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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!

Quick Tips: 5 Different Uses for the Source template

I’m going to try something new. I’m going to pull a card out of the D*I*Y Planner Templates Kit and give you 5 new ways of using that card. Today we’re going to take a look at the Source template. The way I see this card is that it's an super buff and more flexible version of the Address Card. It's design allows you to either list an individual contact or a grouping of places or people. And with a little bit of imagination you can use this template for the following:

  • A bibliography card for students working on term papers. List the book’s title in the name field, the publication data in the address, the year in the account field, etc. You can list what the source was used for in the Note field.
  • An all in one tracker for your Photography studio. Use the name and address for each person or company contact and the notes area for costs or contract information. The hours field can be used to denote when the store or agency is open for business or accepting calls.
  • Contact tracker for writers. Use this template to list publications you want to submit pieces to or agents to contact. The Notes area can be filled up with works sent to the publications or comments on agency responses to inquiry.
  • A craftster’s guide to getting the best items. Knitters, scrapbookers and assemblage artists can use this template to track their favorite stores or websites on where to get the best fibers or art supplies.
  • PodCasters can use this source card to keep track of potential interviewers. There’s a lot of good podcasts out there and I know a few peeps who need ways to track all the people they want to interview for future episodes. This Source template is perfect for that.

This has been my Quick Tips creative re-visioning of the Source Card. If you liked this type of post, please let me know and I’ll try and integrate more in between my normal creative meanderings and instructions. I know that when version 3.0 of the new D*I*Y Planner Kits come out, I’ll be sure to find new and useful ways to “abuse” the forms Doug carefully plotted out for us all.

Getting Along: Sensing vs Intuitive

My picture name"I have to buy some presents for a couple of people," I said to my wife just before Christmas.

"What are you planning to get?" she asked.

"I don’t know," I said. "I’ll just walk through the mall and see what jumps out at me." For me, this is very similar to the African hunter who stalks through the bush waiting expectantly for something to jump out at him. A big game hunter, that’s me, creeping along, threading the crowds, hoping to bag something for the pot, or the stocking, in this case. (What eventually jumped out was a small TV set, so after some intense bargaining and some manly chest-thumping, I took it home.)

However, when I had this conversation with my wife, she looked horrified. Most disappointingly, she doesn't seem to see me as a hunter.

The difference between us is that she is a practical sensing person and I am an intuitive. Dealing with intuitives can be hard work, and can be quite perplexing to people, especially in business. They tend to spend a lot of time in the jungle, waiting for things to pop out at them. Their sense of time is fluid, and although they have the best of intentions, they are often late for many things. Their office is often a mess because they have so many projects going on at the same time. Because they are dreaming of the future, they don’t notice the practical, down-to-earth facts of life. Sensing people are the opposite. They live in a detailed, vivid world of the present and value organization and practicality as ends in themselves.

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.

D*I*Y Guide To Moving

My picture nameGreetings, Steve here. I've just moved this week and if there was ever an organizational challenge, this is it. My girlfriend, Meghan, and I moved from Halifax, on the East Coast of Canada, to Vancouver, on the West Coast. Basically, we figured that eventually they were just going to move everybody from the Maritimes to Vancouver, so we just wanted to beat the rush. (Those of you in other parts of the world won't get that, but, trust me, everyone at home is nodding, thinking that makes pretty good sense).

Anyway, I worked very hard to make my move as painless as possible by organizing everything, from utility numbers to addresses of people on both coasts, from phone numbers to flight numbers in my planner, hoping that everything would work seemlessly and be as smooth as possible. And then I forgot my planner in Halifax.

What's in a Bag?

I'm always carrying a book or two with me. Whenever I go out, I always have to bring along some bag that is usually filled with books and pens. I've been this way since I was a child. These days, of course, all I really need is a hipster and pen to be entertained, but when I go on vacation or away for the day I need to have a few other things with me. Therefore bags have become necessary extensions of my "writing/artist" kit. Which bag I choose usually falls under one of the following 3 categories: everyday use, computer use, and specialty usage. Depending on where I am going and what I plan to do, I'll select one of these three bags.

AMMT: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I don't normally do things like this, but this seems like a good opportunity for a cross-post and a poll. Take a gander at Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on a million monkeys typing:

While the most apparent reason, of course, is procrastination --tweaking our systems makes us feel like we’re somehow accomplishing something while simultaneously avoiding any real work-- I’ve noticed that there are four chief archetypes of people that obsess about their systems (although I doubt that anyone of us is wholly one or the other). I’m calling them Tinker, Tailor, Soldier and Spy.

Which one are you? Take the poll. If you're another type, don't forget to leave a comment after the poll and tell us what and why.

Count Your Chickens

This template makes it easier for you to count any quantity.

Usage advice: 

You can use this counter form to keep track of nearly anything! Write labels next to or over lines, and darken one segment at a time. Each block represents 5. Each line represents 100. You can arrange your data in a bar graph or a column graph, and you can also use this to keep track of percentages. Have fun!

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)

The Notebook: Could It Be More Obvious?

Now, I'm just as much a paper snob... er, connoisseur as the next guy, but that can be a problem. For example, I have some nice Moleskines, quality sketchbooks and journals that I keep handy, but hardly ever use. Why's that? Well, I suspect that many of you know the feeling: they're too precious to sully with mere idle thoughts, to-do lists, memos for groceries, and so on. They are, in fact, reserved for "special" thoughts, often during long and dry stretches of no use. And yet, a thick planner can be a little too bulky to carry around absolutely everywhere, and index cards have their problems too: it's hard to shuffle a large pile and find things, and the ones with important and frequently-used notes tend to get lost in piles, migrate under books, or slip beneath a keyboard.

I've rediscovered a certain joy lately, and among all the tinkering I've done lately, it was one of the last things to occur to me, even though I did it for years -- seemingly a lifetime ago. It's the act of keeping a portable, messy, continual-brain-dump device known as a notebook.

Paper Based Planning Is Very Logical

SpockPlease note: Unfortunately Steve will unable to bring his normal insightful wit to this space today, due to an unfortunate mishap. Steve was supposed to have a funny column about personality type to correspond with his Dad's Wednesday column on Introversion and Extroversion, but he has just finished his studies at art school and, after learning what his monthly student loan payments will be and what his job prospects with an art school degree actually are, he was found wimpering softly in a closet, holding his teddy bear and muttering incoherently about the Hundred Years War. In his place, we bring you, at great expense and logistical difficulty, Mr. Olin Schluctmeyer, Founder and President of the South-East Nebraska Mr. Spock Appreciation Society, here to talk about how to approach paper-based planning in a logical, Vulcan manner. Take it away, Olin.