little books

[written 02/06/05]

my last year in college i felt overloaded, like so many, with all the stuff i had to juggle – sometimes it felt like all i was doing was writing to-do lists. however, to-do lists in my school notebooks were too bulky to carry around, single sheet to-do lists invariably got lost or ignored, and for some reason i could never keep all my to-do lists in one notebook.

around the same time i got really interested in bookbinding. while reading up on it, i found instructions for this great little sample book. soon, i found myself making dozens of these little books to hold, and organize, my various to-do lists. they’re quick and easy to make, fun to hold as well as fit perfectly in your back pocket, and for some mysterious reason, the to-do lists in these little books tend to get at least partially done (which is quite an achievement for me, you gotta believe.)

and that is a good 50% of the reason why i successfully graduated that year (the other 50% is a combination of a very understanding acoustics teacher who thankfully passed me, pubs in philly, and my crazy-cool dancing partner katie.)

materials: regular old 8×11” paper (though you can make one with 11×17” paper too, it just has more pages), a ruler for making the edges nice and crisp, and an exacto knife

step 1: fold the piece of paper in half lengthwise and then again so that you have a square 4” by 5 1/2”

step 2: then fold back half of one side and then flip it over and do the same for the other side. unfold it and the creases should make 8 equal squares

step 3: grab that exacto knife and carefully cut along the middle crease of the paper, making sure you cut only the crease between the four square and not all eight

step 4: stand it up and you should see the same as picture 7. push in the ends on the left and right so that the diamond part in the middle gets flat – it should look like a plus sign. now, all that’s left to do is fold it up like a book, with four pages, or if you prefer, a cover, a back, and two sheets in between ;)

ta-daa, you have a handy-dandy little book!