Confessions Of a Hoarder: Levenger’s Circa Vivacious Refill

Levenger Vivacious Circa refill

I had a great aunt who lived in a historic looking brownstone in the heart of Albany, NY. She was eccentric and confused— both a hermit and a hoarder. There was a narrow goat path through the middle of her living space. Well, through the middle of EVERY space. Drop an earring and it was gone forever. (My mother found this out the hard way.) The table where she sat to eat her spare meals was covered with a huge pile of papers, photographs, and letters, some dating back to the 1930’s. After she died, we carefully sorted though her papers and belongings. The process took weeks and countless trips to the dumpster.

These are not images and experiences that you can easily shake. And part of your brain wonders, “Could this happen to me?!”

While our home is generally tidy, some “collections” (pens, pencils, notebooks) continue to grow. They are collections. They are not hoarding. Or are they?!

Levenger's Vivacious Circa refill

Case in point— Levenger’s Circa Vivacious Refill, in the cross-dot pattern. I absolutely LOVE THIS PAPER, and find myself ordering, and squirreling away, a few packs every time Levenger puts them on sale or offers free shipping.

I think I’m up to eight packs, neatly stored in a desk drawer. No goat path. Yet.

Circa junior notebook

A few months ago, I was having a horrible time keeping up with life— work life, home life, life life. Even though I consider myself organized, and am a pretty close follower of Dave Allen’s Getting Things Done, everything felt like it was a mess. I needed a fresh start.

I took an old Circa Junior notebook (constructed from the Circa Sampling Kit), labeled some dividers, loaded the notebook with Circa grid paper, and immediately felt better. With Circa paper, moving pages within the book is a snap. Just pull the sheet from the Circa discs and reposition it in its new location. It’s a great system.

Circa Junior Notebook

This book is my main “capture” tool— everything goes into this book. From meeting notes, to weekly priority lists, to Action, Waiting, and Someday/Maybe lists. The system works like a dream. (From this book, I parse things out into master lists in Evernote for weekly review and updating.) I thank the Circa system for giving me back my sanity.

Cross-Dot Vivacious paper

So things were going along fine. I was happy using the Circa grid paper I had stashed away. THEN I saw the Vivacious Cross-Dot refill. GONER!

Vivacious Circa refill

I think I first saw the Vivacious paper in a Levenger catalog, and then had a tricky time finding it online. (The easiest way is to search for “Vivacious.”) I ordered a couple of packs. Then a couple more. Then more. And a few MORE, egged on by the fact that the paper is found in Levenger’s “outlet,” which makes me think that it’s on its way to being discontinued. Shudder.

Night sky vs. Vivacious refill
[Field Notes Night Sky reticle vs. Levenger Vivacious cross-dot]

I fell hard for the lime-green cross-dot pattern that’s a dead-ringer for the reticle grid found in the Field Notes Night Sky edition. That edition is a favorite, particularly due to that grid, so seeing the same thing on this fantastic Levenger Circa paper was a total no-brainer.

The Vivacious Circa refill paper is 100-gsm, very substantial, and gorgeously smooth. The cross-dot pattern is found on both sides of the page, and there are spaces at the top of each page for subject and date. The fresh looking grass-green cross-dots are the icing on the paper cake.

Writing samples

This is superb paper— able to handle ballpoint, pencil, rollerball, and fountain pen equally well. That’s what I like— I don’t have to do a mental check about my pen/paper pairing, because everything works. Everything looks great. Everything FEELS great when you’re writing on this stuff.

Good with all writing utensils

I’ve since picked up a couple of Circa Vivacious Notebooks. I’ll put one to use as a journal because having the ability to easily move and re-arrange pages is so appealing.

So, though I sometimes feel like I’m channeling my inner Aunt Matilda, I think I’m completely justified in hoarding this Vivacious paper.

Levenger Vivacious Circa refill

I’m not worrying until there’s a goat path.

28 thoughts on “Confessions Of a Hoarder: Levenger’s Circa Vivacious Refill

  1. I must get more of this paper! I’m in love too. I will be so sad of it is being disco’d. I need more of the full size paper before its gone. I’m notorious for waiting too long and missing out…like the Edison Nouveau Carribean Sea (sigh). This paper is hoard worthy! Love this post!

  2. That does look like a brilliant system.
    I’m a big fan of Eccolo’s World Traveller series of journals, but they’re really hard to find in shops over here. When I went into TK Maxx yesterday, they had loads, so I bought as many as I could justify. I’m still sad that I had to leave some behind, but I had a long way to lug them.

  3. I did the exact same thing when I saw it on clearance. It’s my most used Levenger paper (neck and neck w/ the Rhodia annotated rule) and there’s not really a good equivalent if it did go away.

    My solution to avoid adding it to the Field Notes/Rhodia Pad/Tamoe River stockpile was to take 2/3 packs to work (where I use them most anyway). It seems like a more reasonable pile now (not sure my wife agrees).

  4. what a great post! Your comments really resonated with me. I too tend to hoard stationary related things, always thinking they will one day be discontinued. Could you do a future post on a tour of your Circa planner? I think you are really on to something and many of us could benefit. Thanks.

    • Thanks! Yes…I’m planning to do a better/more thorough “workflow” post before too long. I thought about getting deeper into that this time, but need more time to get my thoughts and photos together. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. I was much relieved to see that the earwax cleaning was noted after the cooking of the oatmeal in the crockpot. Otherwise, you might have had a Harry Potter gumdrop experience.

    True story… My family lives in an old section of Baltimore that through the years has managed to remain fairly nice. Big, comfortable old slate-roofed houses with wrap-around porches. We had a neighbor who lived into his nineties after his wife had died decades previously. He became a hermit and hoarder like your aunt. When he died, knowing how he was, the family went through every book, old magazine, old newspaper, old “whatever” with fine toothed combs and found an amazing trove of wealth. Hundred Dollar Gold Certificates from the 1920’s from when our currency was still based on something other than our hopes, panes of stamps, more money, still more money, stock certificates, bonds… it was incredible.

    My brothers and I used to cut his lawn for him, and trim back the jungle of his gardens, and he used to give us each a real silver dollar!

    At least he didn’t keep cats.

    • I KNEW someone would notice that! 🙂

      Cool story about your neighbor! We didn’t unearth any monetary treasures but lots of family history in photos and letters, etc. (As I was carefully working through the layers on her table, I unearthed a note that said, “STOP, THIEF!” which freaked me out a bit. I felt like I was getting yelled at from beyond!)

  6. OMG! I thought my budding fountain pen addiction was bad and now you show me this paper! Shame on me. I already have a Leuchterm waiting to be my next bullet journal and countless notebooks….er… a few carefully chosen notebooks tucked away but that paper looks completely amazing!

  7. Great writing, thanks. I also have collections of various notebooks (not going to call it hording either). In fact I have a Levenger’s Circa notebook, I’ll have to look for a Vivacious Refill. Thanks again.

  8. I just ordered some Vivacious paper as Levenger was having a Black Friday sale and offering free shipping. I’ve been thinking about getting it ever since I read your review!

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  11. The difference between a hoarder and a collector is the fact that a “collector” likes to show off their possessions. A hoarder is ashamed of their accumulation and will come up with any excuse to not have you come into their house. Don’t worry, my dear. You may be eccentric, but buying yummy, pen-worthy paper in reams is not necessarily a mental disorder (although my husband thinks I’ve lost my marbles because I go crazy over new pens and a brand-new journal). So enjoy your collection and know that someone, somewhere would love to sit in your house and peruse your pens and journals with awe. 😉

  12. Just came across your blog on the Levenger paper. I wish they still offered this, how beautiful! Do you still use Levenger paper? Wondering if the quality is still present. Thank you for the charming post.

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