Trypticon Strudel.

4" x 6" system card organiser

2010-08-29 - So with the holiday coming up and needing to do a lot of planning, I've been trying to build another self-made organiser.

Essentially my requirements are:

  • Small enough to pocket (though my pockets are large)
  • Large enough to carry reference pictures for the places I'm going
  • Ability to print pages, either for pictures, maps or templates
  • Possible to reorder

Needing to reorder the pages and wanting to print onto them eliminates a lot of common and simple options like moleskine notebooks and their dozens of clones.

My old solution of 3" x 5" index cards turns out to be a bit too small for maps. I did that last trip - it is a bit squinty. Plus, I'm not certain that printers are going to be good at printing that size. Though I know a lot of people do print on that size, through whatever means they can, a lot of printers just can't take paper of that size, or at least don't have the guides for it.

So I am trying to make 4" x 6" work. Being a fairly standard size for photos, there are a lot of printers out which can print it and many of them can print right to the edge of the card.

One thing that makes 4" x 6" hard is that shops don't tend to stock the unlined cards, and if they stock the lined cards, the lines are lengthwise whereas for an organiser you really want them widthwise. The other thing that makes them hard is that a single binder clip is no longer enough to hold it together solidly. You start to want something you can hold like a normal notebook.

I found this.

But finding a way to buy their stuff has been a bit of a ride. The site itself wanted 150 USD postage for a 100 USD order because it would only do UPS and FedEx.

Some guy was selling off a huge stock of items so I mailed them to see if they still had it, but no response in a whole week from them. So I went with an order from Rollabind themselves... and maybe I regret it.

2010-10-18 - It's a fair bit later now, and I'm still waiting for the punch. The notebooks arrived quite some time ago, and are quite nice... but without the punch, I'm kind of screwed here.

There are a bunch of horror stories about their shipping delays on the net, but how bad could it be?

2010-11-22 - Rollabind replied to an email finally. They insist the unit is on its way to me and due to arrive some time in the next week. Not trusting this, I have put in an order with Levenger, who make an identical punch, and should be more reliable. Surely this way I will be covered.

2010-11-29 - The Levenger order has already arrived, and finally I can start doing my shit. Unfortunately the printer is now on the fritz, and it is taking some time to get it working normally.

2011-01-21 - Post-trip final commentary - The 4x6 folder was great! The disc spacing is just wide enough to put fingers for holding onto the binder, and it fits a pretty large amount of information in at a time. I had more pages than would fit - I just swapped them in from a backup binder as the trip progressed. The 3x5 folder I got at the same time was not actually 3x5, but more like 2.75x4. So that was a bit of a let-down. But I would recommend the 4x6 index cards for this purpose, it's less awkward than it initially seems. Just make sure your pockets are large enough to fit it - I had mine in my hands most of the time because it didn't fit, and I'm sure I ended up looking like a reporter.