Printing the Forms

Before you begin printing, please read this document carefully first. It'll fix many of your problems before you know you have them.

There are many different PDF files included within the D*I*Y Planner system. Most are designed to be printed on 5.5"x8.5" (half letter size) or A5 paper, while the receipts template should be printed on regular letter-size or A4 paper. If you don't have 5.5"x8.5" or A5 paper, you can always use a guillotine (a.k.a., a paper trimmer or chopper) to cut regular letter-size or A4 paper in half.

These templates are created for Adobe
6.0 and up. We cannot guarantee that they'll work in anything older, or in other PDF-aware applications.

  • In Acrobat, do not tell its printing dialog to rotate, center or resize. If you do, the templates probably won't print right. Also, don't worry about the margins: an effort was made to ensure that there is enough 'safety space' around the templates so that nothing important is lost. (Most printers made in the past few years can easily print to within 1/4" [6mm] of the edge.)

  • For the receipts envelope file, follow the instructions printed on the side of the page. Again, don't scale or worry about the margins (although rotating and centering should be fine). Once printed, enough of the straight lines should remain that you can figure out where to cut. I advise using a slightly stiffer paper for the envelope, as well as a dry glue stick: anything else, and you will probably warp the receipts envelope. Scotch "Magic" Tape should work fine if you don't have a glue stick.

  • All odd pages in the master file are for the right side of the planner rings (the 'fronts'), while even pages are the left side (the 'backs'). Consequently page 1 is backed by page 2, page 3 is backed by page 4, and so forth. If you have a fancy duplex printer and print the entire booklet, everything will work out perfectly.

  • Experiment with your printer to verify orientation and print faces before printing any great number of them. For example, I print the odd side (front) of a form, flip the paper horizontally, insert it again, and print the even side (back). Some printers will require flipping or rotating pages in a different direction to print on the back.

  • To get started, I'd advise printing one form at
    a time --front, then back-- until you get the knack. Double-check to make sure things line up, and that holes can be punched right. Once you have that down, I advise only printing a batch of the same templates at one time; for example, print off a batch of Actions odd, backed by Next Actions even, before you print another template.

  • If you look at the margins, it should be obvious where you should use your hole punch (that is, the widest margin). Double-check the flip side of your page: if it looks as though the hole will be punched in a space that isn't white, you've made a mistake in printing.

  • Feel free to mix and match templates fronts and backs. For example, you may find that you prefer a two-week spread (Weekly Planning on both sides), rather than facing each week with a Combined Actions. Many templates are offered in this package as both odd and even pages, so go ahead and experiment and see what works best for you.

  • Another problem you may encounter is that most drivers disable the black ink when printing graphics. This allows smoother grey gradients but it uses a lot of colour ink. I have therefore optimised the tones over the past year for use with the 'forced greyscale' setting.

  • We suggest creating a black-ink-only printer profile called 'DIY Planner' and selecting this whenever you print a template. This saves a lot of pointing and clicking and prevents you from inadvertently using up all of the colour ink.

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