Index Card Comparison
A 5x3 size index cards had used in library for long time. In Japan, A 6 inch x 4 inch and B6 size index cards are also available. The 6x4 and B6 had used by researcher.
Index cards in Japan
In Japan, the index cards is called "情報カード (Jyoho Card)", which means "information card". The Correct (コレクト), one of Japanese stationary maker, sells various type and size of index cards. Name card size, 5x3, 6x4, B6, bill size, with plain, ruled, section is available.
Is the index cards is popular in Japan then? I must answer "No". I think index cards is quite minor market in Japan. Actually, it is difficult to find index cards in stationery store, especially 5x3 size. Besides 5x3 size, B6 size is popular among researcher since Tadao Umesao (梅棹忠夫) introduced how he use cards for information management in research in 1960'. After his naming, the B6 size card is refered to as "京大式カード (Kyoto University style card)".
Survey at Shinjyuku, Tokyo
I went Shinjyuku, Tokyo, to survey how many index cards are sold in stationery store. I went to the Sekaido (世界堂), one of the largest stationery store in Shinjyuku. It is 5 minutes from Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line, Shinjyuku 3 chome station.
It is 5 to 6 floor building, all with stationery and art goods. The index cards are settled at the first floor. I find name card size, 5x3 size, 6x4 size, B6 size with plain, printable, section (quadrille), 6 mm ruled, and 8 mm ruled. Also, Dock, index (separator), and purse are available. I still couldn't find such a plenty of index cards goods ever in Tokyo. In fact, I only found B6 and 5x3 card, two kinds each in another larger stationery store "Loft" at Shinjyuku Mitsukoshi. I think the Sekaido is rare case even in Tokyo. Perhaps, I can say this is a "Macca" for index cards geek.
Index cards in U.S.
I have been to San Francisco to attend meeting at the end of 2006. I went for a walk around Moscone Convention Center in spare time. I tried to look for an index cards from my curiosity. I found a stationery store close to the SF MOMA. Perhaps it is not fare to compare with the Sekaido because of it's medium scale. Madam kindly accept me to take a photo.
The index cards occupy a corner. There are 5x3, 6x4, and larger index cards available. A stock won't be different between Japan and U.S. What is curious for me is there are a lot of colors, blue, yellow, red index cards. I could find plain and ruled index cards. I couldn't find quadrille card in the store.
I found Office Depo, 5 minutes from the stationery store. This time I found quadrille index card with "Office Depo" brand.
Quadrille card in U.S.
What is shocking about quadrille card is, as Lepard and Gregkise pointed out, the cut is not associated with the grid. As a result, the grid is totally random if I see the card's edge from top. I found this quadrille card is not compatible with the PoIC, especially for "tag".
Another difference is grid spacing. For Office Depot's : 6 mm each, and for Correct's : 5 mm each. Since I have been using 5 mm grid, the Correct's one looks more tight, tense, and compact for me. I have never imagine how different the quad card in U.S. and Japan.
5 x 3 Index Cards : Comparison table
|Company||Type*||Cut and Grid**||Grid Spacing**|
|Correct (Japan)||p, pp, r, rl, rv, q||Associated||5 mm|
|L!fe (Japan)||p, r, c, q||Associated||6 mm|
|Kokuyo (Japan)||p, r||-||-|
|Oxford (U.S.)||p, r, c, q||Random||6 mm|
|Office Depot (U.S.)||p, c, q||Random||6 mm|
|Mead (U.S.)||p, r, c||-||-|
|Ampad (U.S.)||p, r, c||-||-|
|3M (U.S.)||rs, rs+c||-||-|
|Exacompta (France)||q+c||Associated||5 mm|
\* : p : plain, pp : plain printable, r : ruled, rl : ruled library, rv : ruled vertical, rs : ruled sticky, q : quadrille, c : color \*\* : For quadrille card
Any additional information is welcome!