Welcome to DIYPlanner.com!

We are a community of people who see the value of paper as a medium for planning, productivity, creative expression, and exploring ideas. We encourage visitors to share advice and inspiration, and we love to see submissions for templates, kit images and story articles. We are also the official home of the free D*I*Y Planner kits. Please enjoy your stay, and make yourself at home!

Just A Little Late For The Holidays: DIYPlanner Gift Cards

DIYPlanner Merry Christmas
Greetings folks, Steve here, wishing you a Merry Christmas from the DIYPlanner crew. Although we're all about doing it yourself around here, this time of year many of us like to do it with other people as well, in the spirit of festive togetherness and stuff...that sounded dirtier than it was supposed to. Oh well.

With that in mind, and unable to find any way to make fun of Doug Johnston again this year, I decided to add to the growing list of DIYPlanner swag and produce some official DIYPLANNER.COM greetings cards. Of course, it's too late to send out Christmas cards, but if you're like me, you don't send out Christmas cards until late January anyway, so I guess these would be New Year's cards. Don't thank me. Just think of it as a public service you totally didn't need. Shockingly, many people still don't realize the benefits of paper-based planning, so let's take this opportunity to spread the word about our fine site and encourage greater organization in the new year. Enjoy and happy holidays!

We Wish You a Merry...

Happy Holidays everyone. I hope this holiday finds you all surrounded by family, friends, good cheer and Circa. Straight from the forums, I've decided that this little ditty (soon to be a rockin hit!) on the front page for all visitors to see.

The DIY 12 Days of Christmas, as performed by our forum members:

Twelve months of templates...
Eleven Circa discs...
Ten fountain pens / Levenger Customers a-leaping...
Nine Smurfers Smurfing...
Eight @ locations...
Seven daily pages...
Six Next Actions...
Five Circa Rings! (alternatively Large Moleskines!)
Four falling smurfs...
Three leather bags...
Two custom planners...
And a hipster in a pocket.


The Bookmark Book

The winter holidays are upon us. Last minute shoppers are out hunting for bargains at the stores and you need a few more items to make your holiday gift list complete. Instead of braving the stores this year, why not give them something different. Something handmade. Like a hand-bound journal, crafted lovingly by your own hand? No, I'm not suggesting that you create some large, artistic, leather tome. That would take quite a bit of time.

Let's think smaller and simpler. Something useful and easy to make. Something that combines the love of reading and writing into one. It's called the Bookmark Book and it squishes the idea of a book holder in with a slim and thin journal. The best part of this project is that you can assemble one of them in just under 5 minutes. Did I mention they make great stocking stuffers for readers and writers alike?

v1: Reference: One or Two Years on One Page (deprecated)

This application has been replaced by Dynamic Templates v2.x: The Next Generation. Please use the link to the left

This is the next installment of the Digital Templates, a series of cross platform applications that should ease the load on the folks who make calendar templates. This program generates a single page template of one or two calendar years based upon the settings you choose (date, margins, and so forth), and uses the basic D*I*Y Planner look and feel as designed by Douglas Johnston.

This is multi-platform software. Below are download links for both Windows and Mac OS X applications, as well as the source code. Through the Nordic Magic of the Qt Libraries, both of these applications were built from the same source code. This source can be built on any platform supported for Qt 4.3, including Linux.

Here's a shot of the Mac version:



Things Not To Buy For Christmas

Useless Christmas Gifts
Hi all, Steve here again, after a short absence. I've been busy selling Christmas retail you see and Christmas retail has the affect of destroying your brain. I tried to write a column last week, but all I managed to do was drool on the keyboard, which seemed unsatisfactory subject matter to base a column on. But now I'm done with retail for the time being and I'm back to write a column: About retail!

Bet you didn't see that coming. Or maybe you did. But still, it's a subject worth talking about. Many people are busy these days, running around doing last minute Christmas shopping…but I discovered something during my time in retail: Most of what they sell is garbage. And I'm here to tell you what not to buy for Christmas with: Steve's List Of What Not To Buy For Christmas!

v1: Two Pages Per Day (deprecated)

This application has been replaced by Dynamic Templates v2.x: The Next Generation. Please use the link to the left

This is the next installment of the Digital Templates, a series of cross platform applications that should ease the load on the folks who make calendar templates.

This program generates two-page daily templates based upon the settings you choose (dates, margins, and so forth), and uses the basic D*I*Y Planner look and feel as developed by Douglas Johnston. On the left side of the spread is a daily page, dated, with three mini-calendars, an appointments section, a task list, and an expenses area. On the right page is a daily journal for notes and other important information.

This is multi-platform software. Below are download links for pre-built, static, binary applications for both Windows and Mac OS X as well as the source code. Through the Nordic Magic of the Qt Libraries, both of these applications were built from the same source code. This source can be built on any platform supported for Qt 4.3, including Linux.

Here's a shot of the Mac version:



Using Cornell Notes to Write Stories

Editor's note: Sorry I've been gone for two weeks. Thanksgiving was a fun-filled all day event with my close friends. Lots of food, cheer and laughter. Last week I got really sick and it put me down for five days (still am fighting off some horrid cough). But the show must go on and here I am, hopefully back to fill your Thursday void.

I noticed something during NaNoWriMo this year. Many of my friends were planning, plotting and writing their novels long-hand. Many used Circa systems and index cards while a few used a system similar to Cornell notes. Looking at their notebooks fascinated me, as I'm often fascinated with how writer's come up with their ideas and plots for stories. I spent long bits of time looking through their notebooks and listening to them talk about how they'd use them to write out plot points (some of them in-depth), character sketches or locations, and then jot notes and images and suggestions down next to the various scribbles.

I thought it was a great way to plan a novel and started coming up with ideas on how one could modify Cornell Notes to plan stories or draft novels. This article quickly reviews the Cornell Note-taking system and then discusses ways you can modify and apply it for your creative writing endeavors.

Review: The Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen

Being a mere fountain pen acolyte, it's my understanding that part of what led to their resurgence during the 80's and 90's (having been driven underground for several decades by the convenience of the ball-point pen) was their potential bling factor. Well-to-do business people would stuff a $1500+ Mont Blanc pen in their Armani pockets in place of the passé hankerchief and people couldn't help but ooh and ahh at the amount of money that was undoubtedly paid for such a fashionable accroutrement. They were, in effect, jewelry, meant to be displayed but very rarely used.

True, there are a lot of beautiful pens out there, many costing several thousand dollars in special "limited editions" (of course they're limited -- how many $15,000 pens could you realistically expect to sell?), but they remain out of reach for us mere mortals who actually know the contents of their bank accounts. Not to worry, though: more than one fountain pen savant has whispered the industry's little secret to me. Up to $150, you pay for the nib; more, you pay for the sparkle. So, assuming you're not looking for something ostentatious, just a nice reliable daily writer that will last for many years, you're in luck. There's plenty of options that won't require an extra mortgage, ranging from the $25 Lamy Safari and the $40 Waterman Phileas up to the $150 pens from well-regarded manufacturers.

Case in point, the well-regarded bastion of functional anti-bling: the Lamy 2000.

Lamy 2000

Learning To Love Vista

Windows Vista Sucks
Good day all, Steve here, welcoming you to the start of the end of your week. So I was thinking about Windows Vista. I was not thinking good things. I work in an electronics store and we have a steady stream of people walking in the door threatening to bash their computers with an axe, because they can't get Vista to work properly. Usually, we suggest a sledgehammer.

It occurred to me that perhaps we're looking at this whole problem the wrong way. Maybe Vista isn't a terrible operating system that doesn't work right and is unbelievably slow and has a lot of useless features and won't play games or burn c.d.s and generally doesn't do a damned thing. Verily, it honketh mightily. Here's an idea: maybe Vista's simply a tool for people who enjoy pain in their lives. Hmm…