My new DIY Planner

I have attached some pics of my new DIY planner. The base material is a Moleskine Cashiers notebook and an excel file which you will also find attached. I found the file on this site but when I went back to try and find the creator I could not find where I had downloaded it from. So the creator of the file is here somewhere but I am not sure who they are! In any case thank you for your work! :-) On the left hand page I use Rubber Cement to paste in the print out of the week. I leave the right hand page blank which is where I will write in any To Do's for each day.

The system is as follows: each day gets a different color pen, so for example Monday may get a blue pen so all To Do's for that day are written in Blue, Tuesday green, Wednesday orange, and etc.. To help me remember what color goes with what day I underline the day and date in on the left hand page with the color ink that the To Do's are written in.

(My first week did not quite accomplish this as I had not planned on needing this, but after confusing To Do's over the first few days I decided on this color method.)

I still carry my Palm Pilot and it is used for Contacts in conjunction with my cell phone, ebook reading, MP3 playback, digital photos, and games.

I also carry a Moleskine pocket sized lined notebook for my data capture device, so it is a combination of a journal, and basic information recording device. I have hacked it by numbering all of the right hand pages, creating an index, and adding several Post-It Notes to the front for any notes that need to be separated from the notebook. (Much neater then trying to rip out a page!)

Some things I plan to add to the new planner:
1. An Index (Makes finding old data very easy.)
2. Future Dates Page (This will allow me to plan past the dates I have in my book. I don't do a lot of way out there kind of scheduling so I am not envisioning that this will get a lot of use but it is good to have if needed. It will be portable from one planner to another so perhaps a 3x5 card or something like that.)
3. Weekly/Daily Task Card (I do have some tasks that I need to do everyday, and some that need to be done weekly. To help with not having to write these down every day/week I will use a 3x5 card with a line dividing it in half with one half marked daily and the other marked weekly. This will also double as my page finder and will be mobile to new planners as needed.)

Some Lessons Learned:
1. Do not use too much Rubber Cement (Toward the end I got in a rush and used too much Cement, some of the pages had the glue soak through them. Hopefully I'll still be able to write on them and not have issues. The week of 2/11/2008 we'll find out!
2. The Excel file automatically updates all dates when you change the first Monday's date, however the start of the week of 3/4/2008 messed up and lost a date. (Sunday is 3/3 but the excel file made Sunday 3/3 and Monday 3/3.) I am sure this is due to February only having 28 days and excel perhaps not knowing how to handle this.

Let me know what you think and what suggestions you might have!

Weekly Schedule - small notebook.xls20.5 KB
pens & planner.jpg209.61 KB
planner cover.jpg131.83 KB
1st week.jpg141.98 KB
2nd week before start.jpg125.74 KB
side view held down.jpg110.47 KB
side view not held down.jpg122.25 KB
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Excel might actually be doing the right thing!

Excel might actually be right this time around. Feb 2008 has 29 days. You'll want to check how you're doing dates to see if it handles leap years.


Doh! Leap Year!

You are correct about leap year, it did not occur to me that 2008 is one. Now I'll have to mark out and re-date the last few weeks. Excel still goofed, as it did not add the 29th, but it did the correct thing when starting the week next. Basically excel Messed up the week of 2/25/08 by not adding in the 29th, but handled the week of 3/3/2008 correctly.

Nice pens

What is the fat one with the white barrel on the far right ?
"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)


It is a Rotring Core roller ball, but I use the Pilot G-2 .07 refills in it. Currently loaded with Red ink! I would prefer the .05 point but I cannot find many of them in my area, so .07 works.

Would it help...

... (with the leap year stuff) if I did a one-week-per-page Dynamic template ?
"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)

Dynamic Template?

Do you mean a blank template? As in fill in the dates as you go? One of the things I really liked about this excel file is that the dates were automatically generated when you typed in the first Monday's date. So once every four years having to mark out a few wrong dates is no big deal. But a new template is always a good idea so don't let me hold you back in any way! :-)

No, I mean as a Dynamic Template

Like these
"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)

Ah ha, now I see

I only looked at one and had not seen these before, but yes I think something like that would be great. No matter what size Notebook you wanted you could make it fit, and take care of the date issue as well.

Won't your moleskin get fat with the pasted in pages?

Nice to see the excel sheet I posted being used by someone. That is nice to see. I was unaware of the 2/29/2008 issue. Weird.

But won't your book get rather fat with the pages pasted in? You could just line the left pages (which is what moleskin's calendar actually does) rather than paste in the pages. It would eliminate the bulk -- may even take less time than printing the pages, cutting them down, pasting them into the moleskin.

The Passionate Pilgrim
-- Excellence through Simplicity

Molskine Soft Cover Weekly, not Hard Cover

You confused me a bit, so I went looking at Moleskines. The hardcover weekly planners put one week on two pages, like my dynamic template.

Contrarywise, the soft covers are exactly like X.Stepup's planner.

Dude, you could just buy the Moleskine soft cover and run with it !!

[additional note] Looking at the Moleskine and considering that I'm doing a daily dynamic template with a facing note page, why not add this style to the mix !! Keep your eyes on the Dynamic Templates !!
"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)

Thought about the soft cover moleskine planner

I was just going to buy one, in fact I had a bid on one on ebay. But when the bidding went high there and for me the nearest retailer to sell Moleskine is about 45 min away, I decided to just put my own together! I guess it comes down to instant gratification, rather have it now then in two weeks with shipping or wait till I can get up to Asheville.

great hack

I think this is a great hack! I like how you use the different color pens for each day - good idea!

Thanks for the pics and the link to the excel file! :)
nay nay

Different color inks

Thanks nay nay. So far using many colors is working out well. I like at the end of a week to be able to look things over and see a well marked a colored page. It also has worked very well keeping track of future actions. This way different actions may be separated on the page but the color unifies them. It also gives me a good excuse to carry my pens with me! I am not fixed into it but usually if I have to write something down in the wrong color, I'll go back when I get a change and write over it with the correct color. At times I just carry the planner and may wallet which I carry a Fisher Space Pen in, the G-2's write over the Fisher very well.

Not too fat

It is really not too bad, I expected it to be very large when done, but you can't really tell. Basically I am a very lazy DIY'er. I don't want to take the time to mark page after page in the correct manner! :-) So this way I have planner that will last till 3/31/2008 and it is all set to use after only an hour or so of cutting and pasting. I have also found that it provides a nice "heft" to the Cashier that I felt it was missing. (Which is why I abandoned them to return to the original Moleskine notebook.) I'll add some side shot pics to the posting for all to see.

Soft Cover Moleskine !!

"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)

Update to the planner

I have added a new item to the planner, very quickly I realized that I hated rewriting the same task over each day. Some tasks of my job must be done daily, some weekly, and some monthly, so I created a page marker out of a 3x5 card that has some lines on it dividing it into sections. I found that this also gave me a good place to add "Waiting for" actions/reminders as well as a place to keep track of missed To Do's. Enjoy the pics!