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We are a community of people who see the value of paper as a medium for planning, productivity, creative expression, and exploring ideas. We encourage visitors to share advice and inspiration, and we love to see submissions for templates, kit images and story articles. We are also the official home of the free D*I*Y Planner kits. Please enjoy your stay, and make yourself at home!

Two Weeks to Valentine's!

... and I'm thinking of making a small gift, something that will survive a graduate student's busy schedule and the ordeals of air mail.

DIYPlanner Updates

Yes, things continue to be a little hectic around here as we prepare for the big release of D*I*Y Planner v3. I'm bouncing back and forth between the template designs and doing some writing for the new kit, so I just wanted to jot down a few notes to share with you.

  • First of all, the thing that many of you have been wondering: when? "In about a week," is the best answer I can give you. "When it's ready," would be more appropriate. I tried to fit in a number of requests for the calendar pack, and also did Monday-Sunday weeks (as generally used in Europe). This took several days longer than expected. We're still working on the handbook and template descriptions as well, which is also taking a little longer.

The Monkeys Are Hard At Work

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To begin with: I'm afraid I have a couple of appologies to make, which are related. The first is that this article is very late in being published and the second is that I did accidentally publish an unfinished article on Thursday night that contained a somewhat offensive comment about the work of the D*I*Y Planner Ver. 3 Team. It was meant to be a joke between me and Doug which, to people not in on the joke, looked like a bad word. I often include little jokes to Doug in my articles, which we both enjoy. Well, I enjoy them and Doug threatens to disembowel me with an olive fork. I'm embarassed that I accidentally published that unfinished article, but it was a weekend of boneheaded moves, due to being very sick. In the same two day period, I accidentally published an offensive comment on this site, spilled Pepsi on my computer, broke the VCR, knocked a number of things off of shelves, ran into my girlfriend several times and almost fell off of a mine sweeper. And I'm not joking. Yessir, it was quite a cold. It's starting to clear up now, but I was getting ready to amputate my face.

Doug says I may have offended some members of the Ver. 3 Team, but that was not my intention. The only person on the D*I*Y Team who I make fun of for no reason is Sacha. The team has been putting in a rediculous amount of work and I've been destroying appliances, so you can tell who's been doing the real work around here. Onward.

Oh...my...good...ne..ss. What a conniption fit there has been in my Inbox lately, I can't even tell you. Doug Johnston, our chief template wrangler, efficiency fanatic and, although I didn't know it till lately, total maniac, has been designing his fingers to the bone cranking out the next version of the D*I*Y Planner (sound of drooling across the internet-careful, it's electric). In an effort to illicit as much help as possible from the dedicated and slightly mad D*I*YPlanner crew, Doug, our chief monkey (let's call him The Ape) asked for help from specific people from the D*I*Y Planner community (let's call them The Monkeys) with getting the new version ready for release and for some reason, I'm on the team. The Ape and The Monkeys have been working very hard to turn out a really amazing new product... except for me. I haven't been doing anything except occasionally offering the odd purient comment. I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing on this team. Doug asked a number of us and a number of others volunteered, but he said he wanted to ask the people he felt were best equipped to help him design the new planner...and he asked me. I must say, this baffles me. I guess this is proof that either Doug has never read my articles, or that he's so sleep deprived from trying to get the planner done that he'd cheerfully trade his infant son to gypsies for two recharable batteries and a Big Mac.

Handbook v3 in Progress

under construction(Heh. That's the first time I've used an animated GIF in about a decade, but I couldn't resist.)

Astute observers will note that a number of strange placeholder pages, strange topics, "sh*tty first drafts" (to quote Anne Lamott) and so on are appearing in the system. Not to panic: this is the random and shifting collection of words that will eventually become version three of our handbook, being updated for the impending release of D*I*Y Planner v3 Classic/A5 Edition, and led by our own Sardonios and Innowen while I concentrate on the kit designs.

Please ignore the dust and debris, and don't forget your hard hat....

Artistic Planning

My mind churns out a consistent stream of new ideas to turn into artistic works. Typically I have anywhere between 3-4 creative projects in various states of completion at one time. I fall under the "rotational" school of creativity where I'll work on one project and keep on it until I feel I can't progress anymore. Then I switch to the next, and so on and so forth. Being a creative person of this type means that there is some preplanning and organizing involved. There has to be a flexible plan that allows me to rotate between each unfinished project. For each project that I have that does not take an hour or so to create from start to finish, I have a simple workflow that keep my items together with my layout ideas so I can pick up where I left off when I am in the mood.

Getting Along: Thinking Vs. Feeling

My picture name"What do you think of President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky?" I asked a woman this morning.

"I think he was a stupid pig," she replied. Harsh, but maybe that is one of the kindest things said about him by his detractors. They saw him as being a moral disaster, unfaithful, a potential home wrecker. I have never met him or expect to do so and for all I know they may be right. They saw him as not just having made a mistake in judgment, but as being a liar, a cheat, and unfit to be president.

Perhaps they are right. Maybe he is all of those things, but I think his affair may also be at least partially explained by his personality type.

My Grocery Shopping List

List on fridgeI should probably start by saying that I hate grocery shopping. On the other hand, my household insists on eating, and we can't afford to hire a housekeeper or eat out every single meal or even exist on takeout, which means someone has to buy groceries. My husband offered to take on the job if I'd take over maintenance on the cars. Uh...

Given that I was stuck with the job, I decided to put some organizational skills to work to smooth out the process as much as possible. In particular, I wanted to eliminate the two hassles that irritated me the most:
1) I wanted a way to create a complete list of the groceries that were needed. No more emergency runs to the store for that forgotten strawberry jelly and two cans of tuna!
2) I wanted to progress through the store efficiently. No backtracking from the Dairy section all the way back to Produce because I forgot to get the raisins while I was there!

I've been tinkering with my system for nearly a year now, and I thought I'd share the current version. It seems to be mostly working well, but suggestions for improvement would be most welcome. (Yes, you really must hate a chore to devote this much time to minimizing it.)

The Human Option

Writing with ink quill"To De-tech." Besides being an awkward verb, it's also an amusing notion, in a way. It brings to mind those groups who have eschewed the modern world in favour of horse-drawn carts, raising livestock and churning butter. I myself have received email from people --even from journalists-- who somehow believe that I have abandoned technology. Besides the obvious facts that I run a website and answer email in the first place, it's a little ridiculous to think that I'm sitting in a backwoods cabin creating my to-do lists with a quill pen by the light of a lantern. My story becomes far less interesting when I tell them that I spend a goodly portion of my waking hours in front of a computer.

Ah, but there's the rub! And one of the main reasons why I want to de-tech, just a little. Sometimes you just have to break away from the commonplace, stretch your legs, meander outside, take in a little air, and glance around to gain a little perspective on matters.

Sure, if you start using paper again, you'll probably save money, rediscover your ability to focus, and won't have to fret about the constant aggravations of constantly upgrading and fighting with technical issues daily. And you'll create and use materials that can last a lifetime, instead of becoming obsolete in a few months. But neither of these is the main reason for de-teching. In fact, it's so obvious that we often overlook it: a hundred hours a week interfacing with a machine can be dehumanising.

A Day In The Life Of An Intuitive And A Sensor

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Greetings all. Well, my girlfriend, Meghan and I just moved clear across the country, from little, cold Halifax, Nova Scotia to large, very, very wet Vancouver, B.C. I've never seen so much rain. If this goes on much longer, I'm going to grow moss on my feet. I just realised why everyone kayaks out here...it's not for fun, they're just preparing for a biblical flood.

Thing is, now that we've been thrust back into this situation of living together in a small apartment after a bit of time off, I'm noticing all the differences between Meghan and myself, and not just that she can't reach the top shelf. Most of the differences between us, as between most people, revolve around personality type. I mean there are the inevitable lifestyle differences, such as that she likes to watch Days Of Our Lives and I'm a cannibal, but I think most of the differences between us stem from personallity type. Dad gave a good description of how intuition and sensing work on Wednesday, but, in case you need more information, I now offer a snapshot of our lives, in: A Day In The Life Of An Intuitive And A Sensor.