Beautiful leather folio puts absolutely everything in its place


Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

I’m a digital pack rat. I’ve got an iPhone, an iPad mini, a Barnes & Noble nook eReader, a space pen, several USB flash drives, and various earbuds along with a few charging and adapter cables.

I usually just jam all these things into my backpack as I head out the door, hoping they don’t get lost or tangled in the process. They get lost in my bag of choice, and I spend a fair bit of time searching around for stuff I need in any given moment when out and about.

Honestly, though, it hasn’t been much of an issue. I’ve been ok with taking the extra effort to find my headphones, say, and unwrap them from the unholy tangle they’ve become in my bag, for the simple fact that I’m not super organized.

This new leather folio case, however, has me re-thinking all that. What if I could keep track of all the little digital ephemera I carry with me in a more compact, organized way?

Turns out that I can, and look great doing it.

It also seems that I’ve become somewhat of a high-quality materials junkie with all this great stuff I get to test out for review. The Mod, the leather folio with interchangeable inserts made with loving care by This Is Ground, is yet another fine fit for my love affair with leather.

Leather is a gorgeous, durable material that only gets cooler looking with age and use. The Mod I received is a lustrous, thick dark brown leather with a wickedly sturdy zipper that folds it’s rich-smelling covers together to keep all my stuff safe and organized.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Inside front has a pen strap at the top for my space pen, a business card sized pocket for all the dead tree contact cards I get at conferences, a larger snap-closing flap for my earpods, and a larger sewn-in pocket on the bottom that holds larger bits of paper or money when I actually have cash. It also fits my iPhone when it’s not in it’s own case. The inside back has a thin stretchy strap to hold a paper pad or small paperback book in place, and a large slide-in compartment that fits my iPad mini (or Nook) perfectly.

What the Mod excels at, however, is the magnetic snap insert. There are ten different insert options, including one for an executive (the one I received), one for a writer, one for a photographer, and even one for a guitarist with little sewn in pockets for guitar picks.

The insert I tested has a second snap flap, a larger pen loop and a big pocket with snap enclosure that fits my minimalist wallet perfectly when on the go. The back of the insert has a perfectly fit pocket into which the back cover of an included This Is Ground blank paper notebook can slide, along with another little strappy thing that holds the top cover of the notebook securely closed.

Now I can’t go anywhere without my Mod, with it’s cute yet rugged little handle on the spine and subtly burned-in This Is Ground/Los Angeles logo on the lower part of the rear panel. It’s small enough to take with me all the time, and slips into my computer bag when I need the Macbook to come along, too.

And yes, I’m still sniffing the thing every time I open it, getting the rich new-leather tones of the folio each time.

The Mod is a lustrous, thick dark brown leather folio with a wickedly sturdy zipper that folds it’s rich-smelling covers together to keep all my stuff safe and organized.

While the price is a bit on the “luxury” side of things at $260 for a Mod with one insert you can choose from the company’s website, I can see the well-heeled digiterati using a Mod for their daily travel needs. It’s perfect to tote around town, or use as your minimal carry-on as you jet set from one locale to another.

The extra inserts run from $60 to $100 depending on their functionality, and they seem like a relatively small price to pay for the extended use cases they’d bring. I’d love to have a musician insert with the extra pocket for strings for when I head to a gig, or the charger insert with its included battery pack for when I’m planning to need extra battery power to keep my digital self going long into the evening.

Bottom line is that if you want a high-quality folio case for all those little things you carry with you from day to day with the ability to quick-change to an insert that meets your specific needs perfectly, the Mod is the one to beat.

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Mod by This Is Ground ($260 with one insert)

The good: The rich, rugged, great-smelling leather keeps all your stuff organized and secure, easily change functions with a simple insert switch.
The bad: $260 is a bit rich for a ditty bag.
The verdict: If money isn’t an issue, you need this folio case for your digital lifestyle.
Buy from This Is Ground