Rasmussen's Circa PDA

I am often asked what kind of Circa notebook I use myself. I keep a letter-sized action folio in my briefcase, but I've really taken to the CircaPDA.

This is my current incarnation that has replaced my shirt pocket briefcase. [I didn't think that would be possible until I realized just how much content could be stored and easily accessed with a disc-bound hipster.]

I also assembled a video and photoset to better describe how it works.

(I think my next project will be assembling one of Sarah's pen holder cards.)


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That looks like a great setup~! I'm very impressed.

Any interest in adopting out your shirt pocket briefcase? lol... horrible, arent I?
my artwork

Sweet setup

The topbound circa pda is really addicting isn't it? Your idea of a different colored ring on one side is good - I hadn't thought of that! You could get crazy and do red-white-blue or something!

Which pen holder are you going to try for - the elastic loop? I recommend using a piece of plastic, like coverstock plastic and cutting it to size.

Elastic loop - Circa PDA

I'll try the elastic pen loop.

I'm interested to see how many versions we can prototype of a divider that inserts into any translucent notebook that would serve this purpose. [I'll post the finished product in the new DiyP pool.]


How about an extension pen

How about an extension pen loop that clips to a Circa divider? Is this do-able?

I'm Convinced!

I've been looking for the best hPDA set-up, and I am now convinced the Circa PDA is it. What size disks do you recommend?

I also checked out the pics of a mini pen clipped to the top of your Shirt Pocket Briefcase. What a great idea! Now if I could just find a local store that carries the G2 Mini...


G2 Mini

Now if I could just find a local store that carries the G2 Mini...

Pen or Pencil ?

"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)

G2 Mini Pen

I checked our local Office Max store and they carry the G2 Pen, but not the Mini. I wonder if Target sells them. Hmmm....


CircaPDA ring size


I use the 1/2" so the notebook isn't too cumbersome. I keep mine either in an exterior or an interior breast pocket.

My prior Flickr experiment of drilling a pen loop through the center of the discs required I use 1" rings. This size was pretty awkward, so I switched back the 1/2".


Circa ring size for wallet-pocket hPDA

If you end up storing it in a back pocket, you might want to try the small (1/4") rings. They work better for me, but of course YMMV.

Hmmm, could the picture mean that there may be a reporter style Circa pad from Levenger in our future? A man can dream...

The 1/4" is really too small

The 1/4" is really too small to fit in too many pages.

Small Rolla Discs


Yes, the small are very small and don't fit much depending on your paper thickness. But it's a great size to keep just a few bits of paper on hand so you can write down something you need to remember. If your contacts list is small and you only want to take a day's worth of schedule and info, you could squeeze it in.

I use the Small discs on my back pocket jotter. I don't notice it's there, most of the time. Of course, they stick out the top of the pocket, so I'm not sitting on them. :)


Small rings

My experience has been the same. My cPDA is pretty "lean," with a minimum of pages and covers cut from thin poly report folders.

When my cPDAs arrive from Levenger in the mail, I'm going to swap out the 1/2" rings on both. One gets small rings for the back pocket, and the other gets jumbos to hold all my map cards.

Speaking of small discs, you all may know this already but Rollabind no longer offers the smalls in anything other than clear.


small disc colors


That's odd. I just bought five different colors of small discs. All pastels for crafters, but none of them was clear. Could have had my weight in white ones, though, from what the lady at the vendor said.


Hmmm... good to know that at

Hmmm... good to know that at least somebody still has 1/4 inchers in colors! On the Rollabind Systems site, at least, the only option for that size is in clear. Where do you buy yours from?

I have a bunch of them in black, which is my preferred color. Should last me for a while, so don't worry, I won't buy them all up... :-D




I bought mine from Wilde-Ideas.com. They were out of small black at the time, but they had oodles of white. I'd give them a call and ask them if what you want is in stock before placing an order.

I got white (sort of an ivory color, really), pastel pink, pastel blue, pastel purple (more like raspberry yogurt), and pastel green (pistachio ice cream). They had some true colors in stock too (blue, yellow, red, purple, green).


Wilde Ideas colors

Thanks, Shris! Those sound like AWESOME colors! Time for me to look into them... black rings can get boring after a while!


Is that blue ink I see?

Did you somehow print out your pages with blue ink? The photo sure has a bluish tint that looks very nice...


There are a few ways to do this

I'm not sure how he did it, but there would be a few ways to do this:

  • use the widget kit to build your own color templates
  • Some inkjet printers (my HP Deskjet 6840, for example) allow you to adjust the color per print job
  • the hPDA edition is available in graphic (PNG) format, so it would be trivial to change the colors in something like the GIMP or Photoshop.

It's a great idea, that I think I'll steal for my own hPDA. :)

Monocrome Effects - Adding color to your planner

Yes, I print them in unique colors so they are easier to distinguish.

The printer I use has a monochrome effects menu. This allows me to add hues to each different card.


which printer?

ryan do you print directly onto the cards, or print and then cut? which printer do you use?

Printing to 3x5 : advantage of printing directly to card


I use a Canon Pixma iP4300.

I print directly to 3x5s to make aligning the front and back easier. To provide a margin for the smurf-its [unbelievable you guys] ;) I set the printer to print-to-scale at 3"x4.875" and vertically flip the page.

Emory posted a very informative article with photographs depicting his own method for printing to 3x5's here.



Ah, you gotta love those smurfs!

thanks for the printer info

i kind of hate to invest in a printer specific just to this, but i'm having trouble finding 110# paper for printing 4 cards to a page. plus if i go that route i'll have to commandeer the office at work that has the laser printer and guillotine cutter.

also it seems like it would be less of a hassle printing individual cards.

Printing to 3x5 cards

I was printing the HipsterPDA 4up layout to letter size cardstock and cutting out the cards to make my own Circa HipsterPDA, but began to feel that it was a bit more hassle than I wanted to deal with. Then I finally figured out how to get my Canon i860 printer to behave.

There is no default layout in page setup (Mac OS X) for 3x5 cards for this printer. When I tried to set up a custom 3x5 layout in the printer driver, the printer would just spit out the index cards without printing to them. The manual says it can't print narrower than 3.54". Couldn't load the cards into the photo paper input tray either.

But, I found out that if I configured the page setup for 4x6 borderless (portrait), reduced the size to 95%, set page scaling to None (so the PDF image was in the upper left corner of the 4x6 layout), I could load 3x5 cards into the main paper input tray and print successfully. I played around with the print margins to get it to center correctly on the 3x5. This approach may work for other printers too.

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

Got it

Mine does the same thing, and boy, do they look nice! Thanks for the idea.


cPDA labels

In response to Labels that will actually stick to the cPDA tabs?

I used transparent adhesive labels from a Brother personal label maker.

After a year, the labels continue to hold up to some pretty heavy pocket use.

Link to Flickr Pics
Link to Flickr Pics 2