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  1. #1
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    Cafe Bag Organizer Idea

    I had an idea earlier that I would like to kick around. I was reorganizing my bags and it struck me that if one of my large clear pouches had sewn dividers separating the interior into 3 equal pockets, I could store stuff more easily in a vertical fashion inside my Large Cafe Bag. Then while I was mulling on this, and potential designs it occurred to me that if I had an insert with some firmness (akin to the backboard of the Freudian Slip), and if I had a 2x3 arrangment of pockets I could do even more and I could orient the pockets to face up, instead of sideways.

    Then it further occurred to me that I would fing it of even greater utility, if the pockets were sized to carry a variety of current Tom Bin pouches. Indeed, the pockets could be designed to fit from a mini padded pouch with contents to a small padded pouch with contents and the bck could be set to hold a medium padded pouch. Perhaps the back could be similar to the Freudian Slip design, but hold folded-in-half paper sideways, and a medium pouch pocket built on top of that. O-Rings could be set next to each pocket as well, to act as a tether for the pouch and a key strap.

    Right now I am using a large clear pouch in Dyneema Solar, with the contents unfortunately sliding all to the bottom. I am thinking of taking a plastic folder and breaking it in half to use as a full-sized back board, and gluing pockets to it. This would allow me to better utilize the vertical nature of the bag.


    Any idaes?
    Bags: Super Ego (Black/indigo w/cork seatbelt); Aeronaut (Crimson/Steel); 2 Medium Cafe Bags (Navy/Cayenne, Linen/Olive), w/an Ultrasuede Shoulder Strap Wrap; Large Cafe Bag (Cocoa/Wasabi) w/Absolute Strap; Imago (sadly lost to hazmat); a Brain Cell w/ another Strap Wrap; and a Shop Bag (Steel). Accessories: Bunches and bunches.
    Wanted: Zephyr or Empire Builder.
    " ...all [that] you have to depend on is yourself and your luggage." - The Luggage Salesman (Joe Versus the Volcano)

  2. #2
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    "Right now I am using a large clear pouch in Dyneema Solar, with the contents unfortunately sliding all to the bottom." Do I understand this right—you have papers in the large pouch and the pouch slides down in the bag? Have you tried putting a piece of stiff cardboard (8 1/2 by 11) in the pouch? Something too rigid to bend or curl.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmanedit View Post
    "Right now I am using a large clear pouch in Dyneema Solar, with the contents unfortunately sliding all to the bottom." Do I understand this right—you have papers in the large pouch and the pouch slides down in the bag? Have you tried putting a piece of stiff cardboard (8 1/2 by 11) in the pouch? Something too rigid to bend or curl.
    What I have done is add a rigid plastic folder, and I will test that out today. It was not papers sliding to the bottom, I had stacked various pouches, and was hoping pressure from other elements in the bag would hold them in form. However, I have now tried adding a plastic insert (folder) for rigidity, and will see how this goes today.

    What I would like is a version of Freudian Slip for the Large Cafe Bag. It's focus on providing tiers of pockets to hold padded pouches in the mini to small range. Basically, I want to keep my gizmos from 'clumping' at the bottom of my bag.

    I will take some pictures this weekend to show my project. I am going to go to Michael's, an arts and crafts chain store, and see if they have the supplies for what I want to do. When I am done with my prototype I will post the pictures, whether it works or not. Either way, it will be useful to get feedback. :)
    Bags: Super Ego (Black/indigo w/cork seatbelt); Aeronaut (Crimson/Steel); 2 Medium Cafe Bags (Navy/Cayenne, Linen/Olive), w/an Ultrasuede Shoulder Strap Wrap; Large Cafe Bag (Cocoa/Wasabi) w/Absolute Strap; Imago (sadly lost to hazmat); a Brain Cell w/ another Strap Wrap; and a Shop Bag (Steel). Accessories: Bunches and bunches.
    Wanted: Zephyr or Empire Builder.
    " ...all [that] you have to depend on is yourself and your luggage." - The Luggage Salesman (Joe Versus the Volcano)

  4. #4
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    I had a similar problem with items falling to the bottom of a bag. What worked for me was:

    1) this plastic sheeting (actually, I went to Michael's and got something that looked like plastic mesh - I think it's used for needlepoint
    2) get some plastic pencil boxes from Staples
    3) lay out the pattern you want
    4) cut the sheet to the size of the pattern
    5) velcro back sheet and back of pencil boxes and attach

    It separates items and keeps them from all shifting to the bottom.

    Hope that helps

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiri View Post
    I had a similar problem with items falling to the bottom of a bag. What worked for me was:

    1) this plastic sheeting (actually, I went to Michael's and got something that looked like plastic mesh - I think it's used for needlepoint
    2) get some plastic pencil boxes from Staples
    3) lay out the pattern you want
    4) cut the sheet to the size of the pattern
    5) velcro back sheet and back of pencil boxes and attach

    It separates items and keeps them from all shifting to the bottom.

    Hope that helps
    Jiri, that's brilliant! Thanks for posting your experience. It has been very helpful in shaping my plan.
    Bags: Super Ego (Black/indigo w/cork seatbelt); Aeronaut (Crimson/Steel); 2 Medium Cafe Bags (Navy/Cayenne, Linen/Olive), w/an Ultrasuede Shoulder Strap Wrap; Large Cafe Bag (Cocoa/Wasabi) w/Absolute Strap; Imago (sadly lost to hazmat); a Brain Cell w/ another Strap Wrap; and a Shop Bag (Steel). Accessories: Bunches and bunches.
    Wanted: Zephyr or Empire Builder.
    " ...all [that] you have to depend on is yourself and your luggage." - The Luggage Salesman (Joe Versus the Volcano)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ex machina View Post
    I had an idea earlier that I would like to kick around. I was reorganizing my bags and it struck me that if one of my large clear pouches had sewn dividers separating the interior into 3 equal pockets, I could store stuff more easily in a vertical fashion inside my Large Cafe Bag. Then while I was mulling on this, and potential designs it occurred to me that if I had an insert with some firmness (akin to the backboard of the Freudian Slip), and if I had a 2x3 arrangment of pockets I could do even more and I could orient the pockets to face up, instead of sideways.

    Any idaes?
    What I use for this type of organization is a Levenger brief case folder (as shown in this post inside of a Large Organizer Pouch as shown in the picture in this post, and also described in this post, which gives a (working) link to the current Levenger brief case folders).

    My situation is slightly different -- with the horizontally oriented Imago, and also for the front pocket of the ID bag where I use the large pouches as combination organizer pouches/dividers, I prefer to attach additional clear or cordura organizer pouches to O-rings in the compartments. In my vertically oriented Ristretto the additional zipper pocket organization (and front pocket design with easy access to the bottom of the pocket) reduces the need for some of the additional organizers you want to put onto a single divider for the your Cafe Bag.

    Addendum: Sorry, I just checked the Levenger links, and while they show the product, I note that they also now say that the Briefcase Folders have been discontinued. The closest comparable folders that I could find in their on-line catalog are their Project Envelopes or Project Folders, which may also work for you, although I prefer the Briefcase Folder design. (Since I had some of these folders for at least 3 or 4 years at the time I first posted about them, I can testify to the fact that these last).
    Last edited by moriond; 11-20-2009 at 08:53 AM. Reason: Addendum on current availability of Briefcase folders -- added links to Project Envelopes and Project Folders instead

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiri View Post
    I had a similar problem with items falling to the bottom of a bag. What worked for me was:

    1) this plastic sheeting (actually, I went to Michael's and got something that looked like plastic mesh - I think it's used for needlepoint
    2) get some plastic pencil boxes from Staples
    3) lay out the pattern you want
    4) cut the sheet to the size of the pattern
    5) velcro back sheet and back of pencil boxes and attach

    It separates items and keeps them from all shifting to the bottom.

    Hope that helps

    I think it is brilliant as well!

    What you are using is indeed plastic canvas, I have used it for its intended purpose in the last decade. :)

    Would you mind posting a picture of your project?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    What I use for this type of organization is a Levenger brief case folder (as shown in this post inside of a Large Organizer Pouch as shown in the picture in this post, and also described in this post, which gives a (working) link to the current Levenger brief case folders).

    My situation is slightly different -- with the horizontally oriented Imago, and also for the front pocket of the ID bag where I use the large pouches as combination organizer pouches/dividers, I prefer to attach additional clear or cordura organizer pouches to O-rings in the compartments. In my vertically oriented Ristretto the additional zipper pocket organization (and front pocket design with easy access to the bottom of the pocket) reduces the need for some of the additional organizers you want to put onto a single divider for the your Cafe Bag.

    Addendum: Sorry, I just checked the Levenger links, and while they show the product, I note that they also now say that the Briefcase Folders have been discontinued. The closest comparable folders that I could find in their on-line catalog are their Project Envelopes or Project Folders, which may also work for you, although I prefer the Briefcase Folder design. (Since I had some of these folders for at least 3 or 4 years at the time I first posted about them, I can testify to the fact that these last).

    I use the backing of a writing pad to keep the papers in my Large Organizer Pouch upright.

    I also have a cheaper and one pocket version of the original Project Folder, I found at a specialty stationary store, I have used that too.

    However, even the knockoff was expensive.


    Now, I raid....uh.... visit local big box office stores and Target right after school start and plastic file folders, wallets and pockets are $1 or less.

    Folders and pockets provide color coded organization, opaque ones also provide privacy inside Tom Bihn Large Clear Organizing Pouches.

    That set up is a durable and stylish alternative to flimsy expanding files folders, the ones with plastic inserts that look like accordions.

  9. #9
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    I'd post a picture but the get up is at my office in PA and I'm at my NYC home until after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately the pencil boxes I used aren't on the Staples website. They are approximately 9" long, 3" high and 1.25" or so deep. The have a compartment that slides out with a button clasp that secures the compartment when it's all the way in.

    All you need are small velcro spots at the corners (put them on the corners of the box, apply the matching velcro and peel the backing and then just press to the plastic sheeting to get everything aligned). I stacked 3 on top of each other as that fit perfectly in a compartment of a bag I had that I also put a netbook into. Kept everything stacked and easy to put in/take out.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiri View Post
    I'd post a picture but the get up is at my office in PA and I'm at my NYC home until after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately the pencil boxes I used aren't on the Staples website. They are approximately 9" long, 3" high and 1.25" or so deep. The have a compartment that slides out with a button clasp that secures the compartment when it's all the way in.

    All you need are small velcro spots at the corners (put them on the corners of the box, apply the matching velcro and peel the backing and then just press to the plastic sheeting to get everything aligned). I stacked 3 on top of each other as that fit perfectly in a compartment of a bag I had that I also put a netbook into. Kept everything stacked and easy to put in/take out.

    Jiri, I have seen those pencil boxes while doing my after back to school shopping expedition.

    Now I see what you mean, just one more question, are you using the mesh canvas and the boxes portrait or landscape?


    I love your very clever idea! :)

  11. #11
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    The bag I made this for is a vertical bag so I made it portrait.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiri View Post
    I had a similar problem with items falling to the bottom of a bag. What worked for me was:

    1) this plastic sheeting (actually, I went to Michael's and got something that looked like plastic mesh - I think it's used for needlepoint
    2) get some plastic pencil boxes from Staples
    3) lay out the pattern you want
    4) cut the sheet to the size of the pattern
    5) velcro back sheet and back of pencil boxes and attach

    It separates items and keeps them from all shifting to the bottom.

    Hope that helps
    Hi Jiri, your idea is clever, however I wonder what you store in the plastic pencil cases, and if you notice any rattling/noise as you carry your bag.
    Thanks!
    Olive/Wasabi SCB, Steel/Olive MCB, Blk/Blk/Wasabi Imago w/ Absolute Strap, Blk/Steel/Wasabi ID, Small Padded Pouch, Wallet in Olive, Mini Cork Organizer Pouch

  13. #13
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    I stored USB flash drives, spooling USB cable, power supply for a netbook, very small power inverter for power on an airplane/car. No noise at all - the bag is thick leather so I'm not sure that I would have heard it if things made noise - besides - the pencil cases were pretty full so I don't think things moved around much.

  14. #14
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    Well, I finished my proof of concept DIY vertical organizer. I used yellow foam sheets, a black needlepoint card, velcro and crazy glue. I am using my existing pouches as moveable/removable pockets. I just velcro them to the board. You can see it here. Comments welcome. :)
    Bags: Super Ego (Black/indigo w/cork seatbelt); Aeronaut (Crimson/Steel); 2 Medium Cafe Bags (Navy/Cayenne, Linen/Olive), w/an Ultrasuede Shoulder Strap Wrap; Large Cafe Bag (Cocoa/Wasabi) w/Absolute Strap; Imago (sadly lost to hazmat); a Brain Cell w/ another Strap Wrap; and a Shop Bag (Steel). Accessories: Bunches and bunches.
    Wanted: Zephyr or Empire Builder.
    " ...all [that] you have to depend on is yourself and your luggage." - The Luggage Salesman (Joe Versus the Volcano)

  15. #15
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by ex machina View Post
    Well, I finished my proof of concept DIY vertical organizer. I used yellow foam sheets, a black needlepoint card, velcro and crazy glue. I am using my existing pouches as moveable/removable pockets. I just velcro them to the board. You can see it here. Comments welcome. :)
    Cool! I love how quickly you executed your project from idea to finished product! Hope it works as well as you thought it would. Thanks for the pics too.
    Olive/Wasabi SCB, Steel/Olive MCB, Blk/Blk/Wasabi Imago w/ Absolute Strap, Blk/Steel/Wasabi ID, Small Padded Pouch, Wallet in Olive, Mini Cork Organizer Pouch

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