jump to navigation

DIY 5-pocket Index Card Wallet for Hipster PDAs April 19, 2007

Posted by caveblogem in DIY, Hipster PDA, how to, index cards, lifehack, Other.

I just got a promotion of sorts at work and will be managing a few people in addition to doing research and writing and random other stuff now, so I found myself thinking about time management a little this morning.  I still use index cards to manage my own time and to take notes for writing projects and such.  And I’m always testing new ways of carrying them around an organizing them.  The last one of these I designed, the six-pocket version works pretty well, and I’ve been carrying note cards in it, and using it as my wallet, for weeks.  The only problem with it was that I had to do too much unfolding to get at my debit card, a suprisingly frequent occurance these days.  So I designed a five-pocket version that is much easier to use everyday, because the part of the folder that holds my bank card is always right there on the outside, and yet there is no danger of the card slipping out. 

Step 1: start with a piece of 13 x 13 inch paper.  This sounds more difficult than it is.  The most durable papers in the world are readily available in this size, if you know where to look.  You just need to find a large manila or Tyvek ™ envelope, cut the bottom and top out, slice out the middle, and unfold it. 

Step 2: mark the paper with a faint line 1 3/4 inches in from two opposing sides and then 2 3/4 inches in from another side, as depicted below (click picture to enlarge). 


Step 3: Flip the sheet over and fold the opposing sides in, creasing on the lines. 


Step 4: Fold the bottom up, creasing on the line.


Step 5: Insert the top into the slot made by the bottom folds and crease the whole thing again (this operation is shown in a side view in steps 4 and 5 of the instructions for this folder.


Step 6: Using an index card as a guide, fold in three roughly-equal parts and crease (I don’t know what that shadow is all about.)


That’s all.  See how the bank card fits and is accessible but totally safe?


I use the same pocket for a list of phone numbers.  And a pen with a clip can be used to make sure it doesn’t unfold, if you want. 


After a few days it will pretty much stay shut anyway.


1. maryjunebrown - April 23, 2007

I just love that you do this. The things you think of! : )

2. caveblogem - April 24, 2007


These weird paper-folding posts get more traffic on my site than all the other posts combine. But I so rarely get comments about them. Sometimes its discouraging. Thanks for your kind words!

3. Ben Shaffer - May 3, 2007

Very, very cool!

4. caveblogem - May 3, 2007


Thanks. That’s an excellent time-management site you have, by the way.

5. Dossier : hipster PDA (2e partie) : Un guide pour concevoir votre propre hipster PDA (organiseur, hPDA, GTD, Getting Things Done) - August 27, 2007

[…] les autres systèmes, on peut citer la pile de fiches adhésives genre Post-it, le portefeuille de fiches ou le flip flop hipster PDA. A vous de trouver le système qui vous […]

6. Fitwit - November 7, 2007

I used a cover from a black, paper report folder, non-shiny finish, and made a single fold version using the above directions (i.e. opens like a book, has two inner pockets and the two outer ones. Put a staple through the fold about center of the inner pocket at the fold and the cards are more stable. Seems to me a better way to carry my cards than one stack clipped. What if you need the 14th card in a hurry? With this carrier I can fan the cards in either of the inner pockets pretty quickly and just lift it out.

7. Fitwit - November 7, 2007

Meant say ‘Thank You’ to caveblogem for the original directions ! Using the 2 pocket, single fold version you could make your own Moleskine Cahier style notebooks too. Just staple paper in it vs. Cahier’s sewn in paper and you have a very low cost pocket notebook with 4 pockets !

8. caveblogem - November 10, 2007

Fitwit, that’s a pretty cool idea. The whole idea of a binder clip in my pocket, the standard explanation of the Hipster PDA, I find alarming. I feel much better about sticking with just the paper. I like your other idea about the mock-cahier, too. I can’t believe that Moleskine designed these things and then made the pocket too small for a 3X5 index card. Much better to have four pockets and some nicer paper.

9. Jeremy - February 26, 2008

I just did this project and made it out of a FedEx SmallPack envelope, which is a super-tough material, and it’s free.

10. caveblogem - February 26, 2008


Is that the tyvek kind? That’s a great material for these things. The Tyvek is a little floppy when you are folding it, but when you put some index cards in it, the whole thing works wonderfully. It’s thin and it’s waterproof.

11. Joey - December 8, 2008

I just found this! You sir, are awesome! I am planning on making a hipster PDA for a friend and this would make it so very much cooler for him. You are my hero!

12. david - May 28, 2009

Very nice. Hardcore but nice. I’m sure there are plenty of off the shelf items similar to this, but nothing beats making it yourself.

13. Jonny - October 12, 2009

I will express my love in haiku!

Hipster Pda’s,

And the Get Things Done method,

I quite enjoy it.

*takes a bow*

14. Johann Lim Tan from the Philippines - June 11, 2010

Hey Yo! Sohh Cule. Thnx Annywahyy….. Luv ya ideas!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: