Myndology Notebooks

Myndology Notebooks

Myndology After I expressed an interest in Rollabind and Circa notebooks in a recent blog post, the folks at Myndology sent me some sample notebooks; they license the same a similar “disc binding” technology from Atoma, the Belgian company that I think is the originator of the system. This was the first time I had a good look at the system myself, other than having briefly fondled one of the leather notebooks at the Levenger Store in Boston.

A Selection of Products I received two sizes of disc notebooks of various sizes (6.5″ x 8″ and 8.5″ x 11″), some disc-bound 3×5″ index cards, and two interesting bundles of small cards bound with a single ring. Also included were refills for the notebooks and card deck.

DISC SYSTEMS

Punched paperRingsRings

The paper is punched in this pattern, and you slip the paper into the rings. You can also remove the paper by gently lifting it out. Reinsertion is possible as well, though I imagine there is practical limit before the paper starts to fray.

One cool thing about the system is that you can add and remove pages pretty easily. You can also put in strips of paper that are at least 1.5″ tall, so two rings can grip them. The Myndology notebooks use rings spaced about 1 inch apart.

Levenger and Rollabind sell punches so you can use your own paper. I didn’t see such a product listed on the Myndology website, though you can buy refills. If you’re thinking you might use the punch from Rollabind, the systems are apparently not compatible with each other. I haven’t verified this for myself, though. It’s too bad, because I would have liked to put my own forms into the notebook system without running the pre-punched stock through my printer and risking paper jams.

It’s all pretty cool, nicely designed and available in bright cheery colors. The front cover is translucent plastic, and is pretty flexible. The rear cover made of the same material. I would have liked a more rigid back cover (a heavy cardstock) so I could use the notebook without a table, but alas, it is not to be. The index card binder, however, is pretty rigid because you’re basically writing on a whole stack of cards. I’m trying to think of something useful to do with them

RING SYSTEMS

One Ring System Another product that I found interesting, but couldn’t think of an immediate use for, was the Japanese-style “one ring binding” system (image above). It’s just neat to have a ring full of cards. Maybe pre-printed flash cards? Tickets? Business cards? They’re just neat. Here’s a closer look and the ring hinge:

One Ring System Closeup I’m not quite sure whether I can use any of these disc-based binding systems for the Emergent Task Planner. I could see it maybe being useful for creating a customized ticket system, but the adding/removing of tickets would wear down the edges of the paper, causing failure or frustration. Also, the paper removal/insertion process is a finicky process, perhaps best used for infrequent updates.

On the plus side, you have a lot more flexibility in designing unusual form factors. I had spent quite a bit of time looking at ring binders, and the three ring format just didn’ do it. I really want a 5 or 7 ring binder, so I can split the pages up into halves and thirds as need be. The disc system is almost as good, though, and if you have a puncher and a ring set to start with, would allow greater flexibility in designing a system. One minor drawback is that turning pages in the ring system feels a little “grabby”; pages tend to stick slightly at the ring, instead of sliding on smooth metal rings. It’s like the difference between one of those GBC bindings versus a nice wire binding.

12 Comments

  1. fime 12 years ago

    Hi david. I use your PCEO Forms on a system that looks exactly like this, but is distributed under the name “adoc binding” in switzerland. Im pretty sure they are compatible. but be sure to order the larger disc. otherwise you run out of space quite soon.

  2. Laura 12 years ago

    When I was in college I studied for tests by making myself flash cards on index cards (actually 1/2 index cards to save money!) then putting them on a ring just like that product. It was a useful way to keep subjects together and flip through them but it’s so easy to do yourself (honestly you don’t even need a hole punch if you don’t care about them looking nice you can just use the open edge of the ring to punch through the card) that I don’t really see a reason to purchase it already put together.

  3. Penny 12 years ago

    The bound notecards would make a nice [url=“http://www.43folders.com/2004/09/03/introducing-the-hipster-pda/” rel=“nofollow”]
    Hipster PDA[/url].

    Do you know if any of these disc binding systems are available at a national office supply chain?

  4. Jeni 12 years ago

    One word, five letters: COVET.

    Thank you / curse you for posting this.  :-)

  5. Dave Seah 12 years ago

    Fime: very good to know! I’ll keep a look out for that! Thanks!

    Laura: That’s neat. I just had a vision of making a ring with only pre-punched cards of different sizes and shapes and thicknesses. It would make for an interesting promotion item. Hmmm…so many ideas :-)

    Penny: I don’t know of a national chain that’s carrying them currently (Staples is the one I usually go to). I read on the 43Folders wiki (I think) that Rollabind products were available at Target, but I have had no luck finding them in my local stores.

    Jeni: Have you see See Jane Work? A friend of mine periodically reminds me that it exists, and it’s loaded with stuff that looks cool and fun. It’s targeted at women, but I like the site too.

  6. Speedmaster 12 years ago

    Great review, thanks, I’ll have to check these out.

  7. Britt 12 years ago

    I must not be a true techy…I love paper products too much. Something else to consider, Real Simple has a take on the card wheel (http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/product/0,25451,1180934,00.html)
    The version they show is for business cards, but I have both the 3×5 and 4×6 versions that use index cards. I love them because the corner connector is actually a screw that lets me rearrange and remove cards as needed. Plus, one card side is perfed so I also remove a card without undoing everything if needed. Hope that helps. Great review BTW.

  8. Lynn O'Connor 12 years ago

    Hi Dave and Everyone:
    This year, my year for learning and implementing GTD, I invested in the Levinger Circa System, and I have found it quite useful. I got a bunch of the plastic covered notebooks in letter size and in “junior” size, and the Circa hole puncher which was not cheap but well worth it. I have one notebook for “Next Actions” and I put both my Vitalist actions (http://vitalist.com/) (organized by context) printed on my own paper (Vitalist is an online GTD program) in there almost daily, along with the Emergent Task Planner form (also printed on my own paper) as I organize my day. Recently I read about a system (I’m spacing on whose it is right now, fogive me) where every evening you take an index card and put 3-5 things you are going to do the next day on it, and on the back you put down what you have done, through the day, as you do it. I punch the holes in that, as I do with the ETP, and it all goes right into my “Next Action” book. I also spent more money than I should have getting Circa prepunched cards, but that is not necessary. I put on the ETP my “hard schedule” that is all my appointments as well as the specific things I’m doing inbetween appointments, but appointments don’t go on my index cards—those have only non appointment things I want to focus on. This sytem may seem unnecessarily cumbersome, but I am trying to learn planning, and its helping me with the “one day at a time” planning. I’m a long way off from being able to deal with a whole week’s planning, but that is a goal for me.

    This system is helping me beat procrastination, so I’m glad I invested in it. I think it could be done with less than I spent on it, only the hole puncher was necessary and expensive. I have not yet started an archived notebook, where I might put all the “day’s done” record of activities, right now I just tear up the cards and the ETP when the day is over, and I’m getting ready for the next day.

    I am also going to start using a note book for taking brief notes after all my appointments. Then I will have a notebook for everyone I see regularly (I’m a clinical psychologist) that I can move the days notes into. This is the first time I’ve imagined a system that might work for me.

    Finally, I am using the “Junior” books for taking notes related to articles I am writing (related to my research, not my blog at this point), with each article having its own junior note book. I can carry with me one main junior note book, and then move the pages into the particular note book housing the particular research project/article that the pages relate to. I was taking all my notes in Moleskin notebooks which was more organized than i had been, but it meant everything was kept together no matter what the topic, and to organize pages I had to transfer the material to my computer. Now I am able to skp that step, because I simply move pages to the notebook they belong in. So there is something to be said for trying out the Circa system, although it was, as I said, a rather steep investment. I may find something simpler when I’m used to planning and organizing anything, but for now, I’m glad I jumped into Circa from Levinger.

  9. Mad William Flint 12 years ago

    i’m a big fan of the Circa stuff, have the hole punchers and everything.

    But I noticed that the Rollabind stuff was far worse as far as the basic crafting goes, so it’s not very smooth and I have trouble with it sticking.

    There’s also an offering that Staples resells (at least here in Manhattan) which is far worse on the same scale.

    So far Circa is the #1.  I’ve been using their notebooks and such for several years.

    Plus, I might add that the paper quality from Levenger’s is quite spectacular.  It’s one of those things that seems like it doesn’t matter until you’ve dealt with really good stuff.

    I’ll check out the Myndology products though.

  10. Andrea 12 years ago

    I’ve been playing with a few Myndology disc-bound books for the last few weeks. I bought two of the journal size, and two index card sets, plus refills in both sizes.

    I also like to print my own forms and such, and discovered a few workarounds to the lack of a Mynodology punch. The pre-punched index cards behave well in my printer, so that’s easy. I haven’t tried the journal-size pages in the printer yet, as I’d have to set it up as a custom paper size. However, I found that a regular single-hole punch accommodates the disks just fine, after I cut a slit to the hole. Obviously, to do a whole stack of pages that way would be rather more of a headache than it’s really worth, but for divider tabs and such, it’s okay.

    Meanwhile, I understand that Myndology will have a punch available sometime this summer, and I am very much looking forward to it.

  11. Tracie 12 years ago

    Wow, your review of the ring flash cards is the only link I found to an online purchase option of anything similar, thanks!!

  12. Zia 9 years ago

    I recently purchased the one ring binded flash cards and I absolutely love them. I suppose I could make my own but who has the time. They look great are very easy to carry and I love the fact that they have a see through plastic cover that I can easily close and keep cards safely tucked away when not using them. I could go on and on but I have to study, (using my flash cards). The flash cards on a single ring with plastic jacket really is “good thinking” …