Frequently Asked Questions about Disc Bound Notebooks

Myndology Luna Disc Bound Notebooks

Myndology Luna Disc Bound Notebooks

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.

Myndology Sync Disc Bound Notebooks

Myndology Sync Disc Bound Notebooks

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.

Myndology Plain Paper Refill

Myndology Plain Paper Refill

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.

Clairefontaine Clairing Koverbook Accessories

Clairefontaine Clairing Koverbook Accessories

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.

Myndology Disc Bound Notebooks with 5/8" Discs

Myndology Disc Bound Notebooks with 5/8″ Discs

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!

Clairefontaine Clairing Notebooks with Graph Paper

Clairefontaine Clairing Notebooks with Graph Paper

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Six Essential Back to School Supplies for 2013

Back to school is an especially exciting time for pen, pencil and paper geeks. All of those fresh school supplies in your backpack and new writing instruments in your pencil case are almost reason enough to go back to school! Here at Writer’s Bloc we are especially fond of these things and have a few suggestions for your back to school arsenal.

1) Notebooks

Need a lot of new notebooks? Check out our quantity discounts to see if there are any of your favorite Clairefontaine or Rhodia notebooks such as this set of 10 medium size lined Clairefontaine side-staple notebooks. Don’t see the notebook you’re looking for? Email us and we’ll give you a quantity discount quote. We’ve carefully planned our quantity discounts to give you the best value on both shipping and notebook price.

2) Academic Planner

Keep yourself organized with an academic planner that is specially designed to keep track of your schedule throughout the school year. The Quo Vadis Academic Minister includes 13 months of plans that run from July of one year through July of the following year. Its 8 am to 9 pm weekly schedule spread over two pages gives lots of room for tracking a detailed action-packed schedule. For something quite similar, only pocket-size, take a look at the Quo Vadis University Pocket Planner.

Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Highlighters

Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Highlighters

3) Highlighters

No school year would be complete without lots of highlighters for studying. The Staedtler Textsurfer Classic Highlighter is one of my favorites since it stands up to heavy use, can be used with inkjet printouts and can be re-inked with the Textsurfer Classic refill station. For something completely different try a Staedtler Textsurfer Gel highlighter. It has a soft wax lead that glides over paper effortlessly and will never bleed through, even on the thinnest paper.

Le Petit Prince Pencil Case by 7321 Story

Le Petit Prince Pencil Case by 7321 Story

4) Pen & Pencil Case

Corral your pens, pencils and highlighters with a flat-bottom pencil case that will sit upright on your desk. 7321 Story’s fabric Le Petit Prince Pencil Case is decorated with whimsical illustrations from the storybook by Antoine de Saint Exupery. If soft sheepskin leather is more your style the Clairefontaine Basics Square pencil case holds a good quantity of your favorite writing instruments.

Myndology Disc Bound Index Cards

Myndology Disc Bound Index Cards

5) Index Cards

Index cards are a useful tool for studying, collecting quotations, making flash cards and more. Keep your index cards in order and re-order them anytime you like with Myndology’s disc bound index cards. Exacompta index cards have grid lines so they can be used in whatever direction you want to turn them, can be color coded since they come in a pack with a variety of colors and as a bonus work well with fountain pens.  Myndology and Exacompta index cards are lined on both sides to make the most of each card.

Palomino Blackwing Pencils

Palomino Blackwing Pencils

6) Pencils & Art Supplies

Need to erase mistakes? Planning on taking a drawing and sketching class? Palomino Blackwing Pencils constantly get rave reviews from artists who prefer a soft, dark line! They are also available with a firmer lead for both writing and drawing as the Blackwing 602 pencil. Pair these pencils with a Clairefontaine Graf it sketch pad and you’ll be all set for class.

These are some of our favorite paper and writing related tools for back to school 2013. What are some of your favorites?

 

 

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Clairefontaine Clairing Disc Bound Notebooks

We’re big fans of disc bound notebooks and the flexibility that they allow, so we made a special effort to import from France some notebooks from the Clairefontaine Clairing collection. If you’ve never used disc bound notebooks, what makes them so special is the ability to easily add or remove pages and creatively re-order and organize your notebook pages whenever and however you want. All of the Clairefontaine Clairing notebooks that we have on hand at the moment are A4 size, and each one has a different type of rule – graph, graph with margin, lined with margin and French ruled. I think it would be fun to get a few Clairing notebooks with different kinds of rules and create my own custom notebook such as one with alternating graph and ruled pages, or even a notebook that has one section of graph paper, another section of French ruled paper and a third section of lined paper. I’d probably share one of these custom notebooks with a friend that has never used French ruled paper or experienced the smoothness of Clairefontaine paper.

Instructions come with each Clairing notebook showing the best way to insert and remove the pages. The copy below shows the wrong way to do it – taking the paper off the rings by pulling it sideways out of the notebook. This can cause the punches that hold the paper onto the rings to tear.

The next photo shows the best way to remove pages – by pulling them up and towards you, you can remove pages gently without tearing the punched side of the page.

To put a page back into the notebook just reverse what you did to pull them out – starting with either the top or bottom of the page gently push each punch back onto the plastic rings.

Ta-dah! Your notebook has been refreshed and reorganized.

We’re expecting to have an expanded selection of Clairing notebooks in our store sometime in May. Do you use disc bound notebooks? Why do you like them? Are there any other Clairefontaine Clairing notebooks you’d like to see available in our store? Please feel free to share your thoughts and requests!

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Myndology Bare Memo Pad Review

Myndology Bare notebooks were created with the welfare of the environment in mind. The folded 100lb laser-cut cardstock cover is made with 100% recycled paper and can be used repeatedly with Myndology paper refills. The cover colors reflect soothing colors of nature such as sand, pine and clay. The front cover has little laser-cut arrows pointing in random directions along with a Myndology logo in one corner. The back cover is plain.

Rather than being discarded when the notebook is used up, the 5/8” honey-colored plastic discs are meant to be reused over and over again with Bare paper refills. The discs, covers and paper of all Myndology notebooks are conveniently interchangeable. As we’ve mentioned in previous Myndology blog posts, the disc binding system makes it very easy to add, remove or reorganize your notebook pages.

Hydro-electric power is used to manufacture Myndology Bare paper in the USA. The cream colored paper is 70lb Text (104gsm), 100% recycled and is made using a chlorine-free production process.

One of my favorite things about this paper is that is works great with fountain pens! Whenever I think of writing with a fountain pen on recycled paper I usually think of the common problems of ink feathering and bleed through, but instead this paper is very good quality and it is a delight to write on! Minus the Sharpie pen, I experienced no ink bleed through and very little show through. Here are scans of my writing test:

The Myndology Bare Memo pad includes 60 sheets of recycled paper and is approximately 3” x 4” in size. It is also available in a larger 6.5” x 8.5” journal size. Blank paper refills are available for both sizes and college ruled refills are also available for the Bare Journal.

What are your favorite earth-friendly notebooks?

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Myndology Sync Disc Bound Journal Review

Myndology’s disc binding system creatively allows their notebooks and journals to function like wirebound notebooks that have the added flexibility of a 3-ring binder. You can easily remove, reorganize and add pages and they are refillable.

Myndology Sync notebooks and journals feature brightly colored polypropylene covers and matching discs. These covers and discs are interchangeable with other Myndology notebooks and are very durable so they can be reused again and again with Myndology refills. The Sync cover is transparent with a tiny bit of texture which allows you to see through to the contents of the first and last page of your notebook.

(Myndology Sync Journal – inside the front cover)

The journal comes with a white heavy-weight page in the front that on one side is covered with silver print dots interspersed with the words “good thinking”.

(Myndology Sync Journal – inside the front cover page 2)

The other side of this page is silver print with white action words such as “write it”, “add to it”, “an idea”, “pull it out… put it back” etc. This page can be removed or you can leave it in the journal to add a decorative geometric dot appearance to the front cover.

(Close-up of the Sync Journal disc binding)

The cover and each page of the Sync Journal is punched with a T-shaped or mushroom-shaped punch to comfortably fit each of the discs. To remove pages from this disc-bound journal, you simply pull the page gently from the top towards you (do not pull from the side of the page out). To add pages to the journal, line up the page you want to add with the discs and gently push down where each disc is. It’s hard to describe it with words, so here is a link to a short video you can watch courtesy of Myndology.

The white paper inside the Myndology Sync Journal has lots of credentials beside the fact that it is made in the USA: 70lb text, 96brt, SFI Certified, FSC Certified, and elementally chlorine free. In case you are more familiar with metric paper weight, 70lb text translates into 104gsm. The paper is college ruled with margin, and the grey lines are spaced about 3/8” or 7mm apart. None of the lines go all the way to the edge of the page. There is a space at the top of each page for a date or running header and the lower right corner of each page says either “good thinking” or “Myndology”.

(Myndology Sync Journal college ruled paper)

Is the paper fountain pen friendly? Some ink bled through the paper and there was a slight bit of feathering, so take a look at the writing samples and decide for yourselves. (The paper in Myndology Bare notebooks and journals works very well with fountain pens – we’ll talk about that in a future post.)

(Myndology Sync Journal writing test – front)

(Myndology Sync Journal writing test – back)

Myndology created all of their disc bound notebooks to have interchangeable parts – covers, discs and paper – so that you can mix and match if you want. For example, I added a couple of reminders to this journal: one came from a Luna Note pad and the other came from a Bare Memo pad. The notes can easily be removed later when I’m done with these tasks.

(Sync Journal with pages from Luna Note pad and Bare Memo pad)

The Myndology Sync Journal comes with 60 sheets of paper and paper refills or folders+tabs can be purchased separately. Paper refills for the journal come with 60 sheets and are available in ruled, blank or graph formats. The journal page size is about 6.5” x 8.5” and the eight discs are about 5/8” in diameter. Myndology Sync notebooks also come in letter, index and note sizes.

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Introduction to Myndology

While teaching English in Japan, the creator of the company now known as Myndology noticed that the Japanese students learning English used flashcards bound together by a ring. He decided to use this method of ring-bound flashcards himself to learn Japanese and became addicted to this flexible method of organization.

After returning to the USA, a friend’s cat-related study card disaster made him remember those ring-bound flashcards from Japan. He realized that American students could benefit greatly from a similar system of flashcards and started a company called Mindbinders run out of his parent’s garage in Wisconsin.

Eventually this company changed its name to Myndology, and also attained the rights to distribute a very cool line of notebooks from Belgium called Atoma. These notebooks are disc bound – another system of binding that creatively allows pages to be removed, reorganized and added with flexibility and freedom. They even sell a punch that allows you to make your own disc bound notebooks!

Myndology paper is 100% manufactured in the USA and 100% of the assembly is done in the USA. Only the standard Disc Bound Covers and discs are imported from Belgium.

The goal of Myndology is: “to make stationery that helps you create, study and do whatever it is you want to do. … The tagline ‘good thinking’ says it all. Cleverly simple solutions to making the best stationery products in the world.”

New to Writer’s Bloc are Myndology disc bound journals, notebooks, memo pads and index cards. If you’ve never tried a disc bound notebook and are wondering how it works, here’s a brief video from Myndology that will help you visualize how flexible these notebooks really are.

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