Cira Manila Folder 2

Originally uploaded by Duc N. Ly.
I do like to use the thick Moleskine blank sketch notebooks. I’ve already filled up about half of one. I was thinking of getting another one but I decided to save some money and make my own! The thing about the Moleskine is that I can’t re-arrange the pages. Often the good sketches need to be gather into a sensible organized order. I’ve toy with the idea of cutting pages from the Moleskine and then punch them with the Circa/Rolla paper puncher to accommodate the discs. This project accomplished both objectives nicely. I’m always hesitant to draw on the more expensive Moleskine sketch books. With these home-made pages, I am more likely to draw on them.

There were a lot of discarded Manila folders in my office which I was starting to hoard until one day there wasn’t room in the drawers any more. So I decided to recycle them into a notebook! The legal size is cut down with the paper guillotine, and the corners rounded. I bought a corner rounder at a scrap booking store or they even have it at Target’s scrapbook section. To minimize the waste, I first clip the tab edge as these can get damaged in the file shuffle. I line up to the seven inch mark and chop the tab edge. Then I measure eight inches and chop the folder again. You can use what ever dimensions you want.

The corner rounder is from EK Success.

The paper puncher and discs are from and

This is your tip of the week! Enjoy!

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If you like this hack please digg it/design/CircaRolla_Manila_Folder_2 

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Alex’s Rollanotebook Page

August 18, 2007


(I gave Alex a Rollanotebook for his birthday and look what he did to it!)

This is a scan from my notebook concerning a short prose work I’ve been perusing over the summer. It’s gone under three rewrites and three revisions.

This is the second draft of the opening paragraph along with some notes and a few drawings. Nothing special. The manuscript is a maze of scribbles scrunched between letters and surrounded in bubbles with little arrows and stuff. -Alex

D: How did you learn revision?

A: Mostly from looking at scans from other author’s notebooks to see how they revised things

I liked how Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky revised their works.

essays for the new intellect




Proust Manuscript

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Rollabind notebook

May 1, 2007

Rollabind notebook

Originally uploaded by claspingwalnut.

R.I.P. (Roll in Peace)

The rumours are true. I went to Staples last weekend to mourn a little.

Hi Duc,

Someone was just checking out your Squidoo lens “CircaRolla” and wrote you the following note…


can you give me the product id for the rollabind notebook that you can buy at target or staples. i’ve contacted them and they can’t find it in their computer.



I think they don’t sell them any more at staples or target.
I was at Staples last Sunday and I didn’t see it.
There was a rumour that these stores stop selling them.
I have a number on the ISBN code: WHT9114A (junior); WHT9115A (Letter)


p.s. let me know if you can order it.

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April 16, 2007

Here’s a picture of a mod/hack of two or three products together. mynd-rolla-post-it.jpg

This is a blurry close up of a Rollabind Notebook page (the Circa page also fits) in the Myndology Atoma notebook as designed by Myndology. The ‘smurf’ (mushroom shape of the hole puncher) fits. There’s enough room at the top for a Post-it-Note plastic tab divider which I find so useful. I really like these tabs. They don’t thicken your note book. They are also removable. Depending on your preference, you can put the tab on top or bottom of the page (header or footer).


There is a slight over hang at the edge so I took a ruler and made my own hand torn deckle edge for an old world feel. Atoma is a Europen product which means that it was executed in metric measurements. I’m amazed that the spacing between the disc equal their American counter part. I image the Rollabind had to do a conversion and stay with the equal distance of the original Atoma. It was proabably calculated out to be an ideal optimal distance to support the papers and also to accomodate different size of papers. These types of notebook remind me of the works of Charles Eames, the famous architect and designer of the Eames chair. He and his wife, Ray, believed in modular designs, building made up of parts. The system of Circa Rolla and Atoma are essentially parts. What is unique about this product, aside from the fact that you can remove pages and rearrange them, is that the individual parts, papers and disc join together to hold each other. It’s a brilliant structural engineering invention and product design. I think that’s part of the appeal for me. This leads to all sorts of way one can customize, or ‘Pimp’ your notebook. This phenomena, known as Pimping began in the West Cost of California. The Automobile culture of California has been full of customization and innovation. This naturally lead to motorcycle, homes, bathroom and a few other things. People have always been customizing their stuff. I remember grade school Peechee folders or cloth cover three ring binders. To a larger extent, customers are now able to customize their notebooks even more. I suppose that’s where the word customize came from. It is the customers’ prerogative to adjust products that they have purchase to their own needs. There are many television shows about customization. ‘Pimp your ride’ and American Chopper to name a few. It’s with this kind of users that began to innovate and move the original product beyond it’s purpose, and intent.

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Here’s the Thurdsay Tip/project of the Week (TTOTW). Back two weeks ago when I mention the Real Simple 3×5 deck TTOTW. I like the elastic band idea. It reminds me of the Moleskine. The cover has a nice thickness to it bound in cloth. Not bad at all. The only problem was how do you punch it for the Circa Rolla Disc? Well, I made a series of drawings, okay just one, on an idea of how to make a good notebook. This was drawn in the morning after waking up when I can’t make a straight line. But you get the idea. If I’m ambitious I may put it to grid paper. This tip also earns extra points for combining two or three previous tips into one. I plan to use the plastic cover because it can be punched and then taped into the inside cover of the hard cardboard. (photo)

simple-mynd-hack the final product

Somewhat related:


April 11, 2007

Here is a sketch of the three types of mushroom shapes of paper punch coined ‘Smurfs’ by the DIYplanner community. Let’s call the ones from Atoma/Myndology Papa Smurf because it’s the original Smurf. And call the Circa, Hefty Smurf. And Rollabind, Smurffet.

light blue hpda cover

Originally uploaded by lexly87.
So last night I was taking out the garbage and found a plastic empty container from The White Barn Candle Co. that my wife bought at Bath and Body Works. Hm…right there I had an idea. I quickly snatched up the plastic art material and sneaked it into my work bag. This is a terrible habit I know. More then once has my lovely wife chided me for picking up trash for my art projects. This is the final product and your Thursday Tip of the Week!!

I like this idea because:

  1. I’m doing my part to recycle waste.
  2. The plastic is not so thick yet strong enough to be a cover and can be easily punched with out damaging my portable Rollabind puncher.
  3. The clear plastic is see through, so there are potentials for decorative craft if you are so inclined.
  4. The cover will have a subtle scent of Vanilla or a variety of any other scent of your choice. (Japanese Cherry Blossom bubble bath gel is just heavenly.)

Speaking of see-through, the blue underneath the Warm Vanilla Sugar Cover is from a Mead 3×5 color coded two ring index card pack. It comes with two blue very small and good tab deviders. It is slightly thicker then the Vanilla Cover.

I’m not saying that you should go out and buy the Fragrance Bulb to creat a cover, but if you find other similar products with the same gauge plastic (please let me know) it could be potential for a really cool cover for your Hpda Circa Rolla projects. The Fragrance Bulb has a very nice smell. I plug it into my electrical outlet and people think that I’m baking cookies at the office.

Other uses for this cover: simple-mynd-hack

Good Luck on your projects!

Okay this is also an opportunity to write an open letter to my garbage company. The big old truck rolls around Thursday morning around 5 or if we are lucky 6am. Why do they pick this time to wake up the neighborhood. One woman complained that it feels like the noise is right under her pillow. We had a Condo Association meeting and no one else is going to do anything about this noise pollution. It could be that the elderly residents are heavily medicated or sedated so they don’t hear the ‘garbage thunder’ or make a fuss. I figure the garbage company would be sensitive to an elderly community and re-schedule their pick up time. Maybe the enraged neighbor and I will work up a petition to re-schedule the pick up time.

The Garbage Company’s Response

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