The Care and Feeding of Your Hipster PDA

Well, it's finally here! Version 3 of the D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Edition has arrived and the wires are burning up from people all over the world downloading it, the hippest thing in paper-based planning since Gutenburg got leather pants. It should be obvious from even a cursory glance at the new Hipster that Doug Johnston is hard-working and dedicated and marginally unbalanced. At least, he was by the time he finished it. I noted a marked deterioration in Doug's mental faculties during the course of this project, as sleep became less and less frequent. A couple days ago, near the end, I contacted him to ask what I should write my article on for this week. What I got back was a semi-coherent and extremely impassioned rant, something about "I shall avenge thee, Richard Nixon!" So, I guess I'm on my own this week.

Springtime Reduces Productivity

It is upon us. Officially. It has arrived. That time when young men's thoughts drift quickly away from the quarterly sales reports. That's right, it's Springtime, the time of the year that's absolutely terrible for productivity. At least in Canada.

Wait, I'm not making any sense. Let me go back and start again. I'm rather distracted lately, since it's Springtime, you see. In Northern climates, such as the one in which I live, one Canada by name, Springtime is a big deal. We've just made it through a Winter lasting approximately 9000 years and when the sun finally comes out, most of us feel like weeping for joy. But it's bad for productivity.

BattleFleet (Battle Ship)!!!!!

Battleship for the planner!!!! Use flag Post-It(TM) notes to make ships, and play with a friend! Print two pages. I am still figuring out How to make shots, and the board reusable, but cut ships to size, and have fun.

Usage advice: 

Play BattleFleet for fun in the car, plane, in meetings, or anywhere.

Paper size: 
Classic (5.5 x 8.5)
Creative Commons
Applications required: 
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader, Mac OS X Preview), Draw, Blue Highway Fonts

To Plan Or Not To Plan

William SkakespeareGreetings, Steve here. We've got a problem, boys and girls. Despite the concerted efforts of everyone on this site and all of its evangelical supporters, people just aren't taking paper-based planning seriously. I mean, they think it's okay, but paper-based planning hasn't permeated the culture in the same way as the Internet, or buffalo wings. People kind of don't get it. Writing things down? Doesn't sound that impressive. What I mean to say is, paper-based planning is not on everyone's lips. I think what we need is to get some culture on this site, to help make paper-based planning a topic the average person would be proud to bring up in polite company, like at a dinner party. With the Queen. Or something.

So, to that end, I present my interpretation of what William Shakespeare would have thought of paper-based planning. Let me know what you think. (People have been telling me for a long time that I'm weird. I'm starting to believe them.)

Organizational Divination

How To Be OrganizedSteve here. Welcome to another edition of How to Be Organized. Today's topic: Organizational Divination.

Organizational divination is a cutting-edge technique I have just invented for retieving lost documents. Organizational Divination works only with the category pile system (CPS) discussed in a previous post, gratutitously linked here. CPS works on the general principle that as long as you're going to leave important papers laying around in disorganised piles, you might as well do so in generally categorized piles, such as deal with now, deal with soon, keep around in case of toilet paper shortage, etc. Organizational Divination works on the principle that, as long as you're using CPS, you might as well be flamboyant.

The Path To Communication: How They Did It In My Day

Father TimeAn older gentleman of my acquaintance has given me a different perspective on communication. I am a relatively young person, which is to say I am young enough to be idealistic and too old to be automatically excused by the authorities for driving a stolen forklift through an art museum. Being in this particular demographic category, I don't find technology terribly frightening, but I recognize that many people, specifically older people, have difficulty utilizing technology, and specifically for communication. It's merely a conceptual difference, one that shouldn't be difficult to overcome, but which should provide us with around five or six hundred words.

Historical Lessons: Viking Productivity

My picture nameGreetings all. In another life, before I made the shrewd career move of becoming a starving artist, I took a history degree and I always take pleasure in pointing out lessons from history which can help us in our modern day-to-day living, and such is the case today. It seems to me that many managers these days lack the necessary focus and drive to command the respect of their underlings and to effectively get things done. Looking back through history, the people who stick out as the real doers, the guys who really got things done, are, of course, the Vikings. I know. You were just thinking the same thing yourself.

SquirrelMan, The Organizational Superhero

My picture nameOkay, so I was watching the new Batman movie the other day and it inspired me with a terrific idea (sound of people taking cover). The idea in the movie is that Batman is not a man, but a symbol, and not an individual, but a primordial force, something feared by everyone on a near-subconscious level, an incorruptable elemental force for justice, and this gives him his crime-fighting power. This got me to thinking about getting things done at the office and whether the same principle, the Batman Factor you might call it, might be applied to office organization as well.

Of course, walking around the office dressed like Batman would be just plain crazy. No one would take you seriously walking around dressed as a bat in Accounts Receivable. No, I realised that if this is going to work, it needs to be an animal known for hard work, forethought and stick-to-it-iveness, an animal which strategically plans ahead and proactively initiates, that does what needs to be done. Then it hit me: Squirrelman!

Catastrophic Organization

My picture nameGreetings all. Well, I've given up. I am completely, hopelessly, utterly without the ability to organize, to plan, to prioritize. In this department I am without hope, beyond recall, just screwed up. Sorry, I'm teaching English as a Second Language, so I seem to be giving three synonyms for everything these days. Can't help it, nothing I can do, fuggetaboutit! Anyway, I can't organize, but I can innovate. I figure if I can't actually get things done, at least I can make not getting things done sound better. I'm going to break out the euphemisms. My model, of course: The military and big business.