Just call me Geek (Jotter)


I'm so glad I have a place to share this where I won't be ridiculed. :)

I made a cool thing today.

I had been looking at jotters (for 3x5 cards). I'm kinda not wanting to use my circa/rolla to bind up my cards, because I'm filing them in a box and the smurf teeth catch on each other and make the cards not want to slide against each other right. So I was looking for a jotter to keep in my back pocket.

I thought about buying one, but I didn't really spot one with a color I really wanted online. I mean, I like cranberry, but between paying through the nose for leather and waiting for it to ship, I wasn't really happy with the choices.

I tried a piece of cardstock, using some origami techniques to try to get the 'photo corners' that I liked on some of the leather models. I found a way that works, but you'd have to glue it down to something firm, like a piece of fiberboard. And if you're going to glue it, you don't need origami, you can do that very simply without origami. I didn't really want paper anyway.

So, I got out my plastic. I've got two grades, .015 and .020, the thinner one is transparent and the thicker one is frosted.

What I wanted was a simple pocket for cards, something with rounded corners that wouldn't poke me in the butt or the fingers when putting it away or taking it out. I have an impulse sealer, so I thought maybe I could 'sew' one up with the sealer and round the corners after.

Well, the sealer doesn't really do a good job on two pieces of plastic that thick. At the temperature and time necessary to really 'weld' the pieces, they burn. Uncool.

I thought about my envelope-style origami boxes, and made one of those up. It was tough to get the sealer in the right positions to soften the creases so they'd fold nice in the heavy plastic, and when I was done I had a box with such firm corners it doesn't want to open. Uncool.

So finally, I tried a very simple design. Using the sealer, I made a crease to fold a piece of plastic in half. Then I trimmed off some bits and rounded the corners, and used the sealer to make two more folds. Now I have a perfect jotter--a pocket for extra cards, and two tabs to hold a single card on the outside while I write. It's perfectly transparent (the thinner plastic) and it holds about six or eight cards comfortably. I am stoked.

So cool. So simple. Fold it in half and dogear the ends.

I might have to make another and see if I can get it to hold a few more cards. Or make one out of the frosted plastic.


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Pictures, please

Sounds interesting. I want to see how close my imagination comes to the reality.
"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)

Trust ygor

..to ask for pics within moments of me posting it. :)

Linkety link

See if *this* gets caught in the spam bucket.. :/


Spam bucket

You'll have to retrieve my post from the spam bucket if you want to see pics. Apparently ALL link posts are flagged so nowdays.


i released it and am adding

i released it and am adding you to notaspammer.


Many thanks

I appreciate the special effort. :)


Love all your creative ideas

Great idea -- can't wait to steal it, errrrr, try it out myself. I checked your pix and this looks like something professional you'd buy at Target or Staples. I really appreciate all your creative ideas!

I made another


I made another out of the thicker plastic. I was trying to get one that would hold more cards, so I made it a little longer. Didn't work out as well as I wanted, so here's a piece of advice:

Keep the long dimension about a half inch longer than the length of the cards, then make your flaps about 3/4" long. That gives you a nice tight flap on the jotter part. It won't hold many cards, but maybe that's not a hardship. It's not an hPDA case, after all. It's just a capture device.


Thanks for the tip!

I just want something to hold 5-6 cards. I already have a hpda and that's too thick for the sort of carrying device I need (for pants pocket). Your idea is just the right size. I like that it encloses the cards (except the one you're actually using on the outside) so they don't get all dog-eared before you use them. And I agree with what you said about smurfing the cards. I started out doing that and it was great while they were in the hpda, but TERRIBLE when it came to filing used cards--the smurfs hang up on each other and tear.

Thanks, again, for your great idea!

Mary Ann

You could always trim the

You could always trim the card off at the bottom of the smurfs when it's time to archive them.

You could always trim the

You could always trim the card off at the bottom of the smurfs when it's time to archive them.

I guess that's why Levenger sells perforated Circa 3x5 cards.

Or you could...

archive them attached to discs.
There is a picture here of a strip cut from a Pendaflex-type hanging folder and smurf-punched. Disc bound notebooks can be attached to this and hung in a hanging file drawer. For 3x5 cards, you can do 2 or 3 across, depending on the orientation.
"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)

Saw that


I thought that idea was pretty durn cool when I first saw it. Doesn't really fit the way I use index cards, but it's cool anyway.

I like my cards loose in my 3x5 box. I take them out, shuffle them around, stand them up in my bleachers, shuffle some more, re-file.. Of course you can do all that with rolla/circa, but I like the feel of the wood card box (it's in my flickr set from a while back). I like the size of the cards, they fit nice in my pocket, purse, and desk.

I've tried a rolla/circa flipbook in my back pocket (posted on flickr right after I made it), and it just didn't stay nice. The corners got scuffy, the cover got kinked and bent--and this with plastic covers. I'm trying out my plastic jotter pocket now (same plastic, btw), and it is keeping the cards much nicer than the flipbook did. The plastic itself is getting scuffy from rubbing, but the cards are crispy and clean.

I bind up my loose cards with rubber bands when I'm done with them. A month at a time makes a short stack that's easy to deal with.



That's definitely a nice setup for a simple jotter. From the sound of it, simplicity really was the best way to go. very cool.


That is soooo very kewl!! im impressed... any plans to sell? :D

btw did you print your own purple index cards *vertical 3x5* or did you find a store with 'em?

my artwork | my blog

Hah, sell.


What would you pay for a simple jotter? It would take a factory a whole second to make one, but it takes me a half hour.

The purple cards are Astrobrights cover stock I cut and printed myself. I bought the assortment pack that has this purple along with four other colors. The cost of the blank card is less than a plain white index card (at Staples) and I use the scraps with my kids--they like cut paper art.

Apparently you can get the Astrobrights cover stock in a whole ream of just one color, but my Staples doesn't carry them that way. Adding shipping would eliminate the 'economy' of having pretty colors. :)


Levenger used to make something similar

I bought one quite a few years ago. As to how many years ago - well, the logo at the back is the old Levenger logo. We need Captain Levenger to tell us when the new "tree" logo came into being.

Levenger 3x5 holder, front
Levenger 3x5 holder, back

no pics

Chet, the links go to "private picture".

I am a notebook junkie.

Chet, the links go to

Chet, the links go to "private picture".

My apologies. I've made them public now.


It's neat to see older products like that.

I am a notebook junkie.