what did you get and give?

Hi all. Now that Christmass is over, I am curious to hear what productivity tools and toys you got as gifts. Or did you give something nice to someone else?
I will start: I got a beautiful brown leather portfolio for an A4 writing pad, zippered with pen slots and space for loose papers. And I gave away a brown leather personal filofax. And you?

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Lots and lots of Levenger

The idea was that I'd set up a system for my husband but he's got a new Blackberry from work and is still trying to find his way around that. Nevertheless, he thinks it will satisfy all his needs. Hah! He'll learn. So I get to keep another set of the cloth Circa covers with which I have fallen so much in love. It's my birthday soon so I wonder what I can get next?

'Santa' brought

a Levenger Victorious Station (black, on clearance for $20), a Cross fountain pen, and 2 colors of ink to play with.

And 3 Miquelrius notebooks.

The idea is to get my papers under control. They currently devour my kitchen counters...

Gave and Got

For another year I gave myself the gift of a FiloFax Time Management yearly update. Still can't bring myself to switch to D*I*Y Planner forms because of the obtrusive thick black rules; FiloFax's rules are grey so they don't intrude on my notes, my schedule, my eyes. Maybe 2008 will be the year I switch or perhaps fiddle with the Filofax layout and make it mine.

Hope y'all got things you wanted.

Just gave, this year

I circa-fied my parents a bit. Got my mom the Circa Address book and some refill cards. She saw my planner and commented she'd seen the address book it the catalog and thought it was a great idea. My dad got the EB White "Essays" book from Lev, and the free 3x5 Leather Rope (in toffee) I got with the order, filled with some custom monogramed cards I whipped up, and a Zebra "Telescopic" pen tucked inside.

No one got me nothin' :(
Well, planner-wise - the kids Wii is as much mine as theirs :) Now I can play Harry Potter or Zelda when they go to bed.


Curse you, Reese Witherspoon! It was a GUYS name first!
It's REESE, like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

I got a USB fiber optic Christmas tree.

I kid you not. My dd14 just looooved it and thought it the best invention ever. Where have I gone wrong as a parent? Did I miss some critical lesson in what is c**p and what is kitsch?

Too funny

I immediately thought of What not to buy...

:) :) :)

- Jen

usb vortex

I got a usb powered vortex in a tube. It swirls beads and glitter around while cycling threw different colored lights. I'm not allowed to plug anything into the work computer that "they" didn't buy, so it luckily also runs on batteries. Of course, my seven-year-old loves it, so I don't think I'll be allowed to take it from the house.


About two months ago I bought myself a Moleskine for journaling (which I have yet to break in) and thought they'd make nice gifts for a couple friends, so... I bought a notebook for my one friend who's going through a difficult time and loves to journal. I also got her a Varsity fountain pen to go with it. Then I bought a City Notebook (NYC) for another friend who visits the city a few times a year.

I hope they enjoy them. I think they will. :)

- Jen

I Circa-fied my wife and my sister

and I am working on my kids
"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)

Moled and Circa-ed

As already noted, I Moleskined my wife with a pocket 2008 weekly planner and a pocket address book (likely to be hacked someway).

And today, with a bit of the green I received, I grabbed a letter sized Rolla notebook, two packs of classic tabbed dividers (3 per pack) and a small bit of classic paper, To-Do and Project pages at a Staples. The letter notebook had the perfect item to complete my circafied planner - an eight inch ruler/page finder. The 8 inches plus some excess allows it to just peek out of the book, page found easily!

I also got my wife a nice, wooden bread bowl for raising bread and we received a juicer. The fresh carrot apple at supper was great!

-- Coffee and Books, the pleasures of life

The list goes on


I got a paper cutter--a guillotine (xActo) with paper guide. It's inexpensive and feels like it, but the paper guide was what I wanted. :)

I gave three book bungees and a 3x5 leather rope (the free one). I also made up circa books of kid art for the grandparents and grandaunts and -uncles.

I bought myself a shirt pocket briefcase and a book bungee, they'll be here next week I think. :)


...and book bungees

I had forgotten. I, too, bought book bungees as gifts. Ten of them! Nieces, friends, coworkers...and one for myself. :)

- Jen

Same cutter

I have the xActo guillotine, and have been using it for bookmaking for a couple years. I'm still happy with it. It feels cheap, but cuts straighter than the big "expensive" guillotine at work, and with a cleaner cut. I use all kinds of random papers in it for my books.

Don't dismiss it just because it's lightweight.

Not dismissing it


I'm not dismissing it because it's light, my rotary is light and I like it fine. I did have a problem with the burrs on the table's edge, though. They 'caught' the blade and wouldn't let it complete a cut, right out of the box. You could feel the burrs with your fingers, so the QC at xActo's plant is obviously crap. They couldn't possibly have cut a piece of paper to test it. Of course, DH is a handy guy, so the file on his pocket multitool made fairly quick work of the burrs. So now it actually cuts.

We've got an old wood guillotine like you see in schools, too. That one cuts reasonably well and feels solid, but the measuring marks on it are totally off. I can't figure out what scale they were using on the table's grid because it isn't inches and it isn't centimeters either. It needs sharpening, too.

I was tempted to call xActo about the manufacturing defect on the blade/table edge, but DH whipped out his file so fast I'm sure he voided the warranty. :(


Not much...

I bought myself a Levenger bookcloth cover with gift money from my husband's grandmother. That was it for stationery-ish stuff. I didn't give anything along those lines, either.

Oh, wait -- my sister made me a journal. It's gorgeous -- burgundy velvet cover with an antique cameo affixed to the front. It's beautiful, and I'm afraid to write in it. :)

[ blog | photos ]

tradition of calendar giving

My SO and her mother have a tradition of giving each other calendars for Christmas. For the last several years my SO has been hand making them. This year it was Circa punched and I made the copper rings for it.

The night before we exchanged gifts her mom was exclaiming over the copper rings I use in the micro-pda pad I keep in my wallet. So, I'm guessing she'll like hers. :)

Oh, and I got more polyclay tools and some mold maker, so the custom discs experiments will continue!


Got pics?

The rings sound marvelous. Have pics?

I recall seeing discussions of rolling your own. How difficult has it been?

-- Coffee and Books, the pleasures of life

no pics :(

I don't think we got pics of the calendar. I've got pics of two rings I made before at http://www.flickr.com/groups/circarolla/

I think it's fairly easy to make these. I followed the same process as mentioned in the rolling your own thread. But I did spray them with polyurethane this time to make them stay shiny.


I got a Plum Junior Circa Bookcloth Notebook, a Forest Green Circa Leather Foldover Notebook and Circa Micro PDA Leather Notebooks in Forest Green and Cranberry. I scored a gorgeous English Briefbag on eBay (also from Levenger) so I decided it was my gift for my bunny rabbits.

I also got a drop dead gorgeous Tarot Deck I ordered in October and 2 tea sticks, so I can use loose tea without the mess! Really, everything I wanted.

ETA: I also got my mom the 2008 Junior size planner, and the Circa Health. And on Christmas day pulled up the Dynamic template to show her how I can create a really small monthly planner if she needs me to.

it's been a great Christmas

It's been a great Christmas for myself and my wife. I was in the process of printing out the first couple months of my 2008 calendar (last-minute, I know) and decided I should go ahead and make her a planner like I promised.

I took some of the extra stuff from making my Levenger Circa Junior size planner and printed out some more forms and put together most of a planner for her. Hers has the monthly dividers, 2 pages per month calendars with a "Goals" page on the front and "Accomplishments & Events" on the back. Those pages are all created using ygor's wonderful dynamic template programs. I also used his 2 years on one page. I've got a few Rollabind refill pages in there for notes. I used the official DIY Planner contact pages & important numbers page for the address book. The divider between the calendar & notes is a purple tabbed divider from Levenger, and the divider between the notes & address book is the purple pocket divider. To top it all off, I printed out the DIY Planner cover page with the monkeys. One of the monkeys has a checklist "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, do no evil." It is a very fitting cover for a certain ornery graphic designer.

Now, I need to geek out for a minute. The most awesome thing I got for Christmas: I finally convinced her to let me buy a new computer now that we can afford it. I was running on a 450 mhz G4 Mac tower (Sawtooth) that I had upgraded just about everything I could except the case itself. Hard drive, RAM, video card, DVD burner, and processor. The Mac Mini I bought feels to be at least twice as fast and comes with Leopard (the new version of the Mac operating system).


I was pleased that my wife

I was pleased that my wife agreed to me getting a Levenger Jr. Circa binder just before Christmas. I was then able to get the nice punch and a number of pages and accessories. Unfortunately, they didn't arrive in time for the tree Christmas morning.

But I've now got my 2008 Agenda, my Projects and Next Action lists, and I'm ready to be productive in 2008!

Happy New Year!