One of the best holiday gifts I received this year was a Levenger Circa modular notebook, a fancy pants folio you can customise for your own note-taking needs. The Circa is a combination binder and notebook, with removable pages but without ugly and annoying binder rings to snap open and shut. Instead a set of black plastic rings holds your book together, and specially-punched paper, dividers, and covers snap onto them. Like the Moleskine, the Circa is pricey, but notebook fetishists will love it. After the jump, some photos of my Circa assembly.
I got the "Simply Irresistible" sampler kit, which is a nice intro to Circa (and a neat gift for a co-worker or boss.)
The kit comes with 8 1/2 x 11 front and back plastic covers, several page templates of varying sizes and colors, and a few different types of page dividers.
The Circa's secret sauce is a set of black plastic rings that act as your notebook's spine.
They're just a little smaller than a quarter.
To put together your notebook, you snap the rings into the plastic covers one by one.
Rinse and repeat till you've got a full spine of rings.
Then you snap in the pages and dividers you want inside the book.
Levenger, the company that makes the Circa, offers several prefab templates of various sizes and formats (like a to-do list, project manager template, note-taking form) for your notebook. Alternately, you can make your own notebook paper with the $58 (!) Circa paper punch.
The pages tear out of the Circa without actually getting torn, and you can put them back in easily, much like a binder.
This starter kit will set you back $40 but it comes with a $40 gift certificate to Levenger to buy more Circa gear, which is a pretty good deal. I love the design and modularity of the Circa (kind of like a D*I*Y Planner but without the binder rings). I don't love the price tag on the Circa's paper punch, since I'm more likely to punch my own paper than buy their forms. That said, I had a blast putting mine together, and it's definitely the kind of notebook that impresses when you pull it out in meetings with clients and higher ups. Thanks, LTT!
Note: Levenger advertised the Circa notebook on Lifehacker at some point, but this post is not an advertisement. The book in the photos is mine, not a review unit.