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  1. #1
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    Question Hacking the FJN for Levenger Circa, etc.

    I am LOVING my new FJN! It's Azure, and it's become my new happy place where my calligraphy, poetry, and various musings and scribbles that bring me joy now live. I'm so happy that TB is keeping these in stock and I love the Crane paper - so smooth! So here my query: the Azure is for my personal life. I'm thinking of getting another, probably in black or red, for the office. The catch is that I've become totally dependent upon the Levenger Circa system over the years to keep me organized at work. It's the only way I can keep track of all the projects I manage and customers with whom I engage. I think the Circa Junior size paper would fit I the FJN, but what to do about the three metal rings already installed in the FJN?I've heard they can be disassembled, but how exactly? Is there a step by step or a video of this process?

    Any other FJN hacks anyone has to offer?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by UpToNoGood View Post
    I am LOVING my new FJN! It's Azure, and it's become my new happy place where my calligraphy, poetry, and various musings and scribbles that bring me joy now live. I'm so happy that TB is keeping these in stock and I love the Crane paper - so smooth! So here my query: the Azure is for my personal life. I'm thinking of getting another, probably in black or red, for the office. The catch is that I've become totally dependent upon the Levenger Circa system over the years to keep me organized at work. It's the only way I can keep track of all the projects I manage and customers with whom I engage. I think the Circa Junior size paper would fit I the FJN, but what to do about the three metal rings already installed in the FJN?I've heard they can be disassembled, but how exactly? Is there a step by step or a video of this process?

    Any other FJN hacks anyone has to offer?
    @UpToNoGood, If you take a look at the thread @Moose started in December 2010, titled Loads of Lefty Love,
    you'll see pictures where the three rings have been shifted to sit on the right side of the open Field Journal Notebook, instead of the left side, like this:


    The stiff plastic base that the three rings for holding the paper are attached to can be disengaged from the cover. Insert your hand behind the top of that plastic (easier with the paper removed), and push up, so that you make the plastic flex, and pull away from the sides. The sides of the plastic base are scalloped, in the form 5 tabs that slot into small stitched sections of the cover on each side. You can reverse that plastic base, and reslot it into the cover if you are left-handed, or remove it entirely. But the three metal rings that hold the paper are riveted to the plastic base.

    Some forum members have removed the ring binder section and substituted painting kits inside the FJN. You can also hack the strap attachment points of the FJN, so that you can switch to a heavier strap if you're carrying more weight inside the FJN. This strap hack, where you use a pair of 1" triangle clips ordered from the Parts page, is described in my post:



    Grey FJN with Op Tech Mini S.O.S. strap and wider Absolute Strap to right. Either strap my be attached via their snap hook ends to the hacked FJN triangle clip ends.

    The half size US letter paper used in the FJN is one of the sizes used for planners, so you can also find address book inserts, calendars, pocket dividers, etc. from Day Runner and other planner sites that will work in the FJN. However, the Tom Bihn FJN organizational nserts are particularly nice!

    HTH

    moriond
    Last edited by moriond; 05-14-2016 at 09:29 AM.

  3. #3
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    UpToNoGood,
    As Moriond suggested, remove the stiff plastic base holding the metal rings. Its a bit of work, but it pops out. if you want to use the Levenger books, the rings will only be in the way.

  4. #4
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    Moriond and JohnDel - thank you both! The only bad news here is that now I have to shell out more dough for another FJN!

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Ilkyway's Avatar
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    UpToNoGood if you realise this idea, could I ask for pictures? This sounds like an interesting variation.

    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    UpToNoGood if you realise this idea, could I ask for pictures? This sounds like an interesting variation.

    Ilkyway
    @Ilkyway, if you have more than one Field Journal Notebook, you could pull out the stiff plastic used for the "front" side if the FJN, and insert it where the plastic with 3-ring clips is located on the "back" side. (It's harder to pull out the front rectangular plastic sheet, though -- especially on the current model FJNs). Then, you might be able to insert an elastic band vertically around that sheet, and run it through a circa notebook or other watercolor sketchbook.

    moriond

  7. #7
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    The plastic sheet holding the rings is designed to come out, the one in the front, not so much, besides it is needed to give the FJN its shape.

    The Circa left plastic translucent sheet can be inserted under the pen slots or the ring binder part could be kept and one or two plastic separators used to secure the Circa with elastics.

  8. #8
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    Hi All,

    Here are a few pictures of the Field Journal Notebook with the 3-ring binder insert pulled out:
    Hacking the FJN for Levenger Circa, etc.-img_3010-jpg
    The Field Journal Notebook in azure is shown with the pulled out 3-ring binder insert to the right. Above are the pocket inserts, viewed from the front. The pocket is nicely sized for weekly planners and address books, such as the Letts of London slim planners, or the Hobonichi Techo weekly planner memo notes. (The Hobonichi pencil board for their weekly planner is shown between the two pocket inserts -- you can use this either as a writing surface for thin paper -- like the Tomoe River they use in their planners and notebooks -- and/or as a measuring grid for drawing or layouts). The pen insert also works for attaching to other bags (through one of the 3-hole rings). It's holding some Pilot FriXion colored pens, and a small FriXion stamp (you can find these with little icons for your planner at JetPens, Amazon, Etsy, etc. or at the Hobonichi web site). The pocket of the pouch insert also works for holding large Midori D-clips. (This one happens to be one for zoo animals that I bought from a stationary store in Tokyo that had placed several of these on sale a few years ago. However, in a post in the Hobonichi Techo thread, I mentioned there was a dog series set of the large D-Clips for the Corgi-minded among us.

    Hacking the FJN for Levenger Circa, etc.-img_3011-jpg
    Here's the open notebook with the plastic insert from the Front cover of a second Field Journal Notebook pulled out, and inserted into the back. (It's only held in place by the piping edge from the cover.) It would probably be better to use a flat, elastic band around the insert, but what I've used here is one of the Rivet Band Laccio elastic straps for holding planners closed -- probably the large size would be better; this is a slightly overstretched medium size band in Hydrangea x Light Green. The mini Azure Clear Organizer pouch is holding Washi tape for ornamenting/highlighting notes.

    Hacking the FJN for Levenger Circa, etc.-img_3012-jpg
    This shows the view with the inserts pulled out. The back cover is stitched so that you can insert the 5 tabs on each side of the 3-ring binder insert in either direction (if you're left-handed, or are writing in a language that flows from right to left) Below the FJN are the front cover plastic insert, the 3-ring binder insert for the back cover, and a 3-hole leaf divider that is the same size as the FJN pocket inserts.

    With the elastic band around the front cover plastic insert, you could use the FJN for art pads that don't have 3-ring holes, like this Canson sketchpad that some people use in their FJN for sketches or watercolors.

    HTH

    moriond
    Last edited by moriond; 05-31-2016 at 11:48 AM. Reason: added link to Canson sketchpad sized for FJN

  9. #9
    Forum Member Lime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UpToNoGood View Post
    I am LOVING my new FJN! It's Azure, and it's become my new happy place where my calligraphy, poetry, and various musings and scribbles that bring me joy now live. I'm so happy that TB is keeping these in stock and I love the Crane paper - so smooth! So here my query: the Azure is for my personal life. I'm thinking of getting another, probably in black or red, for the office. The catch is that I've become totally dependent upon the Levenger Circa system over the years to keep me organized at work. It's the only way I can keep track of all the projects I manage and customers with whom I engage. I think the Circa Junior size paper would fit I the FJN, but what to do about the three metal rings already installed in the FJN?I've heard they can be disassembled, but how exactly? Is there a step by step or a video of this process?

    Any other FJN hacks anyone has to offer?
    I think a FJN with a Levenger Circa system would be the ultimate notebook.
    I had the same idea when I got my FJN but haven't figured out how to make it work yet.

  10. #10
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    Lime,
    The simplest way is to remove the plastic insert with the three ring binder from the FJN and carry one or more Levenger Circa notebooks inside, but not attached to, the FJN.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDel View Post
    Lime,
    The simplest way is to remove the plastic insert with the three ring binder from the FJN and carry one or more Levenger Circa notebooks inside, but not attached to, the FJN.
    @JohnDel, @Lime,

    I've put in a query about whether they could either sell the 3-ring insert with just the plastic section (and no rings), or the front rectangular cover insert (if the latter is not an option). Then you could insert sketchbooks or Circa Notebooks without having to worry about punching holes in the paper.

    Also, just thought I'd note that they restocked the FJN inserts after I posted my pictures


    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewR View Post
    06/01/2016 New Bags and Colors In Stock and Ready to Ship
    The Ones I Missed Edition

    Empire Builder, Black/Steel
    Empire Builder, Steel/Steel
    Small Shop Bag, Wasabi
    Synapse 25, Original Halcyon/Wasabi
    Travel Money Belt, Large
    Field Journal Organizational Insert, Pen/Pencil Insert
    Field Journal Organizational Insert, Pocket Insert
    Last edited by moriond; 06-01-2016 at 10:02 PM.

  12. #12
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    Good query! I've taken out the three-ring insert, cut the plastic covers of a Circa junior to fit in the slots where the insert would go, and while my junior Circa fits in the FJN now with room to spare, it just feel really floppy. Having a TB three ring insert without the three rings would provide structure and stability while opening up a lot more paper and notebook options. Please let me know what you hear back on this. For now, I think I'm abandoning my hybrid Circa/FJN hopes and will keep the Circa at work and my FJN at home for less task-organized, more creative thoughts.

    That being said, all the Hobonichi comments I've seen here and elsewhere in the Forum have made me desperately curious about that book. If I can get my hands on one for 2017 my whole organizational planning approach may be blown apart. I just ordered some Tomoe River paper samples to see what the big fuss is - once again, the TB community serves as a gateway drug to beautiful things. (This forum tipped me off to TWSBI fountain pens, too - I love my new Diamond Mini Stub!)

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator Alumni Badger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UpToNoGood View Post
    That being said, all the Hobonichi comments I've seen here and elsewhere in the Forum have made me desperately curious about that book. If I can get my hands on one for 2017 my whole organizational planning approach may be blown apart.
    You can order one directly from Japan in autumn, usually in late October or November. While shipping is somewhat expensive (like $14 to the Midwest US), you will be sure to get one.

    Hobonichi Techo 2016

    (Note: this will take you to this year's store. When the 2017 is released, a new store URL will be generated. They'll have a link up to redirect you.)

    You can also order both the book and some varieties of the cover from jetpens.com. However, the competition will be fierce and they tend to sell out immediately.

    Finally, you can also try Kinokuniya, which is a Japanese bookstore with several locations in North America. Not all of them carry it, so you may have to call around. They can ship to you, but if you're going to go through all of that, it may just be easier to order direct from Hobonichi.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Forum Member TavaPeak's Avatar
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    badger, I'm seeing the Hobonichi Techo 2016 on Amazon. Not cheap ( and January start), but it's there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TavaPeak View Post
    badger, I'm seeing the Hobonichi Techo 2016 on Amazon. Not cheap ( and January start), but it's there.
    You can also typically find some of the Hobonichi Techo products for sale on Etsy -- again, not cheap. And be aware that Japan Post increased their shipping rates at the start of June, so items coming by post from Japan may have higher shipping charges than they had before June 1.

    BTW, I wasn't describing putting the Hobonich Weekly Planner into the Pocket of the Pouches -- I happen to like the additional memo books (packs of 3 with different ruling or dotted grid types on the paper) that you can get for their weekly planner just for keeping short notes. These work perfectly well by themself, even without owning a weekly planner. I find that I don't want/need something as large and wide as the Midori's Traveler's Notebook for many of the shorter notes that I keep.

    moriond
    Last edited by moriond; 06-09-2016 at 12:56 PM. Reason: fixed typos

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