Dynamic Templates v2.05: The Next Generation

The D*I*Y Planner Dynamic Template application has now hit version 2.0, ready to produce any size and shape of yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily calendars for your printing pleasure. All designs are based upon the Classic versions of the D*I*Y Planner, along with input from Doug, and so will integrate completely into your DiyP setup. (The daily design was created by Doug, but was never implemented as a static template owing to the insane amount of repetitive work required.)

Simply select your paper size, choose the calendar type, and tweak the settings to come up with your own printable set of calendars that perfectly fit your planner and your lifestyle.

The Mac version was built in Mac OS 10.4.11, using Qt 4.5.2
Here's a shot of the Mac version as it starts up:

Quick Tip: Fast (and cheap) Classic-size paper

Tired of guillotining or roll-cutting letter-size paper to make classic-size forms for your D*I*Y Planner? Go to your local big-box office supply store or printer, buy a 500-page pack of paper, and they'll slice it in half for you for a few dollars. Some places, especially those also specializing in printing, might also be able to punch the holes too.

Costume Details Reference Sheet

My daughter is a costumer for theaters, and she uses this sheet at the beginning of each show to take all the relevant measurements for each character/actor. Some of the items might seem odd, until you remember that sometimes a female plays a male character and vice versa.

The bottom part of the form tracks who did what alterations, repairs, etc.

At the end of the show, she files the form and builds up her library for future reference.

Usage advice: 

The Open Office template is included if you want to use this as a starting point for a personalized size reference.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
Adobe, Open Office

Instuctables: Hipster PDA How-To

Instructables: Hipster bills itself as the world's biggest show and tell. To be sure, a lot of the how-to's lean a little to the ugly side of kludgey, but they really tap into the true DIY spirit. And there's certainly no lack of step-by-step articles for notebook hacks and Hipster PDA variants.

For example, take a look at one that uses our D*I*Y Planner hPDA kit:

Also note the related items at right, and explore from there. You too can have a Moleskine cover made out of a circuit board, suitable for impressing geek friends, scratching the table-top, or --when your loofah is nowhere to be found-- sloughing off dry skin.

Basic Fountain Pen Restoration, Part I

Parker ChallengerSo, you've discovered a cup'o'pens at the local flea market, and found that amidst all the cheap Bics and broken mechanical pencils are a few fountain pens. Sure, they're covered with grime, tarnish, and bent bits, perhaps there's a crack or two, but still -- they are fountain pens, a relic from a bygone age when people's worth was often determined by their words, and their words were defined by their pens. You roll them over, shake them a little, inspect the dirty tips. While they'll never sell for much on the market, you suspect that you might be able to get some decent daily writers out of the lot. But what's involved in that? After all, you don't have any fancy pen repair supplies, and don't have the first clue where to begin with restoration techniques.

Restoration, what a scary word. People think of houses, furniture, huge investments of time, effort, outside help, equipment. But despite the fact that some fountain pens can be quite expensive (thousands of dollars is not a rare price to pay), a little bit of skill and a modest investment of gear --much of which is probably already in your home-- can turn a junkyard pen into a writer's best friend, if not a family heirloom.

The fundamentals of fixing pens are not out of reach for even bare beginners -- recognise that I've only been doing this for around a year, but thanks to great books like "Da Book" (Guide to Fountain Pen Repairs by Frank Dubiel) and numerous Fountain Pen Network forums, I've picked up enough basics to restore about 50 or 60 vintage pens and pencils. While I'm obviously not an expert, the purpose of these DIYPlanner articles is to share beginner's tips with you, perhaps whetting your appetite for something a little more advanced. Then Dubiel is certainly your next logical step.

Hipster cardcase with lock

This cardcase can be completed without glueing. Just print it and cut it. Scorch the folds. While cutting, don't forget the small horizontal cut int the most left section, and the two tiny cuts on both sides of the lip. This way the lip will function like a barb on a fishinghook, when you fold the cardcase and put the lip in the cut.

Have fun!


Usage advice: 

Just print, cut and fold...

Paper size: 
Index Card (3 x 5)
Creative Commons
Applications required: 

Vintage Fountain Pens: Your Father's Esterbrook

Esterbrook AdNow, my father was a decidedly practical man, with little time for "fussin' around," and I suspect that --although he would have certainly used fountain pens during the 40's and early 50's-- he would have dropped them quickly and forever with the advent of the ballpoint pen. But ballpoints, like rollerballs, lack a certain history and mystique that even the cheapest and most utilitarian fountain pens possessed. These queer little objects, found beneath decades-old scraps at the bottom of drawers, or standing in broken crock-pots on basement shelves, have emerged from their dusty hiding places to pique buyers with a newfound appreciation for these old workhorses. And, in the year or so that I've been getting, restoring and researching fountain pens, I'm no longer surprised to hear pens compared to "your father's Esterbrook."

These ubiquitous and (some would say) beautiful fountain pens are inexpensive, plentiful, and offer some unique opportunities to D-I-Y'ers who would not only love to experiment with different nibs, but test the waters of vintage pens without taking out an extra mortgage.

The Bookmark Book

The winter holidays are upon us. Last minute shoppers are out hunting for bargains at the stores and you need a few more items to make your holiday gift list complete. Instead of braving the stores this year, why not give them something different. Something handmade. Like a hand-bound journal, crafted lovingly by your own hand? No, I'm not suggesting that you create some large, artistic, leather tome. That would take quite a bit of time.

Let's think smaller and simpler. Something useful and easy to make. Something that combines the love of reading and writing into one. It's called the Bookmark Book and it squishes the idea of a book holder in with a slim and thin journal. The best part of this project is that you can assemble one of them in just under 5 minutes. Did I mention they make great stocking stuffers for readers and writers alike?

v1: Reference: One or Two Years on One Page (deprecated)

This application has been replaced by Dynamic Templates v2.x: The Next Generation. Please use the link to the left

This is the next installment of the Digital Templates, a series of cross platform applications that should ease the load on the folks who make calendar templates. This program generates a single page template of one or two calendar years based upon the settings you choose (date, margins, and so forth), and uses the basic D*I*Y Planner look and feel as designed by Douglas Johnston.

This is multi-platform software. Below are download links for both Windows and Mac OS X applications, as well as the source code. Through the Nordic Magic of the Qt Libraries, both of these applications were built from the same source code. This source can be built on any platform supported for Qt 4.3, including Linux.

Here's a shot of the Mac version: