D*I*Y Planner v3 Coming...

For this post, I'll be dispensing with my habitual excessive verbosity (whoops, too late) to give you folks an update on what's going to be happening during the next few weeks. Regular readers may indeed sense a disturbance in the force, and they would be right, for as I speak, the million monkeys are sweating 'round the clock, toiling hard upon their magnum opus.

Of course, I'm referring to the release of the D*I*Y Planner version 3.0. Read on for what's going to happen when, and why we need a few good volunteers.

I've mentioned here a few times about how the development of the 'Planner generally works. The first thing out the gate is generally the Classic (5.5x8.5) version: it's what we refer to as the reference version, and all the other formats are based upon this in some way. Second up is the A5 version, since it requires a minimal amount of tweaking for the slight difference in dimensions.

At this stage, it's up to the porters to make the versions for their respective sizes. I take the Hipster PDA version, since those templates are fairly major re-designs. (I try to complete this within a month.) eric will be working upon the letter-size and A4 sizes (pending time, which he has little of at the moment, unfortunately). An as-yet-unnamed porter is also working on a personal size edition; he's a volunteer, as are we all, so there's only so much that can be done when day-jobs and family figure into one's schedule.

Now, we have a bit of a problem emerging, and it's relating yet again to manpower. eric, myself and the other porter put long hours into the designs, but unfortunately we are only human, and mistakes do creep into the templates. We may create two days of the month with the same number, or have words out of alignment, or the shades of grey may be different from the other forms. It's hard to catch all these, especially when you're very tired.

What we need, then, are keen-eyed volunteers who can test and proof the templates prior to release. These people should be prepared to print off each template and go over them with a fine-toothed comb to look for any possible problems, including text issues, inconsistences, margin problems, font differences, weirdness with the grey tones, sizing, unclear or confusing labels, and so forth. They should be prepared to offer feedback that is timely (within a day or two, preferably) and as exact as possible. There may be several release candidates, and each one should be checked for errors being fixed, and possibly new ones cropping up.

What we also need are people to help re-write sections of the handbook for the new version, creating documentation for new templates, FAQs, tips and advice. The ideal volunteers for this need not be professional writers, but should be able to write clearly about either productivity or technical issues (well, the latter mainly related to printing). Copyright for the material has to remain with the D*I*Y Planner project, but of course full credit will be given to those who contribute.

I wish I could offer more than thanks --mine, and those of the community-- for people willing to help, but like almost any volunteer-run project, that's all we can currently offer. That, and maybe a little good karma when many, many thousands of people around the world discover that their lives are a little bit more productive, thanks to your effort.

Tentative release date for the first v3 release candidate to volunteers is about January 23rd. The more people helping, the faster we can release the final version to the world. A week or two would be optimal.

If you're willing to be a D*I*Y Planner volunteer, either for proofing or writing, please contact me at "diyplanner" at "gmail.com", or just use my contact form.

Thank you for listening, and have a great day.

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How are you doing with the volunteer requests?

How are you doing with the volunteer requests. Just sent a reply to your gmail acct.

Volunteers for v3

Already responded to you: check your mail for a special invite.

We're doing pretty good thus far. We have about a dozen or so proofers, and about the same number of writers. It looks like a great crew, with people from all walks and interests.

We'll continue to accept volunteers for the next couple of days, so if anyone is still interested in helping, please contact me before the weekend. I just wanted to mention that you don't have to be a techie, or know anything about OpenOffice. All you need is a keen eye for detail, or a desire to write about form-based productivity. ...And a bit of time, of course, although volunteers can choose to commit to as much (or as little) as they wish.

all my best,