Question about Circa Zip folder

Hi Everyone,

I love this page and love everything everyone is doing here. I've gone through several permutations of my planner in the last few months, from a Classic-sized Franklin Covey planner to several versions of a Hipster PDA. Right now I'm doing most of my work with a letter sized 3-ring binder and a GTD-esque system. Letter size is a little large, but it works best for me since I run a company and my employees constantly give me letter-sized paper (purchase orders, sales orders, invoices, etc).

The only problem is a 3-ring binder with 1 1/2 inch rings is pretty darn big to carry around. So I've been fantasizing about switching it all over to a Circa system. So here's my question -- can I use a Letter-sized Circa Zip Folder with 1 1/2 inch rings? Or will it only accept up to 1-inch rings? Will i be able to store approximately 1-inch of paper on a 1-inch ring? My instinct tells me that more is more with the ring size. I just want to be sure.

This is the folio I'm interested in

Also, I like to use my planner as a large wallet, complete with my debit card and a checkbook register to keep track of my spending. How could I integrate that into my Levenger planner? Is there anyone out there with a letter-sized checkbook register?

Also, one of the big appeals to me about Levenger (besides the obvious, such as being able to put several sizes of paper in the organizer) is the fact that it can fold over completely -- thereby allowing me to write in it while taking up minimum desk space. In that case would it be better to create an organizer around the leather notebook with 1 1/2-inch rings?

Finally, I would love to test some of the less expensive Levenger notebooks, and have ordered a portable puncher. But I'm suddenly regretting the portable one and wish I would have ponied up for the desk punch. My employees already see me spend way to much time punching holes in paper... it seems like the portable punch will multiply that time by 4 or 5!

Any help you folks can give me would be great. Thanks again for such a great community and a great site. :)


[edited on 03/09/07 by innowen: placed long URL behind HTML cut.]

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Franklin planner to Circa switch

Hi! Add me to the list of people switching from Franklin planner to Circa notebooks for my planning needs. I've got photos to prove it here:

As far as what size rings that zipper folio will hold, I'm not sure. There's a Levenger employee who is an active member on this site. His name is Ryan Rasmussen and he'd be the one to ask about that.

As for the check register thing - I don't think Levenger sells pages like that, but you could print out the check register form from this site on letter size paper, hole punch it, and toss the pages in your planner. I couldn't find the one I was looking for, but this one should work fine:

If you want to try out some cheaper Levenger notebooks, you could get the sampler notebook or if you're wanting 1 1/2" rings - order the rings and notebook covers and maybe some paper. Enough rings and covers to make two notebooks would be $20 plus shipping. As an alternative, you could try to convince Ryan to send you a free sample ;-) That's actually how I got my sampling of Circa gear.


Checkbook register

I just downloaded the checkbook register and then reformated it to portrait orientation (that was easy -- it's an Excel file). If anyone wants a copy of the Portrait file, just let me know. I'll post it. :)

Meanwhile, I'll contact Ryan and see if I can get the stuff to make a 1 1/2-inch letter notbook and see how that works with running my company (and keeping track of my 6-year-old's homework and school communique's -- I'm a single parent and organization is key!)

Send it to me...


If you send it to me at I can add it to the template online on that page, and everybody can have access to it.


1 1/2-inch may be a bit

1 1/2-inch may be a bit thick for a notebook. I used to find the 1-inch discs BIG but my perspective has changed (ha!) and I'm now using them on my daily Circa. The only thing is mine are old discs (purchased in 1999 - can you believe it??) and I find the pages not as easy to turn as on the smaller discs. This could be due to the age of the discs, and also there's a ridge around the outer ring (I've reported this to Ryan and sent him pictures, too). In any case, I have new 1-inch discs on the way with my latest order from Levenger. The last I checked, the package had left Anchorage, AK and winging its way to me. Expected date of delivery is Monday, 12 March. Can't wait! I'm always like a little kid on Christmas morning with my Levenger purchases! Even if they're just accessories, I still get very excited.

Coming back to your comment - 1 1/2-inch discs may be better for archiving Circa pages.

The package has arrived, and

The package has arrived, and I've replaced the old red 1-inch discs with the new black 1-inch discs. I've also posted a picture of the two sets of discs:

It's now easier to open my planner and turn the pages.

Staples rollabind

Would it be worth it to try out a Staples letter-sized Rollabind? Or will I be disapointed by the quality?

Too bad there isn't a Levenger store in Seattle :(

1 1/2" dillema


I actually didn't think that the zip folio would close correctly with that size of ring, so I experimented with both a Letter and a Junior zip folio.

Apparently you can fit a 1 1/2" (XL)circa notebook inside of both folios.

Flickr photo #1
Flickr photo #2

    (the photographs both depict the junior notebook, but the letter worked as well)
    [trickier to photograph]

The leather expands just a little to make the large notebook work, but the zipper remains unobstructed. The only negative is these were rather heavy at this capacity.


That's a lot of paper!

Wow that's ton of paper.

Ryan -- is that a full 1 1/2-inch stack?

I have about 1 1/8" in my 3-ring right now.

Overstuffing circa rings

The photographed notebook is only 1 1/8" full of paper. [~200 sheets of our notetaking paper]

I'm sure another 1/4" of paper could be inserted, but with just about any size of circa ring there is a 'sweet spot' where the pages turn easily. Overstuffing can make the pages difficult to turn and cause the perforation wings to crease and tear.

too much paper?

I'm glad you posted a picture of that. I'm trying to decide which size Circa rings to buy. The 1 1/2" looks too big. The Rollabind notebooks from Staples have 3/4" rings and that doesn't quite seem big enough. Seeing those pictures and Chet's with the 1" rings, I'd say that's just the right size - big enough to put a full planner on but small enough that it won't turn my planner into another paper brick like my first planner.

Those big rings would definitely do well for keeping an archive notebook though. I could easily fit a years worth of stuff on those!


Kenny I just posted a


I just posted a close-up of my 1-inch Circa planner on my Flickr photostream:

Thank you

That gives me a pretty good feel for how much paper I can fit in 1-inch. Maybe I only need a 1-inch binder?

What kind of neoprene folio is that?

Chet -- What kind of Neoprene folder is that in your photos?

It's the DayRunner that

It's the DayRunner that someone posted about - available on eBay for $15.00. Here's the link:

And there are still 9 available !!

"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)

Neoprene or Ballistic Nylon?

I picked up a couple of those Dayrunner "flat packs" I think you are talking about but it looks like Ballistic Nylon to me and that's what I seem to remember the Ebay listing as describing.

Cath - you're right. I don't

Cath - you're right. I don't know the difference between ballistic nylon and neoprene! Silly me. Thanks.

Ballistic Nylon versus Neoprene

I think Ballistic Nylon is rip resistant (it may sometimes be called "Rip Stop") and it may be used for bullet proof vests (which would explain the use of the word "ballistic"). Of course the bullet proof properties come from whatever is sandwiched in between the nylon. Whereas Neoprene is either water resistant or water proof but I don't think it's particularly strong.

Ballistic Facts

Wiki article

Rip-Stop is a much lighter fabric. Ballistic is like knapsack nylon fabric, but heavier.

Edit: I found another link to a place to buy Rip-Stop, Cordura, and Ballistic here

Look at the "Denier" number. The higher the number, the heavier/thicker/more-durable the fabric. As a further example, you can get military faticues made of rip-stop, but cordura and ballistic are more for luggage and such.

Hope this helps.
"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)

"Denier" Nylon

Thanks for the clarification on Ballistic versus Rip Stop Nylon.

sad news...

That's sad news. It sounds like I wouldn't be able to use a ballistic nylon planner as a bullet-proof vest? There go my plans for the weekend ;-)



Neoprene is actually not water proof. It's an odd thing. It lets water in easily enough, but not out. This is why wet suits are called wet suits. They are all wet inside. But the trapped water quickly warms up to your body temp, thus creating a layer of warmer water around your body, protecting you from the colder water outside that. This only works, of course, down to so cold. Below that, you go to dry suits...

but I once had a neoprene "suit" for my Apple Duo laptop. I never liked it for that, so I tried it with my Newton and keyboard for a while, and then--this is really funny, I stuck my Daytime book into it! ;-) It had a nice handle, which was why I liked it.