What's New in D*I*Y Planner 2.0? [Depreciate Febuary 11th 2006]

What's New in D*I*Y Planner 2.0?

So what's new? Well, here are a few highlights. (If you haven't had any experience with a previous version of this planner system, feel free to skip over this information.)

  • New covers, with a template cover kit (using OpenOffice.org Draw) for creating your own.
  • New logo, and a slightly different name. (Note the asterisks.)
  • Plenty of new forms: there are more than three times as many templates in this package, over 50 altogether. Some are requests, some are new takes on old ones, and some are forms that I've designed to meet a personal need.
  • Every existing form has had some type of make-over. The same basic (i.e., "non-offensive") style has been kept for all templates, but a few subtle look-and-feel elements have been added to tighten up the design and help with the consistency. Speaking of consistency, there is now far more of it: I deviate only occasionally where I think it would allow for more efficiency or legibility.
  • There are some "alternatives" for V1 forms. For example, some people have no use for two full lines per item in Next Actions, and so I've made slimmer versions which only have one line per item. The V1 templates are also included, so you can choose whichever one best suits your style and methods. (Myself, I generally use two lines.)
  • Per request, the use of grey has been toned down in certain forms. Some pages, like the Notes templates, have both lighter and darker versions.
  • Some V1 forms have been broken apart into other forms. For example, the former Project Outline is now the revised Project Outline (with step-by-step planning) and Project Details (for listing objectives, resources, personnel, budget, etc.).
  • Included are more generic templates like Checklist, Matrix and Shopping, that are flexible enough to be used for many different purposes.
  • There are a few specialty templates, like Web Design I and Web Design II, which may be helpful to those working in certain industries. (Many more are planned for the future.)
  • The PDF file is no longer just 8.5"x11" with the need to print two per page, then cut (which we call 2-up). We also offer 1-up 5.5"x8.5" format. This way, you can use pre-cut paper if you have it, or just guillotine letter-size paper before printing (which is what I do). It also has the added benefit of making it very easy to produce an A5 version, which I’ll be working on just as soon as the North American version is out through the door.
  • Starting with version 2.0, the files will be split into different "packs," either for topic-related, formatting or logistical issues. For example, the Receipts template is in a file by itself, since it's a cut-out form based on larger paper, and the GTD diagrams are also in a separate file, since they weren't created by me (only resized to fit the planner).
  • Yes, I've succumbed to your requests: there are undated daily, weekly and monthly planning pages. Don't ever say I don't care about you folks. ;-)
  • More testing and tweaking has been done to account for the differences between laser and inkjet printers; there are still many variations in tonal quality (because of the underlying technologies), but all text and backgrounds should allow enough contrast for legibility. That being said, I use an inkjet most of the time, and thus the forms probably look slightly better on that style of printer.
  • Since my philosophy is to provide templates that cater to a highly-configurable (i.e., "tweakable") planning system which is malleable to the different needs and situations of many types of users, I've adopted two important goals when producing version 2.0:
    • Make allowances for alternative planning systems: besides GTD (which is still a primary design objective, since I use it daily), I've also provided many generic forms and a few Covey-inspired templates;
    • Mix and match: I've attempted to ensure that many forms can be printed on two sides of the paper, which means -- for example -- you can face a Weekly Planning page with a Covey-esque Weekly Goals (sharpen that saw!), another Weekly Planning page (for a two-week spread), a Next Actions page, a To Do list, or a GTD All-In-One. Experiment until you get a layout that works for you. Isn't it great to have options?
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