Disc bound notebooks have specially punched loose sheets of paper that are bound together by small circular discs. This binding system makes it easy to customize, organize and re-organize your notebook without ruining your work or your notebook! Companies such as Myndology, Clairefontaine, Levenger, Staples, Atoma and Rollabind have their own versions of disc bound notebooks. We’d like to answer a few frequently asked questions about this style of notebook.
Is the paper interchangeable among the different brands of disc bound notebooks?
The answer is yes and no. The shape of the discs and shape of the hole punched in the paper of many brands of disc bound notebooks (such as Myndology, Clairefontaine, Staples Arc, Levenger Circa, Rollabind, Martha Steward and Atoma) is similar and therefore the paper can be used with different brands of discs. Mixing brands can make it a little bit more difficult to turn pages, so if this bothers you for best results stick to the same brand.
The “no” part of the answer is that paper sizes (and insert sizes) vary from brand to brand which might mean you don’t want to mix brands. For example, if you try to fit a metric A4 size piece of paper (approx 8.25″ x 11.75″) inside an American notebook that takes 8.5″ x 11″ paper, you’ll find that the A4 size paper is too tall so it sticks out the top/bottom of the American notebook. Some medium size American notebooks are 6.5″ x 8.5″, but a metric A5 medium size notebook is 6.5″ X 8.25″ and so on. However, it could be fine if you are using small sheets of paper inside a large size of notebook.
Are paper refills available?
Yes, most companies offer a variety of paper refills. One exception is Clairefontaine which, as of this date, has not yet made separate paper refills available for their disc bound notebooks. A suggestion for Clairefontaine users: If you’re using a Clairefontaine Clairing Koverbook you can buy a cheaper card stock covered Clairefontaine Clairing notebook and use the paper inside that as a refill for your Koverbook. Myndology offers paper refills with college ruled, graph or plain paper.
Can I punch my own paper and make my own refills?
Yes, several companies offer hole punches so that you can make your own paper refills.
Does it matter what kind of paper I use for making my own refills?
Yes, paper quality and weight do make a difference. Good quality paper that is a heavier weight than your average 20 lb copy paper will give you best results in your disc bound notebook. Clairefontaine disc bound notebooks contain 90 g bright white paper that works beautifully with fountain pens.
Can I use a punch to make my own covers?
Yes, many punches are strong enough to punch through card stock and even light weight plastic.
Can I buy accessories like dividers?
Yes, dividers and other accessories are commonly available. Myndology offers folders with pockets and 8 movable tabs for both medium and large size notebooks. Clairefontaine does not sell accessories separately, instead they include 2 book mark flaps with an integrated clear pockets to store documents, one adhesive label and 5 repositionable polypro dividers with their disc bound medium and large size Koverbooks.
Can I buy discs separately?
Many companies allow you to purchase discs separately so that you can make your own custom disc bound notebooks. The discs are made from a variety of different materials and come in different colors. Clairefontaine does not make discs available separately, but Myndology does.
Can I get different sizes of discs?
If you buy discs separately, you’ve got a bigger choice of disc size to choose from. We’ve seen discs that range in size anywhere from 3″ to 0.25″.
Of course, products change over time so some of the information in this blog post may change over time too. Do you have any tips you’d like to share about disc bound notebooks? Any questions? New discoveries? Ideas? Let us know!by