March 9, 2016

Levenger Cira Notebook

Levenger Cira

My favorite reliable notebook tool is my Levenger Circa notebook. I have been using my leather bound cover version off and on for about ten years now. It holds a lot of my reference materials and every once in a while, I’ll bring it to a meeting to take notes. It may seem strange to even think of spending money on a notebook system with so many tools available on tablets.

What is Circa System?

Levenger description of the Circa System:

Incomparable quality and constant innovation set Circa apart from any other note-taking system. With pages that can be removed, rearranged or transferred to other notebooks with ease, versatile Circa brings note-taking to a new level of convenience. All our Circa notebooks are stocked with substantial, warm white 90-gsm Circa paper, friendly to all ink types. Make Circa your own with covers in rich full-grain leather and brightly colored book cloth; Circa discs in a variety of colors, finishes and sizes; and enhancements and accessories that allow you to customize Circa to meet your specific needs.

How I use my Circa

I use my Circa as my offline personal reference guide. It has all sorts of information that I can get in an instant, in some cases faster than searching in Evernote. I have page tabs to break content up into four major categories; Work, Personal, Website, and Reference. Here are some of the data that I currently store:

  • Bootstrap blog image size guidelines
  • TextExpander Short cuts
  • Quarterly project projections
  • Common Unix Commands
  • Boston Public Schools 2015-2016 Calendar (Basically a school year on a page.)
  • Blank pages for when I need to jot something in a meeting.
  • This years work goals which was defined at last year's performance review.
  • Extra Business Cards - You never know when you'll need to hand them out!

Five Personal Productive Tips using the Circa Notebook

If you're new to the Cira system, go with the starter kit from Levenger. Work with it for about a month and see if it helps you. You can start small, perhaps create a Circa reference guide for your home.

I like using the Circa Annotation Ruled Refill Sheets. While the paper is a bit expensive than standard paper, it's totally worth the investment. When I write out notes with the annotation rule sheets, I tend to focus on putting practical information on the page.

Get the Levenger Circa Universal Desk Punch. With the puncher, you can create your own cool reference guides or find online cheat sheets of your favorite applications and customize your book. My home notebook has project invoices from people that did various home improvements.

I find that the 3/4 circa disks to be the perfect notebook size. The leather bound cover is a good long term investment. I commute with mine frequently and there's very little wear and tear to show.

When possible, take your Cira Notebook to a meeting. I use it because I know I won’t get distracted by some email notification or someone pinging me on Slack. I have a couple of blank sheets in the notebook that I can use for free writing. After the meeting, I will spend time reorganizing my notes nicely on an annotation ruled sheet.

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