Frequently Asked Questions: General

  1. Why did you make these templates?

    There are a number of reasons for project. I wanted to get back to using a paper planner, especially for more creative endeavours. The Palm is a great tool, but like with my computers, I tend to associate it with office and technical work. With a paper-based planner I could get back to basics without all the impediments of a rigid computer-imposed 'structure'. I now live four hours from the closest Staples, and it is almost impossible to find commercial templates in this neck of the woods. I like the freedom to make templates that suit my lifestyle. For example, there are very few commercial templates for right-brained folks. I'm cheap, my wife will no doubt verify this fact, and I can make my own templates for 1/20th the cost of purchasing them and still have ones that look and feel semi-professional.

  2. I don't recall some of these ideas mentioned in the Getting Things Done book. What's up?

    The GTD system, in itself, leaves a lot of room for customisation and circumstance. And well it should, or it would be far too rigid for most progressive thinkers to use. What I've done is try to adapt some of Allen's methods to my particular workflow, and devised these templates to hold and structure the information that I need to record and use; at least, that's how this project started... Nowadays, the emphasis is on creating templates that can be adapted to almost any methodology, whether that's GTD, Covey, or anything else you might think of using.

  3. Will you make the templates available in 'my' size?

    Well, let me put this in perspective. There are over 120 templates currently included in the Classic/A5 kit, and more than 90 in the Hipster PDA. To create any other version, I would essentially have to redesign every template, since it's not simply a matter of doing a quick scaling-up (or -down). Making custom sizes for everyone would be the death of a thousand cuts. I'm not saying I'll never create a personal size kit, but given the fact that there is --as yet-- only one of me, it's not very likely in the near future. That being said, there is a third-party volunteer working on producing a kit based upon my templates, and hopefully there should be something available in the future.

  4. Which programs did you make these templates in?

    Most D*I*Y Planner templates are constructed in Adobe Illustrator then output to PDF using InDesign. The graphics version of the Hipster PDA Edition was made by pasting each Illustrator template into Photoshop, and then output from there as optimised 8-bit PNG files. Other templates, such as the Classic/A5 cover kit, and the Widget Kit, were done in 2 Draw.

  5. Can I have copies of the original source files so I can modify them for my own purposes?

    Sorry. These files are not only a complex interplay of literally thousands of Illustrator and InDesign layers, but I guard the sources to prevent (ahem) 'commercial malfeasance' -- something which I have rather unfortunately faced in the past. As such, they are usually kept locked in a vault at a secret location several hundred fathoms deep in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

  6. May I submit my some of my own templates?

    You may certainly do so. Please see Submission Guidelines for further details.

  7. Wasn't there some Covey stuff earlier? Did I imagine that?

    All that win/win synergy was a paradigm-induced dream, I'm afraid: go back to sleep and dream of how the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing (TM, All Rights Reserved). will no longer produce or make available templates based directly on Franklin-Covey's intellectual property, including Saw Sharpening (TM), or Highly Effective (TM) ideas.

    That being said, a number of the "organisationally agnostic" forms like Harmony and Priority Matrix can be easily adapted to those methodologies.

  8. Can I have these printed and sell them?

    No. They are released under a Creative Commons licence, which dictates that:

    You are free:

    • to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work under the following conditions:
      • Attribution. You must give the original author credit.
      • Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
      • No Derivative Works. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.
      • For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work.
      • Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.

      Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.

    If you want to have these professionally printed for sale, please contact me and we'll chat. If you do decide to 'perform' the work, I'd love a videotape of it.

  9. You're giving these away for free? Are you insane?

    While that's often the subject of some debate, it has nothing to do with the reason why I'm giving this package away for free. I'm a firm believer in Open Source, free education and the empowering of knowledge; I believe that I'm put on Earth to somehow make a difference, whether that's as an educator, an advisor, a father, or something else. Now, I'm not stupid... I've released this package under a licence that may eventually allow me to make some money. How exactly, I've not yet decided. Don't worry, though: this planner system will always remain free for download and personal use.

  10. How can I get involved in the D*I*Y Planner project?

    The D*I*Y Planner evolves constantly and I always consider it a work in progress. If you have any comments please feel free to get in touch with me through my contact form. I'd love to hear any suggestions you might have, and I'll certainly listen to any proposed areas of improvement or new templates you would like to see.

  11. You've really made a difference in my life. Is there anything I can do to repay you?

    Well, there's no obligation, but there are a few things you can do to help us along:

    • We have an Amazon affiliate account, so if you purchase items by clicking on one of our links, we get a small cut.
    • We have a PayPal account set up to accept donations. (See the button above the download section.) You can fund the pizza for the next all-night template session. Or ink. We need lots of ink. ;-)
    • Tell your friends about the D*I*Y Planner, and where to find it.
    • I'm always on the lookout for new or unusual planners, templates, pens, software or other gear. Feel free to donate anything you think might pique my interest. (Contact me for my info.)
    • Please link to our site if you like the kit. You can use the following HTML:

      border="0" alt="Get the D*I*Y Planner" height="45" width="75"></a>

  12. Your English is weird.

    That's because I'm Canadian. That means I'm allowed to use more vowels, and also that I harbour a mortal fear of the letter 'z'.

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