A Beginner's Guide to Making a D*I*Y Planner

Day Runner + D*I*Y PlannerMany first-time visitors to this site are probably overwhelmed by the vast number of pages, templates, packages, sizes and loose forms available. This little all-in-one guide is meant to direct beginners to downloading the right packages, printing and preparing the forms, and setting up a basic planner or Hipster PDA using the D*I*Y Planner kits.

The goal here is to teach you how to create an effective industrial-strength planner system that can last for years, yet costs next to nothing. This page might look a little complicated at first glance, but you'll be surprised by how little work is generally involved, especially after a little practice. For example, I can now create a dozen double-sided punched forms in about three to four minutes, including printing, by using basic (i.e., "cheap") equipment. No special skills are involved, just a little patience and an hour or two to follow the step-by-step instructions the first time through.

(If you only want to download the kits and start experimenting, jump to the Official D*I*Y Planner Kits page and follow the links.)

Choosing a Planner & Size

Depending on where you live in the world, there are usually five main choices you can make for your planner. Read carefully: this is probably one of the most needlessly confusing bits.

  1. Classic size, which is 5.5"x8.5", half the size of a regular letter-size sheet of paper as found in North America and some South American countries. A planner this size offers a great balance of writing space, portability, and amount of material to carry. You can generally find decent Mead or At-A-Glance planners this size at your local department story for $7-$20 USD, or you can buy upscale Day Runner or Day-Timer products for $40 USD and up at your office supply store. I'd recommend a three-ring planner, because of easier hole-punching.

  2. A5 size, which is half an A4 sheet, and found in most other countries world-wide outside of North America. These planners are a little bit wider and not quite as tall as classic, but otherwise are very similar. Filofax is a popular brand with a wide range of options.

  3. Letter size, which is standard North American full-size sheets (8.5"x11"). Great if you need a lot of space, but poor for portability; it can get large and heavy. Planners and binders this size can be found quite cheaply indeed. However, please note that there are no full D*I*Y Planner sets for this size (yet!), just a calendar package for now.

  4. A4 size, the rough equivalent of letter size in most countries outside of North America, and subject to many of the same pros and cons of letter size above. Again, there no full D*I*Y Planner sets available yet, just a calendar package.

  5. Hipster PDA size, which is 3"x5" index card size (people outside North America often scale to slightly different sizes). Many people keep a stack of index cards with to-do lists, calendars, notes and other important info. Small and portable, and all you really need is a binder clip to keep it together. However, they are also difficult to file, you cannot carry around too many without facing organisational issues (think of shuffling a pack of cards), and printing/cutting them can be a pain if your printer isn't in complete agreement with your choice of planner.

My recommendation? It's hard to go wrong with a classic or A5 size planner, and they are easy and inexpensive to find. However, the Hipster PDA offers a great alternative for people on the go who need something small that doesn't need to hold a lot of information.

Other Basic Supplies

At a minimum, you might need the following:

  1. A planner, as mentioned above, unless you want a Hipster PDA. Then all you need is a $0.15 binder clip.

  2. Paper of the right type. That means the correct size and stock. For stock, if you're using a Hipster PDA, I'd recommend 90-110 lb card stock; if you're using anything else, I'd suggest bright white (94 and higher) 24 lb stock. Both are available cheap at most department or office supply stores. As for sizing, it's easier for most beginners to just purchase paper of the right dimensions, but sometimes this isn't possible. For example, I find it hard to find classic size paper in my area, so I get letter-size paper and cut it in half with ....

  3. A guillotine (a.k.a, "paper trimmer"). Only needed if you need to chop paper yourself. Can be found for about $20 USD, but a little investment goes a long way towards ease of use and the quality of the cut. (And, I believe, you'll find a number of handy uses for it besides chopping template paper.) A particularly good buy, if you find yourself cutting a lot, is the GBC GT II Series Trimmer, 15in. -- good value, self-sharpening, fairly compact and sturdy.

  4. A hole punch, if you're using anything besides a Hipster PDA. The key is getting the right one for your paper. I couldn't find one specially sized for my three-holed classic size planner, so I purchased an Acco adjustable punch ($4-6 USD). If you have a six- or seven-hole planner, you may have to buy an expensive specialty hole-punch: be forewarned!

  5. A pen. Some people use expensive fountain pens and other extravagant writing utensils. I use a Pilot G2 0.5. Writes smooth and flawlessly, and only costs $1.50 USD. (I can still lust after Fisher Space Pens, though.)

  6. Access to a computer and printer. Any semi-modern (read: less than about 8 years old) Windows, Mac or Linux machine will do, as long as it can run Adobe Acrobat Reader. As for a printer, most regular $50+ USD inkjets will do the job admirably, as will most lasers that can take different size paper without centre guides (the majority of them do).

Does all this sound expensive? Well, put things in perspective. The most you should have to spend (disregarding the computer equipment) is about $35-$40 USD plus some paper. That will get you a planner system that will last for years, a very handy guillotine and hole punch, and an endless supply of planning, time management, and other handy forms for the minute cost of some paper and ink. Sounds like a good deal to me, especially when compared to the very expensive (and limited) store-bought forms, or even digital PDAs. Doubly so, if you can use a few things at the office to save yourself some money.

Downloading the Packages

First, make sure you have Adobe Acrobat Reader (or Standard, or Pro) on your system. You should have at least version 6.0. If you don't have it, it's a free download.

  1. If you've decided to go with Classic or A5, go to this page: D*I*Y Planner Classic/A5 Edition. You'll see a choice for downloads: Classic or A5, 1-up or 2-up. If you already have paper the right size (which I recommend, even if it means chopping it yourself), choose the 1-up: this prints one form per sheet. If, for some reason, your printer does not allow printing on the correct size form or it insists on center-aligning the page, you can choose the 2-up. That prints two forms on one letter-size (or A4) page. (My advice: don't worry about 2-ups until you've at least tried the 1-up version.)

  2. If you want the Hipster PDA index card version, visit this page: D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Edition. You'll see three versions for download. 1-up prints one card at a time. Many people find that their printers can't handle this without slippage or margin troubles. The graphic version is for those people wanting to do their own layouts: I'd advise beginners against that for now. The safest bet is to get the 4-up. This prints four forms per page on regular full-size stock (which tends to be pretty cheap), and then you just chop with a guillotine or cut with scissors.

Save the file to your hard drive, double-click on the file, and it should create a directory with the files. The ones you need are the PDF files. Open them and browse through the forms. Find one that will prove useful for you, something basic for now (such as the Checklist).

Cutting the Paper

Cutting the paper If you can't find paper of the correct size, and you want Classic or A5, then you can go ahead and guillotine letter-size or A4 in half.

The top of your guillotine should have a guide across the top. This serves two important purposes: holding your paper at a right angle; and allowing you to measure the paper. For example, if you're cutting letter-size paper, align the paper snug against the guide, setting the edge at exactly the 5 1/2" mark. That means your page will be cut exactly in half.

This might take a few tries to get it exactly right --a little nudge to two to the left and right makes a big difference-- but once you figure out where to align the paper for chopping, you'll never have problems again. For example, my guillotine has a groove at 5.5", and I cover it just to its far edge to make an exact cut. Both halves of the paper should be the exact same size if done right.

Printing the Forms

Except for the Hipster PDA forms, all D*I*Y Planner forms are created as both odd and even pages. This means that there will always be a nice margin for your binder rings. Odd pages numbers in the PDF (3,5,7...) will be the front of the forms, and even numbers (4,6,8...) will be the backs. This is how to get started for non-Hipsters in 1-up:

  1. Choose a basic form in the PDF, like Checklist or Notes. Choose the front of the form. You'll know this because there's a greater margin on the left, and it will have an odd page number.

  2. Setting the printer guidesTell Adobe Acrobat to File -> Print.... In the dialog box, tell it not to scale, rotate or center. This is very important! Tell it to print only one copy, and just the current page. Ensure that the right size paper is loaded into your printer, and that the paper guides are holding it snug to the edge. Cover your eyes and hit the Print button.

  3. Check your printed form. It should fit nicely on the page, with a margin at left for the punched holes. (See the Handbook: Printing How-To for more advice and trouble-shooting.) If it's fine, put the paper back in the printer so it prints on the other side. In the PDF, choose the back of the form (the even page number, margin on right) and print as above.

  4. You may have to experiment a little until you get the knack for printing the forms in the correct orientation (hint: the back should not be upside-down compared with the front). Print off one at a time, and try not to waste paper or ink.

  5. One important tip: if you have a colour printer, go through your printer dialog box and look for a "greyscale" checkbox to turn on. If not, it may mix colours to produce black. This is often a waste of money, so turn off colour printing if possible.

  6. Once you've understood how your printer works, print off a few multiples. You can't go wrong with a few checklists and notes pages. I'd advise only printing what you need for the next couple of weeks. You don't want your planner to become so thick you won't carry it anywhere.

  7. If your printer won't allow you to print to Classic or A5 paper correctly, your next option it to download the 2-up version, print two forms at a time, then cut them afterwards.

  8. If you're lazy, bring them to your local copy/printing place and see if they'll print and cut forms for you. Many will, and quite cheaply.

Cutting the Hipster PDA cardsIf you have a Hister PDA, it's a little less complicated:

  1. If you have index cards and want to print singles, put a few in the printer and align the guides. Using the 1-up PDF file, send one form to the printer, telling it not to scale, rotate or center.

  2. If there's a problem with this, such as slippage or missing margins, you may be better off with the 4-up PDF. Put regular card stock (recommended: 110 lb) in the printer and then print a page, telling it not to scale or rotate. When it's done, you'll notice fine grey lines surrounding each card: these are your cutting guides. Simply use a guillotine or scissors to cut the page into cards, and you're done. (You can print on both sides before cutting if you choose, although you may wish to turn on centering.)

Punching the Forms

Punching the holesIf you have a hole-punch of the right size, it's very simple. Just stick in your paper (the side with the wider margins) and punch.

If you are using an adjustable hole punch (say, for Classic or A5 sizes), here's how to customise your tool:

  1. These punches usually come with a little nut or handle to loosen, and each punch should then slide freely left and right. Use a sample punched form (such as one that probably came in your planner) to align each punch and then tighten it into place again.

  2. Slide your pre-punched form into place within the puncher, and press down on the handle. Where the top and bottom edges of the paper are located on the guide, use a china marker or some liquid paper to put little marks.

  3. Simply insert your unpunched forms (keep it to five sheets or less for light-duty models), align them between the marks, and then punch. Voila!

A Hipster PDA is usually not punched, although some people like to create holes for insertion into tiny planners, or to hold the cards together with a ring or carbiner.

Making Tabbed Section Dividers

Section dividersUnless you can find tabbed dividers in your office supply store (most larger ones carry them for a few dollars), you will probably want to make your own. It's actually fairly easy, if you follow a few simple steps. For this, you'll need some card stock and some shield tabs, either clear or colour (about $1-2 USD).

  1. Cut a letter-size or A4 sheet of card stock (suggested weight: 110 lb) in half, just like you would for any other template. Each half will be a divider. Create at least five.

  2. Punch your holes.

  3. Line up one of the tabs at the top edge of the page, but don't remove the adhesive yet. Line up the other tabs on the same sheet, and space according to your tastes. Make some pencil marks to denote where each tab will be placed. This is your tab guide.

  4. Align your guide against each divider and use it to figure out where to stick the tab down the side. Peel off the adhesive and stick.

As an added bonus, you can add tabs to the top of pages as well. Some people do this for high-priority sections.

Organising Your Planner

This is a potentially complicated topic, and will no doubt vary according to one's taste and circumstance. (See the Handbook: Setting Up Your Planner for more advice.) Some very basic tips, however:

  • At a minimum, you'll probably want the following, in this rough order (tweak it later):
    1. Cover, with profile information au verso
    2. Pouches, business card pages, etc. (if you have them)
    3. Calendar section, with daily, weekly or monthly templates
    4. Contacts section, with Contacts or Sources forms
    5. Inbox -- this is where you write all your rough notes; keep it stocked with plain cheap (or unprinted) notepaper
    6. Actions -- for either:
      • a few Next Actions, Waiting For and Agenda forms (this is the Getting Things Done method)
      • a few To Do List, Checklist and Project Outline forms (or whatever else tickles your fancy)
        1. A tabbed divider for each major project; for example, "Renovation." "Supply Setup," or "Website"
        2. An Incubate (or Someday/Maybe) tab for putting vague ideas of those things you want to check out or perhaps do sometime in the undiscernable future, such as learning a language or visiting a particular restaurant
        3. A Reference tab, for keeping various charts and lists (To Buy: Books, Network Information, Local Stores and Hours, Long Distance Codes, etc.)
        4. A Journal tab, for keeping personal notes, records, diary pages, or similiar, if you're into that sort of thing

Keep it light. If your planner is too heavy, you're not going to want to carry it anywhere. Also, make sure you have the forms you need, but no more. I've seen people try to stuff a half-dozen or more of each template into a planner, "just in case." (That's nearly 400 pages!) A good rule of thumb: insert only what you think you'll need for the upcoming week, and file away those things you don't need for this week.

Also, remember that it's easier to add and remove pages at the centre of the rings, so any section that requires a lot of paper shuffling should go in the middle of the planner (e.g., Inbox and Actions).

Setting Up a Hipster PDA

If you haven't already, go read Merlin Mann's post Introducing the Hipster PDA. In its most basic form, the Hipster PDA is simply a stack of cards with a binder clip. Many people decide that this is a little too free-form for them, though, and have developed a number of ingenious templates, cases, and ways to use them.

Our Hipster PDA Edition means that you can print out the cards you use, stack 'em in a deck, and either slip them into a case or clip them together with a cheap binder clip. There doesn't have to be any more to it than that.

However, some people like to make and order their stacks in certain ways to make it easier to use. A few tips:

  1. Put a cover form on your kit with your contact information. If you lose it, you'd like someone to return it, right?

  2. If you use GTD you can print off a reference chart and put it on the back of your cover. Laminate it, and it will last forever.

  3. Likewise, a lot of people put a yearly calendar on the back of their deck for easy reference.

  4. Keep a few blank cards near the back for gathering loose information, brainstorming, or jotting down your phone number for that cute waitress or shoe clerk.

  5. Buy a stack of coloured cards and insert them into your deck, so you can easily find sections when you fan it. For example, I separate calendar items, projects, notes, and blank cards with different colour dividers.

  6. Don't forget the pen! You'll have to write fairly small, so one with a 0.5mm tip or less is best.

A Quick Word About Time Management

There are two main schools of thought in time management circles: "top-down" and "bottom-up."

Top-down methods are probably best exemplified by Stephen R. Covey in his books The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and First Things First. In this type of strategy, you first determine the bigger picture, such as what your values, principles and life's mission are. Then you work down into your life roles and shorter-term goals. Then you figure out what your week looks like, fullfilling your roles and priorities while working towards self-fulfillment. This high-flying strategy often means a lot more planning and preparation, and is not well suited to just clearing the piles off your desk.

Bottom-up methods are all the rage nowadays, mostly thanks to David Allen's book Getting Things Done. The idea is to figure out how to handle the daily deluge of work that ends up on our desks as practically as possible. All these items are put into one's "inbox" and then channeled into Next Actions, Waiting For items, the "hard landscape" (the calendar), projects, Someday/Maybe items, reference places, or the trash can. Very pragmatic, but many people find it hard to focus on the big picture when they're just slogging through a list of calls to return.

Of course, there's the old-fashioned way, too. Put your appointments and meetings into your calendar, your contacts into your address book, and your calls and actions into To Do lists. Or you can devise your own strategies. Some people have been highly successful in their time management techniques without ever hearing the names Covey or Allen.

Whatever method you choose, there are forms available in the D*I*Y Planner to help you implement it. However, a little piece from advice: don't just visit website summaries and shy away from reading the books: they are all good reads (even if you don't subscribe to all the methods), and you just never know which one might work best for you.

What Next?

So here we are, and if you've managed to do the above, then you have a nice little D*I*Y Planner system ready to roll. Now what do you do?

First, I'd suggest reading the Allen and/or Covey books, if you haven't already. There are plenty of quite powerful strategies and techniques found within those pages.

Second, read the D*I*Y Planner Handbook (and the Hipster PDA Read Me, if that's your tool of choice), since there are a whole lot of things not mentioned here which might help you set up and use your planner.

Third, experiment with more forms as you need them, or think about ways to use those forms that don't immediately seem useful. The goal is to wrap a little structure around your chaos and stimulate your productivity. You have nothing to lose except a sheet of paper. Check out the template descriptions in the handbook for a few tips about each one.

Fourth, get the add-on kits, packages and templates. You'll find them linked off the DIY Planner Kits page. Ones contributed by the community are located in our Templates Directory; there are some real gems in there that might prove quite useful for you.

Finally, if you have any questions, feel free to leave comments or post questions in the forums. We're all here to help each other, and someone will probably have the answer you're looking for.

Feedback

We appreciate any and all feedback on this document, as it's definitely a work in progress. Please add a comment here, or contact me to send along your thoughts, suggestions or criticisms.

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A5 Printing

Can you have a format which print on duplix?

Which will save us the effort to cut the paper. Just fold it and punch holes.

Thank you,

Kent.

Dont trim your paper

I have contact the local print shop, they can make me papers in A5 and with holes I want. I can print a heading as I wish. They can do it for 3000 ups for me. The cost is reasonable.

So, probably you can do the same in your location. Just ask them to do it.

The rest of paper you have can be used for printing out anything you want. I am planning to print the ebooks on these paper and I will have a special section in my planner with some pages of e-book I am reading.

centimetres and inches

Hi, thanks for a great work here!!
I have a small request/suggestion. Would it be possible to list measures both in inches and centimetres? Please, do it for people on the other side of the pond ;-)

convert

1 inch = 2.54 centimetres

Have fun

Thank You

Beginning to get the idea of serious timeplanning, mostly to safe my stomach and life, I stubbled upon this great site. I have used Filofax for years as a professional, but the Hipster gives a at office forgotten "Kilofax" a new dimension. The customized templates is great.

portable white board

For a couple of years, I've successfully used a portable white board which consists of:

-A4 ring binder (could easily be A5)
-several clear plastic punched pockets filled with one piece of blank white paper
-dry wipe marker pens

Er, that's it.

Stumbling across the hipster PDA idea recently gave me lots of ideas for enhancing this such as printing some templates and inserting them into the pockets, using different coloured paper etc. Blank pages are good though for sketching out ideas and diagrams.

I like not having to throw away all those cards!

Dry Erase Laminate

FYI-

There is a dry erase laminate that is available. You could laminate your most used pages, punch them and not have to throw away as many used cards.

I like this site

I like this website and the idea of DIY planner. Hope I can be a good planner very soon, by the support of this website.

Grocery lists and Menu Planner

I love this system and plan on sharing it with my high school students in need of organization overhaul. There are just a couple of things that I would like you to add. A week at a view is far more helpful when I can type in the time fields. Is it possible for me to do this?

Also, I need a grocery list/menu planning page. A coupon organizer or envelope would also be a great addition. Not all of us are business executives, some of us manage much smaller work places! :)

Thanks for sharing so generously.

Groceryt Lists and Horses to Water

What if you try to help your wife and she refuses to use Grocery lists ? She said have we run out of anything ? Yes. And looking at the receipts, how can you run out when you go the grocery store everyday ?

Any suggestions on how to get these people to see the light ?

Thanks

A large, heavy stick ?

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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Where have you been all my life???

Oh my gosh...I wish I would have found this site sooner...it's such a wealth of information and so many people that feel just like I do about planners, planning, organizing, and planning some more. This is my favorite site ever!! Thanks for being and I look forward to exploring and learning as much as I can from this awesome site and its members!!!

pc4n62004

Filofax size

Hi there!
I am using the DIY core package (GREAT!!), and I am just wondering if it is possible to find somewhere a FILOFAX size (95x170mm)file ready to print. Actually I adapted the size via printer software, but there is still a huge waste of space ...
Thank you in advance for any suggestion!
Marcello

There are a few user-submitted templates

If you will check user-submitted templates section, you will find a few, like this one (LINK) and this one (LINK).

I wonder, however, if the hipster size mightn't not scale to this size. I've never tried it. If not, maybe the A4 or A5 might scale better. So, maybe trying different sizes will get you what you need (you will probably need to use the proper-sized paper, cutting beforehand, rather than afterwards, if necessary).

-Jon

Filofax size

Thank you ! I will try reducing from A4, since I print on single 3.65x6.75 punched sheets (and, of course, I will check the site continuously!)
Marcello

And one more!

This was the one I was originally looking for, but couldn't find it the "normal" way. I had to do a search of the site for "filofax" to find it
LINK

This one has calendar pages.

-Jon

Filofax make paper for printer

Hi!
Filofax have produced an A4 sized sheet which is as already been punched & guidelines where you just tear. The only thing is you've got to adjust the margins.
Otherwise, you can put the Personal size pages directly into a tray-load printer.
Hope that helps
Dee ;-)

Such a help!

Thanks so much for these great DIY planners. They are inexpensive, easy to download and print and sure helped me organise my life. So thanks again,
Ciara

Hipster PDA

Instead of the clip, give yourself easier flipping the cards. Use a single paper ring, available at office supply stores and the like for about a dollar- or if you're frugal, a spare keyring or even a bit of string instead. Hole punch the index cards once in an upper corner and put them on the ring.

Out of curiosity, is there a

Out of curiosity, is there a 3.75" x 6.75" or any variation of a 3" x 6" template for both core and envelopes? I just need the margins for back-to-back printing, really. Thanks in advance!

How do you...

...print two A5 items side by side on A4 in landscape thus allowing the A4 item to be filed in an A5 diary but folded in two to make two A5 items?

Multivalent

A Java command line utility for rearranging PDF pages
-----------------------------------
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Mid range size?

I downsized to the DayTimer 7"x3.75" size this January and would love to see these templates in that format. Any chance of that happening in the near future?

Tons of appreciation for all you've already created!

Sandi

Use the Dynamics

http://www.diyplanner.com/templates/dynamic
Set your paper size and go !
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"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson)

Lessons learned from e-planners & a return to sanity via paper

I am of the generation when if you wanted to remember to do something you wrote it down: sometimes on a 3x5 card, sometimes a page of stationery paper, a page from a steno pad, the back of an envelope, and so forth.

The came "systems": DayRunner, Franklin, FiloFax, and so forth. All had multiple rules so as to use efficiently. "Efficiency" was the motto of the 70s up to today. Everyone seems to forget that just because something is efficient doesn't mean it is effective. Instead of adapting the form to meet the individual's needs the individual was forced to adapt to the existing form. There was no room nor ability for adaptation, modification, and so forth.

In the early 80s the Franklin Planner system was adopted by the state agency for which I worked. Everything that was done was to be written down in the documentation section. Since the department issued them there was no expectation of privacy: in case of lawsuits they could be subpoena'd.Even knowing this many employees wrote a lot of damning statements and observations that supported the plaintiff's allegations. Some employees began using the department's planner only as a desk diary, thus defeating the purpose for which it was issued. Again, there was no ability to adapt, modify, or render more useful for the individual. There were no project pages, no meeting trackers, no pending projects. Just the documentation pages and blank notepaper you could tab with tabs and stickers used for paper files, notebook binder indexes, etc.

The Franklin Planner, or any other planner that fit into the 5.5x8.5 binder became more effective than an ID badge in accessing restricted and sensitive areas. This was a bit scary, at times.

After a couple of decades electronic planners became the norm, especially since you could give anyone access to it, such as supervisors. These quickly became desktop diaries since there was no privacy. This also defeated the purpose.

Then, finally, there came the plethora of electronic planners for individuals; that we have today and there are too many names to list but gain, no ability to adapt or modify. Each system has strengths and weaknesses, but all require continuous updating and maintenance to the point that the e-planner has made planning as a significant task for each day. Chances are that after carefully planning things your day will suddenly go to hell and your "planned" day goes out the window. Also, pity the user who takes a long vacation. Updating becomes hours long upon returning to the cyber world. Sometimes it takes longer to update the e-planner than to clear your desk. Let's not even talk about e-systems that have been discontinued, such as Astrid. Google Tasks is an add-on that comes with Google Calendar. It is useless in tracking anything. You just cannot see enough of the task.

And all of the handheld devices, starting with the once ubiquitous and extremely quirky Palm Pilot up to today's smartphones and tablets, makes activities such as going to lunch with colleagues an isolating experience instead of a social experience as everyone is updating their planners, responding to texts, etc. I recently went to a professional conference in which the majority of attendees were using their devices rather than listening to the speakers who, incidentally, were fantastic.

Thank heavens Doug Johnson, Ygor, and a host of others are returning us to sanity. After essentially being forced to use e-planners for the past 3 years I can openly come out of the closet and use paper, instead of electronic gizmos.

Paper allows the user to dictate who sees it. E-planners can be accessed by anyone, including hackers. Anything on the web is there forever and open to anyone who possesses the basic computer skills. Innocent entries can be rewritten and distributed and become very compromising with the victim being able to refute the charges because they cannot obtain the initial entry. There is no confidentiality. Whatever you put in an e-planner is open to the world, regardless of firewalls, encryption, passwords, double passwords, and so forth.

This entire site allows the smart user to customize a planner that is effective AND efficient. Yes, the physical planner is bigger than an electronic device, but I will take that over the uncertainty of e-stuff.

I am amazed by the irony that some acquaintances, who are survivalists, conspiracy theorists, and general nutters forego paper and put everything into the cyber world. One neighbor, who harps on electro-magnetic pulses from terrorists or the Sun that can fry anything electronic, still keeps a lot of his planning, even his journal, in e-format.

I am grateful that guys like Doug and Ygor, as well as a host of contributors both past and present, are producing planners and add-ons that return us to sanity.

Is there a place for e-planners in this analogue world to which many of us are returning? I am sure there is, but I can't find one. Since I type much faster than I can write I use simple note programs such as Wordpad, to type notes or ideas, save it on my computer, print it out, and paste it onto the appropriate page in my planner. I have a large computer file of these jottings that I haven't gone back to because the notes are instantly accessible just by opening the physical planner. To make it even better, I can add drawings, mindmaps, etc by hand to make the entry even richer and useful than just the written word of an e-planner.

Keep going, folks. As an old computer science instructor of mine when I was learning Cobol and Fortran (that should give you a clue as to how hold I am) said repeatedly, and echoed again and again: "Just because something can be computerized doesn't mean it should be computerized."

With best wishes;

The Scrivener