Moleskine Hipster PDA Case




Convert a Pocket Reporter Moleskine into a Hipster PDA. Stores cards loose and bound, stands easel-style upright, holds a pen, with room for PostIts and PagePoints.

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Step 1: Assemble Your Stuff

The Hipster PDA is a good idea, and lots of users of this idea are also into Moleskine notebooks. I was looking up hacks on the Moleskine, in fact, when I found the Hipster PDA, and was moved to combine these good ideas into one critter.

You need what's in the picture.

Step 2: Cut the Front Loose

Open your Moleskine mini, turn past the card stock page and the first journal page, and cut, carefully, through the binding. See how you have two pages attached to the front cover, and all the rest attached to the back? Good. Now you can trim off the thin page on the front cover; you won't be needing it.

Step 3: Cut the Pad Off

Now cut the entire pad of paper off, leaving only the pocket attached in the back. The rear piece of cardstock will be attached to the pad, not the cover.

If you have any buckram or the like, now is the time to glue a little strip of it, carefully measured for width, over the rough-cut areas of the cover. I didn't bother; I'm a little short of buckram this afternoon.

Step 4: Add Page Points

Using a stack of index cards as a surface, cut slits into the card piece with the razor blade, just long enough for two page points. Six fit elegantly, as shown.

Step 5: Add PostIt Strips

Paste the PosIts to the inside cover.

Step 6: (Optional) Separate the Signatures

Your pad of paper shouldn't go to waste; one option is to apply the bookbinder's art to it, making your own sketchbook or the like. I chose to separate the signatures by pulling off some of the glue and paper on the binding and cutting through the threads. I'm thinking they might be good for the kind of rambling narrative letters one sometimes writes on longer journeys; one can be stowed between the front cover and the card piece but it isn't particularly secure. They don't fit in the pocket, however, two fit in the pocket of a large format Cahier.

Step 7: Put It Together

Attach the index cards with binder clip, making the 'PDA'. Insert PDA into the case by sticking the last card into the pocket, all the way over to one side as shown. Put a few loose index cards into the back fold of the pocket; save the front fold for filled-in cards that haven't been bound into the stack.

Step 8: Use

This is a flexible system for on-the-go notation, and there are many add-ons available. The Hipster PDA Wiki is a good place to get started. There are many templates available, for calenders, to-do-lists, meta-systems of various sorts: A couple good sets are found here and here. The system can be as complicated as you need it to be; I'm looking at using PagePoints to mark divisions (to-dos, creative lists, vocabulary) and PostIts to flag items by priority, while also using the pad for word acquisition and taking down tabla notation: I have plenty of room to file index cards.

That's it. If you've been using a Hipster PDA this is the way to carry it around, and the pocket makes it that much more useful. New cards go in the back and you write on the cover, with the elastic holding the card, or you write straight on a blank card at the front of the stack: the pocket lets you take down five or six cards of new material without messing with the binder clip. The cover can be flipped back and information on the front card can be viewed easel-style.

As a glance at the sidebar will show, this is released under Creative Commons. If you like it, and want to show could send me a Moleskine! I go through a lot of those things. There's room for improvement here, in particular the pen could be held somewhat more securely...give it a try and let me know what you think.

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    11 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, pointless? Ripping out paper to replace with... paper.


    10 years ago on Step 8

    I don't understand the point of this mod at all. So you cut all the pages out & clipped in notecards instead, bent the cover backwards and added some random page clips that don't serve a purpose since there aren't any pages to clip? Why not just put a binder clip for notecards on your moleskine and paste the post-it-markers to the cover & call it quits? There's no need to cut the whole thing apart just to put it back together.. "Don't fix it if it's not broken."


    10 years ago on Introduction

    i have a little modification of this instructable. There is no need to stick the index card pad into case, if you use a pad with the same widht as the pocket in the case. When you are using DYIPlanner Hipster templates, it is possible to clip stack of index cards at the left edge of the case. This makes place for tabs and pen at the right side.


    10 years ago on Step 1

    The Pilot Precise is the pen of the Gods.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    ok... this is cool, but like okto said, I don't understand why you ripped out the paper just to replace it with index cards... oh well


    12 years ago on Introduction

    so.... i'm lost. why not just use the book, and tear out pages as you go, rather than waste it? i do this with several small notepads i use (for varied things) fold abotu 1/4" from top, tear out, repeat as necessary. once the book is empty, or nearly so, you can tidy up the edges with a blade, and then use the margins to hold in the note cards.


    12 years ago, buy a Moleskine and rip out the paper to make room for...paper? Doesn't this defy GTD by un-doing things that are already done, IE, paper already bound into the notebook?

    fungus amungus

    12 years ago

    Please rotate the first image so that it doesn't look like it's stuck to a wall. Color correction would be great, too.


    12 years ago

    This is an example of how to write an instructable! Very well done. Everyone who thinks about posting should read this first, or perhaps this (if I can self plug). I don't want to see anymore instructables where there are no pictures, no real instructions, or anything worth while.


    12 years ago

    I know that it stands for "Parietal Disgorgement Aid", but it should technically be just called a PAA (Personal Analog Assistant) since PDA misleads you from "Personal Digital Assistant".
    Here's a link:

    Good job anyhow.... I have to go now, the BATT. LOW light on my keyboard is flashing like crazy....