Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m addicted to Levenger. (The usual disclaimer: no affiliation, just really enthusiastic.) It started maybe twelve years ago when, flipping through their catalog, I noticed the Stanley Traveler. That became for me the definition of a nice bag, the kind I envisioned carrying as a professional, before I could even tell you the answer to “a professional what?”
(Then again, my wife would probably say I just described myself twelve months ago, let alone twelve years ago, but you get the idea.)
Today I have three TrueWriters, and a hefty supply of Circa supplies. My first TrueWriter Metalist got a bit nicked by the binder clip on my hipsterPDA, but the real beauty of these pens goes beyond the metallic finish: the heft of the brass barrel and the flow of the Levenger rollerball cartridges gives the pen its high functionality. And really, if you ignore the startup price, the cost of refills (with free shipping) isn’t much off from the cost of a decent disposable rollerball that won’t feel nearly as nice in hand.
The Circa notebooks are awesome. I keep a Junior size (very handy), which originated as their now-discontinued CircaMagine notebook: the first section had ruled paper, the second had plain paper, and the third section had graph paper. These don’t have the margin space that the regular Circa paper do. The paper is still available, thankfully, but I wish the CircaMagine notebook was available again. I can think of a few people I’d give them to. The Sampler Kit is an interesting concept for getting someone hooked, but to me it seems overly complicated compared to the CircaMagine.
What’s best about a Circa is simplicity and quality. The 60 lb. paper pleads with you to write in it; the simple disc design allows you to rearrange infinitely. You can get traditional planner filler, but to me, that defeats the purpose. It’s the lack of structure that invites me in every time.
After settling in with my TrueWriter and my Circa notebook, I began to understand the usefulness of having good quality tools and materials at hand: They beg to be used. I’ll sit with my notebook and pen, maybe a cup of coffee, and fill pages and pages with what’s on my mind. This simple habit helps me move my projects forward, and helps me move past what I can’t move forward.
I bought the Stanley Traveler this fall from Levenger’s eBay outlet as a reward to myself for getting back to the kind of work I love. They said it was slightly scratched, but after using it for a month, I couldn’t tell you where. Not that it’s prone to scratches, it just gets better with age. The best part is, it holds only what I need: laptop, Circa notebook, digital camera, pens. It allows me to be productive no matter where I am.