Need a Circa/Clipboard Hack

I work as a substitute teacher. I'm trying to figure out a way to combine my circa notebook with my clipboard. I always have schedule and notes to keep track of, which I clip to my clipboard (which also provides a hard surface). Then I have to keep notes for the teacher all day, which I do in my Circa notebook. The problem is that the more items I have to carry, the greater the chance I will lose something. So, what I'd like to do is combine the two. I'd love to figure out a way to mount the circa notebook on the back of the clipboard, which would let me read notes, then flip to write.
The first approach I thought of was to use rubber bands to just attach the notebook to the clipboard, but the rings make it almost impossible. They pop out, because they are under pressure from the bands.
Someone had mentioned cutting the discs in half and gluing them onto a surface. Has anyone tried this? Does it work? I can't figure out what tool to use to try this, but it sounds like it might work, combined with a rubber band to keep the notebook closed.
A third (nearly impossible) approach would be to cut grooves into the clipboard that the rings would fit into, so the notebook fit onto the clipboard "flat".
The other approach I've tried is to make a new cover for my circa notebook that would be sturdy enough to write on (the current plastic cover isn't firm enough for serious writing, and I frequently have to write while walking or away from any hard surfaces.) Does anyone have any ideas on how to make a firm cover? I do have the heavy duty punch, so I can punch quite a few materials. I think I may need to combine a few layers to make a sturdy enough cover.
Any help would be appreciated!

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First thought...

Position the rings so that they hang out a bit and are not interfered with by the clipboard.
"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)

Second thought...

Use binder clips and pockets and eliminate the clipboard.

These are "shooting from the hip" ideas.
"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)


I used to have a "drawing board" in college that was plain old masonite... pretty cheap to get at the lumber places if I recall correctly. Get a piece cut to just a tad shorter than your circa's back cover.

Attach the back cover (which should be a semi-rigid material like cardboard or heavy stock). I would use binder clips since everyone has some and then you can detach at will. If they add too much of a bump, maybe resort to rubber bands. As long as it hold well... should work great.

The key will be to keep the circa discs just past the edge of the masonite or board material.

Ta Da ... you should have the function of a clip board without the clip... and the disc should function normally since the board is not in the way.

I could sketch up something if my written description is unclear :) just let me know...

my artwork| my blog



I was the one musing on cutting the rings in half. I have not done this, but it would be interesting to try. I am thinking, though, that you wouldn't want them in half--you'd lose half your paper capacity. But knocking off an edge might do it. Gluing them down so they'll stay is the tough part.

Are you using ordinary letter-sized brown clipboards or do you have something bigger or fancier?

Some other thoughts.
1) you can get chipboard covers sized/punched to fit circa/rolla rings. These would not be quite as stiff as a clipboard, but they're out there.

2) It wouldn't be necessary to cut individual grooves for each disc into your clipboard--you could cut a long rectangular 'channel' for all of them, if you have a dremel-type tool or are very patient with a box cutter.

3) there are fancier clipboards that allow you to store stuff inside them--they're often made of aluminum and I've seen them different sizes. Depending on how big your circa notebook is, you could just stuff it inside rather than trying to stick it to the back.

4) It might be easier to attach a clip unit to the back of your notebook than attach your notebook to the back of a clipboard. :) Hobby stores sell parts for stuff like that.

Suppose you were to take a piece of cover material from your notebook--maybe it's the back of a legal pad you used up or a sheet of heavy plastic cover material (it should be bigger than your notebook). You punch it so your notebook will attach to it, then glue your clipboard to the cover (back to back) so the holes for the rings extend out to the side of the clipboard. Get a strip of self-adhesive velcro--put the hook side on your cover in a spot where your notebook won't cover it up, and put the loop side on the front cover of your notebook like a strap, so it will hold itself closed.

It's a Rube Goldberg, but your notebook would be removable from the clipboard, yet attached reasonably securely.


silly idea of mine...

If you have a spare back cover, glue it to the back of a clipboard, with the smurfs hanging out a bit, so the you can easily enough attach your Circa to it, and flip the pages. The trick, as I see is, is to glue it so that the cover sticks out on the _right_ side of the clipboard when the clipboard is right-side-up. That way, when you flip it over, it's on the proper side (for righties). Maybe this is too bulky, but my mind envisions it ok. :-) Now, as for how to keep the whole thing closed.... hm. Big ole binder clip? seems awkward somehow. Maybe your idea of creating a stiffer back cover would work, together with a binder clip. I think that is probably the simplest method...



I was just in the process of putting some photos together for Shris' original bulletin board topic, when I came across this one. Just uploaded some photos onto Flickr in the DIYplanner pool . Might be one possibility. The photos show how one can mount discs on a surface, with just a hole punch, and if you don't like it, you can still use the rings (no cutting). The hack can also be used to create a spine for a rolla/circa book. The idea actually comes from a binder I saw at the stationary shop.

Could you take super glue or

Could you take super glue or hot glue and glue the clipboard writing surface to the inside or outside of the back cover of the circa? Then you could clip paperwork to the clipboard and it would be inside the back cover of the circa. And the clipboard would (hopefully) not interfere with the working of the circa. And you could switch back covers of the circa when you don't need the clipboard.

Other circa-less possibilities--
Can you find a folder-type clipboard? I have one that's like a file folder, but there's a clip on one side and it folds closed like a file folder does. If you could find one of those, you could put your notes pages on one inside surface, clipped with a binder clip, and use the other inside surface for the schedule. Mine was a gimme from a conference, but surely they're available at the office supply stores.

Alternatively, you could clip a file folder to a regular clipboard and use the file folder to hold the notes etc. You could paper-clip the schedule to the outside of the file folder to keep it visible all the time, and clip the notes to the inside. Or vice versa.

Also there are the portable desks (there are several listed on the Office Depot website) that have a clipboard and under it a shallow box that holds other paperwork, pencils, etc. I used one of those for a while and it was useful, and might be nice to keep some of your paperwork and belongings in.

Good luck,

Put rings at top

A top bound notebook would work more easily on a board as you could let the rings overhang the top of the board and attach the back cover to the board with a rubber band.

Alternatively, you could use your circa in landscape format and clip the back cover to the board

If a clipboard doesn't suit then a cheap whiteboard might work - one of those cardboard whiteboards found at discount shops and used on refrigerators etc.