« Why We Are Entering the Golden Age of Books Don’t Stop Reading to Your Kids – Part 2 of 2 | Main | Behind the Design: History in Your Lap »

October 12, 2008



Yes, I agree paper will be around much longer. I also posit that if I can get more paper products that would have the flexibility to include more ways that I want to use it, I would be extremely happy. While I have all the technology products, when I really want to study hard, I choose to do it on paper. Sometimes the screen of a computer gets tiring.

Paul Lagasse

Readers who enjoy innovative Circa applications should check out D*I*Y Planner (www.diyplanner.com), which features lots of designs for planner and calendar pages and templates, discussion forums, reviews, you name it.

Several years ago I converted the paper side of my freelance writing business workflow over to Circa and related products, and it does indeed "keep up" with Word, e-mail, and the Web. After using a Circa PDA in conjunction with her palm, my wife switched to Circa notebooks for her law school classes and her law library job. No one thinks we're Luddites, either!

I invite you to read my blog posts about using Circa for freelancers at my business blog: http://www.avwrites.com/wordpress/?cat=6


I teach logarithms. I think that rather than saying "not with the logarithmic growth of technological capability" you wanted to say "exponential growth." Logarithms grow very slowly. The graph of y = log(x) doesn't equal 2 until x = 100. Whereas its inverse (exponential) function y = 10^x reaches 100 when x = 2.

Marilyn Gustin

I use Circa for many things, included "keeping track" of articles, etc. that I have written. Yes, I write on a PC, but ideas, possibilities, hard copies, etc. all go into a Circa arrangement. One compelling feature of paper, and therefore Circa, is its tactical satisfaction. Many people, myself too, find machines hard and stultifying. Paper, though--and especially wonderful paper like Levenger's--feeds something deeper in me than any machine ever can. It helps my creativity, too, which as a writer is vital to my being. So --thanks for keeping paper, pens and Circa alive and well! Question: when notebooks are stored vertically, what could we design for a title on the binder-edge?


In WW II, the fighter pilots and bomber navigators used an aluminum circular computer to calculate times, distances, fuel use, etc. When electronic gadgets became popular, I took a class where the instructor gave us some problems to solve. As we solved the problem, we had to hold up our hand with one finger up for electronic computer and 2 fingers up if we used the old circular computer. Most of us using the "old fashioned" system were done long before the folks with electronic gadgets!

The WW II circular computers are still being used.

Diane F. Williamson

I would hate to see paper become obsolete. As an artist(?), I love the feel and look of paper, and nothing can replace the mind-tool-paper connection in displaying the emotion and the personality of the author. Just as handwriting provides a direct personal interconnection with the input being acted on, so does the surface of the paper.

Dick Davies

I run Notabilia and Circa Junior Systems. Years ago I took my new MacBook into a meeting with a customer. He was accustomed to my taking notes of our discussions in a paper notebook--the computer was new. As I was typing away, he said, "You're not listening!" I showed him that I was taking down his thinking verbatim. He was still upset. Since then I take notes on paper, and have noticed people tell me more than when I tape or type.


Since you're borrowing from computer technology, why not upgrade your notebooks from paper to plastic or steel pages. A special pen that writes with an erasable substance would be an improvement. It would have to be of a nature that would not be accidentally erased, so maybe an ink requiring a special solution to remove it would have to be developed. I think maybe a dual purpose notebook would probably be more useful; a notebook with a view screen which could be downloadable from a computer and which would contain pages on which to write. The best of both worlds.

Eve in Georgia

Heaven forfend paper should disappear. When computers were spawned, experts predicted "paperless offices." Didn't happen: Ask a hospital employee...if anything, computers are responsible for more paper.

A writer, I ultimately learned to use a computer, but my first drafts are written on Levenger Notationery with Seaglass pen or good pencil. Words aren't 'real' for me on a screen -- not 'til I hold the paper; feel it as I read. I can't be alone in this.


Paper can work in a variety of situations where computers never can.

I can't practice drawing my kanji (Japanese characters) on a PC. Recognition, yes. Writing, no. That takes pen and paper.

Computers aren't good for scribbling or for idea bubbles that point at each other in crazy ways for brainstorming. For that, paper rocks.

I podcast and my way of podcasting is to prepare a script in advance, then read it into the microphone. I use my PC to record and I have to keep glancing at the sound levels every so often to make sure they're staying level. I can't swap between my recording software (Audacity) and Word to go between my sound levels and my script. That would lead to a clicking noise from the keys. So I have a paper script laid out in front of me.

There is a magic to paper that breaks writer's block. It's commonly suggested that a blocked author should switch to a different color ink or a different color or size paper. For some reason this can unclog the works and make the words flow again. Computers can't do this. For me, when I'm writing a tricky scene, I can't do it straight to the computer. I need the flow of ink across a page. A very tricky scene requires nothing less than the high-quality paper stock of a Levenger's notebook or pad.


We readers and writers cannot fail to mention the aroma of paper. One of my favorite characteristics of paper is its smell--something that cannot be replicated by a computer. Then as we write, the ink unleashes its own scent to mingle with that of the paper. A unique bouquet!


You can't always take your laptop with you all the places you want to go. Plus, there's the sensuous nature of paper, fountain pens with colored ink (hey, what's with the discontinued colors, anyway?), and the cool leather products to put the paper (and the electronic) things in.

Jean Manley

All you need is a power failure and your information is unavailable with a computer. Or, the darned thing will crash (guess who has experienced that!) and all the information is gone forever. Reach for the notebook, enter all your email addresses and other information and it is there forever. I use your circa notebooks for everything. My favorite size is the compact because it fits in my purse and fits well in my hand. Love the way the cover folds under and makes the surface smooth and easy to write on. Keep up the good work!!!!! Paper forever!!!!!
anonymous from Edmonds


I want to attest to the value of your circa bar in Tysons. One of your concierges was showing me the "junior" format, showing me how an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet fits when folded in half. I use a Google calendar, which prints in that size, so I punch the short side and fold it into my circa. Almost as good as my notabilia!

Krasna Svoboda

I love my computer and my iPhone--wouldn't do without them and use them all day long. But get rid of paper and pens? Nope. They don't really substitute for each other; they are complementary. Like letters, phone calls, email and text messages, they support different processes. Circa is very appealing, but for me, there are two barriers I haven't overcome yet: (1) need to invest in a rather expensive paper punch; and (2) still not clear what the advantages are over loose-leaf binders that don't require the specialized punch.

Andrea Stile

I use my CIRCA notebook & address books daily. Even though I am a Graphic Designer with lots of hours on the computer, I still prefer a "notebook" style of calendar for organizing my life! Another of my favorites = CIRCA "write, imagine & create" book.

The CIRCA varieties make great gifts too. I appreciate the quality products you offer at LEVENGER! Thank you.


I purchased a Circa set not long after they came out. I now have 4 and have purchased another for a friend here at work! I work in Corporate HR / payroll, and I'm also a notary public. I have one journal to keep track of calls that come in and the status of each for the inquiries (great to have handy while you are actively working on a problem and then you can take the pages out and place in the person's file when everything is solved), one for all my notary appointments and needs, one to keep with me with all my contacts, passwords and website addresses, and lastly one at home by the bed for any notes I think of or things to take care of there.


I do a lot of 11x17 drawing packages. I would love it if Levenger would make 11x17 clear covers for this! (notches on the 11" side)

Anne-Marie Gallagher

I've been a Levenger fan for years, but only recently re-discovered Circa and how wonderful it is. I'm in the process of switching everything over to Circa: address book, organizer, recipes, home management, dining and take-out, stamp collection, and daily journal entries are the "books" I've made so far. I credit Charles Gasparon, of the State Street store, with helping me brainstorm everything I could do with Circa. He really goes the extra in every way, whether it's calling other stores and arranging things to be sent to me that they don't have in the State Street store or tirelessly running to the inventory room to see if there is a particular product in, or sharing with me all kinds of tips and tips to make Circa even more efficient and

PS I've also written a bunch of posts on my blog about Circa:

Paradise Found: The Perfect Organizer

Re-Thinking the Basics: Calendars, Address Books, and Task Lists or To-Dos (this one is how, after re-discovering Circa, I went a little Levenger-crazy. Oops!)

Using Notes to Maximize Your Organizer's Functionality

Address Books: They're Not Just For A-Z Anymore

Setting Up Your Recipe Notebook

Using a Binder or Circa Notebook to Organize Recipes

Back to the Dread List: Using an Organizer To Manage the Details

are just a few entries where Circa Notebooks are prominently featured. :-)

Harvey Dickerson

I too love your Circa. Tysons Corner store is great! The Circa Bar and the pen station are fantastic ideas that allow customers to figure out their style. I would love to see you expand the different page formats and bring back the Daily Expenses page you used to include in the sampler. Thank you for the 2 page per day calendar pages, they allowed me to give up my FC planner and put everything in one book!


Circa sounds like a great thing. One problem that keeps me from getting it - I'm left handed. I love paper, and I would love notebooks if they would allow me to punch on the "wrong" side of the page so I don't end up with ink stains on my hands and shirts (by definition of loving paper, I also love pens and inks). What's the solution for the lefties?

Steve Leveen

Dear Mojo,

Our Freeleaf paper can be punched on either side and pressed into Circa notebooks--as good for lefties as righties. Here's a link for you: http://www.levenger.com/PAGETEMPLATES/PRODUCT/Product.asp?Params=Category=322-684|Level=2-3|PageID=5439


Mark Cardenas

I really enjoy using my Circa in the junior size in my busy office environment...not too cumbersome to carry along everywhere I go from exec meetings to production floor. I am disappointed that the junior size softfolio was discontinued and there are no other non-zipper folios with magnet available...is there hope for the return of more junior size non zipper folios? THX


I love the idea of 11x17 in your Circa line. I've been developing a game for a few years and keep everything but my 11x17 maps and diagrams in Circa format. Since I religiously use your oasis pads for 11x17 concepts and storyboarding, the paper is sturdy and holds up fine in my non-fancy folder, but the perfectionist in me wants the whole game to be circa bound. Any thoughts about 11x17? Also, it would be awesome if you sold the disks with tiny letters mounted somewhere so I could label my binders. Just a thought... Love you, Levenger!!!!

Phil S.

The one thing I now enjoy is integrating my Circa system with my LiveScribe system. I now have both a paper AND a digital reference to all my work.

For those who don't know, LiveScribe is a toolset with a smartpen and paper system that records everything you write, along with the accompanying audio should you annotate your notes or take them during a meeting. I never lose anything now - if I forget a specific, I touch the LiveScribe page at the appropriate point in my notes and it feeds back the information in real-time.

So if I could only get their customized paper to fit in the Circa - well I CAN. The LiveScribe desktop application has a utility to generate your own paper. Each page is unique and works just like a preprinted notebook. With my Circa page-punch, I simply add the pages to the binder, and voila - instant integration of paper and technology!

It would be great if Levenger worked with LiveScribe to generate paper for the binders. Maybe some day...

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)