The Resurrection of the Hipster PDA

The typical setup of Hipster PDA.

Only recently I discovered the Hipster PDA, and love it. This is a noble idea of 10-year-old vintage, largely forgotten by now in the time of Smartphones and Tablets. It is unapologetically low technology based on dead trees — nothing more than some 5×3 index cards(itself became endangered species) and binder clips. “PDA” is not an abbreviation of the ancient Personal Digital Assistant — it is actually short for Parietal Disgorgement Aid, which explains the concept eloquently.

I have tried so many digital thingies, but still find that analogue note taking is much more reliable and efficient, especially for capturing passing whims. Whims are highly volatile. It suddenly hit you, and you can lose it in a second. Once you lose, it is gone, in the air, and you can never capture it again. And in many cases you somehow remember you once got an idea, but can not recall its content. This is excruciating. Cool apps on your smartphones are not quick or flexible enough for capturing them. Jotting down with a pen and paper is an order of magnitude faster.

You may use Moleskine or other nice notebooks, but most of them are too big or too thick for your chest pocket or hip pockets. Or, maybe a little bit too expensive for free-wheeling note taking. It is very difficult to beat the cheapness (both running and maintenance costs) of HPDA.

サンケー サイドレバークリップ 小 10個入 SI3BK

If you try HPDA now, I strongly recommend using this little thing called Side Lever Clip from San-K Office Supplies, Co., Ltd. I am not sure it is available outside Japan. See the image above, its handles are installed with a 45 degree angle, so they can be folded up to its side. By this, turning over and writing in HPDA is significantly easier, or I may say, stress-free. This is a small but great innovation. HPDA with Side Lever Clip should be called as the 2nd generation of Hipster PDA.

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