Where can I buy the world's most amazing index cards?
August 4, 2007 1:06 AM   Subscribe

Index card quest! I'm looking for a very particular kind I've seen in the past: a small (smaller than standard 3"-by-5", like 2"-by-1"!), possibly pastel-colored set of cards that come on a single, small binder ring (not spiral-bound!) and are enclosed in a plastic cover (not a fabric one!), almost certainly with a snap.

I lived with someone in college who used them to practice foreign vocabulary and they were fantastic because they were interchangeable, cheap, easily portable, and readily available at our campus (UC Santa Cruz) bookstore in 2004, which I can't reach this weekend as they're closed. Now I'm moving to Latvia at the end of the month (whoo!) and I'd like to be able to keep key words on the same kind of cards so I can practice my sveikas and paldieses on the go, or when I've got a down moment, or anytime when carrying a big stack of cards is otherwise less-than-good. Ideally the ring would be on my keychain all the time, so it'd be really quite small, and I'd cycle new cards in and out.

I've been to a Staples, an OfficeMax, and a Target, and I've looked all over the place online, and I CANNOT find them. It's not a hipster PDA, and it's not part of the Real Simple organizational stuff sold at Target. It is also not the Mead RingDex, which is too large for what I want to use it for, lacks a cover, and has an extra ring.

I have a hunch that if these exist anywhere, they'll be at a university bookstore, but not having access to one is hampering my search.

If you need an image, this is really close though they're too large, but imagine that the cards are held tightly closed with a snap of some kind. The size I'm looking for is about the size of a keychain-sized supermarket loyalty card.

Finally, I would really, really prefer to just buy them instead of making my own, because I'm super-busy this month getting ready for my move. Thanks for your help!
posted by mdonley to Shopping (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yeah, my suggestion was going to be a university bookstore. I know exactly what you're talking about, and have purchased many in the past from my college bookstore. One thing you could try would be to contact a university bookstore online (or via telephone) and see if you can order some. If nothing else, they could probably tell you where you could get them.
posted by I_love_the_rain at 1:17 AM on August 4, 2007

I have bought them at Bob Slate Stationer in Cambridge, MA, maybe you could call them and ask? I think any good stationery store will stock them. (Mine didn't have a snap, but they were the size you're looking for, with three different pastel-y shades of the same color, and clear colored plastic covers, all held together by a single binder ring.)
posted by robinpME at 5:18 AM on August 4, 2007

I think that you are likely looking for a product from Levenger: I used to have a small notecard book from them with a snap (in the early 90s, I think) -- this seems to be the current version: Circa Micro.
posted by n9 at 5:29 AM on August 4, 2007

I can't tell whether these have a snap from the pictures, but otherwise they sound like they fit the bill. If you get them, come back and report whether you like them - I've had them bookmarked for a while but haven't gotten around to buying any yet.
posted by Stacey at 5:34 AM on August 4, 2007

MindBinders seems to be the big seller of mini ring-bound note cards. I can't find a home page for the company, but there are a lot of small online shops out there selling their products.

This page is for a whole box of them, but I am sure if you search around you can find a reputable shop selling them individually.
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 6:04 AM on August 4, 2007

Best answer: So Stacey's link to Myndology.com is actually the home page for what used to be Mindbinders (The product I recommended). It looks like Stacey's link brings you to their updated product.

"So I decided to start my own business. At first, the company was called Mindbinders..."
posted by B(oYo)BIES at 6:09 AM on August 4, 2007

I've made my own versions of these. I buy a big box of blank business cards (also from Bob Slate in Cambridge, MA!). Then I punch holes in them (this is a bit of a pain; it could probably be done en masse at a Staples or something.) Then I buy the binder rings (which they sell at Bob Slate in varying sizes, 50 cents a piece or something. I imagine you could find them at any Staples, too.)

This lets me make truly massive quantities of flash cards, without worrying about the expense.
posted by wyzewoman at 7:42 AM on August 4, 2007

These aren't exactly the same as the ones I've bought (mine had three different colors of paper, and were a little prettier in general), but it's the same idea. You don't want 30 of them, though, do you?
posted by robinpME at 9:13 AM on August 4, 2007

Best answer: The Container Store carries the exact same cards as in your link and I've purchased the affinity card sized ones (also made by Kokuyo) at Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore chain (scroll down on the page to see the west coast locations, in English).
posted by jamaro at 10:31 AM on August 4, 2007

Best answer: Forgot to add: Kinonkuniya carries a large selection of Kokuyo's flash card products, which includes cards such as the one in my link which have a cover + snap.
posted by jamaro at 10:34 AM on August 4, 2007

Response by poster: Success!

I followed I_love_the_rain's suggestion and headed to the UC Irvine bookstore (which was open today, surprisingly!) where I picked some of the Myndology cards suggested by Stacey and B(oYo)BIES - they're not exactly the same as what I wanted, but they're close enough - they're held closed by a little cardboard latch...thing, and they are the perfect size. You can order online at the Myndology website; the ones I got were 1" by 2".

Jamaro, your Kinokuniya suggestion was just in time - I checked back right before I left the house, and went by their Costa Mesa store on my way back from UCI and they had the ones in your photo as well as at least 5 or 6 other types, though the only one with a cover/closure system was the wrong size for what I wanted. Let's hear it for southern California being such a hotbed of Japanese-inspired stationery innovation!

For posterity, here's the English Kinokuniya store location page - US stores at the top.

Thanks everyone!
posted by mdonley at 12:55 PM on August 4, 2007

Response by poster: Whoops: the ones I got were 1" by 3".
posted by mdonley at 1:03 PM on August 4, 2007

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