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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!

The Perfect Collage Gift, DIY Planner Style

Collage Final Storyboard Sheet‘Tis the season to start thinking about the “holidaze hoopla” and gift giving. I’ve started listing all the people to buy gifts for. And like every year, I try and get all the shopping in early, which has become very easy thanks to amazon.com. This year, however, a few people on my list will not be getting some gift card or item sent to them from their wish list. Instead, they will get custom pieces of collage art, using some pictures, colorful paper and random embellishments found and purchased at the local art supply store. Just a few simple art items along with Doug’s Storyboard and Product forms have helped me plan and design the layout of the finished product. Putting together a fun and unique collage layout is easy and makes the perfect Christmas present for any friend or relative.

You’ll need to print out copies of the D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Edition 3.0 Product Idea Template and then pages 9 and 17 from the classic-sized Creativity pack. I recommend that you print out one set of the three templates for each project. That way you don’t accidently mix ideas that may not go together. You can cut them out and remove any excess paper, as I have done in the images or you can keep them all the same size. As you can see from the pictures, I opted to take my paper cutter and trim the forms. Mixing a Classic and Hipster sized forms may seem odd, but you’ll be using the small project sized form that fits in your wallet or back pocket when you go to purchase your collage materials.

D*I*Y Planner Contacts Package 2.5 (Letter/A4)

The conversion of the official D*I*Y Planner pack continues. The DIYPlanner.com team proudly presents the next interim pack in letter and A4 size: The Contacts pack.

Included in this pack are the same templates included in the Classic Size Contacts Pack [Editor: which is now part of the Classic/A5 Core Package, pages 55 thru 62] . Four templates, in both front and back page versions:

Contact Pack Large

  • A new Contacts template, for address book type pages;
  • A Sources template, suitable for building your own personal "yellow pages," lists of references for things like restaurants and stores;
  • Contact Logs, in two styles: one with lots of contact metadata information, and one with minimal contact information and a long contact log space.

Request for Hipster PDA 3.0 Template Ideas

Things seem to have solidified, design-wise, in the creep towards the 3.0 packages (it seems much more complicated nowadays, with so many sizes and formats), and I'm constructing a master list of those templates I want to see included. So far I'm fairly confident about the larger sizes, but I'd like to know what you folks would like to see in the Hipster PDA Edition 3.0.

If you have ideas or requests, please leave them as comments in this thread. I know there are plenty of ideas in other forum and article posts, but I want to look at this forum thread as the official "gathering place" for the 3.0 edition requests, so please don't worry about submitting your idea again.

Tell me what sort of form would make your life easier, and the sort of use you envision for it, and I'll try my best to slot it into production. Bonus points for thinking up the fields you'd like to see included on the template.


Practice, Practice, Practice

Psychologists studying expert and exceptional performance found that it's not really about talent; it's about practice. The athletes and chess players we admire have practiced for around 10,000 hours over a span of 10 years.

Setting Up a GTD-Based Hipster PDA

HipsterPDA KitI think many first-timers to this site trip across something very confusing. They want to learn how to set up a Hipster PDA using the D*I*Y Planner templates, but the forms are so flexible (or, if you would, "non-exact") that such a thing isn't immediately obvious. This is by design, I'm afraid: I believe in trying to create templates that allow people to create hPDAs to suit their own lifestyles and system. And therein lies the problem... how can people get started if they have no idea how to use the cards or build a stack in the first place?

So look at this post as a little guide to implementing a simple Hipster PDA that might be used for David Allen's Getting Things Done productivity methods. And simple is the operative word here. As you use it, you'll find quite a number of ways to modify the system for your own use and circumstances. So don't take this as gospel, only a starting point.

Snappy Comebacks For Any Situation

My picture nameGreetings and welcome once again to Steve's Weekly Column Of Sensible Paper-Based Planning, formerly Steve's Weekly Column Of Insanity. What can I say... we all grow! Okay, let's see what trouble we can get into this week.

Of course, the big news this week is the impending release of the new movie based on J.K. Rowling's phenominally successful book series, Harry Potter And The Enormous Royalty Check. This just goes to show what can be done with a pen and some paper. Rowling was a broke single mother when she wrote the first Harry Potter book, sitting in a cafe with a pad and pen. This just shows, that with some paper-based planning, a lot of elbow grease and some luck, anyone can become the wealthiest woman in Britain. Unless you're a man. That would be a little weird.

Nevertheless, today's topic is one of universal concern: How to come up with the perfect response in any situation. I'm sure everyone can remember a time when they were accosted or accused or otherwise verbally attacked and they didn't think of the perfect comeback until later, when it was too late. Well, never again will this happen, thanks to The new D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Supplemental Pack #1. Um, I guess, in retrospect, we should have thought of a cooler name for that. It's kinda anti-climactic. Nevertheless, it's a remarkably versatile package and today I'm going to show you how to use it so you're never caught without an appropriately snappy response again. [Steve, did you even look at the pack? - DJ]

Clearing Out the Clutter

fall clutter shot

Every now and then the spaces that we consider home become filled up with things. Old books pile up next to the coffee table unread; mail sits on the counter unopened; clothes hang in the closets unworn for years. Lots of little things hold us back and fill our heads with visions of getting all the things we no longer find useful out of the house. So we can fill it up again with all the new things our heart desires. However, there is usually one place we tend to overlook every time we go clean out the cluttered spaces in our home. Our planners.

If you are anything like me, you probably live out of your journals or planners. All sorts of scraps of paper fill those little binders or booklets. Receipts for purchases you can’t recall what you purchased, phone numbers quickly scribbled down on post-its and website addresses with unrecognizable names. If this sounds like the way your planner looks like now, it’s time for a good old fashioned Fall cleaning. Of course, if you’re following the David Allen Getting Things Done methodology, you should be making this a weekly priority. However, for those of us, who aren’t as good about visiting our planners and journals once a week, then this article is for you.

Freezer Finesse: Living the Leftovers Lifestyle

As a Starving Grad Student(TM), I've become a big fan of freezers. Supermarkets seldom stock student-friendly sizes, and if I stored all my left-overs in the refrigerator, I'd be living off the same meals for days at a time.

With the freezer, though, I can cook and freeze a lot of food at once and microwave whatever meals I feel like having. Freezers also keep bread very well. I recently discovered how much better life is when you slice bagels _before_ you put them in the freezer.

Moleskine: A Love Affair?

Moleskine Large SketchbookIt seems that every sweeping epic seems to have at its core an equally grandiose love affair. Perhaps it's the two lovers who embrace in the failing flames of a sunset, maybe it's the hero who --for a greater good-- watches his heroine walk away, or (dwarfing even the legends of Tristan and Iseult) it could be the undying affection of one whose heart breaks at the mere hint of being forced to live --nay, merely subsist-- one day without a Moleskine notebook.

Forgive me, Father. I have a confession to share, and I'm rather ashamed to admit it. It's this: after all the talk of the wonders of Moleskines on this and many other paper-loving productivity blogs, I --so far-- have been Moleskine-less. I'd read about the cherished notebooks, the solid feel of the bindings, the somehow erotic joys of spreading ink upon high-quality stock, and I'd feel ... lesser. The love affair of those enthusiastic people with their little journals had thus far eluded me, and I wondered if my heart would ever truly be whole. (I can say this without fear of reprisal from my wife, knowing that she, as an artist, coveted one as much as I.) Hemingway, Matisse, Chatwin, Van Gogh -- how could I ever measure up to these giants without one of these precious objects to assist me?