Thursday, 30 March 2017

The return of Very Short Shorts

A few years ago, I published Very Short Shorts for the Kindle. This was a book of ten stories, each of only fifty words. I was surprised by how much you could achieve with such an extreme constraint.

Here is an example:

      Dustmen


  “Why do they always bang the lids so?” asked Amanda, irked at the untimeliness of her awakening.

“They do it for luck,” replied Simon, similarly roused. “I’ll never get back to sleep now,” he added. He was wrong, though. Eventually the gravediggers moved on and silence returned to the crypt.


Recently I found I had some further story ideas and before long I had another ten ready to go. And so Very Short Shorts 2 is now available.



Like the first volume, it's a very quick read indeed and priced accordingly. Each of the books costs about a pound, a dollar, a euro - or any local equivalent. It might not far outlast your cup of tea or coffee, but it will cost less.

Use these links to view the book at your local Amazon site in your own currency:

     Very Short Shorts

     Very Short Shorts 2

To view all my books, many of which are available as paperbacks as well as Kindle e-books, visit this link:

     Books by Ray Blake


Monday, 27 March 2017

Free Midori TN calendar (diary) inserts for 2018: Part 1 - Full size weekly layouts

It is nearly that time of the year again, when the ultra-planners start thinking about the next year and getting itchy to commit their plans for it to paper.

In a series of posts I will present the full set of all available layouts in all available sizes. All will be available for download as A4 and Letter paper PDFs. As ever, they are all free for personal use.

We start today with the suite of weekly diaries.

1. Week to view with tasks




With this layout, you have a choice of colours. You will need to make two booklets to cover a whole year. Some people have a different colour for each half.


 2018 A4 version - Blue:    H1   H2
 2018 A4 version - Green:    H1   H2
 2018 A4 version - Orange:    H1   H2
 2018 A4 version - Red:    H1   H2
 2018 A4 version - Purple:    H1   H2

 2018 Letter version - Blue:    H1   H2
 2018 Letter version - Green:    H1   H2
 2018 Letter version - Orange:    H1   H2
 2018 Letter version - Red:    H1   H2
 2018 Letter version - Purple:    H1   H2


2. Week on two pages - purist layout




This layout is for people who want a very traditional layout, dedicating the maximum possible space to each day.

Again, you will need both halves to make up a full year.


 2018 A4 version:    H1   H2
 2018 Letter version:    H1   H2


3. Week to a page - purist layout



Based on the week on two pages purist layout, this places a week on each stage in the same style. The advantage is that a single booklet covers the whole year.

 2018 A4 version
 2018 Letter version


You can get more guidance on booklet making in this video.



Wednesday, 22 March 2017

New in paperback: The Pocket Notebook Book

Still available in Kindle format, my new book can now also be bought as a paperback. If you are an Amazon Prime customer you can order today and have it tomorrow.



Here is what it's about:

The pocket notebook revival has begun. Professional men and women, teens, homemakers and hobbyists are all rediscovering the simple but powerful tool that is the pocket notebook. They are learning the many, many small and big ways that those little books could make their lives easier and better.
- Do you own a pocket notebook - or many? - Are you curious as to whether you are making the most of it? - Would you like to see the full range of possibilities that this little book presents?
- Or are you currently a novice notebook user? - Are you interested in learning why you should adopt the notebook habit, what you can achieve and how you might make a start? 
Millions of notebooks are being sold every year now. The industry many wrote off as a dying relic is one of the boom businesses of the twenty-first century. Purchasers are buying their first notebook, often unsure of what to write in it or how to use it for best advantage.  
Whatever type of user you are, whether you are just buying your first pocket notebook or whether you are an experienced user with drawers full of filled books, there is plenty to learn from this book.

This covers all kinds of notebooks - Travellers Notebooks and Filofaxes included. If it sounds like something you'd like to read, you can pick the book up either as a Kindle eBook or as a paperback book.

Click here to view the book at your local Amazon site.  

Friday, 17 March 2017

Free 2018 Filofax calendar (diary) downloads part 3: Pocket size

Don't panic. It's not here yet. But 2018 is coming. If you're looking for diary/calendar pages for next year for the Filofax Pocket format, you might want to look at these layouts, which are free to download and print yourself at home.


Although you'll still find the source files on this site to produce your own diary sets for any year (or any shorter period) people seem to like the convenience of downloading full year sets. Here are Pocket sized sets for 2018. I've already posted A4 and A5 sets and Personal sets.


Day per page

Day per page minimalist:   Word file   PDF file

Day on two pages

Original day on two pages:   Word file   PDF file

Two days per page

Two days per page (unruled):   Word file   PDF file
Two days per page (ruled):   Word file   PDF file

Week on two pages

Week on two pages enhanced TM layout:   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages CC-inspired layout:   Word file   PDF file

Month per page

Original month per page:  Word file   PDF file

Month on two pages

Original month on two pages:   Word file   PDF file



Each file is set up as an A4 document. Print this double-sided. If you have a duplex printer, set it to flip on the short edge. If you don't then you'll have to print odd-numbered pages and then refeed to print the even-numbered pages on the reverse. You might have to experiment to find out how to refeed the paper.

On one side of each sheet you'll find crop marks. Use a craft knife and a steel ruler to release the Pocket pages and punch them. The templates are set up with mirrored gutters to accommodate the holes.

If using the PDF be sure to set it to print at full size as explained here.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Now available in paperback: Journalling School book

I know that eBooks aren't for everyone. For those of you who have asked for a way to get an actual printed copy instead (and you know who you are) I'm pleased to announce the availability of Journalling School as a paperback alongside the established Kindle version.


To check on the price or buy the book in your local currency, click here

Monday, 13 March 2017

Free 2018 Filofax calendar (diary) downloads part 2: Personal size

2018 is coming. Depending on how far ahead you like to plan, it will soon be time to set up your new diary pages. If you plan in Filofax Personal format, you might want to look at these layouts, which are free to download and print yourself at home.


Although you'll still find the source files on this site to produce your own diary sets for any year (or any shorter period) people seem to like the convenience of downloading full year sets. Here are Personal sized sets for 2018. I've already posted A4 and A5 sets and Pocket sets will follow.

Printing on A4 or Letter paper

Day per page

Original day per page:   Word file   PDF file     (Letter versions:    Word file    PDF file)
Day per page minimalist:   Word file   PDF file      (Letter versions:    Word file    PDF file)

Day on two pages

Original day on two pages:   Word file   PDF file     (Letter versions:    Word file    PDF file)

Two days per page

Two days per page (ruled):   Word file   PDF file     (Letter versions:    Word file    PDF file)
Two days per page (unruled):   Word file   PDF file     (Letter versions:    Word file    PDF file)

Week per page

Original week per page:   Word file   PDF file

Week on two pages

Week on two pages enhanced TM layout:   Word file   PDF file     (Letter versions:    Word file    PDF file)
Week on two pages CC-inspired layout:   Word file   PDF file     (Letter versions:    Word file    PDF file)
Week on two pages vertical layout:   Word file   PDF file     (Letter versions:    Word file    PDF file)
Week on two pages landscape layout:   Word file   PDF file     (Letter versions:    Word file    PDF file)

Month per page

Original month per page:  Word file   PDF file

Month on two pages

Original month on two pages:   Word file   PDF file 

Year planner

Fold out (Z fold) year planner:   Word file   PDF file   


Each file is set up as an A4 document. Print this double-sided. If you have a duplex printer, set it to flip on the short edge. If you don't then you'll have to print odd-numbered pages and then refeed to print the even-numbered pages on the reverse. You might have to experiment to find out how to refeed the paper.

On one side of each sheet you'll find crop marks. Use a craft knife and a steel ruler to release the Personal pages and punch them. The templates are set up with mirrored gutters to accommodate the holes.

If using the PDF be sure to set it to print at full size as explained here.


Printing on Filofax Personal blank paper

If you have a printer that can print directly onto blank Filofax paper, you might prefer to download from the following selection. These are set up to print two-sided and you're likely to have to print even pages first, then restack in the printer tray to print the even pages.

Original day per page:   Word file   PDF file
Original week per page:   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages CC layout:   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages vertical layout:   Word file   PDF file
Original month per page:  Word file   PDF file
Month per page with notes:  Word file   PDF file
Original month on two pages:   Word file   PDF file
Month on two pages with notes:   Word file   PDF file

Friday, 10 March 2017

Free 2018 Filofax calendar (diary) downloads part 1: A4 and A5 size

Don't panic; the year is not almost over. But I am aware that some folk like to plan way ahead. If you are one of those people and you use an A4 or A5 format, you might want to look at these diary/calendar layouts, which are free to download and print yourself at home. These are the result of a collaboration between me and Steve Morton of Philofaxy and you can find the files there also.

But you don't need to have a Filofax or any other organiser to make use of these. A4 and A5 binders are widely available and there's no reason why you can't combine one of those with these pages and have a complete DIY solution.


Although you'll still find the source files on this site to produce your own diary sets for any year (or any shorter period) people seem to like the convenience of downloading full year sets. Here are A4 or A5 sets for 2018. Pocket and Personal sets will follow.

Day per page

Original day per page:   Word file   PDF file
Day per page minimalist (narrow ruled):   Word file   PDF file
Day per page minimalist (wide ruled):   Word file   PDF file

Day on two pages

Original day on two pages:   Word file   PDF file
Daily Dashboard:   Word File   PDF file

Two days per page

Two days per page (ruled):   Word file   PDF file
Two days per page (unruled):   Word file   PDF file

Week per page

Original week per page:   Word file   PDF file
Week per page with tasks:   Word file   PDF file
Week per page CC-inspired:   Word file   PDF file

Week on two pages

Week on two pages enhanced TM layout (4 line ruling):   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages enhanced TM layout (5 line ruling):   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages journal layout (ruled):   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages journal layout (unruled):   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages new TM/journal layout (4 line ruling):   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages new TM/journal layout (5 line ruling):   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages CC-inspired layout:   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages vertical layout:   Word file   PDF file
Week on two pages minimalist vertical layout:   Word file  PDF file

Month per page

Original month per page:   Word file   PDF file
Month per page with notes:   Word file   PDF file

Month on two pages

Original month on two pages:   Word file   PDF file
Month on two pages with notes:   Word file   PDF file

Year planner

Original year planner:   Word file   PDF file
A5 Z-fold year planner:   Word file   PDF file


Each version is set up as an A4 document. To use them as A5 inserts, print the document in booklet mode on A4 paper, then use a guillotine to divide each sheet into two and punch the required holes, which the templates are set up with mirrored gutters to accommodate. Or, if you have A5 paper, then either the printer or the PC will scale it to size for you.

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