Part 1 of this Levenger Circa Bookcloth Notebook review will consist of my initial thoughts on the notebook itself, I will focus on the actual functionality in the second part of the review.
For my first review I wanted to start with the item that was probably most responsible for my recent re-obsession with pens, notebooks, desk accessories, and other office supplies. After a long period of being unimpressed with the available notebooks and journals out there, I had given up and decided that most of them were the same. I wanted something that would help me be more organized and efficient.
One of my co-workers who swore by the Levenger brand (not just the Levenger Circa Notebooks) showed me his notebook, and after a few minutes of flipping through the pages and mulling it over, I decided I might be willing to give it a try. That night I went home after work and spent 2 hours on the Levenger site looking at all of the options. I was still a bit apprehensive, however I gave myself a few days to think it over and finally found myself on the site again that following weekend with the intent to buy. My purchase included the Levenger Circa Bookcloth Notebook in this review, along with a smaller version of it (the junior size) and a handful of accessories that I will blog about in a later post. Ever since then, I hesitate to think just how much money I have given and will continue to give to Steve and Lori Leveen, the husband and wife co-founders of Levenger.
The Levenger Circa Bookcloth Notebook Arrives
When my package came in the mail I was immediately impressed with a few very simple, yet pleasing elements of what I found inside. The signature green box with matching elastic strap in which my notebooks were enclosed was an indication of the care and pride put into the Levenger product. Once inside the box, I discovered that my notebook was nestled inside a soft cloth enclosure that resembles a mix between a thin fleece and a micro-fiber cleaning cloth. In addition to the box, I found a packing slip stored in an envelope and sealed with a Levenger branded sticker. Inside the envelope when I reviewed the packing slip, it was reassuring to see the packing slip hand initialed by a Levenger employee next to each item in my order to assure that nothing had been missed.
The Levenger Circa Notebooks comes in multiple materials, including leather, bookcloth, and plastic, with all of them using the disc binding system. This system allows for the quick and easy addition or removal of pages from the notebook, which was a key selling point for someone like me who was working out of multiple coil bound notebooks with no way to reorganize as things changed, or most likely as I misplaced one notebook or set of notes for a short period of time.
Upon my initial inspection I was pleased with the look and feel of my new Levenger Circa Bookcloth Notebook, and was already imagining how much my organizational skills would be enhanced by the freedom to move my notes around on the fly. The construction quality of this notebook is superb, and you can just tell that it is something that was designed and built to last a long time, even with daily use.
The outside cover of the Levenger Circa Bookcloth Notebook is a soft cloth material that has a slight bit of padding underneath it to give the notebook some body. The inside of the notebook cover is lined with leather in both the front and back. On the inside front cover you have 3 pockets, one larger one that runs the entire height of the cover, and two smaller ones on top of that which are half the size. The longer pocket is large enough to fit a standard size letter envelope with some extra space, while the two smaller ones can hold something the size of an index card. On the back inside cover on the edge there is an elastic pen loop that so far has been well suited to hold any pen I’ve tried using with it. You will also find an elastic strap that can be used to hold the entire notebook shut, or you can also use it as a place holder so you can quickly flip open to a specific location in the notebook.
The Levenger Circa Bookcloth Notebook comes with 60 sheets of 60 lb acid free stock with a grey annotation ruled layout in standard 8 1/2″W x 11 1/4H size. The plastic rings that act as the binding mechanism are a 1/2″ in diameter, and this size notebook uses 11 of them.
I think that wraps it up in terms of the overall look, feel, and makeup of the notebook. I look forward to part 2 where I will review my success in actually using the Levenger Circa Notebook to become more efficient and organized at work.