What Happened to This Site?!? An Open Letter to Doug Johnston

What the hell happened to this site?!? This was my first site I fell in love with. It started me out on paper, pens and index cards. As a result I'm fairly obsessed with index cards. There's nothing I can do about it.

Don't say that technology took over. It did in many ways but there is a resurgence in interest in paper and pen. There are different reasons for this. People are overwhelmed by technology. It stares them in the face 24/7. Some like the tactile feel of pen and paper. Thought is required to put down letters and words on paper. Your thoughts need to be organized before you permanently lay words down on paper. Some of us (me) are Luddites and would not really miss technology were it to revert to pre-1980 levels. Yes, I use technology and am very proficient with it. Its convenience is undeniable. Another reason is disaster. Were a disaster large or small to affect our technology we would be left without access to our data. For many this would be catastrophic. For others it would cause intense emotional anguish.

All of these reasons drive interest into non-technology tactile forms of data storage, communication and recording of thoughts and history. Pen and paper.

It's ironic that a simple web search for journals, pens, fountain pens, paper, and notebooks will derive an immense number of results on these subjects. I've recently revived a personal interest in fountain pens. I have owned a Waterman fountain pen since 1996. I recently purchased four new fountain pens ranging in price from $3.30 to $58. All of this has been helped along by other people also interested in pen & paper and are willing to write about their interest (obsession) on the web.

Of course it is pure irony that we read about pen and paper on the web. But the technology allows us to immerse (wallow) ourselves in these types of subjects. The DIY Planner site did that for me over five years ago.

This site is still relevant and can be a source of a new and resurgent interest in the subjects already presented here.

Criticism without solutions is just whining. I propose new leadership for this site. Someone willing to do the things needed for fresh and new content. To drive interest in the subjects presented here and new subjects relevant to this time.


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had you read Doug' s last....

letter to us, you would see that he is enduring some pretty heavy stuff.

Ygor is the foundation for all that paper and forms you love so much. He devotes many hours to us and this site.

Perhaps you, in your wisdom, would like to donate some forms you have found helpful.

I did read Doug's letter

I did read Doug's letter from November 2011. He has a lot on his plate. This is why I am suggesting new leadership. What Doug has created here is is without parallel. Yet it is a shame to let this incredible resource languish. There are many out there that are unaware of what is here.


I am but a simple caveman.

Thag, give us a review of your favorite fountain pen

It sounds like you have a wealth of knowledge. You can share it by writing a review of your favorite fountain pen.
Writer's Guidelines: http://www.diyplanner.com/guidelines/writers
and How to submit an article: http://www.diyplanner.com/docs/howto/writingarticle
Looking forward to hearing the information you have to share with us=)

Second this

You can start with a generic article posted in an appropriate forum.
If you would then like to do more, I can add the role of "writer" to your account to let you do a bit more.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

Stop whining and volunteer to help

The main problem is that the site needs a major overhaul.

Any of you folks Drupal gurus ? If so, contact Doug and volunteer.
I, unfortunately, am not one, so I can only help out so far.

If you cannot contribute like that, then contribute some relevant postings about the newest pen you found, or the spiffiest paper you like to use.

I would recommend AGAINST starting up a grumble and whine festival and I will start removing such postings if they threaten to take over. Don't make me do it.

You know what to do to keep the site up and running until it can get an overhaul. So go do it.

Like Yoda said: Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

Ygor, thank you for your continued work

Just wanted you to know.

Nice to be reminded

I know the work I do here is valued, but the occasional public reminder helps me keep my head on straight.
And a big "Thank You" back at all the folks that help keep the site running by contributing their time, effort, and ideas.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

I'm glad this site is still up and running

As a very low tech person I've never been able to fully utilize this site and yet I'm very grateful for the time, energy, effort that others have so generously invested here, along with their expertise.

But more importantly, I'm grateful for the sense of community and camaraderie. We can all maintain that by visiting a little more often and --if nothing else-- bumping the occasional post.

While we're at it, perhaps we could consider "having a good thought" (as they used to say on NYPD Blue) for Doug and anyone else in this community that may have larger issues that prevent them from contributing, or even visiting, as much as they probably wish they still had the time and energy to.

I'll start with a "shout out" to Doug. Doug, I hope you and your family are doing well.

I may revive the "Quotations and Aphorisms" thread I started a long time ago. And/or I may start recycling some of the earlier quotations in their own threads.

Thanks again. There is a wealth of information here that is still current and valuable.


I agree! Thank you so much!

I love this site! I've been coming here for years. Thank you again for your hard work!


I also thank all of you who contribute. I started out here in 2005 or 2006. I visit often, usually don't have much to add, but like hanging out.

Glad to remind you

I'm a middle school teacher. I'm reminded of a popular phrase: Haters gonna hate.
Those of us who know your work, appreciate you and your continued work.
Thank you again=)

Hugs for Ygor

I've been a member of this site for three years, and in that time I've searched for the perfect planner like everyone else here. Every time, I've come back to DIYPlanner.

Ygor, you and Doug are the reason why so many of us keep coming back. Thank you for your consistency, your artistry, your patience with the unwashed, impatient occasional heathens here. :)


Yes, thank you

I too miss the frequent updates but as I'm not qualified to contribute I have no right to complain. That doesn't stop me from checking in on a regular basis...or occasionally sharing Ygor's link to despair dot com published so many years ago.

Thanks for everything. :)

Of course you're qualified to post here!

If you visit here, you're qualified to post=)

actually the thing i use the most from ygor

Is letmegooglethatforyou :)

Gone But Not Forgotten

I, too, miss the good ol' days when we posted so often it seemed more like a chatroom. But I think our site is just going through the natural stages of its lifecycle. Thank you, ygor, for keeping it going in Doug's absence.

While we may not be posting as often as we used to, the long-term effects of this site are evident in all of our lives. A quick glance at my desk reveals a large Moleskine, an Arc notebook from Staples, a Clairefontaine Roadbook, Clairefontaine spiral notebook, a Circa PDA, a Levenger notecard bleacher, two fountain pens, and a Levenger shirt pocket briefcase fully loaded with 3 x 5 notecards. Oh, and let's not forget about the four bottles of fountain pen ink stored in my desk drawer. I used none of these items before first visiting this site almost 7 years ago.

Thank you DIY Planner community for showing me the path to paper enlightenment. The journey continues...


I'd like to see us rejuvenate this page :)

I love this site, it is one of my favorites, but I feel like I am often here alone. :) I have a lot of friends I'm trying to refer to the site but they say they can't figure out how to make an account. I stay signed in, so I am not sure what the issue may be. I can ask one to send me a snapshot of what is going on.

The unbelievable interest in Happy Planner, ARC planner, Passion Planner, etc tells me that paper planners are very relevant. Last year I made my own version of a Hobonichi planner and enjoyed using something different.

Part of the problem with the site is that it's just a little difficult to view what you're trying to find sometimes. I end up using the search feature most of the time instead of the article topics.

I appreciate the work the creators and admin of this page have done and am so very grateful that this page is still here. Thank you for keeping it up. Perhaps you could use help with reviving the page so that more people can use the wonderful resources here. I don't know. All I know is this: I love this site. It has many, many useful tools. If we could make it easier for people to join and make it easier to load graphics that would be awesome.

Thank you for all your hard work. I appreciate all of it.

spam, spam, spam, spam

The problem with new users was that the site was getting pounded with spam, so the admins turned off new memberships. You have to write to ygor or somebody to ask. I forget now who or how, but there was a post somewhere about it.

Sadly, the site runs on an older version of Drupal (I think), and needs updating, but updating may break some things, and the complications are more than those in charge have the time energy to deal with, so the site is sort of in limbo with some things.

Add that Facebook and other places seem to be the places where things happen nowadays, and things like the items you mentioned and the Bullet Journal all have their own followings in other places, and well... this site doesn't seem as relevant as it once did. It is a bit of a shame, however, but what is here is still here, and I still have things I found there that I print out when necessary, including ygor's dynamic templates app.

Dam the Spam

Ruining the entire site and keeping out new members because of spam is silly. No wonder the page is dying like the dead sea - nothing new can flow in. There has to be a better way.

I reject the idea that other places are more relevant.
The only reason this site isn't relevant is that no one can use it who isn't already a member.

There is a tremendous resurgence towards paper planners. It's amazing and something I think surprised the techno geeks of the world. People like paper and pen. They like creating with their hands. Long live washi tape.

The answer is to start a new site, archive the old as reference

Totally agree, this site is ALWAYS discussing stuff happening on other sites, if you keep the newbies out, for whatever good reason, the site will die eventually.

I think the answer is, if after such a long time a way has not been found to transfer the old site to a new site, then do as a number of other sites have done:

forget about transferring the site, accept the site cannot be transferred as is, archive this site for all the good information, but add new members and new material to a totally new site with new software that can be supported easily, and add pointers to the new site on the old site, and to the old site on the new site.

The benefit of starting from scratch plus the benefit of keeping the old site, is the best of both worlds, I think.

What do you think?

Would you be willing to throw a few dollars at it ?

I was discussing with Doug the possibility of doing something like a KickStart.

Also, considering the possibility of selling printed templates to raise funds to run the site.

Who out there is willing to put their money where their mouth is ?
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

KickStart is good, or Paypal donate

KickStart seems like a good idea, actually I am surprised I have not see a Paypal donate button, like so many other free sites.

Another idea: the fountain pen network charges for the privilege of advertising on their site, on both separate classified add forums, and discreet adds at the top and side of the page.

Does that seem feasible? I am guessing the two adds to the left of this screen are not free. :-)

In the years I have been here I have seen a number of folks seemingly desperate to sneak an add here and there on this site. Time to pay the piper!

Yes, I would be willing to donate a few bucks occasionally.

If you go the route of selling templates and stuff, I would be more interested in stimulating the development of better Dynamic Templates List software, since I usually print my own stuff.

Nice ideas

I will ask for details over at FPN

"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***



I've been burnt on Indiegogo and all but burnt on Kickstarter. I'm not keen on those two. I'd rather just use PayPal to give. There are already ads here, but maybe more of them? down that left column? Amazon affiliate links help, too.

But the idea of archiving the old... that's an idea...

Thanks, Jon

Every input helps me plan a strategy.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***

The fact that the site is still up at all is a major big deal

Some people don't realize what a major big deal it is for a site of this nature to still be around, even if it was totally silent, which it is not.

I spent several years moderating, contributing, and compiling lots and lots of information on favorite subjects, mostly related to now outdated technology (Palm and DOS related, among other topics). While I myself no longer use most of that technology, it makes me a bit sad that all of the hard work that myself and many others put on several enthusiast sites has disappeared in the internet ether (someone had to pay the bills, and it wasn't me or most of the contributors).

In short, because there is a huge internet glut of valuable free information and free services, we tend to forget that there is always someone behind it all, paying the bills, and usually not getting a dime in return. And that is huge.

I agree!!!

I agree and am so glad this site is here! I have used it for almost a decade and it is a big help.

And a thanks to Ygor for his work!

We all know Mr White's had more than his fair share of load on him so the fact that the site is responding at all is pretty amazing.

So, from my perspective as a new user, thank you for keeping it alive at all.

How did this pop up now?

The date on this posting is 2013 how did it pop up now? Just curious.

Anyway this site has been a lifesaver for me. Although I use electronics, especially electronic medical records, writing has always been the best tool for me to plan, organize, and study. I've used material from here when (attempting) to teach my boys and other kids how to study, how to take notes, how to plan their time, or how to organize their thoughts. I'm limited in what I can do to help this site but am a VERY thankful user.

An ADD pastor (now hospice chaplain) in search of structure....but enjoying a certain level of chaos!

Re: How did this pop up now?

> The date on this posting is 2013 how did it pop up now? Just curious.

I am a new member and came across the posting and wanted to return good praise for good work to show my appreciation.

Thanks to all

I pop in from time to time, still battling my Planner Pad addiction and too embarrassed to post anything. I'm grateful to Doug, Ygor, and everyone who has helped to make this site the best resource for those of us who still find value in the art of paper-and-pen planning.

How did this pop up?

I'm just so thrilled to see anything pop up. I love this site. I've used it for years to help students, I used it to help myself through grad school, I use the flylady materials, all kinds of things. It's an unbelievable source. If we could get the graphics back it would be wonderful. You used to be able to preview the pages and see what they were going to look like. Anyway, I'm glad it is still here. I appreciate every single person who has ever contributed to this resource.

At the risk of gushing ...

I love, love, love this website and I keep coming back even though I was never able to take full advantage of all the information and resources since I'm not the most tech savvy and at any given point my computer has either been too old or it was an Apple/Mac.

I'm excited at the thought of anything that might breathe new life into this site. Having said that, part of the appeal for me has been saving money so I would lean towards ad revenue, if money is the real issue.

I would almost suggest starting a companion FaceBook page as a way of generating more interest in this site but my guess is that would create more work for the people that keep this place running. Thanks so much to them and to the faithful that keep returning to add content.

I made my contribution in that regard a little earlier today. Check out my post on Walmart's "IQ 360" Circa/Arc type products. And I'll be updating my September post on my never ending search for DIY Classic/Junior/Half size punchable weekly agenda pages, which involves the two sided booklet printing of an Outlook calendar.