For quite some time now, high-end office supply store Levenger has offered an updated take on an old favorite: taking notes on the simple 3×5 index card. Their famed Shirt Pocket Briefcase comes in several variations and seems to be a favorite item for productivity geeks everywhere, so I decided to order one and really give it a go as part of my personal productivity system. After almost two months using the “original” style Shirt Pocket Briefcase, I can honestly say that this product has made a significant, positive impact on my personal workflow.
The Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase is based on a simple idea, really: provide an all-in-one writing surface, sorting solution, and storage container for your index cards, all in an ultra-portable package. Although this might seem like a tall order, the Shirt Pocket Briefcase excels in each of these areas.
The way the Shirt Pocket Briefcase works as a writing surface is actually pretty cool. Two sleeves on the front of the briefcase keep one or more cards instantly available to write on. No flipping open a cover like notebooks, and certainly no waiting for your smartphone to boot up. Just take it out of your pocket and start writing.
A total of three pockets are available for sorting and storage. I use the large, middle pocket to store fresh cards and larger, miscellaneous pieces of paper I gather throughout the day. The smaller pocket behind the writing surface makes for great place to hold cards I’ll be referring back to on an ongoing basis, and the back pocket is the one I use to put cards I’ll be discarding. For me, this three-pocket-plus-writing-surface configuration works really well as way keep my notes organized and under control.
The Shirt Pocket Briefcase also wins in terms of portability. Even packed with 20 to 30 index cards, the Shirt Pocket Briefcase forms a compact and slim package that fits in pretty much every pocket. It’s much lighter and easier to carry to than even the pocket Moleskine notebooks.
Levenger is known for quality products, and the Shirt Pocket Briefcase is no exception to the rule. High quality leather and strong stitching along the seams make for an elegant-looking tool that will probably last for years. I never thought that I would prefer taking notes on pen-and-paper (much less on 3×5 cards) but I’m not sure I could go back to capturing my thoughts on a clunky smart phone. The Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase doesn’t just make portable notetaking easier and more convenient, it accomplishes an even more impressive feat: it actually makes 3×5 notecards classy.