Thursday 31 January 2013

Undated diary for the Traveler's Notebook in Passport size to download and make

I don't have a Passport version of the Midori Traveler's Notebook, but some of my readers do, and they've asked for some inserts in this size. Today's is an undated week-to-view diary.

The insert has pages for 31 weeks. You can add in your own dates, and half-boxes are provided for you to complete as below.

And because not everybody likes orange, you can choose one of these colours instead:

To make the insert for yourself, start by downloading the file in the colour of your choice:

                   Orange insert     Blue insert     Red insert

These files are PDF's. When you print be sure to set it to print at full size as explained here. The file is set up to print a booklet in duplex mode, flipping on the short edge.

This is what will emerge from your printer. Depending on the way your printer works, you'll either see the top sheet uppermost or the bottom.

Bottom of pile
Top of pile

Guides will be printed that show you where to trim the pages top and bottom. Once you've done that, your pages will look like this:

Now you'll need to fold them all in half and sew them into a single-signature booklet. You can see detailed instructions on exactly how to do that here. You'll be making a passport-sized booklet, so change the measurements accordingly. The passport-sized booklet is 124mm tall and 89mm wide.

Sunday 27 January 2013

Download year-on-a-page calendars for the Midori Traveler's Notebook

There are times when it is helpful to be able to see dates for the whole year at a glance. I've created a year-on-a-page calendar that is the perfect size for the Midori Traveler's Notebook.

Simply download the file, print, and cut out the page. I've included calendars for 2013 and 2014 on one page, and you have a choice of colours:

You could either tuck the inside the cover of one of your inserts, or if you have a kraft file, you can stow it in one of the pockets. Don't have a kraft file? You can make one. If you prefer, you could glue it to an insert cover or an inside page of one of your inserts.

Download the file in your chosen colour here:   Blue   Red   Orange   Green   Purple

Saturday 26 January 2013

Download and print notepaper (3 types) for your Pocket Filofax

A while ago, I made some standard refill pages for the Filofax Personal. There was personal lined paper, personal grid paper and personal dot grid paper.

In response to a request, I've now produced versions of each of these for the Pocket Filofax. They look like this:

You can download the pages either as editable Word files or as PDF files. If using the PDF versions remember to set your printer settings so as not to shrink the pages. Each page yields three pocket pages.

Download the pages here:

Each file should be printed double-sided with the duplex set to flip along the short edge. You can then cut out and punch individual pages as outlined in this post.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

My (very) short fiction for the Kindle

My book Very Short Shorts is now available in the Kindle Store. Originally inspired by a Filofax blogger's challenge, I wrote ten stories, each of just 50 words. I was surprised to find how much was possible within such an extreme constraint.

I've packaged the stories as an ebook that you can download and read on the Kindle. Just click on the picture below to go to the Kindle Store, where you can buy the book for a very reasonable 82p, $1.29 or your local currency equivalent.


Sunday 20 January 2013

Journalling School now available for the Kindle

I am delighted to announce that Journalling School: A Short Course in Personal Journalling is now available as a Kindle book.

To view it in the Kindle Store, click on the book image below.

 For 82p (or your local currency equivalent) you can carry the whole series around with you.

Thursday 17 January 2013

Midori compatible diary journal inserts

For those of you who like a day-per-page diary or journal, I have created dated, two-month inserts you can make yourself.

These are designed to work as Midori Traveler's Notebook inserts but will work equally well as stand-alone booklets.

Ideal if you want to try keeping a journal, these will also suit people who sometimes have busy days and want the freedom to organise their schedule on a free-format basis.

You can download one of more of the sets. Each contains two months of pages, so the whole of 2013 is spread across six booklets.

Each file prints double-sided on A4 paper in booklet mode. In all, you'll print sixteen sheets per set, which you can then bind into a cover and trim. This post will show you how.

Here are the files:

Sunday 13 January 2013

Planners don't fail

You learn nothing when you buy a book; learning only comes when you actually read it. Planners are like that too. Planners don't fail, people do. A planner is an inert bundle of paper and binding. It is completely useless except to the extent that you write in it and read what you have written.

No planner can possibly be perfect for everyone. You need to meet the planner half way sometimes and change what you do to get the most out of it. Even if it's totally perfect for your needs you still have to do stuff like carry it around, consult it, write in it until it becomes what the GTD crowd call your 'trusted system'.

Whenever you make a change - and adopting a new planner or planning system is a change - you need to persist until it becomes a habit, until you can't even think about not doing it. This will take some time.

Some people have trouble because they're not terribly organised. Just having a planner won't fix that. Some people have trouble because they are organised and disciplined enough not to need a planner, so the planning is just additional overhead for little gain.

Work out if and why you need a planner. If you do, and you know why, work to find a routine that gives you the planning support you need. Force yourself to use it until you don't need to force yourself any more.

Thursday 10 January 2013

Decorating your Midori insert, Filofax divider or notebook

As a design motif I really like travel-themed rubber stamps, although I don't actually own any.

When I looked at the plain, buff-coloured Midori Traveler's Notebook insert, I felt it was crying out for a little decoration. Only a little, though; I find a little tends to go a long way. Here is what I came up with:

Those aren't real rubber stamp prints, of course. They are images found for me by Google and assembled in a Microsoft Publisher template you can download if you like.

Once printed and cut out, they are attached in the old-fashioned way with glue.

Although I designed this for the Midori Traveler's Notebook, I realised there were other applications, too. For instance, it could be a quick way to decorate the generic Filofax dividers:

Or how about a casebound notebook?

I think I'll be making these for all my Midori inserts.

Monday 7 January 2013

The Printed Post-It Notes Project

A while ago I posted on how to print onto Post-It Notes index tabs. Today I am upscaling to full-size Post-It Notes.

Start by making a Word document that contains a single page with empty text boxes the size of your Post-It Notes. I am using the square ones that I happened to have, so my text boxes are 77 mm squares. I can fit six on an A4 page:

Save the file and print a copy or two. Here is what the resulting page will look like:

Now fill each of the text boxes however you like. Keep anything you want to be on your notes inside the boxes, but it's a good idea to extend any graphical elements slightly outside the box if you want them to print right to the edge. You can see this in action in the top-left box below:

You now need to remove the border from the text boxes, as you can see I have done with the bottom-right one in the picture above. When you've removed all of them, the file will look like this:

Save the document with a new name at this point. You'll want to keep both this file and the one you saved earlier with empty, bordered text boxes. If you print now, here is what you will get:

Of course, we have missed out the important part. Go back to the first page you printed out and load it with Post-It Notes. Carefully place one Post-It Note in each box. Your page should look like this:

Now you need to place this in your printer's sheet feeder. Two words of caution:
  1. I've done this in several printers and not come to grief. Theoretically, though, a Post-It Note might get detached in the printing process and mess up your printer innards. Proceed at your own risk.
  2. Printer sheet feeders sometimes need the paper face up, sometimes face down, sometimes top edge first, sometimes bottom edge first. If in doubt, take a plain page, write on it "This side up" in pencil, put it in the sheet feeder whatever way you like and print a single-page text document. From the way this sheet emerges, you'll be able to tell what way to place your sheet in the feeder. Make sure the first bit of the Post-It Notes that enter the printer is the bit with the glue.
Once the loaded sheet is in the sheet feeder, hit the print button and this is what should now emerge:

Peel off the post it notes and go and find something to stick them to, for instance...

An article you want to send someone a copy of

A slovenly co-worker's messy desk

I'm sure you can find many hundreds of uses for these. You don't have to use Word. You could use any software that will let you draw boxes of a precise size and then fill them with text and/or images. 

I hope you'll be creative with this idea and come up with brilliant designs of your own, but if you want to use mine either fully or just to get started with and adapt, you can download my empty boxes document and my Post-It Note designs document.

Have fun!

New Filofax A5 diary layout for free download - Minimalist Day Per Page

The request for this one came from a reader. She did most of the work, sketching the layout that I then simply built in Word and linked to some dates data. It would be ideal for those who want a less structured day per page dairy and comes in two flavours, one with narrow-ruled lines and another that allows for bigger writing.

Narrow-ruled version - click to zoom

Wide-ruled version - click to zoom

You can download prepared 2013 sets in either the narrow-ruled version (Word document or PDF document) or the wide ruled version (Word document or PDF document).

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.

If you want to tinker, then you can download the source files. Starting with the Word files, choose between the narrow-ruled version or the wide ruled version. With either, you'll need the Excel data file as well.

As long as you have some basic Word and Excel skills, you should be able to give this a go. You'll need to be able to set up a basic mail merge file link, and there are plenty of web tutorials that show you the way - Google using the search terms: Word Excel Mail Merge 20xx (where 'xx' is 02, 03, 07 or 10, depending on your version.)

Depending on what version of Word you're using, Word may put section breaks between every record, which will throw out the mirrored gutter formatting in the layout. If it does, the solution is quite simple; do a find and replace on section breaks (^b) to remove them all.

But if all you want to do is change a font or a font colour, you can download the prepared 2013 set and perform a format find and replace in Word. This link will show you how. 

Friday 4 January 2013

Make your own envelope for the Midori Traveler's Notebook

It is easy to make a full-length kraft paper envelope for your notebook. Start by making a template from stiff card. You'll need a piece that is wider than A4. I started with a large, board-backed envelope and carefully separated the board from the paper.

With a ruler and pen, measure and mark up the board as shown in the diagram below.

Use a craft knife to cut out the shape along the red dotted lines. You now have a template that you can use again and again.

You now need some paper for the envelope. I recommend a roll of kraft paper rather than the folded sheets. That way the only creases will be the ones you make.

Draw around the template onto the paper and cut out the resulting shape. You now need to fold in the two long side flaps and use glue to attach one to the other. Then fold up the bottom flap and glue it in place.

Your envelope is now ready.

I like to use scissors to round off the corners of the top flap. You now have an envelope that is the perfect size to keep in your Midori Traveler's Notebook. You can either tuck it inside the cover of one of your inserts, or if you have a kraft file, you can stow it in one of the pockets. Don't have a kraft file? You can make one.

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Midori compatible 2013 diary part 2 - free to download and print

If you downloaded and printed my Midori Traveler's Notebook compatible diary, you'll probably be waiting to download the second half of the year.

Well, here it is. It picks up where the first half set finishes and takes you well into 2014.

Once again, you have a choice of five different colours. Whichever you choose, the file prints double-sided on A4 paper in booklet mode. In all, you'll print sixteen sheets, which you can then bind into a cover and trim. This post will show you how.

Download the file in your chosen colour here:   Blue   Red   Orange   Green   Purple


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