Obsessive decision time: Circa/Moleskine/Make My Own

In my usual obsessive manner I have accumulated three planner choices for the coming year:
Circa System from Levenger: Bought the starter kit and punch along with the 2009 agenda
Moleskine Daily Planner: Large
Mead: Three ring deal with soft cover and pull apart plastic rings that show on the outside of the binder (see attached file below...I don't know how to add an image)

After searching for hours online for letter size planner pages that I like, and that are free (ask me why they must be free when I have obviously spent recklessly so far)...I may be stuck with just the Circa or the Moleskine. I am leaning toward the Circa because I want the option to put journal pages in with my planner pages so that I can consolidate...not have to carry journal AND planner.

Any help here? I would like:

Letter sized planner pages with a week on a two page spread
Hour and half hours time slots OK
Dated for 2009

Thanks in advance....

binder.jpg2.97 KB
Syndicate content

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

DIY is the name of the game


Go to the templates section and look for the dynamic templates. You can do all sorts of stuff with those, and they'll be auto-dated and sized the way you want them.

Alternatively, you can check in the templates section for something someone else made (and posted the ODG files for) and tweak it to suit yourself. You can also make something from scratch by downloading the 'widget kit' and using it to make something completely new.


I just plumped for simplicity

I think I was in a similar position to you. I had a personal and A5 filofax, various notebooks, etc.

I loved the DIYP templates. Just the other day, I printed a bunch out, and went to my offices stationary room and bound them with those plastic spines. Sorry, I don't know the name, but the system that punches little rectangular holes, then the punch can bend back the plastic spiney thing, and feed the pages on.

What I realised was printing, and cutting was getting a pain. So I just printed Letter size. Keep it simple, works for me!

"Comb binding"

That's the toothy-plastic binding system, sometimes called GBC binding after the name of the (only?) company that really makes them. Comb binding always feels kind of cheap to me, and the teeth tend to snag. Of course, I'm also rough with them in general.

I agree with keeping it simple, though: there's lots of systems out there, but don't get caught up in the hype of any particular thing. If you don't need to pull out/rearrange pages, Circa/Rolla is probably too much for you: a three-ring binder would work as well.

I am a fan of the DIY templates, though, since you can design just what you want, and not pay for the forms you never use.

Agree on the cheap feel of comb binder

I had wanted to go 3 ring, but did want to be able to bend the planner back on itself. The few meetings I go to there is never enough desk space. So, my company has the comb binder machines, so I thought "Why not". I had invested $$$ in Filofaxes, and did not want to plump for Circa - I'd hate myself if there was something that didn't work for me, and more money down the drain. I had thought to pick up a Circa starter pack to try it - maybe Santa will bring me one :o)

Best thing is, I am comfortable with what I made. I still don't think I have found my *perfect* system, but it is working for me for now. Working my lists!!

Does anyone have a recommended 3 ring that can be bent back? Somebody, somewhere must have invented one...surely (and don't call me Shirley).

Thanks to everyone for the templates ^5

3 ring

why not look for what the original poster advised in the picture that is attached. it is a kind of notebook/3 ring all in one?

Also, I think most 3 rings will fold back - especially the d-rings, but it is just not as comfortable as an actual notebook because the paper has to fold around all of that bulk.

I say if your comb binding is working for you, stick to it! I wish my office had a comb - binding machine because I would be in notebook-making heaven! :) I have made many notebooks and have brought them to Office Depot to be bound.

When you're right, your right

You know, I did have a quick google the other day for that binder, couldn't find it and gave up. Just looked again and it came up that Walgreens might have it. $12. I'll see if I can pick one up tonight. Give it a test drive :o)

Thanks nay nay

let us know...

... what you think about it. I have been curious about this product, but never bot one... so, let me know what your thoughts are on it!

It's OK

I picked up a Large ($13) and XLarge ($19, but more inserts and the front cover has a slide front pocket which could hold a cool DIY planner cover page)version of the "Notebinder" from Walgreens.

- The rings are not great. They are flexible (not sure why that is a feature, to be honest) and they snap together to close. One side is hollow, and the other side has a little arrow head.
- My paper does not smoothly slide over them, they do snag. But eventually you can bend the whole thing back on itself and it is usable.
- The rings are a one piece design with the spine on the back cover. So not easy to replace with metal rings.
- The covers are basic plastic (fine) joined by a bit of cloth to allow it to bend back.

I think my comb bound planner functions better for me just now. One idea I did have is to pick up some metal rings, snip off the plastic rings but leave the spine on, drill some clean holes on the back spine and join everything with the metal rings.

I kinda dig the low-tech feel it has, but just would like it to function better. That is, the pages turn easier.

I'll work on it

There is a 3-ring


If you don't mind the plain white plastic 'view' binders you'd use at the office for your reference documents, you can get those with fold-back covers. It's a special feature, you have to look for it. I got one for recipes at home. It does work, but it's not exactly a luxury feel.

The other choice of 3-rings I saw is the new ones with the exposed rings for student types. Those aren't exactly high-end either, but they will fold back, I think. You just get plastic pull-apart rings instead of the metal lever-lock kind.


Saw those

My office's supply catalog is WB Mason, and they have the bend back binder. The pics don't look good. The back seems to stick way out the other side (if you know what I mean) when you bend it back.

Walgreens show the OP's picture binder. I'll try pick one of those up tonight.

Thanks much,

The Dynamic Templates are your friends

"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)

You need to decide what you want most

Hi Missy,

I've found one of the hardest things about planning is making a planner decision and sticking to it. There are so many tempting products out there.

So, you have a starter Circa System and punch, a large Moleskine Daily Planner and a Large
Mead Three ring booklet.

What you have to decide is which you prefer - a permanent binding or a Circa/Mead binding. The idea of using one or the other may appeal now but you need to discover if you really prefer either of them.

My suggestion is to use your circa punch and some spare paper/templates to create a planner for November. Even if it's just a shopping list. Just make something and try it. Find out what you like and dislike about the system before making a final decision.

As for the Moleskine, if you decide you want to go with the circa/mead system then you can either give the Moleskine to someone as a gift or (insert sound of screaming Moleskine fans here) pull the moleskine apart, circa punch it and use it as your planner pages.


Another option...

If the Mead Flex NoteBinder does not work out, consider this: KooolBind (note: it is spelled with 3 o's)
"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)

This looks promising

Plus!! They are located in the next town to where I live!! I think I'll call and see if I can stop by :o)

Thanks ygor!!

Ahh, forgot about this option..

I have actually purchased this product before and it is a good option. It is mainly 3 rings (plastic) and then there are two vertical pieces of plastic that give the notebook some sturdiness. I think it works well - I had just forgotten about it. I might have to give this another try too! Back to my big box of discarded supplies to find my rings! :)