Actions (Classic Pouch Version)

Actions, Pouch VersionLast week, we gave you the Harmony Pouch Version, a version of the life- and project-balancing form that fits snugly into the Classic size pouch of Franklin-Covey planner kits. I've received nearly a dozen requests for an Actions card that fits the same pouch, so here it is.

As with the Harmony card, you can use this either in a pouch or as a bookmark. The concept is simple: use this for the "carry forward" action items each day. For example, you can set the front to be your Next Actions at work, and the reverse to be another context (like errands), or perhaps a Waiting For list. (If you find that you need several of these for multiple contexts, I'd advise using the Satellite Action Cards from the Hipster PDA Edition instead -- it's a whole lot easier than shuffling cards in and out of a pouch.)

Download: Actions, Classic Pouch Version (draft #1)

This is meant to be printed 4-up on letter size, but it should print fine on A4 as long as you tell Acrobat to rotate and centre. For a double-sided set of cards, just print, turn over the paper, and print again.

A hearty welcome to WSJ readers!

I'm not exactly the huggy-feely type, but I do wish to shake the virtual hands of all our new visitors streaming in from the Wall Street Journal article that appeared Friday. From the story:

The Way We List Now

In today's harried society, maintaining 'to do' lists has become a competitive sport, inspiring an array of new products. Katherine Rosman on how to avoid becoming a slave to them. [Link, paid subscription only, unfortunately]

(We're listed at the top of the "Keeping Order Online" sidebar.)

Please feel free to browse around. The main highlights, of course, are the (mostly) daily articles written by our talented team of productivity and creativity gurus, as well as the template kits, both official and unofficial. We hope you enjoy the many downloads, and come back for another visit. In fact, bring along a friend. We're all pretty friendly hereabouts.

Harmony (Classic Pouch Version)

Harmony, Pouch VersionSomething a little different today. This was a direct result of a request, and since it only took a few minutes, I was pleased to do it.

Users of certain day planners (especially those rhyming with, say, Shanklin Lovey) often use a special "pouch" pagemarker to indicate their current date. Inside this pouch --actually just a folded-over piece of flexible plastic with a ruler on the side and a tab at the top-- is generally kept a roles-and-goals type card. One of our readers wanted to know if it was possible to create a version of our Harmony template to actually fit into the pouch.

Your wish is my command. Here is a 4-up set of Harmony templates that can be used like a regular Harmony form. The major difference is that it fits snugly into a Shanklin Lovey classic pouch, and also makes a dandy bookmark, if you choose. The back is a place for notes.

Download: Harmony, Classic Pouch Version (draft #1)

This should print fine as-is on letter-size paper (I recommend 60-80 lb stock), and it should be okay on A4 size as long as you tell Acrobat to center the page.

Pigs flying, hell freezing over, cats and dogs sleeping together...

Those of you who have been praying for a personal size version of the D*I*Y Planner now have a glimmer of hope, thanks to one Sandra K. of Los Angeles. She sent me a personal size (6.75" by 4.25") Franklin-Covey planner, which had two effects.

First, I finally got to see FC forms (yes, I've never actually seen them before now), and I finally understand all the requests to replace them. Heh.

Second, I've taken a few minutes to run an experiment. Find below the first two D*I*Y Planner forms for a possible personal size edition. It's just the Combined Actions and timed Day Keeper forms, but --like I stress-- this is just an experiment, based upon the Hipster PDA Edition templates. At this stage, I'd like all the feedback you can give me, including the best ways to cut the darn thing.

Personal size experiment

Speaking of which, is there anybody out there with a decent personal-size six-hole punch (a real metal one, not a flat plastic clip) who would care to donate it to the D*I*Y Planner project to push this edition along? If so, please contact me at diyplanner [at] gmail [dot] com. Hey, it's still a whole lot cheaper than buying all those expensive FC forms, and you could be immortalised in the credits. ;-)

Download: Personal size experiment, PDF format.

This currently prints on letter size, but A4 users could probably tell Acrobat to center but not scale. However, I have absolutely no idea what constitutes personal size overseas. Please educate me.

DiyP Widget Kit: Call for Ideas

We're in the planning stage for the D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit, an Draw file that lets you create your own templates. Right now, we have the basics: a few dummy forms with checkboxes, repeating lines, a header, some calendar blocks, annotations, and so forth. We're hoping to include a number of other dummy forms of various shapes and sizes so you can copy and paste the elements into new forms. But here's the question of the day....

What do you want to see in the Widget Kit? Please be specific: the more I know about what you want, the better I can deliver. You might also want to check into the existing kit and suggest improvements.

Project Emphasis (Classic/A5 Form)

Sometimes people are a little over-eager. They mindmap or otherwise brainstorm amazing project ideas, then rush blindly into trying to outline the project or its resources. In doing so, they miss an important step: deciding upon the project emphasis. I've recently realised that there is no template within the D*I*Y Planner project that adequately addressed that need. Well, until now.

An experienced project manager will often pass through three phases:

  1. Brainstorming, either alone or with a group (usually with lists or mindmaps)
  2. Outlining possible objectives and deliverables
  3. Structuring the project, starting with the "big picture" view, and delving down into the individuals tasks and details as needed

Project Emphasis formThe deceptively simple Project Emphasis template is used to help determine the scope of a project or venture, what would best indicate success, and what the priorities are. Thus, it's meant to address the second phase.

The columns on the form are:

  1. Objective: A focussed and achievable objective for your project or organisation. For example, "Improve job quote turnaround time."
  2. Indicator: What would be an indicator that this objective was successfully reached? For example, "Quotes in one day or less, guaranteed."
  3. Pr: The priority of the objective. Use 1-10 or A-E, or whatever you normally use to assign priorities.
  4. Current: What the current state of this objective is, if any. For example, "2-3 days turnaround." Use "N/A" for Not Applicable, which may be the case if it's a brand new venture.
  5. Target: What is the ultimate target number, volume, cost, or milestone mark for the objective? Be precise. For example, "5 work hours from receiving request."

Modding the D*I*Y Planner: Text Changes and Translations

Lately, I've been going back and re-reading many of the site comments in preparation for the Widget Kit specifications. As you probably know (if you've been around here a while), the D*I*Y Planner project has been created in the spirit of true "do-it-yourself-ness," and it occurs to me that many of the requests I see are easily accomplished by almost anybody with access to the right software. In other words, you don't need to be an guru, or a graphic designer, to handle many of the smaller things that people ask for on a regular basis. I've decided to start a small (and infrequent) series on "modding" the D*I*Y Planner templates for the most common purposes. Today, I'm going to cover textual changes, such as those required for producing translations and changing page headers.

The War Continues...

We've temporarily disabled anonymous user posting due to another few waves of spam comments. If you'd like to leave a comment or forum posting, please ensure that you're a member.

In the meantime, we beg your patience while we deal with this latest scourge, and implement some more spam-fighting measures. Sorry for the inconvenience, folks....


Cue up the Monty Python "Spam" song...

We've been experiencing more than one bout of technical difficulty here lately, and I'm afraid that some of our users have been caught up in it. Most of it, I believe, stems from trying to turn the tide of spam comments that hits this site, often up to several hundred a minute. Please read on for the details.