Introduction: Dedicated Covered Hipster PDA (No Notebook Functions), A.k.a. LinuPad

I saw philcoltsfan18 had made a pretty snazzy Mac take on the Hipster PDA fad, so when I decided to start Getting Things Done I wanted a Linux theme. Nothing special, just nominal, like his. Anyway, the thing that sets my HPDA apart is the cover. The original concept is simple but hardly elegant; some index cards and a clip. You really need a good cover and somewhere for a pen. I liked the notebook conversions but I wanted something different.

I found it in the form of an old pocket dictionary. Everyone has one somewhere in the house. Having just finished the Leaving Certificate (yay) I had no use for my French dictionary any more, and so when the cover fell off I had no qualms about plundering it for my first ever Instructable.

The LinuPad (of course you need not add the Linux theme if you don't want to) consists of the usual HPDA arrangement, a clip and some index cards, with the cover of a pocket dictionary and a small slot for a pen.

Preamble over, let's get started!

(Also, this is my first ever Instructable, as stated above. Long time lurker, first time poster and all that. Criticism welcomed...I guess. :D )

Step 1: Preparations

1. A collection of 3" x 5" index cards
2. A binder clip or two if you have them (see the step on improvements)
3. A pocket dictionary (e.g., Collins Gem)
4. A pen or marker suitable for attaching to the HPDA
5. A scissors (careful) or craft knife (easy, there) to remove the cover from the dictionary if it's not already fallen off like mine
6. A ruler to measure everything (but you probably won't need this, as I'll tell you everything you need to know, hopefully)

Step 2: First Jobs

1. Remove the cover from the dictionary using whatever tool you deem necessary. As I did not have to do this I can provide no pictures; however it is imperative that the strong plastic cover is intact. You do not need any pages attached. Just a longish piece of plastic with front, back, and spine titles on it.
2. Fold the cover back on itself along the middle of the spine, so that the inside is facing out. You should be able to see clearly the original creases from the spine. When in this configuration they form a tidy slot on the inside of the fold, which we will later fill with a pen.
3. Open the folded cover and place the 3" x 5" cards inside. Their edges should line up with the outside edge of the fold (the side that opens). Close the cover again. It should appear similar to the one in my picture.
4. You will probably have a sticking-out bit of card here. Don't worry. Push it up so that it sticks out on top only, it'll look fine once the pen is in. Or you can trim the excess; whichever. Either way it's neater if it only protrudes on one side.

Step 3: Moving on to the Finish (pretty Quick, Eh?)

1. Open the binder clip and use it to close the long edge of the opening side of the cover. Admire your work; the hard bit is over. :D
2. Get your small pen out. I used a Sharpie Mini in Plum, hardly ideal but it grew on me. Slide it into the slot (no sniggers at the back there) and check out the effect. The pen should now be readily accessible with the cover open or closed.
3. That's basically it. In the next step I'll discuss using the HPDA, then we'll talk improvements at the end.

Step 4: Using Your HPDA

1. Opening: this was a bit of a poser for me at first. How to open the cover and get at the cards without dropping them all over the place (because of course you must loosen the clip to do so)? In the end I worked out that if you simply open the clip, but do not remove it, keeping it tight against the back with all the give at the front, you can slide the front edge of the cover backwards quite easily, then open it upwards out of the way. Now allow the clip to tighten again and you can work on the top card with ease. The same method works to detach the top card only, and works in reverse to put the front cover in place again.
2. Basic usage is pretty simple. Detach the pen from the cover and write lists of stuff to do on the card. Replace pen, close cover. Remember to open cover again at some point. Not much to it.
3. Have a folder or, gasp, maybe an old Rolodex at the home base (office, desk, kitchen) into which you can put important cards that need keeping safe or need not be carried around. Try not to let your HPDA get cluttered or it'll be useless. Always get rid of unimportant or redundant cards (you can have an 'I did it' folder if you want to get the old self-esteem going on a cold night or you have a bad memory).

Step 5: Improvements

1. If you had another binder clip you could have one to keep the cards clipped to the back cover, and a second one to keep the cover closed. This can look a tad messy though, and I notice it warped the cover a bit. Perhaps better placing of the two clips would solve this.
2. The Linux theme is easily realised by drawing a penguin on the cover and maybe putting a kernel version on there too, just for laughs. Remember that's not really the point, but I included it because I did it. I like it. :) Note: I had a photo of this too but it corrupted. :S I'll upload again soon.
3. If you're fussy you could trim the sticking-out edge of the cards so that it doesn't protrude, but I didn't do this because I think it looks fine next to the pen. Also I can write teeny tiny reminders on the sticking-out edge. Now I don't even need to open it sometimes! :D

Thanks for reading this far. You've been a great audience. I look forward to more Instructable-writing. In fact, I have a similar one in the pipeline right now. Anyone here like FiloFax?

...anyone? Well, I'm doing it anyway. :D


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