who uses the DIY templates and planner kits

It should be interesting to know how many who actually uses the DIY planner kits and templates.?

I personally find that the calendar part of the DIY kits are of little use and use to buy that part,

some few of the other templates are good, Action lits notes and projects it what I use most.

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It seems that we all have

It seems that we all have come up with different systems (and, I suspect we are constantly tinkering with said systems).

I use the hipster pda, my Palm TX, and my laptop.

I use the hipster templates primarily for projects and actions. I find that I lose track of actions and projects with a pda. I use a variety of the templates to track projects and cross-reference between @contexts and projects for actions.

I use a pda for calendar, lists, reference (including phone numbers, etc.), and finances.

I keep an overall picture of projects on my PC using Kickstart, a nice, smaller project management program--this allows me to see the big picture with timelines and resource allocation. I find that I primarily plot out projects and subprojects. Actions work better with the hipster system.

I also trim the hipster cards to fit into vertical credit card slots and keep my @context cards and a "today" card in these slots in a stenopad holder that I use to take notes in meetings, the library, and other places where notetaking is needed. The other hipster cards (project cards primarily) are kept clipped to the top flap of the stenoholder. This way when I work at a desk I flip open the stenoholder (vinyl thing) with top flap leaning against a lamp, etc., and have my acton cards staring me in the face. If I am out without the steno pad I carry the action cards in a pocket along with the Palm TX and have all I need to function wherever I am in terms of keeping track of work and key information.

This is what I do today. Who knows what other "brainstorm" I will have in the future, but this is simple and easy to use.

Who uses the D*I*Y Planner?

Well, I can't quote any specific number of users, but I can say that the stats show over 600,000 downloads of the core kits over the past year and a half. No doubt that includes people downloading kits multiple times, and a lot of people who download them and walked away quite confused.

There are people out there using it, right? I'd hate to think I spent two years of spare time developing it just to find there's only a bunch of kids in a frat house having me on all this time.... ;-)

As for the templates people use... well, that depends on one's needs and situation at any given moment. On a regular basis, I only use about a dozen or so classic templates, and perhaps even fewer hPDA templates. Most of the other three hundred(!) templates were created in response to the many user requests I continually receive, and the need to create a fully customisable productivity system.

There's no Delta*Iota*Upsilon Planner frat house, right?



We're not allowed to tell

We're not allowed to tell you if you don't know the secret handshake.

yeah thats right the secret

yeah thats right the secret hand shake. an 'organized' secret society, I like it!

thanks to the creators of the DIY

Doug and others,

because of your site my life is getting its shape, a better shape. After downloading majority of the templates and figuring out printing of the needed forms, I bought a A5 binder (took me 2-3 weeks of spare-time-search) which I use now at my work. carrying it from home to the office, back and fro. Not being able to locate anywhere David Allen's books in local book-stores or in the library of the school I work, I have researched online and found notes, summaries and etc. Getting myself familiar with the system and using your templates (A5, A4) I'm getting more things done and can have an ease of my mind.

Please accept my appreciation for running this site and investing so much time in this project. Be assured, this helps other people.

Sergei, Kiev, Ukraine


You're making me blush, my friend. I'm so glad you find the kits and site so useful. I suspect I speak for the other writers and designers as well when I say that this sort of comment makes all the work truly worthwhile. It's a great feeling to help make a difference in other people's lives....

There are many of us around

Doug, you can be sure that there are many of us around!

I personally use mostly the A5 and HPDA templates and I found them really amazing.

I was searching the web for years looking for "something" what can be printed out and what will improve my paper planning life. Unfortunately, everytime I ended by creating and printing my own sheets.

Now I must say - all what I was looking for is you site.
Thank you very much for improving my life.

Doug and all other people standing behind the DIY Planner, keep your excellent work up, please.

Best regards,

some one get this man a GTD book!

sergei have you found yourself a copy of the Dave Allen GTD book yet? email me and let me know.

Many thanks!

I'm a person with a VERY ADD mind. Because of the DIY planner site and templates, I've begun to take control over my tasks, and therefore my life. I'm now much more targeted in my daily actions.

I use the classic size binder and cut the pages in half manually. I am experimenting with adding a hipster into the system.

Thank you for all your DIY planner efforts!

I'm working on it

I have downloaded and printed many of the DIY templates. I think they are wonderful. I have also created and uploaded some of my own design. And I assisted on the Hipster v3 project. I really like what Doug has created.

That said, I have to admit that I am backsliding and not using my planner as much as I should.

I constantly struggle with my procrastination and laziness to try and organize my life. Yes I have bought GTD, The Now Habit and some other procrastination book, but I keep putting off reading them.

I really need some sort of a kick in the a** to get moving.

Any suggestions?
Tim Foreman - http://timf.anansi-web.com/

Might not help you, but I

Might not help you, but I have two phrases on the inside of my planner

  • Tommrow will not be any easier then today
  • "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

I fail to track sometimes, we all do, but that is no excuse for giving up. You could spend your whole life waiting for a "kick start" and complaining about the pain of them, or you could print out a simple next action list and put read X chaper of GTD on it.

Mañana! Mañana!...

A kick up the behind won't help. Chronic procrastination is learned behaviour that has nothing to do with getting organised. Neither is it laziness, homework eating dogs, evil genes, etc. Of course I have no way of knowing if you are a lazy ner-do-well with the ultra rare evil gene and a dog with a taste for planners, only that this is not the source of your current predicament. ;)

Chronic procrastination is a complex subject. The research isn't helped by a reliance on self-assessment There are recurring themes however, a low perceived self-efficacy and fear of failure; rebellion or the thrill of getting thing done at the last minute (chronic arousal procrastinator). ADHD (hyperkinetic disorder) can also be a contributing factor.


  • Join Robert's group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheNowHabit/

  • Break tasks down into smaller pieces. (as in GTD Next Actions). If you make a template suggested heading might be: Action, Automatic Thoughts/Feelings, Belief 0-10 (if you write "I am lazy" how much credibility do you give that statement), Alternative Thoughts/Feelings, Belief 0-10.

  • Start an Accomplishment Log

  • Try the 10/15/30 minute approach mentioned by Doug and Brent

  • Learn some simple relaxation techniques. Note; ones you can put in to practise at work without being laughed at. ;)

BTW Does anyone find this post useful or should I stick to teasing Steve? :P

the procrastination addiction

procrastination is like an addiction, you dont know why you do it, you dont want to do it, you feel bad when you've done it, you barley know what to do to stop it and your down on yourself for all the above reasons.
RELAX, fighting an addiction is a struggle, two steps forward one step back( and sometimes more ) for the rest of your life! You will always be addicted to procrastination.When you slip, dont dwell on it to much.let it happen for a while and in the mean time meditate on what you can do to minimise the temptation to do it next time.
The sloution is different for everyone.a trigger or trick(GTD Style)than you can act upon to distract your mind from the feelings of inadequacy that go on in our heads when we procrastinate.
I should know, I'm addicted to procrastination as well, its taken me 10 years to find a reason to be motivated, that is, all the time.
I think,that when people stop using thre planners for any reason(especially after they used them regularly before)its because there is not a pressing need to be that organised.I tend not to look in my planner for a few days at a time when in know I'm not going to be that busy, but I like to look into it for fun, the same fun you feel from downloading all those great templates!. If ythats the case with you, then I would suggest, opening up your planner and work on something in it, other than just being 'organized'. I've got a bunch of stuff in my reference section that i like to read occasionally, a word of the day list from my Google home page, some geometry formulas that I find useful, cross words, the phonetic alphabet,infact anything and everything that interests YOU, not some notion in your head that you HAVE to be organised all the time.This way you can stay 'in touch' with your planner,doodle in it and read stuff,eventually something will pop and you'll be unconciously organising your thoughts once again, plus,the mere act of looking in it, you will not be able to avoid looking at those odd bits and pieces that i know you've wriiten in your inbox over the last day week or month,once again some unknown thing will trigger you to act on dees tings unt schnell!
Read some sites on the net about addictions in general, you would be supprised gow many elements are relavent to people who prcrastinate.
Just think, If you didn't have any DIY Planning Templates at all where would you be? If your a prcrastinator with no tool for organising(even occasionally the big nasty,flatline management, 60 hr week,corporate mongral,george bush,fortune five hundred,depleting resource,getting hotter world would swallow you whole(no chewing)just like that!
you'll be back into the game in no time flat.youll ride the wave and then you'll have to paddle past the breakers to catch another wave.no one enjoys the breakers but they always persevere because the feeling of that wave is so great.
keep paddling my friend.

Yes But, No But...

I agree with most of what you are saying, Joe. However, chronic procrastination is 'learned behaviour' rather than an addiction. I can see how you have made the connection between the two, but try to think of it like this; addicts procrastinate because they get a pay-off from their addiction, not because they are addicted to procrastinating...The experts - well those who don't make a living from self-help books - suggest a short course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). However this can be expensive and one still needs to adopt a maintence strategy. While there are no 'quick fixes' one can modifiy his/her behaviour. Try to identify the pay-offs. For example one may feel it is better to avoid a task than to try and risk failure, or one may have grown up in an enviroment where trying "to better one's self" was frowned upon and the guilt of trying remains. Join a support group, one that asks open questions rather than just gives advice, or worse tea and sympathy. Try to avoid situations and people that support the behaviour one wishes to change. Goal setting may also help - One could use Jordan's Mission Statement for this purpose. Above all, remember not to be to hard on one's self, make a list of all the things that are going well. Guilt and negative thoughts will only lead to a lowering of self-esteem and relapes in undesirable behaviour.

i have been thinking about

i have been thinking about what you are saying here sardonious,and I'll be the first to consider any possibiliy,however I'm not exactly sure where or who I may have learned to procrastinate from.Also after some more thought I can see how its more of a behavior, rather than an addiction,but its chronic,people always say to me,(and when i say people I mean my friends, my lecturers,and even my accountant),"your so organized", or "your the most organized person I know".But inside of me i know i'm a bloody prcrastinator,and yet i recieve great marks in my exams and assignments etc.but ythe whole time is the DESIRE to do something else other than study or do the dishes or any othe damn thing for that matter.Sometimes its hard to know,what all this equates to in my life.
Your dead right about goal setting,however i personally find that goal setting is something that requires alot of diligent effort,(stating the obvious here I knnow),but I'm not a goal setter,I've had to learn how to.set an acheive my goals and its taken me years to learn how to plan,strategise,focus,goal set and motivate myself into something, that as far as I'm concerened,only resembles someone who is organized nd motivated.Back to learned behaviour here,I dont think that I learned how to procrastinate as such,I think that I DIDN"T learn how to set goals, like whats the point,i probably get that from my dad.my mum on the other hand is extremely motivated(needless to say,they're divorced! lol)she's got a black belt in Go Ju Rue Karate, shes got a degree in in nursing studies of some description,and an Advanced Diploma in Real Estate stusies,yet she's got absolutley no bloody idea how to teach somone how to acheive any thing,Why? Because to her there is nothing to teach! It comes naturally to her and she doesn't know why it doesn't come naturally to others.Even though her children,that is my two half sisters,have different fathers, they're more like me than anyone else in the family.So thereal problem is that my parants(no blame passed here merely observation of my first social institution)didn't teach me how to set and acheive goals,not necesarily that Ilearned how to procrastinate.
I agree with you on many things here including not being to hard on oneself,that i did learn from my mother.
i sort of see this whole DIY Planner group as a bit of a support group in it itself.there are so many topics being discussed here and prcrastination comes up alot.My lectures at College all said they suffer from procrastination.thre are so many people here doing the same thing,all like minded,trying and probably succeeding, individuals all on a quest to deal with the pressures of the twenty first century, and combating the onslaught of all this worldly stuff, by diddling with planners(that includes me by the way).
i'd like to finish by saying, that I love my planner,almost as I do my long haired Dachshund,Jordan.maybe I have learned how to be organized an motivated afterall,what will i do when i retire,will there still be a reason to plan? so many random things floating about all the time,thank heavens for GTD and DougJ,and they make fun of Canadians eh? bugger em I say, is he really moving to Yellow Knife? Sounds cold,do they have internet?....

Struggling with procrastination

I don't have ADD, but I do consider myself a SHE (Sidetracked Home Executive). One website that has helped me tremendously is Flylady.net

It's free and helps you get your life work and/or home into better control. You get daily reminders in your e-mail (individually or diget form) to help you establish routines for your life.

Example: Wednesday is anti-procrastination day. On this day you do anything that you have been putting off. You could use this day to review your lists/in basket/ etc...

If you visit this site please keep in mind that it is not just for women. Guys have organizing and procrastinating issues.

I don't use them yet

I started out hearing of a book called Time Management for System Administrators. I read the sample chapter, showed it to my boss, and he bought the whole IT department a copy and made it required reading. Awesome! So I went out and bought a planner. I was never into planners and thought they were for "organizational freaks" and women. Now I think they're a must-have. Unfortunately, I bought a compact size planner and quickly learned that it was hard for me to write in the small spaces. My wife has a Classic size so now I'm on the lookout for an inexpensive one of those. I get quickly intimidated by the quantity of templates in your set and rarely have enough time to sit down and pick the ones I want to use (I've been trying since v2 came out). I also have the hPDA pdfs but my printer at home doesn't do 3x5! One of these days I'll get a set printed out!

Long story short, thank you very much for your hard work and dedication. It's obvious that you spend a great deal of time on your templates as the quality is great.

not use the calander!?

how can anyone not use a calender of some description! what about the medical specialist you need to see who's only available every fortnight at your local hospital or the vet next month, because thats the only time your gonna have the money/ How do you remeber those things with out a calander?
I use the monthly to track birthdays, occasions and other such things that are occuring possibly weeks away.the monthly allows me to see weeks in advance at a glance.
I use the weekly as well to schedule my daily stuff and use highlighter to paint in blocks of time.that way i can see also at a glance what blocks of time are available to me to do certain things like study or assignments. (both of which I should be doing right now.) i'm in the Hospitality and tourism game so my working hours are almost completely the opposite to everyone elses.I work nights wednesday to sunday.It sucks and i need to be organised to cope with varyin factors.

I use quite a bit of the

I use quite a bit of the templates, especially the calendars. I made my own book in the classic size with 3 binder rings and some cardboard. I'm currently using the monthly & weekly calendars, the daily calendar (to display mine and the kids' routines), the to do lists, the project notes grid (great for a chore chart!), and the equipment list as a household inventory. I'm a stay-at-home mom, so those things work the best for me. I'm sure there are all types of people using the planners, with different things for different people. I love the variety.

i do! i do!

I use it, although I have used the widget kit and modified some of the elements to suit my taste.

Wow - recently discovered

Wow - recently discovered the site and have to say huge thanks for making the effort to create the templates. I'm saving money and getting exactly the planner I need, not having to make do with an off-the-shelf planner. Thanks much!

I use it, but...

I have recently incorporated a great deal of the organizational tools and templates into my work planner, which is now much more organized that it was. However, our office does not allow the installation of Open Office, and it drives me crazy to work at this stuff at home. I have taken some time to duplicate the templates I need in Word so that I will have ready access at the office. I also don't use the calendar templates as I just print straight from Outlook, which seems to work well.

***Microsoft's slave by force***

Still trying out templates

I use the hPDA scaled up to 4x6 cards by the printer. No work on my part. I use a Moleskine diary for calendaring and carry my cards within.

I'm hooked on the Actions, Waiting For, and Agendas. I'm just starting to use the Project, Potential Project, and Potentials Quicklist. The best part is if some template doesn't work I just stop printing them. :-)

My organizer...

Is jam-packed with DIY templates!! The only things in there that are not from DIY are the tabs, the address book area, and the tabbed calendars I have. And I use the 5.5x8/2-up versions.

I am going to start my own hipster next week, hopefully, and I have to say, as far as I know right now - I will be using all of the pages!!

These pages have helped many my life, goals, and projects. And I have to say, for the price I pay for printing, it is way cheaper than me going online to these different planner sites and buying their individual packs of whatever to fill in the gaps!

I'm Slowly Building...

First, I'd just like to say thank you SO MUCH for what you've built here. It is absolutely amazing to find so much for next to nothing. So much of what you buy from the commercial distributors is _not quite_ what you need. Finding so much custom or customizable content her is just too cool.

I had come to realize that I was slowly losing track of everything that I had to do. The little projects, questions and comments thrown at me throughout the day were slipping away and getting lost or forgotten. Not the way to stand out at one's place of employment. A bit of time spent surfing the web led me to stumble upon the Hipster PDA site at 43 Folders. I had been using a PocketMod but needed a bit more. That led me to DIY and GTD. WOW! Lighting can strike the same place twice after all.

After reading about GTD on the web, I was intrigued enough to get a copy from the library and was amazed. David Allen's bottom up organization just clicked in a way the "Grand scheme" systems like Franklin Covey did not. Needless to say, I got my own copy of GTD (and Ready for Anything, too) and am slowly getting into the program. Not so much for the old projects, but anything new is being processed and next actioned, and I'm patiently working through the backlog of older stuff.

DIY has provide the tools - I use a Hipster when I'm away from the desk and a Classic setup both at the office and at home. Some templates work, some don't and some I'd like to customize. But you always have something that can do the job. I don't use the calendar templates - too easy to buy a set and not have to manually fill them out, but you can't buy most of what I want.

Thanks again for all the work - both to you and the community here...