Analog / Digital

2-page-per-day (5x8 index cards)

I decided to start my new binder system with the set up that I originally used from Franklin Covey (schedule and to-do lists on the left, notes on the right) except I improved it (for me) by making the to-do lists the entire length of the page. This template uses 5" X 8" blank index cards, which are great for me because I am pretty rough with my pages and need the extra thickness so they don't rip out of my binder. This template starts with July 19, 2007 (the date I started my new planner) and goes through the end of September. Enjoy!

Usage advice: 

If you don't have two-sided printing, print out the Notes sides first on the cards, and then flip them over to print out the schedule/to-do list sides. You can change the date easily by cutting and pasting the month for each day (since I did not include the day of the week on the top).

Paper size: 
Other
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Microsoft Word
Language: 
English

Review: A Tinderbox Full of Notes

Tinderbox Sample NoteOur review today is a little different, but the application seems to warrant it. Tinderbox (disclaimer: its maker, Eastgate, is a DIYPlanner.com sponsor) is in many ways an unusual program. Refusing to be pinned into any one category, it's almost the tinker, tailor, soldier and spy of personal content management systems. Infinitely tweakable, and extraordinarily powerful, its capabilities can take a long time to explore. So it was only fair to bring both Jaymi (a beginner) and Doug (an intermediate user) into this review. Thus, a little discussion, which went as follows....

JE: Tinderbox bills itself as "a tool for making and analyzing notes." And we agree. However, it's very intimidating to a new user at first and it takes a long while to get over the "wow... omg.... what am I gonna do with this" feeling. When Doug asked me to help him review this package I was hesitant at first. I had no idea how to use this system, or what benefits I could gain from using such a robust note-taking system. Even after a few days of using it, I'm still not sure I've tapped into the full power of the application, for which I'm grateful that Doug is here to help explain, since he's a long-time user.

Day planning with to do list and expense tracker

This template fits a page size 2.75x4.25 inches, which results from dividing a letter sized page in 8. The template has a weekly calendar (names of days are in Spanish, sorry, but they can be easily modified), with space for appointments on the left side. On the right side, there is a small to do list, for all things that need to be done that week not tied to a particular date. At the bottom track, I use that space as an expense tracker: it has three columns, where the left one is used for the day (no need to add the full date since this is already a calendar), the description in the middle and the amount in the right.

The template was created using Inkscape. It allows me to have an overview of relevant things per week in a format small enough to carry even in my pocket. And because the paper size is a fraction of a letter size paper, there is no waste of paper. I tried creating an 8-up version, but doesn't work as well due to the reduced margins in my printer, so I deleted it.

I'm including the template in PDF format, as well as the source file for Inkscape (SVG format).

Thumbnail: 
TemplateAgendaSimple.png
Usage advice: 

Works best printed on pieces of 1/8 letter paper. It is tiny, and very portable, so a small pen is recommended. I print a bunch of these, and punch them at the top, then use a ring to bind them together, along with a protective/decorative cover.

Paper size: 
Other
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Inkscape (for modifying template)
Language: 
Spanish

"hPDAphone" button templates

Buttons from Rollafool's "hPDAphone" template -- complete set in JPG (EPS coming soon).

What would an all-GTD iPhone look like? Here's your chance to find out!

UPDATED! Now includes the buttons from the revised templates. These are all-vector, so they can be scaled to fit anything! (old buttons available by request)

Thumbnail: 
diy-1.jpg
Usage advice: 

Buttons saved as individual graphics in a .zip file.

Paper size: 
Multiple Sizes
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Any graphics package that can open .jpg files
Language: 
English

Wildly Galloping without a Destination

www.stefanmart.deIt's cyclical. Every now and then, the inner geek, chomping at the bit for days or even months, suddenly bursts out of the stable and runs amok. It's happened again, and the story always finishes with the same sad ending: the geek finds itself lost in the bog, sinking in the mire, and I'm forced to track it down, haul it out with a good stout rope, and lead it back to its careful confinement. It's fine there amongst the familiar and safe surrounding for another little while, and then the restlessness begins anew.

2-Page per Week Vertical

Two page per week in a vertical format, with space for scheduling from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day of the week. Designed for 3.75 inches by 6.75 inches (portable Dayrunner/Daytimer size).

Usage advice: 

Print right page on the front, left on the back, then trim to fit planner. Or use the pre-perforated "portable" printer paper from daytimer.com.

Paper size: 
Other
License: 
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Any software that can print a PDF file.
Language: 
English

Retro-Tech: the Newton eMate 300 for Writers Today

eMate 300I'm constantly looking for new ways to write. Sometimes, of course, paper is my first and most effective resource, but there are other times when I just want to pound away at a keyboard with a digital end in mind. I do have a nice shiny MacBook Pro, but between its bottom searing the flesh of my lap, its bevy of powerful applications, and the network access chiming the arrival of my email and luring me into the world wide abyss, well... focus becomes an issue. I've thought for years about getting an Alphasmart Neo or Dana, but I'm not sure the usage will warrant the cost.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about my new(-to-me) Apple Newton, and how I've recently become smitten by this ten-year-old technology. Since then, I've received a near-mint Apple eMate 300 Newton for roughly $10, and have decided to use it as a writing platform. In fact, this post is entirely written with its built-in word processor. Consider it a little experiment.

Retro-Tech Planning with the Newton

Apple NewtonI have a little confession to make. Now, most people that know me well have no doubt that I'm a gadget freak and a tinkerer, although I do try at every moment to curb those tendencies. For example, after all those years of using several generations of Palms, I gave them up to use a paper planner, and have been quite happy about that decision. To this day, I refuse to carry a cell phone unless I'm travelling in the middle of nowhere or have to be on call for an urgent project. I eschew a workshop of testosterone-fueled power tools if I can use my Leatherman instead. And, although I've read a few shelves' worth of books about automotive mechanics, I resist the urge to prop open the hood, lest something explodes or some sharp bits leave me digitally impaired. I know my weaknesses and limitations.

But I've harboured an urge for twelve years that's never been satisfied. Every now and then, a product comes along that changes the face of the computing industry, like the Altair or the Apple II, and my coming-of-age as an IT professional was marked --from afar-- by the emergence of another one. It was a brick-shaped thing, barely able to fit into a trenchcoat pocket, and which emitted a gorgeous green glow. It was a thing initially of ridicule, but that quickly set a precedent for portable computing before being unceremoniously axed by Steve Jobs upon his return to Apple, leaving legions of fans supporting the device for a decade after its last production run. I'm speaking, of course, about the Apple MessagePad, also known as the Newton.

Take a Note...

Headed-notepaperToday’s guest poster is unavailable for comment following a open toe sandal incident earlier today. Therefore inno once more wheeled me into the breech like a colossal wooden badger, set on promoting his own thoughts and ideas on papery note makin'...

Information and knowledge are not the preserve of the lecture hall nor the text book, they surround us filling our senses and yet so familiar are they we barely take time to acknowledge them before new information takes their place. Every day we find ourselves bombarded with more and more – some surf over the top leading to mediocre thinking, still others splash and play. Another group find themselves drowning in a sea of ‘stuff’ which in turn lead to procrastination. Only by critical thinking and making notes are we are able to sift through the detritus to reveal the nuggets of information on which the empires of knowledge are built upon.