Product idea for Rasmussen

Hey Ryan!

I now have the Levenger portable smurfer and the Rollabind desktop smurfer. I thought I would leave the portable at work and the desktop at home, but after seeing both in action, I realize that this grand plan will never work.

What I love about the desktop punch is that I can line up my smurfs however I want. Just slide the little bar and then punch 5 zillion pages. But when I want to punch something else, I adjust the bar again and my "perfect" setting is lost. I know that some folks make marks on their punch so that they can remember where the slider should be. I'll probably do this too, but that won't make me leave my portable punch at work.

What I love about the portable punch is that the guide is sized for 8.5x11. I don't have to monkey with it when I want to punch my 8.5x11 paper - I just open the latch, stuff the paper in, slide it down to bottom and back of the swing arm, drop the arm, and punch punch punch punch. It sounds like a lot of steps when I write it out, but in reality it's very quick. What makes it work so well is that when you put the paper in, there's a raised guide at the top and the bottom. It's very easy to center your smurf and get consistent alignment, punch after punch. I bring my portable punch home every evening, just in case I need to smurf 8.5x11 paper.

So here's what I want:
(1) a portable punch guide that's 3" long (inside measurement) for my hipster.
(2) one that is 5" long for punching 3x5 cards the other way.
(3) one that is sized for compact paper, because I just ordered a compact Circa starter kit and I know I'm going to love it.
(4) one that is sized for junior paper, because I just ordered a junior Circa starter kit and I know I'm going to love it.

I don't need the actual smurfing mechanism; I'll just use the one that came with my letter-sized paper guide.

I would be in heaven if I could just pick up a small guide and punch away at a stack of index cards, then pick up a larger guide and start punching away at a different semi-standard size of paper. Do you think you can hook me up with this? You'd be my new best friend.... :-)

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Good idea! For the 3" though

Good idea!

For the 3" though you can just use... the punch itself. No guide. It's the perfect width.

Not mine

It's a little smaller than 3", more like 2.75". I can eyeball the cards to center the smurfs but that takes a little time. It's certainly not as rhythmic or speedy as using the 11" guide with letter-size paper.

Portable punch guide


Thank you for the suggestion. I agree that the physical stops at the top and bottom of the 11" guide mechanism reliably keep perforated pages in alignment.

However, I'm hesitant about carrying five additional guide mechanisms. As if the portable punch weren't already complicated, adding additional pieces would make it even more complex and a bit less 'portable'. ;) ((We need to shoot a How-To video for the punch))

The easy fix would be an adhesive sticker that could be applied to the 11" guide, detailing the top and bottom stops for all of the aforementioned sizes with hashes. It wouldn't be as rigid as using physical stops on the guide to perform the same function, but it wouldn't add additional cost to the product.

Would a sticker suffice? Do you think the 11" guide should be modified for adjustable stops?


I would love a sticker.

That way you could line up the paper without more parts.


I'd love something like a sticker to help lining up. Extra guide mechanisms on the portable punch or even extra punch sizes would be too much for me. I use multiple sizes all the time, and I wouldn't want to keep all of those at home and work. But stickers? I could just pop a few on my portable punches (I have a few) and go!

Not loving the sticker idea, but the adjustable stops are...


There are already marks on the guide to tell me where my cards and smaller sizes should line up. I'd like to have something 3-dimensional to make lining up the <11" paper a no-brainer.

If you are talking about the kind of slider ygor mentions below, I think that would be an excellent modification to the portable punch. That would solve all my problems (well, all my notebook-related ones) and make me a happy camper.

Now I'm wondering how I can hack my guide and add a slider from an old 2-hole punch. Brb - gotta raid the supply room at work...OH, I mean get some more paper clips. ;-)

Engineering issues on a smurfing guide

Thinking it over, you would need two different guides -- or one guide with two settings.
One setting centers a punch on the edge in question (as for junior/classic/micro-PDA), the other setting centers two punches (the center point is between punches as for letter/PDA)

Think of the adjustable centering guides you find on most copiers/printers
Like on this product Link
It would need to be able to shift by 1/2 an inch (space between smurfs is one inch)
"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)

Good observation.

We run into trouble when we want the overhang before the 1st punch or after the last punch to be more than the distance between smurfs minus 1/2 the width of a smurf.

Maybe if the punch did 2 smurfs instead of 3....

lining up the smurfs

I only have the portable punch and what I've been doing is just pushing all paper, any size, to the top guide to punch it. That way the smurfs always line up the same way. The drawback is they aren't perfectly centered on all paper but I can live with that to have them line up the same.

Good for you!

I'm too OCD - all my smurfs have to be centered. Life would be a lot easier if I could let go, let go. ;-)

don't shoot me

at work so i skimmed - not completely read...

but what about taking a sheet of plastic transparency material and marking that? you could then place it over the paper you want to punch and use it as a guide... the smurfs would already be present and you could mark what you need to - and still see through it to ensure you paper-to-be-punched is aligned properly?

(keep in mind i dont have a desktop punch so i may not understand the functioning properly >.<)

my artwork | my blog

OMG! My first hack!

I'm so proud of me! (And my husband; he helped me figure this out.)

I can achieve the result I want with a binder clip. A medium size clip attached to the fixed part of the portable punch (meaning, the part that the paper lays on) provides a perfectly adequate movable guide.

To set the clip so that your smurfs are centered, center one sheet of your chosen paper in the guide as usual. Then simply clamp the binder clip directly next to one edge of the paper. Voila, the guide is set. Lining up more sheets is a snap - just insert them in the portable punch so that the rest up against the binder clips. :-D

I'm sure a picture would illustrate this concept a lot better than words. I'll try to Flickr one tomorrow.

Hack adopted "It's better to

Hack adopted

"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy." -- Steve Jobs

Photo of binder clip paper guide

Here ya go:
Link to photo