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Leather 3 X 5 Card Holders- Your Experience


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#1 RussG

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 00:40

Levinger has a "pocket briefcase" for its 3 x 5 note cards. Crane has a similar leather holder for its note cards. has anyone seen or used either or both and can provide any insight as to differences between each? thanks.

#2 JefferyS

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 00:44

Levenger. Mine has been through the washing machine several times, and is about 7 years old.
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#3 cellmatrix

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 13:50

I have a Levenger international pocket briefcase, and its a good product, but I hardly use it for two reasons:

1) If you put a fountain pen in it, its extremely bulky, and if you are not a person who wears a sport coat or carries a purse around all the time, its not going to fit easily into your pants pockets.

2) finding local fountain pen friendly 3 by 5 index cards that don't feather badly is a very hit and miss experience, mostly miss if, like me, you are not a fan of extra fine nibs and very dry writing inks. I heard there were some fountain pen friendly cards (topps?) at target once, but that was long ago, the current ubiquitous ones Ampad, Oxford all perform very badly in my experience.

edit to add-- are the crane cards any good? or does anyone else have a fountain pen friendly 3 by 5 card they can recommend? (I would imagine that the OP is interested in this too!)

Edited by cellmatrix, 12 September 2011 - 15:21.


#4 KrazyIvan

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 14:22

I had the Levenger but found I did not use it. I ended up selling it here. I also have a Renaissance Art 3"x5" 3 ring binder with pen loop in black leather with blue leather interior. I don't use that one much either.

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I just rather slip some index cards in my folio or in the back of a notebook.

#5 JohnS-MI

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 15:02

I have two of the Levenger model:

*The simple shirt pocket briefcase has two compartments for holding cards (fresh/used or however you wish to arrange) and some tabs that hold cards exposed for writing. If you don't stuff cards in it, it is about one-tenth inch thick, but with cards it can bulk up.
*The International pocket briefcase is better suited for a suit coat. It has all the above plus a cover flap with more pockets, and a large wallet pocket. Empty, it is 0.25" and can bulk up a lot more. For travel, the pockets are good for receipts you have to save, foreign currency that is larger than US currency, etc.

I use the shirt pocket one quite frequently, the International ONLY for travel.


It is hard to find FP-friendly 3 x 5 cards. Levenger used to be good, and I have a small remaining supply of their cards. Many have reported here the newer Levenger cards are not so good. To make that supply last, I have bought other cards; they are generally fair to poor and I use them for less critical uses (and with nibs and inks less likely to cause feathering)

Edited by JohnS-MI, 12 September 2011 - 15:03.


#6 DriedUpBob

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 18:48

I've carried the Levenger version (without pen loop) off and on for about 10 years and like a previous pster several trips through the Maytag. It has held up very well and the leather has worn gracefully. The cards are mediocre so I found myself just reloading with import cheapies as I use the cards for more than writing on but that's a whole nuther thread.

+1 for the Levenger

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#7 Nolan613

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 22:48

Had the Levenger pocket briefcase for several years. Love the leather, hate their cards. Still use the case but have done better with cards from Walmart.

+1 for Levenger.
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#8 Joe in Seattle

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 23:01

I have the Crane in British tan. Very sost, well finished leather. I use it with Crane cards - pricy, but lovely to write on. I haven't gone to the expense to have them printed. The ones I buy have a horizontal quill pen in sepia across the top. Bought on sale, and in bulk not too bad. I love writing on all my Crane papers.
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#9 PJohnP

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 23:05

The Crane leather model is well made and holds the cards neatly. Crane replacement cards are available with the card holder in Office Depot at a reasonable price. The plastic card holder is not as well made, and doesn't offer a large difference in price, so I recommend the leather model.



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#10 tmenyc

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 23:35

I got so disappointed with card quality (crane is too rich for my diet...) that I put my ancient pocket briefcase away and switched to a small Apia notebook, the larger version of which I use for meeting notes. It has generally worked well but sometimes I miss cards.

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#11 Pippin60

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 00:07

Had the Levenger pocket briefcase for several years. Love the leather, hate their cards. Still use the case but have done better with cards from Walmart.

+1 for Levenger.


Same here, I've tried the Levneger cards they're not too bad, but I also have found TOPS brand 3x5 cards to be quite fountain pen friendly. The last place I found them was Target and Walmart.

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#12 pmsalty

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 01:25

I have used a Buxton 3x5 leather holder for about 5 years. It has held up quite well, it cost about $7.50..
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#13 ommoran

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:53

+1 for the Levenger which I bought from e-bay for about $15. I love mine, very useful when I'm at tradeshows, business lunches - anywhere my notebook can't go.

I'm a big fan of GTD (whole 'nother thread) so the cards to me are immaterial and disposable. It's write it down for later process, period.

#14 vickiehof

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 17:36

After reading about leather 3 x 5 card holders in this forum last year, I bought a Franklin Covey # 755235. In addition to holding the cards, it's a great place to store: credit card receipts, an extra credit card or my other plastic cards to free up space in my small wallet, extra emergency cash, business cards etc. I find that I'm constantly jotting down notes, good books to read and other tidbits of information which I may not want to type out on my iphone notepad icon. I wish it was available in more colors. Black items seem to get lost in the black abyss of my purse.

Somehow, I have accumulated over 18 packs of 3 x 5 cards (store clearance sales, yard sales, and thrift shops). I don't care about the quality of the cards because, as Ommaran said, these cards are "immaterial and disposable", like a Post-it-note.

#15 radellaf

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 17:19

I have a no-loop pocket breifcase and... found it pretty useless. Nicely made, sure it's great in the right circumstance, but I just cannot find or even make up a situation for myself where I could actually use it. I looked up Get it Done, but... too much work. Would have saved me some embarassment and expense a few times in my life if I used something like that consistently.

So, good with their leather. Not so much with the neoprene, if they offer that. My 3 pen holder was stored next to the PB and the outside is kinda flaking off. I should see if they have a waranty or something, place like that might.

Oh, good index cards. How about the exacompta ones Goulet sells? 4x6 only, but possibly the smaller ones could be special ordered?

Edited by radellaf, 16 September 2011 - 17:22.

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#16 rickn99

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 18:17

I used a Levenger one for years, mainly for shopping lists. I left it on a counter at a store when picking up an order and, by the time I realized it and returned, someone else had a nice leather pocket briefcase. Now I use a cheap fake leather and cloth one that I got at Staples or OfficeMax.

#17 FearNot

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 23:29

Used a "pocket briefcase" from Office Depot, I believe. Rather large for carrying around in shirt pocket (left no room for glasses or pen). Now I just carry a small business card case. Don't take much in the way of notes, but it's good for jotting down quick information - much handier than 3X5 cards IMHO.

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#18 Chrontius

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 06:48

The Cutter & Buck pocket briefcase I ended up with was a garage sale find probably left over from a corporate promotion or retreat; I wish I had cleaned them out at the time, as they wanted like two bucks for each, and they had a few. :bonk: Does Cutter & Buck still make these? They look pretty nicely made, in spite of the corporate branding.

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#19 RussG

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 20:22

thanks to everyone who replied. this was the kind of feedback I was looking for. Now I have to make a decision.

#20 RudyR

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 22:15

Renaissance Art has cardholders and 3 x 5 custom prints available. Maybe with a little input from our community the would get a paper for their stock that is FP friendly, if it isn't already.
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#21 dapv

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 22:18

RenArt is all about FP friendly paper.
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#22 swduncan

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 23:58

Levinger has a "pocket briefcase" for its 3 x 5 note cards. Crane has a similar leather holder for its note cards. has anyone seen or used either or both and can provide any insight as to differences between each? thanks.


I have one of the simpler Levenger ones. I probably got it in the middle to late 90's. I don't think the holder is as important as how well 3x5 cards fit your needs. When I was an engineer I used a lot of scratch paper. I'd be out on the production floor and record drawing numbers that needed changes, or part numbers or whatever. For that, the pocket briefcase concept worked well. I'd keep the cards and that was nice insurance. When I got into the habit of dating things it was even better. It's also great paper to have near the phone. One of the keys to it's usefulness is that the card is easy to hand to someone else.

Later, when I left engineering, I used them much less and found a notebook much more useful. I needed history more than speed, so a notebook made sense. It remains that way today.

Based on my experience, a pen loop was not so useful as I carried the case in a shirt pocket. I needed a spot for new cards, a spot for used cards, and that was it. the Levenger model had that and worked well. At the time I bought the grid cards from Levenger, but now I'd take a ream of 120lb cover stock to the local printer and have it cut. Much cheaper, and the lines never really added value.
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#23 arcaneradio

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 15:08

I like using 3x5 cards for jotting notes especially if I'm making a short shopping list or I need to give someone written information. That way I'm not tearing more paper out of my notebook. I use library card pockets that I glue in my notebook front cover to hold a few.
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#24 lovemy51

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 06:36

I had the Levenger but found I did not use it. I ended up selling it here. I also have a Renaissance Art 3"x5" 3 ring binder with pen loop in black leather with blue leather interior. I don't use that one much either.

Posted Image

I just rather slip some index cards in my folio or in the back of a notebook.

this one looks cool!
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#25 dapv

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 12:42

swduncan: I liked the insight and experience you offered about 3x5 cards and was wondering, re: "I used them much less and found a notebook much more useful. I needed history more than speed, so a notebook made sense. It remains that way today." which notebook do you use and in what format? Thank you.


Levinger has a "pocket briefcase" for its 3 x 5 note cards. Crane has a similar leather holder for its note cards. has anyone seen or used either or both and can provide any insight as to differences between each? thanks.


I have one of the simpler Levenger ones. I probably got it in the middle to late 90's. I don't think the holder is as important as how well 3x5 cards fit your needs. When I was an engineer I used a lot of scratch paper. I'd be out on the production floor and record drawing numbers that needed changes, or part numbers or whatever. For that, the pocket briefcase concept worked well. I'd keep the cards and that was nice insurance. When I got into the habit of dating things it was even better. It's also great paper to have near the phone. One of the keys to it's usefulness is that the card is easy to hand to someone else.

Later, when I left engineering, I used them much less and found a notebook much more useful. I needed history more than speed, so a notebook made sense. It remains that way today.

Based on my experience, a pen loop was not so useful as I carried the case in a shirt pocket. I needed a spot for new cards, a spot for used cards, and that was it. the Levenger model had that and worked well. At the time I bought the grid cards from Levenger, but now I'd take a ream of 120lb cover stock to the local printer and have it cut. Much cheaper, and the lines never really added value.


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#26 swduncan

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 02:05

For a while I used accounting record books. They're usually pretty high quality, have decent paper, are easy to find. They're all ruled, but that was ok. When Moleskine became available I started using those. I bounced between blank, ruled, and grid and settled on grid until very recently. Now I've switched to the dotted pattern Leuchtturm1917, and I'm happier than ever.

I first used the pocket sized Moleskine, but then switched to the 5x8 size. It's big enough to not look silly on a boardroom table, but small enough to carry easily. When I travel, sometimes I will take a thin pocket sized book just for that trip because I don't want to risk losing a whole book. When I was working on more secret stuff that was an issue, but the work I do now has very little of that.

[quote name='dapv' timestamp='1318596125' post='2129212']
swduncan: I liked the insight and experience you offered about 3x5 cards and was wondering, re: "I used them much less and found a notebook much more useful. I needed history more than speed, so a notebook made sense. It remains that way today." which notebook do you use and in what format? Thank you.


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#27 dapv

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 02:47

Appreciate your thoughts, thank you.
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#28 MicheleB

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 04:58

I have the Levenger pocket briefcase and I love it and use it almost everyday. I keep it handy to jot down notes or grocery lists or where I parked the dang car! What I have done to make this the perfect jotter for me:

1) cut a slit in the back of the leather so I can slide a FP in there. This way I always have a pen handy. Just slit the leather, not the silky liner. Pen slips between leather and liner so you can still use the slots for cards etc.

2) carry a Namiki Decimo (te VP is too big) which is quick to pull out and jot a note with

3) got bulk card stock, cut at UPS store into perfect 3x5 cards. I selected Domtar 65 lb. Search FPN for preferred "index card" stock - there are many threads such as : http://www.fountainp...r-fountain-pen/

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#29 blopplop

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 01:40

I'm not going to knock Levenger because I know they have great stuff. I've used their products for years. But for my money, I don't think you can beat the line up of 3x5 card stuff from Renaissance Art.

I carry index cards every day and here are the two I use and have used for several years.

http://www.renaissan...1/category.aspx

Plus their return policy for damaged stuff is the best. If your dog chews the thing to pieces, they'll fix it for free.

http://www.renaissan...aspx?ID=182&L=1



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#30 dapv

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 15:02

blopplop: couldn't agree more about RenArt. Not sure which two you use as there are three shown in the pic. I keep thinking if I get one, then it should have some kind of pen attached to it. What are your thoughts about a pen sleeve, etc? Thanks.
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