T-shirt Tuesday!

D*I*Y Planner T-shirt
No Template Tuesday today. I want to talk about something far more fun. =) Today is T-shirt Tuesday instead!

My clothing budget is mostly earmarked for all the jackets and thermals a tropical girl needs to survive Canada's infamous winters, but one thing I absolutely _must_ have is official D*I*Y Planner swag.

A Beginner's Guide to Making a D*I*Y Planner

Day Runner + D*I*Y PlannerMany first-time visitors to this site are probably overwhelmed by the vast number of pages, templates, packages, sizes and loose forms available. This little all-in-one guide is meant to direct beginners to downloading the right packages, printing and preparing the forms, and setting up a basic planner or Hipster PDA using the D*I*Y Planner kits.

The goal here is to teach you how to create an effective industrial-strength planner system that can last for years, yet costs next to nothing. This page might look a little complicated at first glance, but you'll be surprised by how little work is generally involved, especially after a little practice. For example, I can now create a dozen double-sided punched forms in about three to four minutes, including printing, by using basic (i.e., "cheap") equipment. No special skills are involved, just a little patience and an hour or two to follow the step-by-step instructions the first time through.

(If you only want to download the kits and start experimenting, jump to the Official D*I*Y Planner Kits page and follow the links.)

D*I*Y Planner Calendar Pack (Letter/A4)

Official letter-sized editions of the Classic Calendar Pack. Almost 60 pages of planner pages, including Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Yearly templates.

Usage advice: 

Please see the [linked page](/templates/official/letter/calendar).

Paper size: 
Letter and A4
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)

One Week Later...

It's hard to believe that only seven days have gone by since we launched. In that time, we've gotten some great linkage (including bOING bOING and, we're averaging around 30,000-35,000 page views daily, and we have a steady stream of about 60-150 simultaneous visitors, depending upon the time of day. We've seen a few hundred registered users, some great articles and posts covering a wide range of subjects (from time management to nourishing creativity to... er, frozen vegetables), a rapidly-growing template directory, and even a few official template release packages. Whew.

The Boston GlobeWe also made print. A great little piece on us (and I say us, for it's more about the community and ideas that bolster this site) appeared in Joshua Glenn's column This Examined Life in the Boston Globe: To the Planner Born. The article sports a picture of John Norris' well worn Hipster PDA, and mentions --among other things-- a quote by Matthew Cornell and a D-I-Y project much beloved by us all, the Ductster.

Of course, this site would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of the team. Sacha (Tuesdays), Jaymi (Thursdays) and Steve (Fridays) have produced some excellent articles, and many more are in store. However --to my chagrin-- one person always seems to escape the radar, and that's eric (small "e") Farris. Not only is he my right-hand man on this site, but it would not have been possible without him. He is also porting the D*I*Y Planner templates to letter-size and A4, a staggering task in itself. Tomorrow, you'll see the first fruits of this exhausting labour: our first letter/A4 release, the Calendar pack. (There's nothing like starting with the hardest first.) Please don't be afraid to show these folks some appreciation: all of this is volunteer work of the highest calibre, and they truly deserve the title "unsung heroes."

And finally, our deepest gratitude goes out to all the folks who have visited this site, bookmarked it, left comments and posts, spread the word, and supported us through the nail-biting and sleep-deprived launch. It feels like we've had a big house-warming party, all the neighbours have come by, and we can now sleep comfortably in the knowledge that we've arrived where we belong. Thank you, and please feel free to stop by for a cup of tea.

D*I*Y Planner Journal Pages

Three different sets of journal pages. Lines are lighter and thinner than Notes pages, and certain ones have header space for drawings, quotes and photographs. Useful for journal writing, tracking business hours/tasks, dream diaries, and much more.

Note: This template has been replaced by the the Dynamic Templates

Usage advice: 

Please see the linked page for more information, and the downloads in both Classic and A5 formats.

Paper size: 
Classic and A5
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview)


Just a little bit of housekeeping here. Since our launch yesterday, we've been watching the logs and fixing little errors as they occur. So far, so good, but please contact me if you notice any errors, including broken links, missing images, non-working news feeds, and strange formatting (like almost-illegible text).

Regarding our template directory, I'd please ask folks to only submit their own templates and sites. This is our policy, since the people who create the entries also have the ability to modify and update them, and it's not fair that someone besides the owner has that power.

I've been watching this site slowly climb up with some degree of amusement. Would user "teufel" please change the name of his or her bookmark so that we are not coming soon? ;-)

And finally, thanks to the many readers who sent me the link to PocketMod. I'm evaluating the system, along with a few booklets I've printed out, and will probably post a little review here soon.

Tomorrow, a major D*I*Y Planner template release: a new calendar package, followed soon thereafter by our first-ever letter-size templates. Stay tuned!

"The Door Is Open, Come On In..."

Buster KeatonWelcome to the opening day of our little homestead. No need to wipe your feet: we're laid back here, and don't fret much about a little mud on the carpet. In fact, it gives the place that lived-in feeling, where people feel free to drop on by, grab a cup of tea, and join a lively discussion or two. No fancy-schmansy plastic coverings for couches here.

I'm your host, Douglas Johnston, whom you may or may not know from a million monkeys typing down the road, as well as the printable template system called the D*I*Y Planner. (That isn't me at left, by the way.) Other than that, I'm just a guy trying to be useful and spread around a little good karma.

D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit 0.3 (for

The most requested item on my D*I*Y Planner to-do list, even more so than the Hipster PDA Edition, has been a source file so that people can create their own templates. I'm not about to release my mass of Adobe Illustrator and InDesign files (indeed, they are guaranteed to frighten small children and reduce husky men to tears), but I've been hinting for a while at an template that mere mortals might use without fear of drowning in thousands of vector layers. The time has come for a preview release.

D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit (Sample)Below you'll find an early release of my Draw template kit for creating your very own forms, called --ahem-- the D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit 0.3. It requires at least 1.1.3 of (free at, a touch of patience, and a little bit of knowledge of Draw (or at least a willingness to learn it). It should work fine in OOo 1.9.x, but my Linux box is down for the count, so I can't test it at the moment. (This kit was created with NeoOffice/J on a Mac, a Java-driven version of 1.1.x.) In the package, you'll find the Draw SXD file, a sample PDF exported from it, and the very necessary Blue Highway fonts. Please make sure you install these first!

When you open up this file, you'll see a page with a layout that approximates a standard 5.5x8.5 D*I*Y Planner form, and there are a number of graphical elements that you can copy and paste into your own creation. That's all there is, really: no elite programming or technical skills required, just OOo and enough time to do what you need. My only tip for you: create a new "slide" (i.e., page), copy the whole widget slide into it, delete what you don't want, and move around the rest, duplicating as necessary. Be sure to plan out your template first (I do mine on paper), and then start experimenting with the kit. The more you use the elements and the application, the more you'll figure out what's going on. I'm offering no support for this kit at the moment, nor am I giving any advice on using OOo -- that's what its help is for, and there are tutorials floating around the Net.

In other words, use this package at your peril.

Download: D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit 0.3

This package is released under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- ShareAlike License.

Note: for those people looking to develop Hipster PDA templates, you can use this Widget Kit, although I'm working on getting a 5.5"x8.5" version to 1.0 first before anything else. To make hPDA templates, you can either scale your final design to 3"x5" size (which would throw off the proportions, probably), or you can try the following:

  1. Set the page dimensions to 3" wide by 5" high, with a margin of 1/4".
  2. Select the whole page of Widgets, grab a corner handle, and while holding down the shift key (this keeps the right proportions), resize until it fits into the left and right margins. This may take a few attempts, and a little practice.
  3. Drag the widgets so that the title falls just under the top margin.
  4. You may also have to fiddle a bit with the various line thicknesses (see the pulldown at top left) to get it looking right. By the way, a line thickness of 0.00" is actually quite thin, but still there.

Further questions or experimentation regarding the "hPDA-ification" of the WK should probably be directed to the template design and requests forum.

Team Members

Regular Contributors

  • Douglas Johnston - Editor-In-Chief / Webmaster / D*I*Y Planner Maintainer
  • Jaymi Elford - Associate Editor / Writer: Journalling/Creativity (please do not contact her about this site, she is no longer affiliated)
  • Steve Sharam - Writer: Pundit/Humour
  • eric Farris - Drupal Wizard / Template Contributor

Former Members