I finally broke down and ordered some of those nifty Action Pad Minis and Cards from Behance. They have come today and boy are they nice. I may have a more formal review in the future but here are some initial impressions:

  • Very good paper, nicely designed, and they take pen ink very well. The presentation and packaging denotes quality and was clearly designed by and for creative types. You can almost feel the “hipness” dripping off of them. Each package contains a pamphlet outlining their “Action Method” system. It is very GTD in nature with a creative focus.
  • One of the reasons I decided to get the Action Cards is because my lo-fi system was in need of a little refresh. As stated previously, I have been using my Levenger Shirt Pocket Briefcase as my principle capture device. While the index cards I have in it are great for that, I desired something a little more structured for fleshing out and tracking projects in that same portable size. The Action Cards are great for this. They are 3×5 inches, same as a standard index card. They have an area at the top for project title and date and sections with checkboxes underneath for action steps. This is just what I was looking for.

  • I got the larger Action Pad Minis for work. Very similar in configuration and paper quality, these are larger and actually designed to fit in a Large Moleskine notebook, which I often take with me to meetings. The main difference from the Action Cards other than the size is that these have an area for “Backburner” items at the bottom – basically, a someday/maybe area.

One might wonder “why use these when you could just as easily use a regular old piece of paper?” I think that the Behance folks do a good job of answering that question:

“When you have a project that is tracked with a beautiful chart or elegant sketchbook, you are more likely to focus on it. Just like billboards on the highway or commercials on television, the methods you use to organize action steps can make you more (or less) engaged by a project.”

This is very true for me. Using nice, well designed, products makes me more engaged in what I am using them for.