DIY Planner Templates

Here are some basic guidelines for printing and preparing the templates. Be sure to read all of these, and understand them, before you begin printing.

How To Print DIY Planner Pages

  1. There are three different PDF files included within this package. The master file diyp2.pdf and the GTD diagrams file diyp2_gtd.pdf should both be printed on 5.5″x8.5″ paper (half letter size), while the receipts design diyp_receipts.pdf should be printed on regular letter size (8.5″x11″) paper. If you don’t have 5.5″x8.5″ paper, you can always use a guillotine to cut regular letter size paper in half.
  2. These templates are designed for Adobe Acrobat 6.0 and up. There is no guarantee that they will work in anything older, nor other PDF applications.
  3. In Acrobat, do not tell its printing dialog to rotate, center or resize. If you do, the templates probably won’t print right. Also, don’t worry about the margins: an effort was made to ensure that there is enough “safety space” around the templates so that nothing important is lost. (Most printers made in the past few years can easily print to within 1/4″ of the edge.)
  4. For the receipts envelope file, follow the instructions printed on the side of the page. Again, don’t resize, rotate or worry about the margins — enough of the straight lines should remain that you can figure out where to cut. I’d advise using a slightly stiffer paper for the envelope, as well as a dry glue stick: anything else, and you will probably find it warping.
  5. All odd pages in the master file are for the right side of the planner rings (the “fronts”), while even pages are the left side (the “backs”). Consequently, page 1 is backed by page 2, page 3 is backed by page 4, and so forth. If you have a fancy duplex printer and print the entire booklet, everything will work out perfectly.
  6. Experiment with your printer to verify orientation and print faces before printing any great number of them. For example, I print the odd side (front) of a form, flip the paper horizontally, insert it again, and print the even side (back). Some printers will require flipping or rotating pages in a different direction to print on the back.
  7. To get started, I’d advise printing one form at a time –front, then back– until you get the knack. Double-check to make sure things line up, and that holes can be punched right. Once you have that down, I advise only printing a batch of the same templates at one go; for example, print off a batch of Next Actions odd, backed by Next Actions even, before you select another template.
  8. If you look at the margins, it should be obvious where you should use your hole punch (that is, the widest margin). Double-check the flip side of your page: if it looks as though the hole will be punched in a space that isn’t white, you’ve made a mistake in printing.
  9. Feel free to mix and match templates fronts and backs. For example, you may find that you prefer a two-week spread (Weekly Planning on both sides), rather than facing each week with a GTD All-In-One or a Covey Weekly. Many templates are offered in this package as both odd and even pages, so go ahead and experiment — see what works for you.
  10. Many inkjets use colour ink to mix greyscale pages (including my Canon i350), but you may not be aware of this until you notice your colour ink cartridges getting uncomfortably low. Unless you want to go through a lot of expensive ink, make sure to tell your print dialog to only print greyscale. I created a medium-DPI black-ink-only profile under OS X called “DIY Planner” and select this whenever I print a template; this saves a lot of pointing and clicking, and prevents me from using up all the colour inadvertently. (Presently, there are only two templates that are in colour: the cover and the second GTD diagram.)

DIY Planner Templates

Welcome to D*I*Y Planner 3.0 (Classic/A5 Edition), a set of free do-it-yourself templates, covers, documentation and other gear for creating your own highly customised paper planner system. A year in the making, this new version includes nearly 200 pages of forms covering life management, calendars, project planning, note-taking, health, finance, and even creative uses like writing, storyboards, and web design. With some basic supplies, the handbook, and a little elbow grease, you can create an ideal low-cost productivity system that meets almost every need.

This release is formatted for both Classic (5.5″x8.5″, half letter-size) and A5 sizes. (For those interested, a Hipster PDA version is slated for late March.)

Some highlights of version 3.0:

  • Inspired by David Allen’s Getting Things Done, but flexible enough to be used for almost any productivity method, including almost any of your own devising. Reference charts are included for GTD, including one specially designed for the D*I*Y Planner.
  • A core package which includes nearly 100 pages of forms, formatted for both odd and even pages, covering everything from action lists to project management to contact information to finances.
  • Dozens of variations on daily, weekly and monthly calendars, including both Sunday-Saturday weeks (as used in North America) and Monday-Sunday weeks (as used in Europe and elsewhere). No matter how you want to track your time, there’s probably a suitable form here. Dated monthly and yearly calendars are also included.
  • A creativity package for writers, artists, web designers and other creative types. Other packages cover note-taking and health & fitness.
  • A number of very flexible forms for tables, sketches, lists, and almost anything else you’d need to record and track.
  • A number of pre-built covers, along with do-it-yourself templates in 2 format for creating your own personalised ones.
  • A more professional, consistent and streamlined look and feel than previous versions.
  • A detailed handbook covering basic supplies, planner options, template descriptions, printing instructions, productivity advice, and notes on setting up your own ideal planner system. A quick-start Beginner’s Guide is also available.
  • FrankenFormTired of wasting tonnes of paper trying to get your printer settings just right? Enter the FrankenForm, a special template for testing and tweaking your setup for optimal output.


Please note that, owing to the vastly increased size of the system, we have split it up into a number of specialised packages. As each one is improved or added to, we will update that package separately.

All files are available in both Classic format (5.5″x8.5″, half letter-size) and international A5 format. Please click on the right format for your country. (If you’re not sure, you probably want Classic.)

The packages are released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives license, which means that they are free for personal and non-commercial use. “Getting Things Done” and its related concepts are copyright David Allen, All Rights Reserved.

My deepest thanks and appreciation go out to all you dear folks in the DIYPlanner community who have contributed so many top-notch suggestions, bits of advice, snatches of inspiration, and the occasional (well-meaning) boot to the head. Please see the Production Team credits for the million monkeys at work, and be sure to visit our good friend, illustrator Brad Reid, who contributed the wonderful “do no evil” illustration above for our snazzy new cover. Nate Howland deserves our appreciation for once more going above and beyond the call of duty by providing us with the 2-Up versions. And, of course, we have to be sure to mention Mr. David Allen, whose book was the inspiration for this project: a deep and heartfelt thank-you from all of us who have discovered newfound productivity because of you.

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