Inside My Hipster

I've been using my HipsterPDA and this site for about a year now. Doug's been awesome about making lots of new forms for me to use and test out. And I know that a lot of you (after all his forms ARE the reason you're on the site right now, right?) agree with me that it's fun to download and cut out and build your own planners according to your views of GTD or any other productivity methodology you follow, right? Since I've had the chance to use the forms for a year, I thought it'd be fun to show you how I set my hipster up and what forms I've been using.

Let's talk about cases first. When I first started my Hipster I ended up using a plastic case I found several years ago from a local Barnes and Noble. It's translucent blue and has a handle on top. It closes like an envelope and latches somewhat securely. I wish I could give you a nice web link where you can view more information on it, but I have no idea who made it and who stocks it these days. I know that Barnes also doesn't carry it anymore. Then I tried converting over to a 3x5 Moleskine Accordian Notebook. But I found that I wanted more index cards and planner forms than the poor thing could handle. I like thick and full planners. I used to keep all the pages of my classic sized planner in the case, even if I wasn't going to use it because I've always liked books that had weight and substance to them. These days, however, my forms go in style. The latest case is a black 3 x 5 Leather-Rope Accordion File by Levenger. It's perfect for me. I bought it from their site after I started working full time again. It looks a bit more professional than my old blue case and certainly holds a few more cards than it too.

My projects nestle inside this marvelous case. I don't use any of the Calendars or record time with my Hipster. I seem to prefer documenting and capturing information as it relates to projects and their completion. I also collect snippets of information that captures my fancy on these cards. Each one of my projects or potential projects gets it's own folder. Once again, I went to Levenger to purchase a set of their 3x5 File Folders. They come in a pack of 15 and have 5 colors. I love these folders. They're plastic so they hold up to the abuse my Hipster takes as it gets jostled from bag to meeting to desk. And they can hold a lot of sheets. I wish I could tell you that I have a color-coded scheme to my projects, but i don't. I tend to prefer the darker colors so I have most of my current and fun projects contained in blue and purple folders (I wish they made green or black ones however). The orange and Red folders typically hold blanks and extra forms.

Here's a run down of my current favorite forms:
Title Card I glued one of the D*I*Y Planner Hipster Title cards to the back of a collage card and stuck it in the front pocket of the Levenger Cord case. It's got my name and contact info so in the odd chance that I misplace or lose my Hipstser someone can contact me about returning it. Thankfully, this hasn't happened yet.

Project I love these forms. I use them to organize both my day job's projects as well as my own personal projects. Each project I work on gets one of the cards. I use them as a title sheet to gather the main facts, work orders or other important details. Then if I need more space or cards for more information, I use Checklist cards or blank quad-ruled index cards to give me the rest of the information I need.

Checklist The Checklist card is one of the most versatile cards out there, in my honest opinion. I can sketch out To-do list, generate CD andplay lists , list project materials, or create grocery lists. Usually all my projects contain at least 2 or more check list cards that extend and expand upon every project I'm focused on.

Story Idea Kit These cards include the Story Idea, Character, Plot Point, and Story cards. Each new story gets one major Story Idea card. It captures the central data for each story I may decide to write. For each Main Character in this story gets their own Character card. If I am lucky and get the idea for the whole story's plot, I use a plot card for each major plot point from start to end. These get numbered and put into a rough draft order that I can easily add cards or remove or reorder later if need be. Sometimes I don't get a whole story or even a character to work from at first. I get a quote and from that I start developing a story with characters around it. These quotes or other snippets of sentences or descriptions that catch my fancy get written down on a Story card for incorporation in the real story when I sit down to write it.

Storyboard Pictures are worth a thousand words sometimes. Therefore I keep a stack of One-up Story board cards with me at all times. I picked up a copy of The Creative License by Danny Gregory and have been trying to work on drawing things and my style. I've found that the Storyboard cards are perfect to help me work on small sketches that flex my ability to draw. These cards are also great for creating new altered book and scrapbook layouts before I glue pictures and ephemera into a book.

Contacts What planner or hipster is complete without at least one or more Contacts cards? I keep at least one or two of these cards in my hipster with Important numbers so that they're available when I need them and I am without my Macbook.

As I write this, I notice that I have one Finance card and a few Shopping cards from the old version of the D*I*Y Planner Hipster Kit. I've never used them but I guess I added them in to keep a quick budget of my bills on the Finances card and a possible "Wish List" on the shopping card. However, as you can see, I found the Checklist cards more practical for the needs of my catch-all listing card.

Oxford Quad Ruled Cards The quad ruled cards are my tried and true all purpose blank cards. They're good for sketches, lined notes and doodles (on the blank side). I always try and keep a small stash of these cards in my Hipster to capture notes from meetings and phone calls, or to hand out ideas and notes and numbers to others. I've used these as quick calling cards when I don't have my business cards with me and I've captured lots of interesting quotes that friends have said over dinner. You really can't have too many blank cards lying around. Especially if you're trying to write down every little important nig that goes through your head.

And that ends the grand tour through my Hipster. As you can see, I favor loosely organized planner formats that allow my thoughts and sketches to wander in and out of the forms themselves. For now this is what works best for me. And I do not see feel the need to modify my current set-up. Although, I do admit that I've got my sights on getting two of these little gems to help me organize the blank forms I keep at home and at work. Maybe I'll get them as a holiday present *hint hint*. There's only one question left. What does your hipster look like? Feel free to describe it in the comments below or post it in our gallery along with the other brave souls who've posted images and commentary on their Planners and Hipsters.

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the "loose cards" problem?

Hi Innowen, and thanks for showing us your setup. I wouldn't mind some more pictures, especially of the accordion holder thingie. For instance, is it elastic so that if you only have a few cards in it, it will still hold them without them falling out?

more on the levenger accordian folder

Hey shb,

Thanks for yer interest. I'll try and post a few more images of my pack from the side and maybe upside down later this weekend for ya. To answer your question, however, the accordian holder doesn't have elastic around it at all. It's leather and quite sturdy. I was also worried about losing cards but thanks to all the things I've stuffed inside of it, nothing seems to fall out at all. I've tested it by holding it upside down and nothing's shaken loose. But on the off chance that it loses weight one day, I have thought about getting a small but thick rubber band for it so things stay inside.

I suppose that if you don't like "a full" pack, then cards would fall out. So if you are one who prefers to carry less cards around with you, I'd recommend going with the Moleskine Accodian folder as that has both a cover to hold cards in AND the trademark elastic band. However, if you still lust over the Levenger folder, I've heard some people bought it and used it as their "holder" for spare cards.

Hope this helps,

Levenger's note cards

I've tried the white with blue line oxford cards you mention and they worked. But I've become spoiled by the Levenger cards. The card stock is so smooth and elegant. Luxurious. Not as economical, though. But then, $40 buys you 1000 of them which will last quite some time. Sure would go nice with your leather accordian case.

I might need one of those cases too come to think of it. My first question was whether to go with black or red... And, those little Morgan card dispensers definitely rock as well. Lovely.

The way you describe your set-up is with such loving care. Thanks for that.

Accordian File

A really useful item and it looks good......however; it appears that to get this to the UK it will cost approx $50 and that is on top of the purchase price. Which unfotunately makes it too expensive at about $100. Does anyone know anything simmilar available in the UK ?


Hmmm maybe I need to return

I haven't really messed with my Hipster in a while. With the new business I do need something to carry with me when I can't deal with my full planner.

Nice product

I got one of these when I bought my Pocket Brief, for extra cards...It would seem a bit big to carry around, personally. But if you had it in a briefcase/bag, it would be ok.

It is a bit bigger for most

It is a bit bigger for most people but I like the fullness. However, if you ask me, it's no bigger than some planners I see my friends and coworkers drag with them to and from the boardrooms. For the most part, my Hipster lives on my desk at home, at work and in my slingback bag.

My Hipster is mostly a container for the cards that I manipulate. I tend to take cards out and write on them during the day or take out the folders and add notes or new cards to them when i need to write more info down. When i'm done with the card or project... those get filtered out and filed away and new projects get started.

But yeah, this is just what I have that works for me.