Make a notebook, and make it easy: Pocketmod

The PocketMod is a small book with guides on each page. These guides or templates, combined with a unique folding style, enable a normal piece of paper to become the ultimate note card.

The interest of pocketmod lies in the way it merges several useful related ideas into a single, solid initiative. There’s a set of handy templates (or mods, as they call them) to choose from; an intuitive application to arrange them into a custom notebook; a way to make this application as accesible as possible (you can either design and print the notebook right from the browser, or download the software and use it offline); a clever folding pattern so that the notebook is quickly made from the printed piece of paper; and a tool to convert previously made documents (in pdf format) to a ready-to-fold booklet (or series of booklets, if needed).

I find that the folding technique leaves too much paper unused (one side, actually), but after trying several alternatives I believe that actually the authors went for the easiest way to get the book ready. Anyway, the forum is a good source for further mods and ideas. Now you can say goodbye to sketching on paper napkins!

ps. Still, if you must use a napkin, remember the folding pattern: you’ll get a notebook as small as it is cool 🙂

Related Article: All you need to make a notebook

Confucius of the day

Those who do not study, or study but do not obtain a profit, must not get discouraged, nor end their path. Those who do not ask in order to solve their doubts, or who ask but do not get satisfactory answers, they must not get discouraged either. Those who do not practice meditation, or when meditating do not obtain a clear knowledge of the foundation of goodness, they must not get discouraged. Those who still cannot distinguish good from evil, or those who do distinguish but have not managed to penetrate the essence of goodness, they should not get discouraged. Those who do not practice goodness or when doing so do not manage to do it with all their strength, they should not get discouraged either. What others would do in their first attempt, they will achieve in ten attempts; what others would do after a hundred attempts, they will do after a thousand.

He who truly follows this rule of persistance, no matter how ignorant, he will become wise without realizing; no matter how weak, he will naturally become strong.

Easy life through practical kirigami: 3D card maker

3D Card Maker is a Windows application which generates unfolded patterns for Pop Up Cards.

kirigami is a paper craft where shapes are literally brought out of paper by cutting and folding (some origami models require cuts, but those are exceptions, so to say: in kirigami, cutting is an intrinsic part of the making of the models). The models themselves can be designed either by hand or aided by the computer; in this latter case 3D Card Maker allows you to create fairly complex designs with just a little practice. All the work is done in a single window where the model is shown in 3D, and moving, rotating or scaling it is straightforward. The interface is easy to understand (first steps: move the cursor with the keyboard arrows, raise columns by pressing the space bar), and provides very useful functions, like the mirror mode, which saves half the work when creating symmetric patterns, or the animation feature, which shows how the model should be folded after cutting. Finally, you can directly print the unfolded pattern, export it as a bmp image, or even export the tridimensional model as a DXF. In all, 3D Card Maker is a very nice program which will keep you entertained for quite a long time.

Confucius of the day

All virtuous actions, all duties, can be considered accomplished by the sole fact of having taken the decission of practising them; if no previous determination is taken, they will never be accomplished. If before starting to talk we previously determine and choose the words, our conversation won´t be unsteady, nor ambiguous. If in all our businesses and enterprises we previously plan the stages of our acting, we´ll easily attain success. If we determine with enough anticipation our rule of behaviour in life, never will our spirit be assaulted by worry. If we previously know our duties, accomplishing them will be easy.

Ni Tsan of the day

Ichung has always loved my bamboo paintings. I always paint them to unburden myself. I’ve never had the purpose of reproducing their appearance. I don’t mind whether they have many or few leaves, that their branches are straight or crooked; I limit myself to give brush strokes. The people say that they look more like rushes, or ropes, or any other thing; I don’t manage to make them see bamboos or have interest in my paintings. They may be right. What I don’t understand very well is why Ichung likes them.