Hack.03: Levenger/FieldNotes/Moleskine mashup!

31 10 2007

This is what happens when worlds collide, kids.

I’m sure there’s a handful of you productivity mavens out there who’ve already figured this out, and it’ll be nothing new to you.  But…for those of you who rely on the cahier-style notebook (be it Moleskine, Field Notes, or otherwise) but don’t trust the durability (or your own clumsiness as the case may be) of the cover material, here’s something that might help.

The sleeve inside a Levenger International Pocket Briefcase is perfectly sized to hold a few 3×5 cards, but it’ll also hold the back cover of a 3×5-ish cahier-style notebook with just a little wee bit of modification. 

The ingredients:

1 Levenger International Pocket Briefcase (or similar substitute for 3×5 cards)


1 3×5 cahier-styled notebook


1 pair scissors (don’t run with them)


2 minutes.


The instructions:

Cut 1/4 inch strip off of the top of the back cover of the cahier. 

Recycle cover strip (a bookmark, an object to torment a sleeping housepet/spouse/boss/(insert tormentable being here), or just into the recycle bin).

(Sorry folks…no picture here.  It was too dangerous.)

Put scissors away.  Resist urge to run and/or cut hair of previously tormented being.


Carefully insert back cover of cahier into the sleeve inside the pocket briefcase.


Admire handiwork.

Look stylish.


Bask in glow of stylish productivity geekdom!

Finished product should look like this.

Remember what I told you about running with scissors.

Further thoughts: For those of you who are using this idea with fountain pens, you can still use one in the little pen sleeve in the center.  Stick with a skinny one, though.  For those of you who are the Parker Jotter type, you’ll have zero problems with this.



12 responses

31 10 2007
Patrick Rhone

OK, I now have an excuse to get the Bomber Jacket International PB… You bastard!

31 10 2007

Your wife is going to want to drive down here and bludgeon me with a large object or stick a paintbrush up my nose, isn’t she?

31 10 2007
Patrick Rhone

And that is after you beg for forgiveness. It would be her little way of saying “I forgive you”…

Seriously man, every time you post my shopping list gets longer. You gotta stop.

(Just kidding of course – keep up the great work)

7 11 2007

awsome idea. you know i have a checkbook wallet with nothing to do, sitting on my dresser. you just gave ma an idea. same as your but not the levenger. bravo and bully to you. it will help protect my cashier.

7 11 2007

Walt, let us know how it turns out, and thanks for your feedback! I really like this hack because it’s not so intrusive that it hinders the original purpose of the pocket briefcase. You can still store (and use) 3×5 cards without running into problems.

8 11 2007

How do you like Levenger’s International Briefcase? Is it worth the 58 bucks??

8 11 2007

Slo, thanks for your question. I’ve had it for quite some time now (3 years, I think?), so I purchased it when it was a little less expensive. Overall, though, it’s held up very well, and developed a very nice patina. Feels great in the hand, and the quality is very good. If I had it to do all over again, I’d still buy it – even at the $58.

12 11 2007
Fern Camacho

I found an identical product in black leather at Office Depot for $16. It really is identical, based on your photographs. It may not be the right color, or be the same quality, but it feels smooth and well-built. The product is the FranklinCovey Leather Index Card Holder, and is available on the OD website.

Thanks for the hack. Now I have an excuse to dig up my unused Cahiers.

14 11 2007

Fern, thanks for your comment. I’ve seen the Franklin Covey version of this, and for $16, if it holds up half as well as the Levenger version, then it’s probably a better bargain! If you wouldn’t mind, post a link to it, would you?

Glad you found the blog, and glad you’ve got a reason to pull out those old cahiers!

26 11 2007

Since Fern Camacho didn’t include a link and I just came across this entry:

Item #178792

I’d found almost an identical-to-the-Levenger item at a Tuesday Morning a long while back that cost me less than $10. ‘Course that was made in India, but it still looks new despite the way it’s been treated. The main difference (visually) between it and the Levenger PB is that ID slot in the Levenger version.

26 11 2007

Nice catch, Christine! Was that Tuesday Morning find a leather item? If so, that’s a first-rate bargain!

8 08 2009
My Get Things Done List » Blog Archive » Notebook Smackdown: Action Runner vs. Field Notes [The Daily Saint]

[…] Resources: Field Notes Brand Behance Action Runner Levenger-Field Notes – Moleskine Mashup Field Notes Paper Arrives LifeHacker: Field Notes Memo Book 20 Tools to Keep Your Life […]

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