Circa Trumps Moleskine

Like you, I need a new notebook like a hole in the head. But I just might have stumbled onto something with the Circa notebook.

I have always liked the Moleskine notebook. What’s not to love? In my case, two things (which are actually common to any permanently bound notebook): (a) the pages are difficult to scan and (b) I’d always wind up writing something really personal on a page and then stop using the notebook out of fear of leaving it in the office where someone might stumble upon it.

About six months ago, I stumbled onto some info about the Levenger Circa notebook (I honestly don’t remember the first source). The Circa notebook is bound using little discs which allow for easy removal or rearranging of pages without damage. What really got my attention was their partnership with Behance.

Behance is a company closely associated with the creative design community. They’re the folks behind the 99% Conference, the Action Method, as well as their own line of physical products via a company called Creatives Outfitter. You may have heard of their well-known Dot Grid paper product line.

Anyway, Levenger sells a product called the Circa Action Method notebook. It comes stocked with dot grid and action paper filler. The paper is 80lb stock and archival quality. If you’re the type of person that appreciates the finer things, this will not disappoint.

Here are a few of the reasons I love my Circa/Behance notebook:

  • The paper is extremely high quality.
  • I can easily remove a page and scan it.
  • I can remove a previously mentioned too-personal page.
  • I can mix, match, and reorganize pages based on projects or types of paper.
  • I don’t subscribe to the Action Method philosophy, but I have learned that writing to-do’s on paper is best for me despite how much I want to be a hard-core OmniFocus user.

A well-crafted Circa notebook becomes a very flexible tool. You can add subject dividers. You can fill a section with calendar pages, a section with scratch Dot Grid paper, a section with Action Method to-do’s. Or have one section with several types of stock, and the rest of the sections devoted to different current projects. Maybe you devote one section to personal journaling, and offload those pages to a large archive Circa notebook you keep safe at home. Hopefully you get the idea that you can make it what you want.

All that to say: I really like it, and you might too.

Update (2018): I’ve been back on Moleskine for years.

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