DIY Planner, the next iteration

This web site is a dinosaur.
The server it lives on is running on CentOS 4 and the site is an instance of Drupal 5
Both are way obsolete.

A complete rebuild is needed.
The biggest problem is that I do not believe that there is an easy way to preserve all the current content.
The templates exist as separate document files, so they can be ported, but all the forum discussions are what may not survive.

How do folks feel about that ?

I am looking for opinions, feedback, suggestions, and technical assistance.

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Next iteration thoughts and Bullet Journal

I’ve been gone for years but came back after reconsidering using Hipster and PocketMod.

Last few years been using a simple version of Bullet Journal usually in a 3x5” notebook like a FieldNotes. BuJo worked great for a moving, house demo, rebuild project. Always kept on 3x5 in pocket with a bullet pencil. space pen would work great too. Used 3-4 other 3x5” as the collections areas for different topics, permits and process, applicance specs, prices, drawings about outside, yard, inside...
You can use any size book, journal, but for my project needed a small size that could be carried everywhere in any outfit.
I always had problems conforming to the various planner formats. What to put where, is this a todo or ? or ? Does it need to be in two places? Where do I put my notes for the upcoming meeting with the calendar or ? It took on a life of it’s own. I’d give up. The BuJo solved that for me. Just put it down right here, right now. The Index keeps everything found. So what if a project list, and thoughts are on page 2-3, 8, 21. They are there and you can find them in an instant.
The thing that saved me over and over on the project was using my phone’s camera to take shots of important pages, notes, diagrams right away. I used Evernote at that time to collect but Onenote and others useful now. What that did was save me from pulling hair when left a notebook at home, office. I could carry that one catchall notebook but could quickly reference a phone number, name from another. Didn’t need to retype into contacts just needed access to my notes. I would reshoot a page when I added more info and delete the old. I didn’t spend much/any time organizing the Evernote pages. They were for backup.
Would also use the phone to keep track of future appointments with alarms. Close in appointments usually just went in notebook. (And photoed into Evernote)
Look at Bullet Journaling. It is great for may projects, lives. Some turn them into art scrapbooks but I found simple was best. Kept me on the project and not the design.

Hope you can save some of the articles and comments. I always found great stuff in how people actually did things or used a form.


I forgot to add that I do a variation of a bullet journal now myself. Last year I tried with a Leuchtturm notebook. I loved it, but in early June, broke my handwriting wrist, which killed writing for the next several months. I switched to a Google spreadsheet, of all things, for a monthly log, and just used scraps of paper and a mix of Google Keep and Onenote for the rest. This year, I revived my print bujo but went back to my Rolla/Levenger/Tul/ notebook. I still use Google to create my monthly page, but print it and punch it, and drop it in my binder. I also am using tabs this year, instead of the index, as it seems to work better for me. I don't have a lot of sections, and for now, it's rather ad-hoc, but the year will reveal to me what I need. :-)

I suppose that Ad-hoc should be my middle name. I tend to wing it for everything I do these days.


Nuke and pave

It's been so long since there has been any meaningful discussion on here, that what is lost... well, does anybody refer to anything? Do you have access to the web logs to know if any conversations have recent traction? Maybe just export and save the high-volume and high-value conversations, even if only as static pages (with the option for further conversation in the comments or however the update will work..

I do know this, though, I have photos on Flickr that still get likes and favorites every blue moon. Those have links to content here. That would be lost, but honestly, I don't know if anybody ever visits those links, and can't know.

So, my leaning would be to just let those old things go. Right now, the site is so broken, that I only see new discussions. At least the RSS feed is still working, so I get alerts of replies that way. If anything gets retained, I hope that does. :-)


Happy to help with the new transfer


Maybe if you could explain what you were your plans in as far as where the new home would be (Facebook group, wordpress blog, etc.), it will help see if we even have the knowledge to help.

I FIRMLY BELIEVE many people still refer to info on this site, but I'd also like to see if there are any statistics.


Current Plans...

Build a new version and locate it in the same place.
Biggest headache will be old content - what to keep / trash, how to migrate it, et cetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseum
"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) ***

version jump

I take it the biggest problem is the jump to the current version of Drupal will break lots of things, because the site hasn't done the incremental updates? Or has Drupal changed that much? How will the OS be updated? Sounnds like the site might be offline for a bit? Or will you do the changes offline, and only bring them online once complete?

Next Iteration

I feel strongly that you should preserve the files of user-contributed templates. There are many ingenious forms that should be preserved for future generations.

For mine, the upgrade has to

For mine, the upgrade has to happen and if files cannot go with it than we have to let go of those files. This would be unfortunate but I feel without the upgrade, things will get worse. I also think it is unfair on Ygor as volunteer admin to expect him to undertake what seems to be an unprecedented conversion of the data. By all means preserve if we can but be pragmatic about it. Bob H.

For what it may be worth

I used to hang here quite a bit, and then life and kid happened... I still use the DIY Classic and even the awesome dynamics for some things - still refer back here from time to time. As kid has grown, it is all been so useful and can't imagine what I would have done without some of the forms, etc. I would agree with some others that it would be great to be able to keep the template files and guidelines, at least. A facebook page could help bring traffic here if we wanted it, I think - new generation and all that. Thank you so much, Ygor, for all your time, effort, and commitment over all these years. <3

Well I had a nice long

Well I had a nice long comment that disappeared when I tried to edit it. Okay will try this again:
First off THANK YOU Ygor for all you have done over the years. This site is an invaluable resource. The templates at the very least should be preserved butt there is a lot of great information in the forums. Methods, punches, and other great information that is helpful to anyone new. But if we can't then I guess we have to leave them behind. It would be a loss. Perhaps the forum threads could be exported into static pages? I know of other forums that do this for their archives. RSS here still works and perhaps that could be a easy method of export with a few tweaks?

Just came across this It is a export from Drupal forms to CSV. Perhaps that could be useful? It is listed as experimental but perhaps worth playing around with (after a full backup is done of course)?

The next design

I was wondering. A few weeks ago, I couldn't even get on the page. I thought it had shut down. Does Doug even visit here anymore? There have been no new templates in years. I still have the 2.0 and 3.0 templates saved that I've used over the years.

As to a redesign, I think the old forums can go away. We can always introduce new ones and long term members here like myself can post again if need be. I think the key is to keep the archive of all the templates you have here. There's nothing like it on the net in such a ready format to print and use with value.

I'm still around. I relocated to St. Louis about 1.5 years ago. I'll give you any feedback I can Ygor. Let me know!

Find out more about me at:

Doug's templates

The Dynamic templates (by ygor) have kind of replaced the work that Doug did originally. I seem to recall Doug saying so himself. The real treasure is all those custom forms and pages designed by users through the years. A lot of them, however, were dated, and are now useless for direct use, but might provide some inspiration for future work, maybe. It's hard to know exactly what to do with it all.

The truth is, it's probably more work than one person can handle. I'd be willing to help if it were necessary. Don't know what all I could do, but hey, I'm willing. :-)

Yes and no

Don't get me wrong, Ygor's Dynamic templates are GREAT but it is really only calendar and notes pages. There is a lot more than that in Doug's templates that are still usable. Even undated calendars you can write in your own (but why do that when Ygor's does this automatically).

that was the point...

...of the dynamic templates, simply to replace the dated, and other common forms that people like to change up a lot, while also staying consistent with Doug's forms that didn't need any updating. So that's what I do today. I use the Dynamics to print out dated items, and also customize my notes pages, and have combined others from Doug's templates when I need them. Right now, though, I'm really simple. I use the horizontal two-page-per-year format, punch it, and put it at the front of my bullet journal. I use Google Spreadsheets to create a vertical monthly layout with important items pre-entered, and print and punch that, and then I use the dynamic squared pages for the main pages, and other pages printed for other things. I've also combined a few T?l and Rolla and Circa pages. It's a real mishmash, to be honest, but it's a planner. I'm not one of those artistic bullet journalists who do calligraphy, fancy lettering, etc. A plain, simple, and yes, ugly journal works fine for me. ;-)

The big thing I think I miss from this site, though, is the community and the brain-storming, encouragement that it brought. Back when this site was in its heyday about 10 or 11 years ago, I was probably at my most organized, and probably least-stressful, so far as organization goes, time.

I know that Facebook, Instagram and other things have popped up in the mean time, but I am not really into any of those. I avoid actually doing anything on Facebook, and don't want to get on Instagram. I love my photography, but IMO, Instagram can just cheapen that (for me).

I don't know how possible it would be to revive this site to activity, but I say it can't hurt. I don't know how involved Doug still is, or if he would rather just give it away or sell it or not. He hasn't spoken. Ygor has become the face of the site, and at this point, he has ideas. I'd like to hear what he has to say as to what he's specifically thinking. @ygor


The community of DIYP

I miss the community, too. I got so inspired by all the creativity, reviews, etc. It was (and still is) great to read through the forum posts and see how people have approached similar organizational challenges in different ways. Wasn't there someone from Levenger who made up prototypes from suggestions here? That was very cool (I'm a Lev junkie, for sure).

The world has changed a little bit over the years and the way that people connect has evolved. That isn't to say that the site can't be revived - just the opposite - but I wonder if there are ways to bring it to the attention of more "serious" users? I recognize that the spammer issue Ygor brought up must be a real nightmare to deal with. Unfortunately, I'm no programmer, just a simple rocket scientist who has loved this place and would love to see more great things happen here.

Forum Structure/backbone?

What is used for the forums? There are several new discussion tools (like etc. that could be very nice alternatives. Though integrating into a site can be a tad difficult.

That said is Drupal still the most relevant structure? How complex is the site these days - having the benefit of hindsight? Could it be "moved down" a step to Joomla or Wordpress? Both would have a greater access to community (to help regular tech/web experience users) based help.

Though I like Joomla - Wordpress is becoming more tempting based on that element alone - especially as I look to future proofing a couple of projects by making them h"hand-off-able".


Establishing a relatively new site could allow for the dropping of inactive users. I've seen this done a couple of times but don't know the logistics. I could ask around though.

Sometimes everyone starts as new and sometimes depending on the rebuild everyone receives an invite (or something like that) to log into the new site. Those that don't are either dropped after a long wait period or segregated out of the main user base in case they show up later. Which might be of use here. It seems users here sorta migrate back with a hi and then go on again. I have the feeling it's mostly due to the site usage etc. Change that and they may come back to a degree?


The problem is keeping out the spammers.
Before I locked down the new user interface, we would get dozens of butt heads selling everything from mortgages to them little blue sex pills. The flood of spam postings made it tough to find the relevant posts.
"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) ***