Welcome to DIYPlanner.com!

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!

Keeping in Touch

Thumbnail of contact log Address books frustrate me. They never give me enough space. I don't want to just keep track of contact information. I want to know the last time I got in touch with someone and what our conversation was about. I want to know people's birthdays so that I can send them cards. I want to write down lots of little details about people.

When I found the Contact Log form in the D*I*Y Planner Classic kit, I knew I wasn't the only person with stalker-ish tendencies. The Contact Log form's great: plenty of space for notes and a built-in conversation tracker. Using one sheet per person means you can arrange your contacts in any way you want, instead of being confined to the usual alphabetic order.

A Beginner's Guide to Making a D*I*Y Planner

Day Runner + D*I*Y PlannerMany first-time visitors to this site are probably overwhelmed by the vast number of pages, templates, packages, sizes and loose forms available. This little all-in-one guide is meant to direct beginners to downloading the right packages, printing and preparing the forms, and setting up a basic planner or Hipster PDA using the D*I*Y Planner kits.

The goal here is to teach you how to create an effective industrial-strength planner system that can last for years, yet costs next to nothing. This page might look a little complicated at first glance, but you'll be surprised by how little work is generally involved, especially after a little practice. For example, I can now create a dozen double-sided punched forms in about three to four minutes, including printing, by using basic (i.e., "cheap") equipment. No special skills are involved, just a little patience and an hour or two to follow the step-by-step instructions the first time through.

(If you only want to download the kits and start experimenting, jump to the Official D*I*Y Planner Kits page and follow the links.)

D*I*Y Planner 2.5 Calendar, Letter/A4 Edition

Q: What do you get when you leave the D*I*Y Planner Calendar Classic templates alone for a couple of weeks with a pantry stocked with junk food?

A: They almost double in size. [The same applies to the template designer! - DJ]

The DIYPlanner.com team is very pleased to announce our first templates in Letter and A4 size: The D*I*Y Planner Calendar Package 2.5, Letter/A4 Edition.

Included here are all the templates from the Classic Calendar package, including:

  • Day Keepers, marked and unmarked
  • Weekly planners, in five different styles
  • Unmarked monthly planners, in both Sun-Sat and Mon-Sun weeks
  • Marked monthly planners, Sept 2005 - Dec 2006, Sun-Sat (my head is still spinning)
  • Yearly Reference, 2005-2006
  • Yearly Planning, 2005-2006 Academic Year (Aug 2005 - Jul 2006)

Almost 60 pages in all, designed to fit your Letter- or A4-size planner.

These templates are based on the Classic size templates by Douglas Johnston and ported to Letter/A4 by me, eric Farris. I have tried to make these templates utilize the added space of the new size and formatting as effectively as possible: it's not just simple resizing of the Classic templates, but rather a complete overhaul for the new layouts.

These templates should be considered a draft release in preparation for the final release of D*I*Y Planner 3.0 and thus formatting and design may change somewhat. Please let me know of any problems you find or suggestions you may have regarding this release.

As with the Classic edition, this is released under the terms of a Creative Commons Non-Commercial No-Derivatives License (see the legalese), which means mainly that you can't commercially print or distribute it. (Personal use within a commercial environment is fine.)


One Week Later...

It's hard to believe that only seven days have gone by since we launched. In that time, we've gotten some great linkage (including bOING bOING and del.icio.us/popular), we're averaging around 30,000-35,000 page views daily, and we have a steady stream of about 60-150 simultaneous visitors, depending upon the time of day. We've seen a few hundred registered users, some great articles and posts covering a wide range of subjects (from time management to nourishing creativity to... er, frozen vegetables), a rapidly-growing template directory, and even a few official template release packages. Whew.

The Boston GlobeWe also made print. A great little piece on us (and I say us, for it's more about the community and ideas that bolster this site) appeared in Joshua Glenn's column This Examined Life in the Boston Globe: To the Planner Born. The article sports a picture of John Norris' well worn Hipster PDA, and mentions --among other things-- a quote by Matthew Cornell and a D-I-Y project much beloved by us all, the Ductster.

Of course, this site would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of the team. Sacha (Tuesdays), Jaymi (Thursdays) and Steve (Fridays) have produced some excellent articles, and many more are in store. However --to my chagrin-- one person always seems to escape the radar, and that's eric (small "e") Farris. Not only is he my right-hand man on this site, but it would not have been possible without him. He is also porting the D*I*Y Planner templates to letter-size and A4, a staggering task in itself. Tomorrow, you'll see the first fruits of this exhausting labour: our first letter/A4 release, the Calendar pack. (There's nothing like starting with the hardest first.) Please don't be afraid to show these folks some appreciation: all of this is volunteer work of the highest calibre, and they truly deserve the title "unsung heroes."

And finally, our deepest gratitude goes out to all the folks who have visited this site, bookmarked it, left comments and posts, spread the word, and supported us through the nail-biting and sleep-deprived launch. It feels like we've had a big house-warming party, all the neighbours have come by, and we can now sleep comfortably in the knowledge that we've arrived where we belong. Thank you, and please feel free to stop by for a cup of tea.

Is the Internet Making Us Less Efficient?

Mooooo! Duuuude! Mooooo!Slashdot recently ran a story saying that a company called Websense said in a press release that the Internet has made workers less efficient and that web surfing at work results in losses to American companies of $178 billion every year. I found this report quite disturbing, and I decided to take a look into the situation myself. I'm a firm believer in going straight to the source, so I decided to spend some time looking around the Internet to see if I could determine whether it actually reduces efficiency.

Free Your Mind

Books, chai and a fergThis week I planned on setting some principles and guidelines to help free your mind and get ready for the ideas and crafty bits of what I hope to show and teach you. However, someone beat me to it in the forums. Her post Nurturing creative energy and productivity captured a lot of the things I was hoping to write about. So instead of doubling up on those ideas, I thought I'd add to what she started there and share with you 8 more thoughts on the things that help and nurture my creative spirit and process.

A Lesson from Disneyland

Even Wednesday is a special article by an invited guest. This is our very first such post, and we're honoured to have Chris Parsons, a UK-based consultant and programmer who created the SVG Planner templates using open standards. That he did this entirely within the Emacs text editor is a testament to both his brilliance and his patience. I know it still amazes me. -- DJ

Monsanto House of the FutureWith every new technology, there’s a cascade of excitement and flurry of inappropriate use. We’re bowled over by our own creative genius and then attempt to use the new technology for everything, even when previous solutions worked perfectly well. The digital revolution is no exception to this.

An interesting example of this phenomenon can be found within the walls of Disneyland, California. In 1957, a new attraction opened there, entitled the “Monsanto House of the Future”. Designed by scientists at MIT, this was the best 1950’s guess at the way people would live in an impossibly distant future (that is, 1987). It was constructed entirely of plastic.

How Do You Keep Track of Your Goals?

How do you keep track of your goals?

I'm a big fan of long-range planning because planning helps me consciously choose what to do instead of just react to whatever life gives me. I like thinking about who I want to be and what I want to do in the future. With a clear picture of what I want, I can then figure out what I need to do in order to make that a reality.


Just a little bit of housekeeping here. Since our launch yesterday, we've been watching the logs and fixing little errors as they occur. So far, so good, but please contact me if you notice any errors, including broken links, missing images, non-working news feeds, and strange formatting (like almost-illegible text).

Regarding our template directory, I'd please ask folks to only submit their own templates and sites. This is our policy, since the people who create the entries also have the ability to modify and update them, and it's not fair that someone besides the owner has that power.

I've been watching this site slowly climb up del.icio.us/popular with some degree of amusement. Would user "teufel" please change the name of his or her bookmark so that we are not coming soon? ;-)

And finally, thanks to the many readers who sent me the link to PocketMod. I'm evaluating the system, along with a few booklets I've printed out, and will probably post a little review here soon.

Tomorrow, a major D*I*Y Planner template release: a new calendar package, followed soon thereafter by our first-ever letter-size templates. Stay tuned!