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Hello! I just recently posted a long (and very picture heavy) review of the Arc notebook system from Staples on my blog. If you would like to read it, you can find it here.

 

However, in case you don't have time to head over there and read the full post, here's my closing thoughts:

 

Overall, I highly recommend this notebook system if you are looking for something more polished than a binder but that has all the same wonderful features and conveniences. They aren’t cheap, at ~$25 for the basic leather notebook, $3+ per accessory and refill pack, and ~$45 got the punch. On the other hand, I’ve heard this system is much more affordable than the one by Levenger while looking just as nice, so the cost issue will have to be a personal decision. I can tell you that I think you get a lot of utility for your money, and I haven’t regretted my purchase at all.

 

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Fountain pen blog | Personal blog

 

Current collection: Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI Vac 700, Kaweco Al Sport, Lamy Safari, Nemosine Singularity

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I've got one - same size (half letter) in Lime Green. I love it. I especially like being able to insert or remove pages at any point. I've heard that the half letter doesn't work well with the largest discs, but I don't know that from personal experience. I've got the 1" discs, but I do wish I had more room. It's a pain to take it all apart and put it back together to add the largest discs, but that is an option. However, if I increased the size to the largest discs, it would be too bulky for me. I've got half a year's calendar in it because the entire year is too big. Of course, the entire year would fit if I didn't have so much other stuff in it - ARC paper for notes (which is very FP friendly), tabbed sections, plastic sheet holders, post-it notes, etc. I bought the punch too, and it works great. It's an excellent system, and I highly recommend it.

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I have the Levenger in the larger size and it worked very well for me in my workplace setting. It was very attractive and it was easier for me to write with the layout.

 

Then I was shopping in my local Staples and found the ARC system. It was on sale and I was able to get the junior size lime green leather binder for about $14. I thought it would be perfect to carry with me for household tracking. Grocery list, to-do's etc. Surprisingly the paper was fountain pen friendly.

 

I was glad to see comments regarding the punch as I wanted to purchase but was unsure. It looks like spacing is the same between Levenger and ARC, so would same punch work for both systems. Also could large punch work for both sized of paper, not sure if there would be a way to adjust for multiple sizes of paper.

 

Also our Staples seems to have ARC on sale relatively often When I purchased mine, there was an in store coupon at the ARC display.

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vibeinfinite

I carry my Arc notebook daily. My only complaint is that the front and back cover feel like pieces of drywall sandwiched between leather, occupying 50 pages worth of volume. Still, I dont mind having it around because drywall don't break easy and the notebook doubles as a frisbee-- to be used on offenders when our circumstances necessitate self-protection.

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I've heard that the half letter doesn't work well with the largest discs, but I don't know that from personal experience. I've got the 1" discs, but I do wish I had more room.

 

I am thinking about ordering some of the aluminum Levenger disks in the 1" size, because I've heard they are wayyyyy smoother. I find that my pages don't turn very smoothly even with the 1" plastic disks from Arc...

 

I carry my Arc notebook daily. My only complaint is that the front and back cover feel like pieces of drywall sandwiched between leather, occupying 50 pages worth of volume. Still, I dont mind having it around because drywall don't break easy and the notebook doubles as a frisbee-- to be used on offenders when our circumstances necessitate self-protection.

 

Haha, I've never thought to use my Arc for protection! :-) I can't use my Arc as an EDC because it's just a bit too big with the disks and leather cover (which adds an inch or so to the width) so it stays in my apartment.

Fountain pen blog | Personal blog

 

Current collection: Pilot Vanishing Point, TWSBI Vac 700, Kaweco Al Sport, Lamy Safari, Nemosine Singularity

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I got one of these, though I want to get the hole puncher for it as the paper natively for it is kind of on the high price and isn't as good as some of my other papers for fountainpens.

 

Thinking bout getting the 150 page capacity discs (1") for the $2.50 so I can load up some more pages and still have the cover flipped back without curling the page.

 

Seems the Staples branded hole puncher is around $42 and makes the holes a little tight for the discs, where as the Circ hole punchers are tailored to be a little easier to move on the disc.

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I've also started using Arc and quite like it for work notes (it's not a great solution for long term journaling or storage though, for that I'll still use bound notebooks and binders), one thing that I'd really like to try is get some stone paper that works well with FP ink and punch that for the Arc system, because then I'll have swappable, washable note pages, it'll be like carrying a dry erase board with me wherever I go (this is probably just a pipe dream, but it could happen, and I hope it does).

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I've used a Circa system for years for notebooks. I customize the notebooks with the pages I want, tabbed dividers, calendars, reference pages, phone numbers, etc. I print and punch my own paper, hence the quality of the punch is paramount. I find that the newer Levenger punch makes a slightly larger hole than the usual punch (like the Rollabind one), and that makes it easier to turn the pages. 1" discs on a half-letter (Classic or Junior size) is a little big. I find that big discs get in the way of my hand when I'm writing on the back side of the page. It's a personal thing. YMMV.

 

Levenger's discs were nicely finished than the Rollabind discs I bought, albeit more expensive. I had to trim and polish the Rollabind discs to get them to work well. Dunno about the Arc products, because Staples has no store in our state. Wish they would!

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I have combinations of the Arc and Circa systems, and the disks for both as well as for the original Rollabind. I like the Arc paper well enough and the price is half that of Levenger's Circa. I buy Levenger on sale only. I have a Rollabind punch and two Circa desk punches (I used to have one at work and one at home, both are home now), and so I feel no need to purchase an Arc punch. I have leather binders from Arc and Circa, and I have plain plastic binders. I use a bomber jacket zip folio in the half page size from Levenger Circa for my daily planner, but with Arc planner pages. I have all sizes imaginable and available. I love the systems' functionality, so I put up with the occasional page annoyances from combining the systems. The annoyances are rather minor, really, compared to the adaptability of the systems.

 

Since Office Depot is about to come out with their version, I suspect there will be even more mixing of systems in the near future, depending on price and fp friendliness.

Scribere est agere.

To write is to act.

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Danitrio Fellowship

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Ended up buying the Arc Punch today at Staples since the 40% Off Coupon expires tomorrow, seems they must have revised their punches cuz the holes the Arc one makes aren't any stiffer than the paper that come pre-punched so no worries bout it not gliding well around the discs.

 

I also purchased a pack of 1" disc to upgrade the capacity of my notebook to 150.

 

Using the Punch and the spare smaller disc, and some file cabinet dividers, I made a little notebook: (though need to fill it with more pages, seems the disc works best when the capacity is near full).

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Edited by KBeezie
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I've also started using Arc and quite like it for work notes (it's not a great solution for long term journaling or storage though, for that I'll still use bound notebooks and binders), one thing that I'd really like to try is get some stone paper that works well with FP ink and punch that for the Arc system, because then I'll have swappable, washable note pages, it'll be like carrying a dry erase board with me wherever I go (this is probably just a pipe dream, but it could happen, and I hope it does).

 

 

Love the idea! Please post your results if you pursue it. I'm not familiar with stone paper, but have thought how nifty it would be to jot down quick notes or drawings that could be erased later. I'm using our awful office tablets because they are there and using several sheets a day to throw away doesn't bother me. For decent paper it seems such a waste to have the daily bits of random notes jotted down just to toss the paper at the end of the day.

 

 

I don't use my Circa or Arc notebooks for permanent storage or serious studies requiring some longevity or durability. They are ideal for just about any dynamic system out there where organization can be customized to user specifics.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

I was glad to see comments regarding the punch as I wanted to purchase but was unsure. It looks like spacing is the same between Levenger and ARC, so would same punch work for both systems. Also could large punch work for both sized of paper, not sure if there would be a way to adjust for multiple sizes of paper.

 

 

If you have the large (letter size) desktop punch, you can easily punch smaller size papers. I've used my desktop punch to punch index cards and business card sizes. You can pretty much make any size and shape paper and cover you want. Most of those punches come with a sliding guide so you can set it up to suit you. You can also punch paper in the portrait or landscape orientation. The discs and holes are spaced an inch apart.

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Someone mentioned Rollabind. Be very wary ordering from them. I ordered in early March, they charged my credit card, and I have no product (as of June 1 ) and no response to my inquiry. Online search will show many people have had the same problem. Sad.

 

I have a Levenger punch that is reported to punch a bit deeper than the Arc punch, and it works well. Heavier pages stay in better than copy paper weight. Love the flexibility of the system. Microsoft Outlook (2007) will print front and back to the classic size sheet (half a page) for easy use with a punch, so I can make my own day planner.

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I have both the A5 and A4 versions. I like the fact you can produce custom layouts to use as your inserts.

 

The only problem I have found is that by using larger size discs, I have crammed so much paper into each notebook that they have become too heavy to be practically carried around!

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Gloucesterman

If you get on Staples mailing list, or at least check their weekly circulars you will find out when they are offering discounts on the ARC system or even "general" discounts a while back, they had 25% off a $75.00 purchase for example.

“Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you do it today and like it, you can do again tomorrow!”

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Yes, the mailing list is definitely worthwhile. They put the notebooks on sale for 40% off every few weeks. I've bought several of the notebooks, both leather and the poly covers, at this discount. It makes the leather ones a great deal. Sometimes they include the accessories as well.

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  • 4 years later...

Reviving an old, old thread

 

I just found one of these ARC notebooks. Are they compatible with the Levenger Circa discs and paper?

Ink samples to trade: Blackstone Blue, Chesterfield Antique Crimson, Chesterfield Antique Jade, Chesterfield Antique Orchid, Chesterfield Antique Raspberry, Chesterfield Antique Raven, Chesterfield Antique Walnut, Chesterfield Antique Yankee, Chesterfield Night Sapphire, Cross Blue, Diamine Ancient Copper, Diamine Bilberry, Diamine Blue Black, Diamine Damson, Diamine Indigo, Diamine Oxblood, Diamine Purple Pazzazz, Edelstein Amber, J. Herbin Emerald de Chivor, J. Herbin Lie de The, J. Herbin Rouge Hematite, J. Herbin Storm Grey, Levenger Always Greener, Levenger Amethyst, Levenger Blue Bahama, Levenger Cardinal Red, Levenger Cobalt Blue, Levenger Cocoa, Levenger Fireball, Levenger Gemstone Green, Levenger Pinkly, Levenger Raven Black, Levenger Skies of Blue, Levenger Smokey, Montblanc Black , Montblanc Montblanc for BMW, Noodler's Bay State Blue, Parker Quink, Pilot Blue, Sailor Souten, Sailor Waka-Uguisu


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amberleadavis

Reviving an old, old thread

 

I just found one of these ARC notebooks. Are they compatible with the Levenger Circa discs and paper?

 

 

Yes, and the TUL notebooks are also compatible. In another month or so, they will go on sale at Office Depot in time for back to school.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Conan the Grammarian

TUL (Office Depot), Levenger (levenger.com), Arc (Staples), and Office by Martha Stewart Discbound (Staples and Amazon) are all mutually compatible. The Levenger punch punches a slightly bigger mushroom which allows the papers to turn more easily, but otherwise they all operate under the same license.

 

Mixing and matching the products from all of them can give you a customized organizational paradigm.

Conan the Grammarian

 

“No place is boring, if you've had a good night's sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.” ~ Robert Adams

 

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I have one each of the letter and junior sizes of Levenger Circa. I bought their intro to Circa set because it came with a $40 gift card. I gave the letter size (clear covers) to a friend, and use the junior size. I like being able to take a page out, then put it back.

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