New forms, and a little rant

I’ve been squirrelling away a few minutes here and here to do a little work on the DIY Planner forms, mainly those ones for which I have an immediate need. Since I’ve received so much helpful feedback in the past, and since there are so many of you using the system (at least, so I hear), I figured that I’d give you a peek at some of the new forms in development.

In this 8-page PDF file, you’ll find some new project management forms (I’ve broken the old project form into “Details” and a more concise “Outline”), a Goal Planning form (a la Covey, but certainly compatible with GTD, IMHO), and … *ahem*… a Job Search form. (Anyone need an educational technologist? 😉 ) Please give them a whirl, and let me know if you have any suggestions before these get put into the DIY Planner 2.0 package.

Astute PDFophiles will note that this is actually a 5.5×8.5″ file. I’m making a little change to the methodology. Since many people have access to blank, punch-holed paper this size already (it’s found in most office supply stores, at least in North America), I thought I’d now produce the PDFs to this dimension. If you can’t find this paper size, then just use the guillotine to chop regular letter-size in half before putting them in your printer. Make sure you tell Acrobat not to resize, centre or rotate, and they should print fine (that is, assuming you have the paper lined up correctly). The new paper size has the added bonus of making it easier for me to slightly resize the templates and pump out v.2 forms as A5 for you dear folks in the rest of the world.

Okay, time for a little related rant. I have a Canon i350 printer, and I’ve been quite happy with this inexpensive little workhorse. But printing onto the aforementioned punch-holed paper is a major problem. If the paper descends into the roller at all, then it tears. The problem? Exactly where punch-holed paper has its holes (letter size or 5.5×8.5″), there is a little upwards-facing “hook” used to press the paper against the roller. The holes therefore catch onto this hook. Why, oh why, did Canon make such a sloppy mistake in the positioning of these stabilisers? A quarter inch to the left, and there would be no problem at all — I’m sure that the paper would be just as stable. Or, they could have changed the form or width of the hook to prevent catching. Instead, they’ve made this a major problem for anybody using paper with punch-holes. I’m sure I’m not the only one facing this problem. Anybody using the other Canon iXXX printers notice the same design flaw?

So, it turns out that I’m one of those people who have to chop paper in half using the guillotine just to print 5.5×8.5″, and then I have to hole-punch the printed forms afterwards. This, despite having a rather large pack of nicely pre-punched paper at just the right size. Oh well….

Any comments or suggestions regarding these new forms, please leave a comment or drop me an email. I’d love to hear what you folks think.