2-sided printing of PocketMods and Page Packer pages

Basic lesson

While I enjoy PocketMod and Page Packer(Macintosh OS X-only--sorry) for what they can do, I have always regretted losing the back side of the sheet of paper. So much lost potential! The only positive side of how they work is that I can re-use scrap paper this way. I typically print onto the back sides of cast-offs, or mistakes, or printed documents that have served their purpose, and would be thrown out otherwise--so I keep my waste to a minimum this way, but still, it has bugged me that I should be able to get more out of my PocketMods. One day, while playing with Page Packer, I tried two layouts, and, trying to conserve paper, printed on both sides. At that point, it dawned on me, why couldn't I print on both sides! The only problem was figuring out where to place pages so that, when folded and cut, they would be in the right place.

The first idea I came up with, using Page Packer, is this simple two-week undated daily-page layout, with a Combined Actions page at the beginning of each week. Since this layout doesn't require any fancy page placement, and uses only two HPDA template pages, which are built into Page Packer, I thought it would be a good way to introduce others to the concept. Maybe we can convince the designers of PocketMod and Page Packer to modify their programs to allow two-sided printing, and save paper.

Before I begin, there is one minor caveat for printing from Page Packer. If you choose a generic US Letter or A4 size in Page Setup, it will potentially shrink one or more of the following pages in order to not cut off the pages at the printing margins: 1,3, 5 and 6. If you want to make sure that these pages print at full size, make sure your printer can print borderless, and choose that option in Page Setup.

First, the tools.

1. Either Page Packer(download link: PagePacker on Softonic), a pdf reader or PocketMod
2. a sharp blade, either X-acto knife or other hobby knife, scissors or a paper cutter.
3. A full-sized home or office stapler.

The two hPDA templates you will need for this exercise are a "Combined Actions" or "Actions" template and a "Day Keeper" template. For your convenience, I've enclosed two pdf files of the Page Packer template. One pdf file is laid out for US Letter, and the second is for A4 paper.

If you are doing this mod in PocketMod, you will want to use the "Simple list" for the "Actions" template, and "Daily" for the other.

To lay out the pages, you will want the "Actions" template in the Page 1 location in Page Packer, and in the "Front" location in PocketMod. The rest of the pages will be filled with the "Day Keeper" template or "Daily" template. yes, it's that simple. Now, for printing and folding...

Here are the steps.

1. Print out the first side, now flip the page lengthwise, and print on the second side. When done, the Combined Actions on each side should be on opposite ends of the paper. If they are on the same end, you goofed, and have to reprint. Pay attention to how you flipped the page the first time, and flip it on the other axis this time.

2. Fold the paper in half along the long side so you have a really skinny page.
photo on flickr here

3. Now, fold that in half, and fold in half again, so you have a 1/8th of a page-sized booklet--actually, to use a printing term, this is a 16 page signature.
Second fold
Detail of third fold--pay attention instructions at the link
Third fold

4. The next step is to cut the paper so you have four separate tiny sheets of paper, or folios, each containing four pages. There are different ways of accomplishing this.

a. I like to use my large guillotine cutter, to slice off the edges that have the folds (bottom and long edge). You will want to be careful that you don't cut too far from the fold. You want to slice off just the edge, to eliminate the folds.

b. Use an X-acto knife or hobby knife and a straight-edge to slice off the folds.
Before the bottom cut
After the bottom cut
After the edge cut.... the book is free!

c. (Not recommended) Unfold the paper, and using either a hobby knife or scissors, cut the entire sheet into four pieces. You make one cut down the middle of the long side, and another down the middle of the short side. This is a bit more complicated, as your pages are now loose, thus creating potential confusion. You need to be careful to place them back in the same order as if you were folding them the first time.

5. Once cut, with this template, you have to make one, minor change. The second, internal Combined Actions page is actually in the wrong place! You need to open the completely folded book, so that the inner folio is lying flat in front of you, and flip it around so that the right-hand, middle page contains the Combined Actions page. If you count the pages, it should be page number 9. Once this is done, you are finally ready to finish your book. But to be sure, fold the book back up, and count the pages. You should have a Combined Actions page for your cover, and then 7 Day Keeper pages, and then another Combined Actions page, and 7 more Day Keeper pages. If so, you are ready to finish.
Page needing flipped--before
Page needing flipped--after

6. Carefully fold the book, and align all the pages so it looks neat. Next, carefully open it up flat again being sure to keep all the pages properly aligned, taking special care to make sure that the folds are all aligned vertically. This is essential to get a properly stapled and folded book.

7. Now, carefully insert the book into your stapler, and carefully staple through the fold in two places. I typically staple about 3/4" or 2 cm from the top and bottom edges.
Newly stapled

8. Once stapled, you can remove your book, and fold it to see how good a job you did.
The booklet on the right is from this tutorial. The others are from the next two.

Now you have a blank two-week calendar together with weekly todos!

In my next post, I'll explain how to print a single PocketMod or PagePacker template on both sides, using half the paper. Third post will cover using a whole sheet of paper, resulting in a booklet of 16 pages, like this one, but with more complex layout instructions.

Have fun!

pp daily one weekUS.pdf116.46 KB
pp daily one weekA4.pdf116.39 KB
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