The PagePacker

PagePackerThanks to all the folks who emailed me about today's big D*I*Y Planner spotting: the uber-cool PocketMod-style Mac application called PagePacker, programmed by one of my personal OS X programming heroes, Aaron Hillegass. In case you haven't noticed the buzz on or, this is a sweet little layout program that allows you to drag and drop any of the Hipster PDA Edition (index card) templates into an eight-section grid, then print it out onto any letter-size sheet of paper to create a little folding book. It essentially creates a little portable, disposable planner. Bonus points are awarded for allowing other graphics to be dropped in as well.

A hearty welcome is extended to all the folks coming over from Big Nerd Ranch, LifeHacker, and all the other sites mentioning today. While you're here, please take a moment to look at our other free offerings, including the full Hipster PDA Edition (for printing onto index cards), the Classic/A5 Edition (for 5.5x8.5 or A5 sheets), and the many other templates created by our community, found in the Templates Directory.

By the way, don't forget that all our official templates (and many of the unofficial ones) will always be free for downloading and printing, as long as it's not mass-produced for commercial use. (See the licenses on the pages for more information.)


Here is a PDF that prints 4-up weekly calendar pages on one letter size paper. They are rotated so you can fold the paper and make a 'booklet'.

Usage advice: 

Here is a PDF that prints 4-up weekly calendar pages on one letter size paper. They are rotated so you can fold the paper and make a 'booklet'.

You can either cut the paper to make 4 quarter-letter size pages, or you can fold the paper twice to make a mini booklet. If you fold the long way first you will get a regular book that opens to the left. If you fold the short way first you will get a reporters notebook that opens up. I put in generous inner margins so you can fold many booklets and nest them together to make a book with more pages.

I stick a paperclip or ring binder through the upper left corner to bind it all together better. I also cut a cardboard backing the same size as the front and back cover.
The result is a 4.25" wide book, which is exact the largest width that can comfortably fit in my back pocket. It goes everywhere with me.

I created this with the amazing Multivalent Tools.
1) Download them at
2) Print your own 4 pages as letter size seperate PDF files
3) Put the PDFs in the same directory as Multivalent
4) Combine the 4 pages into one PDF:
java -cp Multivalent20060102.jar tool.pdf.Merge -samedoc page1.pdf page2.pdf page3.pdf page4.pdf
5) Rotate and scale the pages for folding:
java -cp Multivalent20060102.jar tool.pdf.Impose -dim 2x2 -layout "3u,2u,4,1" page1-m.pdf
Now your 4-up PDF ready for printing is in the file page1-m-up.pdf

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

A Special Invitation to Template Developers

There's something going on behind the scenes at DIYPlanner that many folks may not know about, and it concerns the vast array of talent possessed by our members. It seems like every day I receive at least one email (sometimes up to a dozen) from eager folks that ask for advice or feedback regarding their template creations. Some folks are learning how to cobble together their first attempts in Draw, others have laid out a slick series of forms in professional graphics applications, and yet others are creating software applications (in online scripting languages, databases, or even stand-alone cross-platform apps) to dynamically create calendars, to-do lists, or specialty forms. It seems a pity not to bring these folks together so they can benefit from each other.

And so, today, I'm announcing a new Google Group called "DIYPlanner Template Development" (diyplanner-tmpl) for that very purpose.

Testing: DiyP3 Monthly and Yearly Calendars

I've been squirreling away my little pockets of time to produce the new monthly and yearly calendars, and they're just about ready. Seeing time is running short and the holidays are upon us, I thought I'd release them as a draft for testing purposes. I'll incorporate your feedback for final release within one week.

If you'd like to download the templates and participate in the bug hunt (which would be very much appreciated), please keep reading....

Call for Guest Posts

It's quite exciting to see so much new blood on this site, and so many enthusiastic new members sharing their ideas and advice, even as we "old-timers" struggle to keep up with the new developments in our own lives. It seems like an opportune time to invite fledgeling writers, techies and productivity gurus to hand in a guest post or two.

So here's the deal....

We're looking for articles on a rather wide range of topics, from time management ideas, to template design, to do-it-yourself journal/planner making, to reviews, to organizing workspaces. How-to's are also very dear to many of us, as we're constantly searching for inspiration and things to make. Figured out a printing problem? Experimenting with making templates through some barely-known software? Made a hook to print out online calendars and tasks into your planner? Designed some time-saving forms that you'd like to do a full write-up for? Want to give a primer on fountain pens, or show off your obscure collection of Care Bear erasers? Good at tackling expense forms? Got a filing system that's saved you time and money? Practising calligraphy? Got great ideas for organising scrapbooks? Remember we're all about "paper, productivity and passion," so if it has anything at all to do with paper, then you're probably on the right track.

We don't actually offer any money, but we can offer plenty of enthusiastic readers (roughly 60K visitors daily), and some top-notch editorial advice. We ask for 30 days' exclusivity, which means you're free to publish it anywhere else thereafter. Of course, you also retain all copyright on the piece you write, along with other pictures and media, and get a link from our site to your own (if you have one).

If you'd like to write a guest post, please contact me at diyplanner [at] gmail [.dot.] com (or use my contact form) to let me know your ideas, as well as any previous writing experience you might have. Frankly, the latter isn't necessary, as long as you can craft a decent sentence and have a passion for sharing.

Help Needed with Daily Pages Templates

With the new year fast approaching, I'd like to kick a project here into overdrive. It's always been my plan to have some way of producing daily pages that actually possess full date information (day, month, year, day of week, mini-calendars and holidays), as well as a high degree of usability. Unfortunately, since I manually produce all templates, the monthly versions take long enough to prepare, yet alone a full year's set of daily forms with both Sun-Sat and Mon-Sun variations.

Therefore, I'm calling on the help of the DIYPlanner community. Please keep reading for what I'd like to see, along with some samples of a new Daily Pages form in process.

Don't panic. We now return to our regularly scheduled DIYPlanner.

We seem to have encountered a Drupal/database bug today that stemmed from deleting those nasty shoe spammers. As a result, the site was unavailable for an hour or so.

Thanks to our resident Drupal guru, eric Farris, the bug was quickly addressed and the site made functional again. Our deepest appreciation goes out to eric (yet again), and to the many members who emailed us to report the errors.

Update: We spoke too soon. Anonymous users cannot see content; only authorized users (members) can. We're working on it.

Update 2: Working again. (Cross fingers.)

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from your friends at DIY Planner!
Photo by Raymond Gilford (ShutterCat7)

Clearing through the backlog...

You'll have to forgive me if you've submitted a template recently, as I haven't had enough time to check and test many of them (I prefer to not publish anything unchecked). I'll be going through the templates tonight, so tomorrow there should be a bunch of fresh user-submitted templates in our directory.

To answer a few questions I've received a few times lately....

Yes, there will be a 2007 monthly calendar, at least in Classic/A5 size. We're also hoping to provide dated daily calendars as well, but that will depend on the skill and the time of a certain talented volunteer, who is writing a macro.

Yes, we are always looking for talented guest writers to contribute material. Please contact me at diyplanner [^at^] gmail [dot] com if you have an idea or article you'd like to contribute.

Yes, we accept materials to review, including books, crafting materials, planner/productivity products, software, training/workbooks, etc., but of course there are no promises. Please contact me and I'll see if one of our writers would like to handle your book or product.

Yes, I am thinking about producing at least a set of D*I*Y Planner templates for 4.25x6.75. If someone out there knows Illustrator well and would like to volunteer to handle the 3.75" wide templates, please drop me a line. A person familiar with AI could probably produce a fairly full set (based on the hPDA templates) in 2-3 days or less.

Yes, I'm still working on the proposed final version of the D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit, but owing to my lack of time, it's proceeding slowly. It's still a top priority, though.

No, I have no idea why some people are seeing duplicates in our newsfeeds. How many people are seeing them, and what are the newsreaders involved?

No, we're not interested in hawking Nike shoes, no matter how cheap they are. (Now, if only I could convince our CMS of that....) :-/

Whew. Off to work. Sorry, folks, but I'm a bit stretched lately, between the moving cross-country, the new baby (and our two-year-old toddler), and the new job.