Thursday, December 31, 2009

4x6 tricks

the humble 4x6 card
Originally uploaded by daveterry.

In a previous post I have no doubt convinced you to take another look at The Lowly 4x6 Card.

Well my fascination with the simple 4x6 card continues to grow. In addition to all the ways I've mentioned before, here are a couple of new uses I've discovered:

Idea #1 - Glue 100 cards together

Instead of using binder clips on a pack of 20 or so, I glue a bigger pack of 100 together. It's a cleaner solution because the clip doesn't get in the way when I draw or write and it lays flat on the desk at work. If the pack is too big I can simply split it up in smaller pads after the glue dries.

Here's how I do this: I mount them between two 3/4 inch plywood boards and place them in a vice. Next I spread a generous amount of carpenter's glue (wood glue) across the top of the bound cards. In about an hour or two I have a great writing pad. You can use Elmer's glue if you don't have Carpenter's glue. Or if you want a more flexible spine you can use rubber cement. However I find that the Carpenter's glue may be a bit stronger and I like the stiff, snug binding this glue gives me.

Optional: Before gluing up the pack of cards, I print a "from the desk of...dave" at the top of the cards along with some empty check boxes. This gives me a "Todo" pad. It's sort of my GTD (Getting Things Done) system. Instead of carrying a book, I just carry one 4x6 card a day. Throughout the day I check off what I've accomplished and then at the end of the day I toss the card in the trash. Any undone items can be ignored (if I decide they were unimportant) or transferred to the next day's card.

Idea #2 - Staple 4 or 5 cards together (See illustration.)

This is my latest approach. Sometimes it's great to have a small booklet that I can use for several days while traveling. I can make one in a few seconds.

Here's how: I take about 4 or 5 cards and fold them in half lengthwise. Using my stapler I put two staples in the fold. Voila! I have a small book. I sometimes put a quick sketch on the front to help me keep it oriented correctly as I pull it out to write in it.  I carry it around with me as my Todo "inbox" for big projects. Also, it makes a great gift for a child for their little sketches. You could also use a 4x6 picture as the "cover."

Keep in mind you can get a pack of 300 for about $1.79 at Walmart. What a steal.

[Note: In the illustration page above I'm using Zebra Mildliners. Love these things. These are muted colored highlighters and are much easier on the eyes. I get enough excitement during the day. I don't need florescent highlighters yelling at me too.]

Illustrate your Journal - Life is short, make a mark. - dave terry
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