D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Edition

D*I*Y Planner Cards

Update : This set, and many more, are now available free at www.DIYPlanner.com. If you want the (much, much better) version 3 set, please jump directly to the D*I*Y Planner 3 Hipster PDA Edition.

The escape was carefully orchestrated. Congo made sure the coast was clear, Bonzo distracted me with his endearing rendition of Polonius’ farewell speech to Laertes, Pierre engaged my wife with the latest Daniel Smith artists’ catalogue, and Polly constructed the electromagnet that attracted the key to the cage from atop the bookshelf. They waited till after midnight, then opened the padlock and quietly crept to the Mac to get to work.

This morning I found the fruits of their labour, stacked neatly in a small pile atop the printer.

I’m hereby pleased to announce the release of the much-requested D*I*Y Planner 2 Hipster PDA Edition, a series of 34 organisational and planning templates designed for printing onto index cards (a.k.a., the Hipster PDA). These are a subset of the regular D*I*Y Planner forms, re-designed for the smaller size, and may be used either in conjunction with the full kit or as a stand-alone system. Although chiefly inspired by David Allen’s Getting Things Done, an emphasis has been placed upon tweakability and multiple methodologies. The package includes:

  • A cover, including an “if lost, please return to” form
  • A Getting Things Done Quick Reference Card, including a flow chart, a weekly review list, and a list of “Stuff” (TM, patent pending)
  • A Covey Planning Quick Reference Card, including salient summaries from First Things First
  • Yearly calendars for 2005 and 2006
  • Three variations on the monthly calendar, both horizontal and vertical
  • A weekly calendar
  • Day Keeper, a daily time management form, with timed and untimed versions
  • More Day Keeper forms, with areas for actions
  • A “GTD All-In-One” with Next Actions, Waiting For and Notes areas
  • Separate full-size Next Actions and Waiting For templates
  • Agenda cards for people or meetings
  • Someday/Maybe project and quick-list forms
  • Single- and double-line ToDo forms
  • Covey Roles and Covey Quadrant, for the top-down fans
  • Basic Project and Checklist templates
  • Shopping and Finances forms
  • Notes templates in lined and grid versions
  • Matrix, a form for writing or tracking tabular data (exercise/fitness logs, calorie counting, grades, borrowed library books, budget items, etc.)
  • A basic Contacts template, four to a sheet
  • Instructions for printing, cutting, modifying, troubleshooting, etc.

This edition is available in three different packages. Please read the descriptions to determine which one you need.

1-Up Version
This PDF package is for printing directly onto index cards. You will need the correct size and weight paper, as well as a printer that can handle 1/8 inch margins. (Many printers only have 1/4 inch margins, and will clip the edges of the forms.)
4-Up Version
This PDF package is for printing four adjacent cards onto regular letter-size (or A4) card stock, then cut using a guillotine or scissors. If you can’t print onto regular index cards without clipping, this is probably your best option. (This is the package I personally use, and it works perfectly with a decent guillotine.)
Graphics Version
This package contains all 34 templates as graphic files (8-bit PNGs, to be exact). Choose this version if you want to use your own layout program, if you want to modify the forms in any way (including changing colours, margins or text), if you want to use your own preforated forms, or if you experience problems using the above PDF files with your printer. The graphics may be edited in any standard graphics application, like Photoshop or The Gimp (which is free), and layout can be done in OpenOffice Draw (free), Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Publisher, CorelDRAW or any number of other publishing programs. (See the accompanying instruction file for tips and license details.)

I would ask that you read the accompanying documentation before sending along any questions or complaints: I’ve tried to address most formatting and printing-related issues therein.

Many thanks go out to all the D*I*Y Planner users who have provided valuable feedback over the past year, as well as to the uber-productivity mavens of the 43 Folders Google Group, whose advice has been beyond compare.

Feedback, as always, is much appreciated.

Update 1: Photo Release Kit add-on

Update 2: Job Tracker add-on

96 Replies to “D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Edition”

  1. Hi,

    I’m having a little trouble getting the Hipster PDA to print. I’m using Mac OS X 10.4 (I have Acrobat 7 and Preview) and I have a Canon i550 inkjet printer.

    What settings are you using to print? Can I get a walkthrough if possible?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Hi

    This is indeed extremely useful. I’d like to know if you’d let me adapt this for medical professionals, who have to round in the hospital. I can do this myself, if you allow me.


  3. Some of these forms are indeed useful, especially when implementing GTD. But in essence, the entire system is really not a whole heck of a lot different/better than a “Pocket ” size filofax. Indeed, I have printed out some of these forms on plain paper, rather than card stock (which seems wasteful), used the Filofax 6-hole punch and incorporated them into my Pocket filofax. Advantages to my Filofax wallet planner over your GTD Hipster include: a place for cash, coins, credit cards. Leather pen/pencil loop. A vinyl envelope that can hold photos and/or stamps. A built-in sticky-note holder that also has sticky page markers. You get useful info pages like weights and measures (USA/Imperial/Metric), Celsius/Fahenheit conversion tables, lists of Notable Dates and Religious Festivals, and a listing of National Holidays for 32 different countries. These holidays are also on the individual relevant daily or weekly diary pages, as is moon phase. You can also buy world maps certain country maps and some major city maps including transportation Tube, Subway, etc. (London, Paris, New York, Chicago, etc.) You can get mylar covered divider taps, either preprinted (Diary, Notes, Information, Financial, Addresses) or blank ones that you could call whatever you want, for example Next Actions, Waiting For, Projects, Project Plans, Calendar. Plus a built-in inch/metric ruler that doubles as a page marker for your diary). A key element for me is portability, which is why I bought the Pocket size (The Mini is just too small, IMHO).

    Gee, maybe those 80’s dudes knew what they were doing after all! Congratulations on a tasteful, but ultimately redundant re-inventing of the wheel.

  4. Also, it’s easier to find a page with the looseleaf ff. To “beam” you just rip it out! Plus ça change, plus c’est la memo chose…

  5. Zenjon, there are two different versions of the D*I*Y Planner. One is the “classic version” meant for 5.5×8.5 and A5 sizes, and then there’s the Hipster PDA version. The latter is meant for on-the-go organisational tasks, and can indeed be used with just a clip, or in a pocket filofax, or in various types of wallets (see Merlin’s post for the initial concept). The classic edition, however, is meant to be used in a planner (hence the name), and supplements the wide range of materials already out there, such as the ones you’ve mentioned. If you look in the handbook, or at several of my posts, you’ll see that it was started for this reason, and because it’s nearly impossible to get decent –and inexpensive– forms to flesh out a FiloFax (or Day Runner, or Day-Timer) when you’re not in a large town or city.

    In short, it’s not re-inventing the wheel… it’s providing tires, axles, a chassis, brakes, an engine, a paint job, and maybe even a way to steer the whole contraption. The main difference over the system you mentioned is that one can decide how the contraption will look and work, and without investing plenty of money or seeking to purchase a dwindling variety of forms from commercial interests that are probably not local nor immediately available.

  6. Several points of agreement; the two things that irritate me about Filofax forms are availability, as you mentioned, but also price. I am grateful to you for offering a way to bypass that hassle. But I still believe you are overstating your case by saying the system offers a “tires, axle, chassis…” rather than re-inventing the wheel. I will allow that you offer new “bearings” (in both senses of the word) for said wheel. For that matter, David Allen himself has shamelessly lifted concepts like “Next Actions” “Do, Delegate, Defer”, and “Can I do it in 2 minutes or less?” and a filtering flowchart from the redoubtable Danish (now German-owned) Time/system (Time/Design in US) planner that Europeans have been using since the Eighties. Both Allen and you have offered refinements, at best. To be fair, that is how things progress. You piggybacked on Allen and Covey; Allen piggybacked on Time/system, among others; Time/system piggybacked on Filofax; and even Filofax (Colonel Disney) piggybacked on the American “Organizer System” which dated from World War One. Lefax Ltd., the American-French company produced a similar product “Lefax.” It turn that stemmed from the “loose leaf of facts,” a product designed by the American engineer J.C. Parker in 1910. As Rainer noted, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  7. Zenjon, I concede to your (obviously vast) knowledge of the history of time management systems. 😉 I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that many people do have access to the standard time management tools –basically, a calendar and a sheet of paper to list to-do items– and that is what I regard as the “wheel”. The D*I*Y Planner tools are meant as an extension of that, and one that was ultimately created as a way of allowing people to build up their own vehicle, as it were, without the need to follow Allen, Covey, or anybody else. The kits require no knowledge of these methods, although they may indeed compliment each other.

    My email correspondence with users seem to indicate that only about a third follow Allen, and far less follow Covey. Most are constructing their own systems, from scratch, using the ‘Planner templates. And that’s fine by me: I’ve always advocated designing a solution based upon one’s unique situation. In my mind, these templates form the parts to a vehicle of one’s own creation.

    I’m certainly not suggesting that what I’m offering is original or revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination. It’s all used parts, really: I’m just trying to make them widely available in a number of different sizes for different cars and different drivers.

    (Oy, that metaphor is getting a little tired…. Or should I say, “tyred”? 😉 )

  8. Usage idea – I have a sunshade CD holder in my car that’s usually just a junk catch-all. Since I started using the Hipster, I’ve taken to sticking about 10 blank cards up there, along with a pen. I usually think up stuff to so, things to write, etc while I’m at stoplights, and I used to flail around for a way to record it. Now I just reach up, jot myself a note, and drop it in the oversized pencil case I use to carry my Hipster in. It’s amazing how productive something so simple can be. 🙂

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  11. I can’t believe what a generous person you are!!!! I downloaded and printed the 4-up version and pasted appropriate pages into a 380 page Moleskine…it’s a perfect organization tool for me. It’s everything I’ve wanted in an organizational tool. THANK YOU!

  12. Great templates, nice clean readable format, Doug. I liked them so much, I immediately printed them up for my own hipsterPDA.

    A suggestion? The Covey and GTD reference cards are best laminated, since they are intended to “outlive” the more temporary task- and date-related cards.

    For the other ladies who use the hipster, I also created a template similar to the Covey and Allen cards that outlines Flylady’s home organizing system. It’s available here.

    Thanks again, Doug, for a great tool!

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  15. Dear Douglas,

    That dates me, right? Let’s just say I’m 50-something. My age is probably the main reason I was looking for a solution to the twin problems of paper-based syncing and searching. Being a writer of sorts, I need to do both a lot. At my computer, my eyes and my back moan that I’m no spring chicken anymore and increasing thoughts of impending mortality keep hollering “hurry, if you want to make a difference!”

    Here’s what I found. This past year has seen the refining of voice recognition/dictation software (a certain brand I’ve researched is best according to media reviews) to the 99% accuracy level. Also, relatively new on the market is the digital voice recorder. Picture this: I’m lying on my lounge in my sunspace and dictating my blog or journal entry or report draft or travelogue or novel or long letter or whatever into my voice recorder. I finish, and being thirsty I go to brew a nice cup of lapsang souchong. I first plug the recorder into my USB port and import my dictation from my recorder to my voice recognition software. The digital transcription is ready before I take the first sip. Life’s tough, but typing into a computer should be as small a part of it as possible.

    When in the field just write a note or whatever in your hPDA, draw a separator, and write the next item. Sometimes you don’t have time in the field to wonder what to label something. At most, a label already in your head is all you might need to jot. After you get home and want to sync, you won’t even have to edit if you don’t mind a few, hopefully unimportant, misspellings in your computer PDA program. You’re the only one to see it, right?

    Other writings requiring formal keyboard editing and formatting by mouse can also be done at the computer by voice, once you’ve trained your software. I have this image in my head of Star Trek’s Scotty in the “whales” ST movie trying to use a late 20th century computer by saying “Computer… computer” into the mouse. If you format by mouse anyway 🙂 (do you like my “hipster smiley”?), try it this way and you may not need to type at all! The program I am getting can input to most well known word processing and data input programs.

    This goes a long way to solving the twin problems I mentioned. When you get home from a long day of writing paper bits in your hPDA, just read all your note bits (including the separators if you like) into a word processor and sort into your computer PDA or blog. Do immediate word searches. No more sorting/labeling in the field or misplacing that certain note after it’s in the computer. (Google Desktop can find anything on my computer!)


  16. The forms, the package, are gems. Glad I found this by Googling “kodak hacks”, which got me to LifeHacker, to 43folders, to MMMT. You owe it to yourself to put a donation link somewhere on the page. No, it doesn’t fit your m.o., but on the other hand, there’s beer money involved.

    Anyway, suggestion: can you make the contact fields fillable in the .pdf? I don’t really want to write in the 60 or so crucial contacts I have. Perhaps a separate fillable .pdf.

    Great work, thanks again.


  17. I really like your templates, great job!
    It would be even better if you could add another version for the calendar pages with monday as the first day of the week… TIA.

  18. Hilarious. I stopped carrying my palm because I liked writing on business cards more…this is like my business cards, but Uber-Cool!

    Thanks for the layouts!

  19. An awesome set of templates!
    Now that I’m so attached, any hope of getting updated calendar pages? Ooooooo, that’d be nice!

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