random musings from a primate

Your D*I*Y Planner 3.0 Wishlist?

Consider this an invitation to leave comments regarding what templates you’d like to see created for the new edition of the classic/A5 D*I*Y Planner. (That can also include ideas for the Education and Creativity packs, since the work is proceeding more or less simultaneously.)

Among the tentative improvements for version 3.0 that I’m already working on:

  • More consistency in template designs, including a slightly different way of handling dividers and columns — the majority of templates have undergone some changes, mostly minor and cosmetic
  • Undated Monthly templates now have an option for weeks starting on Monday
  • Dated monthly calendar pages (yes, with actual numbers and stuff)
  • Contact pages (heck, why not?)
  • Yearly calendars
  • Finalised Crossroads template
  • Job Tracker template (much like the hPDA version)
  • “Actions Bookmark”
  • Some new project management forms
  • Undated Day Keeper template, for those with “non-standard” hours
  • A simple “widget kit” built in an Open Source product for creating your own templates (stay tuned for further thoughts on the subject)
  • Less ink needed — lighter tones will be used in many cell backgrounds, pending testing on a variety of printers
  • Several reference cards, including the new GTD and Covey diagrams
  • New cover options
  • A dozen or so new (*ahem*) undisclosed templates
  • Launch of the DiYwiki, where you can share advice and home-grown templates (email me if you’d like to help with this)

As you can see, most of these changes are evolutionary, not revolutionary, which is why I’m soliciting as many ideas as possible to add a few more options and a bit more spice into the package. Let me know your wishlist, and I promise I’ll examine all your suggestions.

Last week, we hit 300,000 combined downloads so far of versions 1.0, 2.0 and the Hipster PDA Edition, but I’m not kidding myself: it’s only because of your help, because of community feedback, that the ‘Planner kits have been so well received and seem to be meeting the needs of so many people. I’d like that to continue, so please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas. What additions to this package would help you better manage your life, your time, your information? What would you like to see?

(Egad… I sound like a PBS pledge drive, just without the tote bag. Then again…. ;-) )

If you’d prefer not to leave a comment, you can always email me instead — my address is at the bottom of the menu at the right.

Update : I’m impressed by the enthusiasm of you folks: several dozen emails and comments in just a few hours! Keep it up! Just one little thing, though: please check to see if your suggestion isn’t already in the list above or in version 2.0 of the D*I*Y Planner, or if it can’t be easily handled by a generic template such as Checklist — I’ve gotten a number of suggestions for things that already exist. Not that I mind such requests, but you may find that your need is already fulfilled.

23 Comments

  1. August 1, 2005    

    Since I am so used to my filofax personal I’d like to see a different template size (i.e. 95mm x 171mm) but I fear that is out of the question, right? In any case, the DiYwiki sounds like a great place to maybe share templates for the personal dimensions with other users if designing them yourself seems like to much workload.
    Keep up the good work :-)

  2. Terry's Gravatar Terry
    August 1, 2005    

    Travel Log for miles traveled during a job.

  3. Hardy's Gravatar Hardy
    August 1, 2005    

    Less ink is good, if you can, try to drop the edge-to-edge borders… they really limit your options for printing the entire card, for many printers. Yes, yes, I know, just chop the 4-up designs. I’d rather print to one card.

  4. August 1, 2005    

    I could really use some real estate related ones! Listings, Sellers, Buyers, Prospecting List, Past Clients. 2-Up for me. I would be glad to send over a larger list. Tell me how I can help. Thanks for your efforts.

    –Thom

  5. August 1, 2005    

    Something like ‘Client info’ maybe good. To store several contact data and notes when you are out of office, or visiting a client.

    A draft for meetings (hour, participants, conclusions, etc). But maybe you already consider it in ‘projects templates’.

    Thanks for you work!
    Mario.

  6. August 1, 2005    

    I second a vote for real estate cards. I also think cards for house hunters could prove useful for a lot of folks!

  7. August 1, 2005    

    Take a look at J Wynia grocerylist card, and his “Life Hacking the Grocery List”:

    http://www.wynia.org/wordpress/?p=129

  8. tunesmith's Gravatar tunesmith
    August 1, 2005    

    five-line staff paper. An even number of staves; no barlines, no clefs.

  9. Mitchell Surface's Gravatar Mitchell Surface
    August 1, 2005    

    Thank you very much for all the hard work that’s gone into these.

    A DIY ‘widget kit’ sounds great. There’s a couple of forms I’d like to tweak that don’t really rise to the occasion of needing a whole new form. I’d also like to see a 2 page per week calendar. Sometimes one page per week isn’t quire big enough but I don’t need a entire page per day.

  10. August 1, 2005    

    I’d really like a one-per-page agenda sheet (instead of the current two-per page). I run out of agenda items more often than not.

  11. August 1, 2005    

    My 8 by 5 period is really simple – sit down and work, maybe two things a day that need scheduling. But since I am an active volunteer for several organizations and an outdoors type, my evenings and weekends are heavily scheduled. So keep the forms flexible for time-of-day.

    I do really love the Monday-Sunday versions of the templates. It is much simpler to treat weekends as a single continuum. There are 2 bumps:

    1. the weekly template puts Saturday and Sunday into a single square – but this is where I need the most detail. I don’t have a good fix – but whatever you can creatively come-up with will be a blessing.

    2. even though I really need the Mon-Sun format, my brain has been trained in the American Sun-Sat format – so when I take a quick glance at a monthly calendar I quite often miscalculate the day-of-the-week. Perhaps some sort of heavier line between Friday and Saturday, or a light background color for Saturday and Sunday.

  12. Helma's Gravatar Helma
    August 2, 2005    

    First of all: many thanks for the superb quality of these templates. I use the 2-up A5 version and I’m very impressed with the accuracy of outlining after double-sided printing on my simple inkjet printer.

    I second the “Less ink is good” comment, although I’d rather see the shades in the various templates less dark (e.g. there are 2 Notes pages that only differ in the color of the shades).

    I’d like to see a different version of the “Next Actions” template: with single lines for each action, like the left column on the “GTD All-In-One” template.
    Maybe just the “Shopping” template with an appropriate header.

    A 2-column “Next Actions” template (also with single lines) would also be very helpful, since I usually have lots of short descriptions.

    I’d love to see the DiYkit.

    Thanks again.

  13. innowen's Gravatar innowen
    August 4, 2005    

    i’m involved in a 3e D&D RPG session. my DM uses cards for initiative rolls. i was thinking it’d be kewl to have index card sized character sheets. i’d love to help on this if you think it’s a good enough project.

  14. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    August 4, 2005    

    I’ll echo comment #9 above — I’d like to see a two-page weekly planning setup. Please, horizontal divisions for days as opposed to the vertical strips FranklinCovey (for example) uses.

    Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on the left page, Thursday, Friday, Saturday/Sunday on the right. Feel free to use squares for Sat/Sun as you have for weekdays on the one-page weekly planner.

    Thank you for all the work you’ve done on the D*I*Y Planner!

  15. August 4, 2005    

    I second the two page week! But keep it square, like how it is now, just give us more room, espically for the weeken, lots of stuff happens there. Also, I really like the idea of a Flex-Time Day Keeper

  16. August 4, 2005    

    I would love a notes page that is splic into subsections. Like the Notes page is split into 4 boxes, and each one has a Subject line. Also, a version of the second “Project outline” page that will work on the front side of a page, so we can have more pre-labelled as project to-do lists.

  17. August 4, 2005    

    http://www.plannerforms.com/display_detail.asp?id=45 That form. Please. Sorry, I’ll stop posting now.

  18. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    August 5, 2005    

    Following up on Chris’s comment about square days on a two-page week, that’s cool with me. Four evenly-sized days on either page, and we can make up our own minds about what to do with the eighth “day.”

    In general, I would like to have more space for each day than the current one-page week, but I don’t want narrow vertical strips for each day.

    (In the meantime, I’ll fish through the current planner to see what I can repurpose as a four-day page…)

  19. August 5, 2005    

    I just picked up a “365 Frankiln Covey” planner from Target (they now carry them, instead of At-A-Glance), and it has the perfect weeks. It’s two pages and each page has two columns, The columns are 2/3 and 1/3. The first page has M-Th and the second page has F-Sun. In the space for an 8th day on the second page is a notes box. The second has a to-do list for that day. It is very freeform and works very nicely.

  20. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    August 8, 2005    

    I fished through the planner as promised, and I found the “Important Numbers” pages, which are four areas to a page. They aren’t Chris’s preferred squares, but they’ll serve my purposes.

    Does anyone have suggestions for where on earth to find a 7-hole punch? I’m going to end up hitting the FranklinCovey store, I guess…

  21. August 9, 2005    

    I’ve two ideas that would make the planner perfect for me…

    First, the ‘blank’ paper that I currently use has small dots very faintly printed in a grid every 5mm. It means that I can use the paper as graph paper, lined paper (in a horizontal or vertical alignment), Sudoku/Boxes/Logic Puzzles/Crosswords etc puzzle paper or blank paper, all on the same sheet. It’s so useful, and yet so hard to find- If there is a way to print this, I’d be hooked for life!

    The only other thing is – A6? I know it’s a lot to ask, but I’ve tried reformatting the North American standard sizes and I can’t find a way to make any of them look good on A6 paper (or more usually, A4 quartered to A6). I’m so used to having an A6 notebook in my pocket; the index cards would be a good option if you can bulk-purchase paper in 3″ by 5″ format, but I’ve not seen this anywhere here in the UK. Anyone with advice, let me know!

  22. memeHacker's Gravatar memeHacker
    August 11, 2005    

    Thanks so much for the great templates. My request is that the two-page horizontal monthly calendar in the Hipster PDA version have a Monday-Sunday option, like the vertical one does.

  23. Origjigji's Gravatar Origjigji
    October 21, 2005    

    Simon says (:D): “The only other thing is – A6? I know it’s a lot to ask, but I’ve tried reformatting the North American standard sizes and I can’t find a way to make any of them look good on A6 paper (or more usually, A4 quartered to A6). I’m so used to having an A6 notebook in my pocket; the index cards would be a good option if you can bulk-purchase paper in 3″ by 5″ format, but I’ve not seen this anywhere here in the UK. Anyone with advice, let me know!”

    I am not in the UK, so some of the tricks might not apply to your case, but…
    a) try buying a 160-200 g/m2 A4 paper (usually available in any colour: white, pastel, bright colours) or business cards paper. They usually come in packages of 100-250 sheets per pckg. Or buy a so called hammer paper (A0 paper) – in that case you would first have to have it sliced down to A4 sheets. Then ask somebody in photocopying shop or private printhouse to trim it down for you, to the 3″ x 5″ size cards. Or buy a trimmer. Anyway, it should cost you significantly less than buying originally cut index cards.

    b) Perhaps this would be more applicable: try to find a shop where art & design students buy their papers, or some ‘hobby-shop’.

    c) in some cases, private or other printint houses might be willing to supply you with their residue paper, e.g. leftovers for brochure soft-cover, etc. The thickness is the same as index cards, and you might even get a bargain :D

  1. Andreas Matern’s Weblog » Blog Archive » a million monkeys typing » Your D*I*Y Planner 3.0 Wishlist? on August 6, 2005 at 9:22 am

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