This is my implementation of the Hipster PDA. In it's most basic form, a Hipster PDA is a stack of index cards clipped together. It is the ultimate in low effort vs. high flexibility. From here one can add more complexity/usefulness in an exchange for more effort up front. The features I've implemented here reflect my feelings on this effort/utility balance. Please note that nothing in this instructable is wholly original. It is merely my implementation of many other people's ideas and variations. It is my hope that this instructable will a] illuminate some of the pros and cons of different approaches to this wonderful idea and b] help and inspire others to create this wonderfully useful tool.

My motto is "as complex as I need and as simple as I can get away with". Of course, everyone will have their own opinions as to how complex is necessary and how much effort such complexity is worth. These are my opinions and the reasons behind them. It is my hope that these reflections will be useful in helping you sort out your own balance.
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Step 1: Gather the MATERIALS

Picture of gather the MATERIALS
2 sheets of card-stock, 8.5" x 11" a.k.a. letter sized (for the tabs and cover) - I used 110lb weight because I had some from another project but something as light as 90lbs would be fine too.

about 20 index cards, 3" x 5", unlined (for the pages) - I got mine at Staples... or was it Office Max?

2 binder clips (to hold it together) - it's a ring that opens on a hinge and stays closed via interlocking teeth. I think I found mine at Target.

clear packing tape (for the cover) - any clear tape will do; wider tape means less work

hole punch - either one that does one hole at a time or one with hole spacing 2" apart or less

a computer and printer (for the templates) - if your printer can't handle 3x5 cards then you can use the same letter sized card-stock that you're using for the cover; you'll need about 5 sheets. You'll also need something to cut each sheet into quarters, like a scissor or a paper trimmer.
reywolf3 years ago
but... but what kind of apps can it run?! ha ha this is great! i think i'm going to implement a pen holder on mine. and i will use just a pen refill to keep it "stylus" size XD
kc2dpt (author)  reywolf3 years ago
I wrote a tic-tac-toe app for it. :p
15zhangfra5 years ago
nice- i use a small clip that i can remove easily as a kind of random-object-holder-in-a-jiffy thing. i made 3 pockets in it too (one on the reverse side of the cover, two on another card). i also attached some other stuff. who needs a wallet? = )

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chueewowee6 years ago
Grate little project to display. Thanks. The comments here above are very nice in ideas from real life, and I like the reply about obtaining extra materials from specialist services: there is a conundrum..and so back to the simplest method and and the coverboards: THese boards are covers, and lets face it, we don't carry loose cards in our hand..slipping them into the back pocket is slipping it into a trouser built-in slip-cover. THat realisation must be brought out into the open I fee, and this is my main contribution, from someone who, 'hasn't yet got their pda together'..I used blank cards, no templates. I used a flattish spring clip and found that delightful, but still resented its' slight protrusion. I was thinking about making flat card covers even after finding and using a slipcover from a small pair of scale, and a folding card index. The last was a delight, with the boards attached with pleasing ribbon-tape in a skillful design. It opened two ways to reveal two slip pockets, like magic! an old device of early 20th C. Need a technical drawing or real example to demonstrate. Heard the debate here, and I realised that , well card boards are great for slipping into briefcases or inner jacket pockets, but not so good for backpockets, if too thick. I don't want to rely on backpockets though, after years of travelling or any kind of pocket. I mean for ultimate flexibility and reliability. So its a slip cover for me. Thin card would be OK. ANd the cover design is part of the attraction... like a potent reminder... CHecked out the flexilock any way and was surprised...It's a neat thing, and good for people who like to fly high tech aeroplanes, as its in the same just buy the technology, and importantly, it's not plastic. A simple knot would do, but then that's more in the scouts line, which suits me just as much as flying. Conclusion, knots and cardcovers or cloth slipcovers are the best because they work and can be conjoured up in all circumstances. BEst not to over-rely on printing templates, if you're a true Scout.....Format is about spacing. Without explanation, I say dividers strike me a being unneccesary, unless the cards are unfamiliar to you!
kc2dpt (author)  chueewowee5 years ago
Dividers become useful when the number of different cards in use goes up. At the time I had to-do cards for a few different contexts, a few cards for different types of shopping, and a few different reference cards. I've since simplified my needs and so today I wouldn't make dividers. Again, it comes down to effort vs. functionality. One must weigh the effort to find a specific card quickly versus the effort to print and cut up some dividers.
kaatryn6 years ago
I use a binder clip for mine, it works great!
theRIAA7 years ago
I like to keep it ultra simple I have like 6 "to-do" list cards, and 4, month calenders. no clips or holes, just loose in my back left pocket.
kc2dpt (author)  theRIAA7 years ago
That is simple! I don't think I'd feel comfortable dealing with loose pages - I'd probably drop them all the time - but there is no doubt this is the least effort solution.
theRIAA kc2dpt7 years ago
actually you should try it. I'm not even worried about the clip getting in the way because I only have two types of cards, and only use two cards daily (one to do list on one side, one calender on the other), I simply don't need it. My back pocket keeps the cards in order, and after a wile, the cards develop a curve, making it even easier to keep together and write on.
Discopants7 years ago
Great idea. I like the update to rings over clips. However I've had difficulty with the standard rings you can get at office supply stores. Over time and after use, especially swapping pages in and out, the rings weaken and don't stay shut. In addition, you have to fight the hinge. Check out Flexi-Lock Checklist Rings from Flyboys. They are used by military pilots, who take their checklists into some pretty extreme conditions.
kc2dpt (author)  Discopants7 years ago
I tried to keep the materials to stuff I could easily acquire at local stores. But in terms of taking it to the next level of ordering specialty products online, those rings do look like a good choice. A real plus is they look like they'd fold flat in one's pocket whereas metal rings would poke out.

While we're mentioning specialized products, I'll mention Levenger's Circa system. Pricey but still interesting.