A8 micronotepad

If you’ve met me in the last years, there’s a good chance you’ve seen me whip out a tiny notepad at some point to write something down. This notepad is pretty much two bank cards, with a bit of duct tape as a ‘spine’ and an elastic band to keep the paper in. This design came out of a need to have a completely portable way to take notes.

A mostly white bank card on a wood veneer table. A piece of silver duct tape is visible on the left side, joining it to another bank card behind. A notch is cur out at the right hand side, and an indent is visible into which a magnet is recessed.

The notepad opened. A small piece, folded in half, rises upwards. The magnet and corresponding metal strip of the closing mechanism are visible in corresponding sides, masked with duct tape. The elastic band holding the paper to the notepad is visible vertically.

Yes, I do have my phone with me most of the time, but not all the time, and sometimes it’s out of power, and I usually like to have it off—especially when I’m having interesting conversations. Even when it’s on ‘do not disturb’ mode, I feel the temptation to break conversation to check a fact or find a link, which noticeably harms my attention span and imagination. (I also keep my devices out of the room I sleep in, try to turn them on as late into the day as possible and off as early into the evening as possible. Digital health, yeah!)

I added the notches to make it a bit easier to open. The indent for the magnet I think I just made with brute force and a round object… doing so allows the notepad to close more tightly, and less likely to open in error. In case you’re interested, the ‘standard’ bank card size is 85.6 mm × 53.98 mm, as per the ID-1 format of ISO / IEC 7810.

A diagram showing the overlapping format of ISO/IEC 7810. ID-1 is smaller than ID-2 or ID-3, but much bigger than ID-000
By Someone's Moving Castle, CC BY-SA 3.0

A piece of A7 (ISO 216!) folded in half, fits nicely inside to give four sides of A8. A7 can be made by cutting a piece of A4 in half, lengthwise 3 times, or by cutting a piece of A5 in half, lengthwise twice.

A size chart illustrating the ISO A series, from A0 to A8. Each increasing number is half the size of the previous number, lengthwise.
By User:Bromskloss, CC BY-SA 3.0

I’d love to find other low-tech personal information management enthusiasts! Improvements to this design? Let me know! (I especially dislike using duct tape for the spine, which needs to be replaced every ~year)