Hip/Duct-ster Pocket Briefcase

This is my main capture tool and day keeper. It is a much smaller, pocketable adaptation of the Ductster PDA (http://www.atrium-media.com/gtd/gtdductster.htm), made entirely of duct tape.

A while back I considered buying one of those Levenger Pocket briefcases because I liked the way it held the cards for quick use and the two convenient storage pockets. And the look of black leather was tempting. But, being an unemployed high-school student, I couldn't possibly spend the $30-40+.

Then I came across the DuctsterPDA, and made one with some regular, gray-colored duct tape. I thought it was brilliant, but it was much too large to fit into a pocket, and I didn't like the look, for anyone could see that it was obviously made of duct tape.

So I bought some black duct tape and created my own pocket briefcase, which actually took less time and effort than the regular Ductster because I used less tape. And I was satisfied.

As far as aesthetics, it looks good, considering the material it was made out of. A fairly close bystander wouldn't be able to tell that it was made of duct tape.

I find it much more functional than a Levenger. Instead of two pockets, it has four. Not to mention the pockets hold more cards than a Levenger. My favorite thing about my pocket briefcase is that I get a 2-page spread of my cards. I keep blank index cards in the front left pocket for capturing just about anything, and I keep copies of the DIY planner Day Keeper templates on the right. The two storage pockets in the back are for "stored/processed stuff". I also use my pocket briefcase as a folder for stuff that I print out on 5.5"x8.5" paper. All I have to do is fold the papers in thirds and stick them in one of the pockets. I love to keep crosswords in there =).

Another plus is the customizability factor. I've been thinking of adding another pocket to the front in which I could put a photo cover, or an actions list, or whatever. I might even add some pockets in the back for money and business cards, although I like the slimness of my pocket briefcase right now.

The pen is a Pilot Dr. Grip Gel with G2 .05 ink. The very best pen I can afford.

Hoping for some comments. If anyone wants help or instructions for making one of these, just shoot me an e-mail at sloria1[AT]gmail[DOT]com

[Note: e-mail address edited against spambots - Sard 24/7/06]

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Question about the Summer Months

How do you think the duct tape is going to hold up during the summer heat?

For me...

I made one of these ductsters, simply for kicks, back in February, or so, but then, once it was made, your question made me curious, so I've been carrying it in my back pocket every day since. Right now, it's holding about 10 3x5 cards, a few other pieces of paper and my car registration and insurance info--and a pen--but the pen's only been in there for a week or two. I have been pleasantly surprised at how well it's held up until now. I'll keep wearing it to see how the extra heat of summer affects it, but I doubt it will get much worse. BTW, I used a decent, medium grade black duct tape. Don't know, but I suspect that the quality of duct tape makes a difference.


One year with the Ductster

Well, I wrote the above post on April 14, almost a year ago. That means that I've been using my Ductster for over a year! And yes, I am _still_ carrying it in my back pocket literally _every_ day. I cannot imagine even a single day when I did not carry it, and am sure that I could count all such occasions on one hand, so this little bit of duct tape has seen hard use for over a year, and is still holding up! I originally intended it to be just an experiment on how well it would hold up, but it's really become an essential part of my daily life. I carry a nice thin pen in it, several 3x5 cards, including a 2008 calendar I printed from ygor's dynamic template program. ;-)

Its primary functions, however, are to carry my car registration and insurance, as well as the various receipts I gather in a typical day. Each evening (almost) I remove the receipts, and drop them into the receipt envelopes, whose template you will find elsewhere on this site. I also have a PocketMod in there, with several items for either reference, or for quick jotting (names/addresses, or expenses for which I didn't get a receipt, etc.).

I don't have a decent wallet that can carry all this stuff, and the Ductster keeps it all in a very flat, and compact form, so I shall keep carrying it until it finally gives up its ghost. The only "preservation" I've had to do on it is to cut off some parts where the adhesive lost traction, and the occasional string comes loose. It shows the most wear where the pen sticks out the top. No, it's not elegant, but it is certainly better than the passport wallets I used to use. (too stiff, and awkward shapes)

If and when I get a chance, I will take some picks, and throw them up on Flickr.


Pictures finally

I've finally posted pictures of my ducter. Here's the DIYP thread where I've posted the links: LINK


Organiser Covers

I used the sticky Venilia plastic rolls, available from local DIY stores, to cover my home built organiser. I chose black but there are a lot of colors available. As long as the surface to apply is smooth then the result will be professional.

6 months duckster use

I made my standard issue Duckster about 6 months ago, and it's showing some wear.

It lives in my front pants pocket (standard woman's pants), a tough place, along with a space bullet pen and a Swiss Army knife.

The top edge has curled a bit, the side edges are looking battered, and the front and back have assorted creases, scratches and contusions. The tops of my cards are showing wear. [When I made the duckster, I made it a bit shorter and narrower than the web pattern.]

But it has done what I wanted ... I now know if I buy something nicer and sturdier, it will get lots of use.


Witty science & science fiction t-shirts

I have a Franklin Covey

I have a Franklin Covey leather folder that looks very similar. I didn't pay big bucks for it, but it is nice leather. I got mine at Office Depot. I'm sure Levenger's would be nicer, but this is a great one for the money.


I have the same

I use mine as my wallet, (cash {I wish!}, debit card, drivers licence etc.) and my Inbox with 3x5 cards in place. Like you said I am sure Levengers is better but it is hard to beat $15USD! Especially when your poor like me!

Good wear

Hi Jon: I would say that for it to last more than a year is quite an accomplishment and if you need to make another one it seems a small price to pay for how long it lasts. Congratulations !!!!


My problem is that I just _hate_ throwing something away if it's still working (or even if it _isn't_ working! I've got an Apple Quadra 650 [just the MB and case, now], a couple Duos, a PowerBook 1400, and sundry and assorted stuff to go with them--none of them are working--but I can't throw them out!--and that's just the computer stuff!).

If it works, I like to keep using it. That makes it hard for me, even something so small, and truly worthless as this wallet. I paid a couple zloties for the entire roll of tape (and it's currently 2.1zl to the USD if you are curious). Plus, I guess I'm kind of attached to this guy now, too.... He's stuck with me this long... why not see how much longer. ;-)