Time Management

Weekly Habits Tracker

Make or break habits by tracking how often you indulge in them each week.

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

Use this form to keep track of things you want to get done or stop doing each week. Write your good or bad habit under the "Habit" column and mark down how many times you indulge in it each day for a week. At the end of the week, write the tally in the final column. Monitor your habits over a period of a few weeks to see if you can meet your goals.

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

Julian/Ordinal date calendar

Spreadsheet-based 2006 calendar with julian/ordinal dates

Usage advice: 

Simply open in either Excel or OOo Calc and print. There is just enough room on the left to punch holes, but I put mine in a poly sheet protector since it gets a lot of use.

Paper size: 
Letter
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice.org Calc
Language: 
English

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.


Letting Go of the Goose

Zen for BeginnersA student said to the master, "I feel as though I have been raising a goose in a bottle. Now the goose is so big that I can't get it out without either breaking the bottle or harming the goose." The master said to the student, "Sir, it's out!" Hearing this, the student instantly awakened to reality.

It's time to admit something to myself that I've suspected for a long time: I'm positively bored with productivity. Not productivity, as in being productive, you must understand, but reading endlessly about productivity the topic.

Habit Tracker

They say 21 days makes a habit. This template has great little bubbles for filling in each day you accomplish your goal. The template has 4 21-day sections per page.

Thumbnail: 
habittracker.jpg
Usage advice: 

Try one habit for each area of your life. The four sections for example, would allow you to have a goal for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Each day you do the desired habit you can record your accomplishment. As the 21 days progress, you will easily see your progress and balance in your life.

Paper size: 
Multiple Sizes
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)
Language: 
English

Family Planner

Teach kids about mealtimes and chores or keep track of important dates with this refrigerator-door Family Planner.

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

Teach young kids about time and keep track of important dates like school plays with this Family Planner. You can use the three clocks to indicate breakfast, lunch, and dinner time by shading the timespans. Use the grid at the bottom to keep track of anything: dates, chores, even checklists for kids going to school.

Lamination is optional, but can keep your planner safe from crayon marks and milk splashes. Laminate before filling in the grid, and keep a marker and rag handy.

Original template request

Paper size: 
Letter
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)
Language: 
English

Graham on Good and Bad Procrastination

From Paul Graham, author of Hackers and Painters (an enthralling read exploring the inner chambers of genius minds, connecting science, art and psychology), comes a great little article just in time for preparing your New Year's resolutions: Good and Bad Procrastination.

But the trouble with big problems can't be just that they promise no immediate reward and might cause you to waste a lot of time. If that were all, they'd be no worse than going to visit your in-laws. There's more to it than that. Big problems are terrifying. There's an almost physical pain in facing them. It's like having a vacuum cleaner hooked up to your imagination. All your initial ideas get sucked out immediately, and you don't have any more, and yet the vacuum cleaner is still sucking.

You can't look a big problem too directly in the eye. You have to approach it somewhat obliquely. But you have to adjust the angle just right: you have to be facing the big problem directly enough that you catch some of the excitement radiating from it, but not so much that it paralyzes you. You can tighten the angle once you get going, just as a sailboat can sail closer to the wind once it gets underway.

Graham is one of my favourite modern essayists, and this tight little article goes directly to the core of one of the productivity geek's most time-consuming musings. (The latter of which, of course, is ironic in itself.)

Fun Monthly Calendar Template

This is a quick and informal monthly calendar template for the Hipster PDA that you can fill in by hand, or edit it in a graphics app for a more polished look. I've gone for a more "rounded" look, and a more casual font, but this is inspired by the excellent DIY Planner templates.

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

Print from your favorite graphics application on an 3x5 index card and fill out the circles with the appropriate days for whatever month you are setting up. If you feel real industrious fill them in with your graphics app. I used the TrueType font Comic Sans for the lettering if you want to replicate it yourself.

* I use the top right circle to indicate to myself if any information is recorded on the back or my cards. Simply check it off if you write anything on the back.

Paper size: 
Index Card (3 x 5)
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Graphics application that handles PNG format (Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, IrfanView, etc)
Language: 
English

New Year's Resolutions

Manage your New Year's Resolutions by coming up with several ways to fulfill them

Thumbnail: 
Usage advice: 

If you had a hard time keeping last year's New Year Resolutios, try this template. =) Instead of making a resolution like "Go to the gym every week", think of the outcome ("Be in better health"), and then come up with several ways to make progress ("Eat vegetables", etc.). That way, if you don't feel like going to the gym, you have other ways to make progress. You can use the grid to keep track of your progress or write down extra notes. Have fun!

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