding a purse to fit the dang thing in.

Then I reduced down to a pair of inexpensive transparent 4x6 photo albums from Target, with tabs attached 43 folders style. One album had the days, the other the months, contacts, etc. I thought that one was going to stick, but while it addressed the portability issue, it still felt too bulky, because I was still using a card per task (or per cluster of closely related tasks).

So I reduced down to a quarter-page paper set and made the leap to Rollabind/Circa binding with transparent plastic covers to reduce thickness. Now my system looks like the pictures posted *here*. I also have a couple of other rolla-bound books for reference materials that I don't carry with me all the time, and a 'back pocket jotter' made from index cards and rolla discs for capture away from my planner (like when I'm in the laundry room and think of something I need to do/buy/whatever). These are all shown in the 'notebooks' set on Flickr.

If you scout round that Flickr link, you'll see more shots of what I did before and what I'm doing now.

Mostly I went from having one-card-per-task in a wood box to having a GTD-style list of actions on a page or two, with dated schedule pages for planning and record keeping. It's a shift in assumptions--it reduces the total quantity of paper required to keep my to-dos and schedule, and it removes all the space hungry plastic pockets as well as the monstrous leather covers.

Now my planner fits in my purse--the purse I already had, rather than buying a giant sack with a strap. I use the 4x6 photo album as a coupon organizer instead. The wood box now carries spare index cards. The binders are relegated to shelves in the back room, waiting for the next time they attract my attention.

shris

One other question

Hi Shris: What about planners? I have had a Franklin Planner for years but still haven't used it even close to its potential. You opinion on planners please.

Shris on Planners

Hi.

I like leather. It's pretty and reasonably durable. But it's thick and heavy. I am annoyed by the proprietary ring setups, and 3-ring seems somehow flimsy. The systems created by the people trying to sell you paper are fine as far as they go--but the systems are designed one particular way and if that doesn't really suit you perfectly, the planner is going on a shelf in the not-too-distant future. I've done it a half dozen times or more with Franklin Covey myself.

If you want the ideal system, look at what you are doing today--look at what works and what doesn't work, what you like and what you don't. Identify the problems you are trying to solve and which bits don't need to be fixed.

From your 'definition of the problem' then you can brainstorm possible solutions. Don't judge any solution until you've run out of ideas to write down. Once you've exhausted your own creativity in coming up with possible solutions, read around here for what other people have done and grab a few more ideas. Read a couple of the recommended books and see if their approaches appeal to you.

Once you have your ideas list, then you can go back and evaluate each one's pros and cons, what it fixes, what it breaks, and what it doesn't address. You can rule some out at this point, and maybe add a few hybrids to your idea list too.

Keep going over the list until one rises to the top in your mind as the one you think most likely to succeed and try that one first. You might consider buying any necessary gear used to start with, just to save yourself a few bucks. Evaluate your system after a month--identify gaps, etc. And see if it really is your ideal system.

If it's not your ideal yet, keep tweaking.

Personally, I am still tweaking but I am thrilled with how my latest system is working out so far, two months into it. :)

Ah, yeah, if this method of arriving at perfection seems too fussy to you, then you need a different problem solving approach--one that suits your way of working. I happen to be rather picky and very much an analyzer. :)

shris

Planners

Hi I too am picky and very analytical especially about the planner. First of all, thank you very much for the time and thought you put into answering my question. Yes, it helps a lot. I am going to immediately start taking notes about what does and doesn't work etc. Thanks.

I currently have the classic planner from Franklin Covey. A few years ago I thought I wanted a compact. I bought one but could tell fairly soon that I didn't like it. I am very happy to say that they took it back so I could have a classic. I appreciated that and have to respect the company for that but I am still not satisfied with my planner. Your ideas give me something to go on. My dream is to have the ideal planner for what I do. My current planner case is soft leather in dark red with a zipper. I do like that part. Are there people out there who totally like their Franklin Planners or are most as frustrated as I am? I did look at the Circa from Levenger which looked interesting to me, but of course, I need to think before i buy. Probably the more I can make it my own the better. I will look forward to your further input. Thanks a million already !

used a franklin for a few years...

I've used a Franklin planner for a few years and have this to say... If you're happy with your planner and it mostly works for you, I wouldn't jump systems. You may want to consider just getting the hole punch - the metal one - for Classic size pages from Franklin Covey and print out the pages you feel that Franklin Covey planner is missing.

I'd tried to have all the information I need for my job and personal life in one planner, but the amount of stuff I have to do for my job quickly have reached the point where all this doesn't all fit in one planner. I'm still tweaking my system, but more and more it is looking like two Circa notebooks (one for personal one for work) and a backpack may be the way to go.

-Kenny

Thanks

HiKenny I appreciate your input on the planner. I think you are on to something. i have already decided to "give my Franklin another try" this weekend by pulling everything out and putting back only what I think I need and will use. I do have a metal hole punch for it and will follow your idea of putting in that which Franklin doesn't supply. thanks again.

Pile of Index cards?

There is a Japanese fellow who has documented his life via 3x5s. It is _very_ detailed, and goes way beyond simple todo lists, project, etc. He calls it "Pile of Index Cards". He is _way_ over the top! But makes a great read--and he has some great ideas also. I believe he has some pics on Flickr, too.

Oh, and speaking of Flickr, check out this guy: Link

-Jon

hawk's my idol

jon,

Hawk's my idol. I stumbled on his site about december and my note taking habits have improved so much, thanks to his capture methods.

I love the tagging idea and the symbols and it's so easy and fun to do.

/innowen

Hawk's site

Do you have the site for Hawk? I would like to see that.

Here you go

The main site is his blog, with links to a wiki and flickr documentation.

Pile Of Index Cards

It's interesting to read through, and he has some good ideas on how to use cards for idea capture and notetaking. A problem is that you can't get grid index cards that work here in the US, because of the way they are printed. And his system doesn't allow for any sort of searchable organization, so it seems pretty useless to me. Why save thousands of index cards if you can't realistically find anything you put on them?

Reese

it works for me

Reese,

I use the grid american cards. yes, it's uneven... but you can still see a pattern. Once I'm done with the cards I *do* have, I'm going to switch to levenger's Grid cards to see just how well those do.

I think he relies on the review phase once a week to quickly remind him of each card. plus he inputs them all into his computer so he CAN search them all.

At least that's what I think. So far I've had no issues quickly searching the hundred or so cards I've got since I started this last december.

/innowen

ooo do you

ooo do you have pics of your stuff Inno ? I'd love to see how your setup is in comparison to Hawk's. ((I know... I'mma geek hehe))

my artwork

i will... soon

LOL

funny you mention that sara. I have an index card from 2/15/07 that says

Take pictures of my tools and add them to flicker. and write up a blurb on use and pros/cons.

I just need some time to sit down with all my gear and get some good shots. Maybe I'll do it this weekend...

(of course, I have friends coming into town for the whole week, so I may not get to this. I'll let you all know when I'm able to post them to my flicker account).

Thanks for the interest in my gear!
/innowen

fancy quotes (off topic)

Innowen... how do you do the fancy block quote thing? :D I must know your secrets!

my artwork

html magic

Sara,

First, I use the HTML blockquote tag (which won't show up here when I post its syntax).

Then I set the Input format located below the entry box, to FULL HTML.

This allows for the kewl quote box you see when I use it in articles and posties.

*bows*
/innowen

Blockquoting doesn't work

for me.

as seen here:

First, I use the HTML blockquote tag (which won't show up here when I post its syntax).

but the cite tag works:
First, I use the HTML blockquote tag (which won't show up here when I post its syntax).

Also, in my web browser, (Omniweb) I don't see anything about "full html". Maybe that's my problem? It's a Safari-based browser, and maybe Safari doesn't allow for this trick...

-Jon

Jonglass,

Jonglass,

I fixed your blockquote attempt.

When you post a new comment or a reply to a comment, do you see a text link called "input format" under the big comment box (the box that you type in the body of your comment)?

if you do, click on that and select the option: FULL HTML. This will allow you to use the blockquote tag.

If you don't, then it may be your web browser as you said. I'm on a pc at work and will need to test this theory out on safari at home later.

hope this helps,
/innowen

Permissions thing.

For layout and security reasons, not everyone has the "Full HTML" input format available. But, I have added <blockquote> to the list of tags that the "Filtered HTML" input format allows. So, quote away!

oh, got ya

Thanks eric...

It never occurred to me that it was a permissions thing. All i know is that sara and i have the right accounts to do it.

nice~!

So, quote away!

HEhehehehEHhehehh ::scooby doo laugh::

my artwork

Let's see if this thing works

I fixed your blockquote attempt.

Does it? It does!!!! Thanks Eric!!! I think this will help in several ways....
1. We can now quote, and make it obvious, and
2. It's so much classier to see this over bland "" marks or worse>> marks. ;-) Thanks again!

-Jon

I see...

Hi Inno,
I hadn't run across anything in his blog/wiki about putting things into the computer. That would explain some things. I understand about the weekly review to refresh yourself, but it still seems as if you'd lose track of it eventually. Once the stack in your dock is large enough that you didn't review all of it, then you'd have to lose contact over time.

Hawk's collection/notation concepts are great, I agree. But I think for ease of review/reference, you'd need some sort of system other than chronological. I don't think you would keep all that many for reference, really. Those could be sorted by project or whatever, and filed away in a David Allen style refrence filing system. Most cards are shorter-term things that would eventually be tossed. I recall Hawk discussing that to some degree.

Just my POV...
Blessed Be!
Reese

In Awe!

Jon, that Flickr link is amazing! First of all, I am in awe of anyone that can commit to one system to that extent. Plus, those are some cool accessories, not to mention quite a few bucks spent too. Now I have the bleacher itch again.

--Bob

It gets worse! (or better!)

For some reason, I did a Google(R) search for the pile of index cards link, and found this rather innovative use for index cards. Check this out

Nifty! Now, how can I integrate this with Keynote? ;-)

-Jon

3x5s and planners

Thanks. I will check that site out. I just eat this stuff up. Most of my friends laugh at my "organizational" pursuits but I have loved this topic since I was a kid. Thanks.

Use of color and style

Any interesting (or not so interesting) ways of using color and style of 3x5s? I am aware of the sticky ones, the green pink blue yellow ones, marbled, graph, and of course lined and unlined white> Does anyone besides me get made fun of for this obsession? I have my entire work list for the Christmas season on 3x5s. I can easily make my lists from this handy stack.

colored 3x5s

Hi.

I had a color-coded system set up in my box for a while. Solid neons were for work (yellow for meetings, pink for high priority projects..), solid pastels were work related tasks (administrative, routine, project-related), striped pastels for home. Lined white for ordinary notes. Purple solid for personal stuff, like visitors coming, vacations somewhere else, etc.

So my box was vivid to say the least. I loved all the colors.

After a while I got tired of always running out of neon yellow before I'd used up the other neons--since they're only available in assortments around here. Same with stripes. I tried rearranging my system so that the colors had different meanings that ran out of cards more evenly, but it didn't work. :)

I still keep some neons in my back pocket jotter, but they're just there for pretty, not for coding. :) I love the bright neon colors.

shris

Pictures

Hi Jon: My husband is making a set of bleachers out of yard sticks and it is looking pretty nice right now. He needs more sticks but the hardware is closed much to his dismay so he will probably finish it tomorrow night. At that time we will try to get all three items on here so you can see what he has done. We also have yet another idea which we will describe tomorrow. Yes, he believes I am a little nutty about office supplies, 3x5s and planners but he is very supportive as you can see. More later.

Patiently waiting....

_very_ patiently.....

.....tap. tap. tap. (goes the foot) rap. rap. rap... (go the fingers) ;-)

....Seriously. I like you husband. He's an inspiration to me without my having met him! :-)

-Jon

Ryan,

Ryan,

Trust me when I say the vertical 5x3 dilemma is much greater than you and I. From my research, there certainly is a demand for such a product. I have once found in an “in flight magazine” on a Japanese airline (ANA) a type of wood library card file (vertical orientation) for $150. I never was able to find it again.

I soon looked into other storage options with no luck. Some stationary boxes, such as the one offered by Crane & Co looked nice (but was not in proper format – 5x3). I set about the task of finally designing my own (but never built it). One design was set up like a library card catalog (but vertical) the other was based on a jewelry box I saw with swing out drawers of about 1/2” in depth. It basically was a stack of about 8 draws and kept the minimalist principles that many of us strive for. I gave up on trying to make it (even though it’s a simple design) and just bought the box that I have featured on my photo set. The drawers on that box allow me to store two stacks of 50 preprinted templates (side by side-lying flat). It’s a tight squeeze, but it’s good for storing spares. The acrylic boxes that you see on my desk are for daily use and I recharge them with the spares from that chest of draws.

If I could design the perfect storage box, It would have a small foot print on my desk or book shelf (say three drawers wide and not too deep—no more 300 cards). Drawers would have enough height to allow pressboard tabbed dividers. It would feature square hammered drawer pulls such as:
http://www.wolfgangforge.com/Online%20Catalog.html
or
http://www.dlawlesshardware.com/pesqknk3.html
or
http://www.shop4classics.com/product.asp?lid=1717
or

The “perfect box” would feature dove tail construction…or if that was not cost effective, I would feature a storage cubby on top of the box like the one featured here
(A place to nest my Levenger PDA case when I get to work and pull out my HPDA and place it on the Tri-par easel on my desk.

I would hope the face of the drawers had a small brass window so I can label the drawers. I would label my drawer: Someday Maybe, 43 Folders, and probably Contacts.

Lastly, the drawers would need small followers (like on the library charging trays that I use). The charging trays are one of my favorite items but I don’t always like the open face design. I have mine set up in 43 folders format (with 31 days and 12 month dividers).

Do know that from time to time you will see old apothecary cabinets or old library file cabinets (on e-bay) with vertical storage (albeit they are hard to come by and quite expensive).

I would be willing to spend $250 for the dream box I just described to you…call me crazy but I like Levenger quality meets antique library card file.

If you have any influence to make such a dream possible…you’re my personal hero.

Also, check out some of these ideas—Know that most of the links feature drawers that allow you to lay the cards flat while others are set up for vertical storage. Everything that I find falls short of the ideal product in some way or form.

Pennzoni Display Co.

To custom order a box.

Item L-61A from Brusin Trading Company

Item CTS-121 from CTS Office System

I also like the idea of using an ID Badge Holder like this:
http://shop.lathem.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=...

Happy hunting; let me know if you have any luck or if I may be of further assistance; and thank you for your interest.

Brian Sitko

Second Box Design

Ryan,

I wanted to paint a good visual of the second box that I conceptually designed so you can get the idea. The primary use for such a box is for storage of 3x5 card templates (not vertical storage for action items).

The best way to describe it is to share a photo of something similar. This is the best thing that I can come up with.

Boxology: http://www.boxology.com/Kellam_Tower_p/078-71s.htm

Of course the swing-out or swivel drawers would be squared (not rounded as indicated in the link). Would recommend that they be sized to fit 50 to 100 cards per tray and not be oversized. I Would recommend cutting a half-moon notch out of the edge of each tray to allow the user to fish out cards with ease.

Each drawer is attached at only one corner (hence allowing the drawer to “swing out”). It has a small foot print and would be very useful and attractive to put on a desk. I would be willing to pay about $125 for a box like this. My current system of plastic boxes (see my photo stream) spreads too far across a desk and this box design would take the place of that current system.

Check out these other links to get an idea on how the swing out drawers appear in other models.

MSN Search

Boxology

Hammacher

Off the subject a bit…I like this box’s potential as well:
Artisan Market

I will post additional comments to answer your questions on how I integrate my system (with both Levenger products and hacks).

Brian Sitko

[edited post 2/01/07 to adjust links behind HTML codes. --JE]

The perfect 5x3 box.

Ryan,

Trust me when I say the vertical 5x3 dilemma is much greater than you and I. From my research, there certainly is a demand for such a product. I have once found in an “in flight magazine” on a Japanese airline (ANA) a type of wood library card file (vertical orientation) for $150. I never was able to find it again.

I soon looked into other storage options with no luck. Some stationary boxes, such as the one offered by Crane & Co looked nice (but was not in proper format – 5x3). I set about the task of finally designing my own (but never built it). One design was set up like a library card catalog (but vertical) the other was based on a jewelry box I saw with swing out drawers of about 1/2” in depth. It basically was a stack of about 8 draws and kept the minimalist principles that many of us strive for. I gave up on trying to make it (even though it’s a simple design) and just bought the box that I have featured on my photo set http://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_sitko/157140763/ . The drawers on that box allow me to store two stacks of 50 preprinted templates (side by side-lying flat). It’s a tight squeeze, but it’s good for storing spares. The acrylic boxes that you see on my desk are for daily use and I recharge them with the spares from that chest of draws.

If I could design the perfect storage box, It would have a small foot print on my desk or book shelf (say three drawers wide and not too deep—no more 300 cards). Drawers would have enough height to allow pressboard tabbed dividers. It would feature square hammered drawer pulls such as:
http://www.wolfgangforge.com/Online%20Catalog.html or
http://www.dlawlesshardware.com/pesqknk3.html or http://www.shop4classics.com/product.asp?lid=1717 or

The “perfect box” would feature dove tail construction…or if that was not cost effective, I would feature a storage cubby on top of the box like the one featured here:
link
(A place to nest my Levenger PDA case when I get to work and pull out my HPDA and place it on the Tri-par easel on my desk.

I would hope the face of the drawers had a small brass window so I can label the drawers. I would label my drawer: Someday Maybe, 43 Folders, and probably Contacts.

Lastly, the drawers would need small followers (like on the library charging trays that I use). The charging trays are one of my favorite items but I don’t always like to open face design. I have mine set up in 43 folders format (with 31 day and 12 months dividers).

Do know that from time to time you will see old apothecary cabinets or old library file cabinets (on e-bay) with vertical storage (albeit they are hard to come by and quite expensive).

I would be willing to spend $250 for the dream box I just described to you…call me crazy but I like Levenger quality meets antique library card file.

If you have any influence to make such a dream possible... you’re my personal hero.

Also, check out some of these ideas—Know that most of the links feature drawers that allow you to lay the cards flat while others are set up for vertical storage. Everything that I find falls short of the ideal product in some way or form.


Pennzoni Display Co.

http://www.smithswood.com/products.asp?cat=16
To custom order a box

http://www.brusin.com/fur-1c.htm
Item L-61A from Brusin Trading Company

Item CTS-121 from CTS Office System

I also like the idea of using an ID Badge Holder like this: link

Happy hunting; let me know if you have any luck or if I may be of further assistance; and thank you for your interest.

Brian Sitko

3x5 storage

Ryan,

I attempted to post a lengthy reply but it’s being “scanned for spam” so it hasn’t posted yet. I recommend that you read the comment posted on flickr (in case it doesn’t post on DIY). http://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_sitko/157151461/

I wanted to paint a good visual of the second box that I conceptually designed so you can get the idea. The primary use for such a box is for storage of 3x5 card templates (not vertical storage for action items).

The best way to describe it is to share a photo of something similar. This is the best thing that I can come up with.

http://www.boxology.com/Kellam_Tower_p/078-71s.htm

Of course the swing-out or swivel drawers would be squared (not rounded as indicated in the link). Would recommend that they be sized to fit 50 to 100 cards per tray and not be oversized. I Would recommend cutting a half-moon notch out of the edge of each tray to allow the user to fish out cards with ease.

Each drawer is attached at only one corner (hence allowing the drawer to “swing out”). It has a small foot print and would be very useful and attractive to put on a desk. I would be willing to pay about $125 for a box like this. My current system of plastic boxes (see my photo stream) spreads too far across a desk and this box design would take the place of that current system.

Check out these other links to get an idea on how the swing out drawers appear in other models.

Link

Link

Link

Off the subject a bit…I like this box’s potential as well.
Link

I will post additional comments to answer your questions on how I integrate my system (with both Levenger products and hacks).

Brian Sitko

Anyone heard of T Cards?

I stumbled across this company called Strafoplan, which manufactures T Cards for company organisation and planning. Their website is

    http://www.strafoplan.com

Additionally, they manufacture this wonderful looking box which is perfect for 3x5 cards: Link

However, I have no idea how to get my hands on one of these..

T-Cards

You know...just when I thought I had all the best toys...you come along with such a great idea.

I've never seen these T-Cards and I think they have great potential. Problem is I still have 11 months till Christmas.

Anyway, I found a US distributer based in SC http://www.copartusa.com/desk.html. Check out this website. If you buy any items...let us know how they work out. I'll do the same.

Brian

have u seen this?

T card "portfolio"? I wonder if this would work with just regular index cards? I know there is another post in here somewhere about a set up like this...
http://www.ultoffice.com/catalog/2685

ooo DIY

I feel a DIY project coming on... Duct tape would make this type of thing very easy... granted experience with duct tape helps.

If I get adventurous this weekend, I'll post results. (below zero temperatures in the forecast)

♥---♥---♥
my artwork

0 Below too!

I will be "playing" with my planners this weekend too as we will be in the negatives this weekend - time to hybernate!

nay nay

Planner

I decided that I am going to take my Franklin Planner apart this weekend; discard or put away what I don't use and maybe increase pagers on what I do use. I hope that helps. I never thought about taking it apart before as it seemed to be a more "use it as it is presented" system. I'm not afraid of it anymore. It's there to serve my needs, not vise versa.

T-cards were proabably the

T-cards were proabably the main inspiration for the slip method I use, but without the horizontal tags, so probably more like 'I' cards (sans serif). Used in my original planner , and the updated version using magnets. LINK

binders/folders

I've been reading up on Circa and Rollabinder type products. What I'd love to see, after seeing this post: http://www.avwrites.com/wordpress/?p=5 would be some notebooks that are fairly thick (2" rings maybe?) with a place to label it. Colored rings just don't cut it for me. Also, those Jotz notebooks are only available in 8.5" x 11" letter size. Having those available in letter size, "classic" size (sorry, still using Franklin planners, not sure what else to call them) and index card size would be great.

I've tried using the Circa

I've tried using the Circa 1" rings and found the notebook pages a bit hard to turn. So 2" rings would be overkill, I think. Then again, Levenger recently introduced 1½" rings.

My preferred ring size is the 3/4" rings.

ring size

chet - i agree with you on the ring size. it seems the larger they are the harder to turn pages... may mean we need more paper in the notebook? i don't know if that would help. but, I like the 3/4" size the best!
nay nay

nay nay - I don't think it's

nay nay - I don't think it's a matter of more pages. I think the circumference of the ring is just too big for the paper to be turned quickly. It's happened to me before - I'm in a meeting and trying to turn a page without drawing attention to what I'm doing! 1" and above is probably good for archiving Circa pages. Ryan - any thoughts on this?

> 1" rings

My experience has been the same. With 1" rings (and the new 1 1/2"), unless you are in the middle of the notebook, turning the pages easily requires lifting the pages a little bit to compensate for the bigger flipping radius.

I tend to stick with the 3/4" for regular mobile use. I also keep a stationary 1 1/2" translucent notebook at home for storage.

I'm sure one could learn the technique for turning pages around larger rings in a mobile notebook; I simply haven't tried it because of the weight of all of the extra paper I would invariably stuff within the extra space. [I've noticed that keeping the rings full seems to add more strength to the spine.]

Mold marks

Hi.

One of the things I have noticed with my jumbo rings is that the mold marks are sometimes just enough to grab the paper edges.

These are Rolla rings, not circa. I do not know if the Circa rings are carefully polished after they're unmolded and trimmed. If you can see a spot on the ring (probably a small circle) from where it was made, it could be grabbing the paper.

The test for this is to find the spots and turn the rings until the spots are 'away' from the paper while the notebook is open flat on a surface. Then turn a page or a section of pages. Then spin one of the rings until the spot starts to impinge upon the paper. If you feel any kind of scraping at all, then the mold mark is not helping you.

I used a small knife blade to smooth out the mold marks on the rings in my notebook and it helped a lot. The smaller rings don't seem to have this problem as much mostly because there's less paper to scrape against, seemingly. The mold marks on my small and medium rings are just as pronounced (and the same size and relative positioning) as the jumbo marks.

One thing I don't understand about any of the rings--some of mine have textured centers, and some have smooth centers. Why wouldn't they all be smooth? A textured center is going to rub on the paper edges and provide 'drag' when turning the pages. Goofy. Makes me want to get out a dremel and buff the texture off.

Anyway, check your mold marks and see if they're getting in the way on your big notebooks. A little scraping might make your opening and closing smoother.

shris

Mold marks question

One of the things I have noticed with my jumbo rings is that the mold marks are sometimes just enough to grab the paper edges.

Are these marks on the outer edge or on the indise of the disc ?

-----------------------------------
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Mold marks

Hi ygor.

They're on the outer edge--the curved 'mushroom cap' part.

There's a horizontal seam that runs around the outside part of the ring--this isn't the problem.

At one point around the edge of the outside, above or below the seam, there's a small round blemish. This is from where the plastic was injected into the mold. When the piece is removed from the mold, they remove the 'flash' but there's a blemish left behind. This blemish is the problem on my rings. At least, it's part of the problem. It may not be the whole reason why rings grab.

I use a small sharp blade and drag it across the blemish to smooth it out--not slice, drag. The plastic is soft enough that this removes a small curl of plastic. It also provides tactile feedback about whether the spot is smooth. On my rings, the blemish looks like a small divot or pit. But there's something there that sticks up just a hair above the surface of the ring, and that's the bit that grabs the paper. Scraping off just a smidge at that spot reduces the drag.

shris
still thinking of buffing the texture off the inside of the rings, too.

Rollabind/Circa rings

I ordered a couple of notebooks from Rollabind the other day-- mostly because I wanted the translucent rings and the slightly wider covers.

I definitely see a difference between the quality of the circa and rollabind rings. The circa rings from Levenger are perfectly smooth, but the rings from rollabind, well, aren't. I can feel the seam around the middle, and almost all of my rings have the mold marks shris describes above.

The pages do seem to rub on the writing inside the ring (if you lay a ring flat on the desk and look down on it, you can read the company name). shris, if you buff yours down, let me know how you did it and if it helped!

I was using the 1" circa rings, but they seemed too large for my planner. The rollabind notebook is supposed to hold up to 3/4" of paper. My planner is about 1/2" thick, but I can't fold the pages completely open-- it doesn't lay flat.

It's still a good notebook for the price. (Only $5.99 for a junior-sized book with 75 pages, plus an additional pack of 25 pages.) The shipping charges weren't outrageous, and Rollabind shipped it quickly.

If you're considering this type of system, be warned: After you've used the Levenger Circa products, everything else falls a little bit short.

Laura

Thanks!

Hi Laura.

That's really good info--that the Levenger rings are seriously better than the Rolla.

I'd like to point out, though, that not all of the rings I got from Rolla have the logo on the flat insides of the discs. Some of them are plain and smooth. The mediums and smalls have no logo, but the jumbos have a texture and a logo. All of them have the seam and mold mark, though some have less than others.

I haven't pulled out the Dremel yet, but I would use that tool, probably, and a fine grit sanding disc to get rid of the texture and logo. Since the sanding disc should be flat as well as round, it seems the ideal shape. It would probably take all of two seconds to get the texture off since the plastic is so soft.

You can get the mold marks off with a file as well as a knife. I have a metal file in my mini swiss army knife, and it does a good job getting the high spots, though it does diminish the shine. The knife blade leaves a little more shine, but doesn't do as well smoothing it out.

I wonder if the new owner will improve the quality of the discs. It would be nice, since those small flaws are noticeable when using a full notebook.

shris

It's a little comforting, I guess...

...to know that you're getting something that's *worth* more, rather than something that just *costs* more!

That's weird that some of the rings have the logo or a texture or nothing at all. Are the translucent ones different than the solid ones?

I don't think I'm brave enough to take a dremel to my rings. (I don't have any extras to play with!) I was thinking about smoothing the outside of the ring with ultra fine grit sandpaper, though (the kind my husband uses when he's finishing the wood on an electric guitar).

You're right, it will be interesting to see what changes they make. Maybe they'll add new products?

I just circa-punched a velcro-close plastic envelope to store stamps and stuff in my planner... (I don't care for the zip-lock ones that open to the outside and always end up dumping my stuff.) This is so addictive... :)

Laura

Rolla

Hi.

I heard from a distributor they're already planning new colors of discs. Not sure what else they'll do. I hope they're in a hurry. :)

I've gone back to the multiple book method. One for calendar, projects, and contacts, another for inbox, another for password hints.. That makes my calendar book use the medium rings, while the others use small. I can leave my passwords behind when I go to the store or take them if I'm going to the plant to work for a day.

These are all the same size because they fit in my purse nicely, but I've got a really big one (letter size) for temporary scribbles that get thrown out--that one's made of all my misprints so they get some use before they're pitched.

shris

Recipe boxes

Well, I don't really archive my 3x5's--unless it's for my Address Box. For that, I use a metal recipe box that my Grandma gave me. It works well for me. I use 3x5 Guides to organize it, and put the cards in by last name. If the last name is the same as another one in that section, I go to the first name. The only card in there that isn't for only one person is my Medical card, which is for the assorted medical professionals that I have.

3X5 Happiness File

I've been using the 3X5 system since the mid-90's. "The Happiness File" (by Pam Young and Peggy Jones) was a real eye-opener for me! I had used a plastic recipe box at my job as a tickler file but they developed the idea into a virtual planner system. I got a long metal 3X5 box that was just a gray standard-issue office type. My mom spray-painted it green, my favorite color, and later I painted a design on the lid.

The original purpose of the Happiness File was household management so there were tabs for days of the week, months, 1-31 and A-Z. Then they expanded on that and suggested putting your goals and dreams in there and tabs for projects. I have a 3X5 travel checklist that I treasure and cards for family info such as birthdays and anniversaries, names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. I also make cards for authors and books I want to read, movies I want to see, and so many other things.

Later I switched to a planner but still have my card file. I keep cards in it that I only need at home. However, the cards can tuck into a planner pocket quite easily and I love that the cards now come in so many neat colors. The cards in my box are for repetitive tasks like housework so they simply stay in the box and are not archived, or otherwise are for reference. Also, 3X5 cards can be punched in the top corner and put on a metal craft ring for portability.

I see lots of great recipe boxes that are eye candy and have several auxilary boxes for other purposes. Of course, some hold recipes and others hold art project ideas. I use a homemade scan plan in a small photo album and the cards are great for that as well. The only problem with recipe boxes is they are too short so the longer the better for holding 3X5's. I put a magnetic calendar inside the lid and also inspirational magnets so I do prefer the metal but wood is very appealing.

Pam and Peg

Hi Tildy: I think you may have been on the SHEs in Touch site a few years ago when I was. Have you connected to flylady.com yet? If not, you must ! It's great and I know you will like it. I have been a member for years. She is a friend of Pam and Peg's. I have been in awe of that system since they came up with it. I discovered it and read their wonderful book "From Pigpen to Paradise" back in 1979. That's when my original interest in 3x5s started. Nice to see you here. I just found this site a few days ago and think it's really great.

Levenger

Just ordered a Levenger catalog today. Can't wait to see it.

3x5 Index Card Ideas

I used to carry an 8x5 notebook, but it wasn't convenient and found myself going back to 3x5 index cards. They are small, but since I also write small, I can put a lot of info on the cards. The thing I most want is a carrier for the pack of cards, say 50-100 max, that will fit into a purse or bag. While Levengers has some find items, the carrier that I want is one that is protected from the other items that might be mixed in with them. I sorta like Mead's plastic snap carrier, but it tends to break with frequent use and doesn't actually carry a lot of cards, despite the advertising.

I use cards for lists, for things to do, for writing ideas (for stories), for notes on what I've read. I usually divide them when I arrive home.

Moleskine Pocket Memo Pockets

Have you looked at Moleskine's pocket wallet? The one I have holds 3x5s just fine and stands up to the abuse in my purse (at least so far).

Moleskine Pocket Memo Pockets

(My apologies if this has already been mentioned on this thread.)

3X5 Card Holder

I've used 3X5's for years and keep them in an old cosmetic pouch. The smaller ones fit a package, don't wear out easily and you can stick a small pen/pencil in the pouch as well. You might could find a nice pouch fairly cheap at one of the "big box stores."