Introduction: Circular Planner/Calendar Booklet / Notebook Mod

My Planner Idea, Don't Know What to Call It Yet... Clockweek? Flowplanner? Freethink? Weeklymonththing? I have no clue.

As a continuation of my first instructable (Hybrid Book Binding Method - Neat Edges, Tear-Out Pages, Easily Replacable Cover/Pages) I'll be adding a few mini-instructables that go more in depth into different hacks and modifications you can do, and a few ideas I had.

This one is really simple. It should be done in Step 1. It's just another template packet. Made it into another instructables because it has it's own separate instructions. Most of which are on the picture above.

After weeks of thinking and pondering I developed the planner method you can see in the preview image. I wanted something that gave me a good overview of the month ahead, had a weekly view, and I could write daily events in. I didn't want space to be wasted. I often have 10 things to do on Monday and none on Friday, so a weekly planner would be useless. At first it was a square design, with a row of 7 boxes but then I remembered how much I loved the Chronodex design (even if it didn't work for me) and made it like you see above.

The initial "final" design is the one you see above with a 2 month view but I've found this slightly too small for my tastes and yet to big as part of a notebook. So now there's two zip downloads. One has all the blank non dated templates I've created .There's a few variations to choose from because some friends requested a few changes here and there to suit them. Feel free to ask me for a custom one and I'll see what I can do. Then there's a the only dated zip packet I'll ever make because it was really really really messy to make in photoshop and incredibly hard to get printed out right. I still offer it though, and the instructions are below.

A Few Pieces of Paper (Templates are in A4 only this time) At least 4 for the dated method, preferably more in case of mistakes..The others you can calculate how many months you want and how many papers you'll need according to your template.
Stapler Optional, not needed if you will be binding the pages into a notebook.
Scissors or Something to Cut Optional
Dated ZIP
Everything Else ZIP

Dated Method Instructions:

1. Download the Dated ZIP.

2. Print them out. I had such an incredibly hard time printing them in order with my printer I just redid all the JPEGs to make it easier for me.

Choose from the folders Single or 7 Page Signature (which is actually a 4 page signature but I'm not going to reupload the zip just to fix it). Use single fold if you'll be binding and the other if you'll be stapling. There's also other blank not dated variations which can just be printed without worrying about the order.

Each file corresponds with a "back" page as you can see in the screenshot above. Find the best way to print the front pages to the corresponding back pages and I bet that will be easier than messing with your printer's settings.

3. Fold the papers in half.

4. Arrange the pages in order (this might be a bit confusing but I'm almost 100% sure I saved all the JPGs right, if not tell me) and staple or Cut/Tear and proceed with the instructions on my other instructable to bind them with your notebook.

My Preferred Template (For Binding as its own Tiny Notebook):

1. Download the Everything Else ZIP

2. Print out as many of the Tiny Notebook template as you'll need.

You can either have a two week view (one on the top page, one on the bottom) or a only a week on the top and notes on the bottom. Or some variation of those two (half-circles on the right/left by flipping image)

If you'll want a notes section print out the "Notes Front" and "Notes Back" templates onto the front and the back of your papers.

Otherwise print the regular "Front&Back" template on both sides.. When you look at the pages through the light the circles should line up, but the days (dark weekends) should not. I use the notes section because my printer doesn't align the circles right and it won't do borderless A4s.

5. Cut along the red lines like shown in the image above and tear across the blue ones. By tearing I mean, fold the paper, than tear to create that fuzzy edge for binding unless you don't plan to bind the pages. This is the same for both both the notes and the notes free one.

6. Organize pages in order and continue to my binding instructable to bind. Keep in mind you'll have to improvise with the size and making the cover flip from the top (as should be the most comfortable).

Another Idea

1. Cut off the blank margin, make the pages into a booklet and now you can slip your planner in and out of your notebook in case you only want to take your planner with you. I was going to do this but it seems like my uncle's dog really likes loose papers so yeah... He already tore one of the pages I used to try out how much space I'd need (I came to the above conclusion that 2 months per page were a bit too much).

Feel free to edit the PSD template or the Transparent Sinlge Circle PNGs included for yourself and others. I set it to a share-alike CC license. And be sure to send me a link :)

EDIT: I've finally gotten around to double checking all the templates work and made a few changes to the ZIP packets. If you had trouble printing earlier please try the new versions.


Dominic+Bender made it!(author)2012-10-16

I'm loving the idea. I am considering making one for myself, and I should note that I usually do not use calendars - whatever I use, I tend to forget putting things in, or the space runs out where it's needed, and so on. But this looks great and versatile, especially the added to-do-list-capability. Thanks for sharing!

AlanTheRobot made it!(author)2012-10-16

Thanks :) I also didn't use planners or calendars but now I need to because I can't take my iPod with all it's alerts everywhere anymore so... that's what drove me to create this. The to-do list was just an example of one of the many things you could do.

Dominic+Bender made it!(author)2012-10-22

I made my own, with a simple Inkscape template, and created about three months worth of pages. I put four circles on an A4 sheet and cut them to A6, so two weeks per page. Then I used a hole puncher on the upper side and made a loops of string through each hole to keep the pages together.

I was thinking about using wire, but the first experiment yielded that it would not work properly for that I intended, namely using one page's back as the next week's to-do-list. This way, not only can you loop to the desired week, you can easily take down non-date related notes for things you want to do then.

The main problem, of course, is the limited portability - I wouldn't want to stuff it into any pocket like that. I don't know whether I'll ever need to take it with me, for now I only use it at home. But maybe some day...

Thanks again for sharing the idea! Oh, and I didn't take any pictures yet.

AlanTheRobot made it!(author)2012-10-22

I had a similar problem to yours as I finally got around to trying the templates in real life. I needed something that wood fit in my packet. I edited the instructable just last night. You might not have seen it. I also updated a few pages just today because I'd made them wrong and they wouldn't print right. I've double checked that they work now though.

You might want to try printing out the Tiny Notebook Templates and following the new instructions above. You'll have half week circles on each page and then the other side is notes so when you flip the notebook open, the week will be on top, and notes will be on the bottom. It's really tiny too (about the size of the really small moleskines) so it will fit in your pocket. As for how you bind it, you might try my other instructable or if you don't want the pages bound and you want them to flip you could punch a whole like you did and instead of string or wire use binder rings. They're like the rings found in binders but without the binders. Just google them to see what I mean.

Hope that helps. I'd love to see pictures of it when you get it working. I'll submit my own when I get around to binding (I need a new glue gun, it exploded).

Dominic+Bender made it!(author)2012-10-23

You're right, I did not see the changes you made. I actually did some heavy remodelling for my own template, trying to incorporate some ideas. I fear that I might have gone overboard with it, making it too heavy for proper use, but I'll give it a real-world try anyway. As for binding it, that too remains to be seen, but I'll definitively look into binder rings since I like flipping through pages and using the backside for notes.

What I did was the following:
- moved the weekday letter (or letters in my case) inside the circle to have more space for "note anchors"
- moved the week's starting date inside as well for more space, and added calendar week - add a small corner to each day to "tick off" days. I assume that it'll help me find 'today', but whether it's practicable remains to be seen. Does not take up much space, though.
- added segments for 'morning', 'afternoon', evening'' and 'all day'. I used different sized, assuming that I will have more stuff for evening than morning and most will be all day, but now that I look at it I do not think that it was such a good ides. Then again, since I made the lines separating these segments light gray, I guess one might just ignore them. I added them after reading up on the original chronodex design and liking it, but I think somewhere along the line I came to the conclusion that I simply do not need that kind of  detail for my time management.
- I also added color to saturday and sunday, and I was thinking of doing so for fixed holidays as well, but I think markers will work fine for them, since I will have to use them anyway for vacations and the like.

AlanTheRobot made it!(author)2012-10-23

At first I too tried to make mine too complicated.

I would suggest using alternating shading in the weekdays like I did to differentiate the days. After I got used to it I had no trouble finding the days. Inside each slot I'd add in by hand the date number. I don't like to cross out dates, but you could just cross out the entire square, or highlight/shade that day in when you're done.

As for labeling events morning, afternoon, or evening. I rarely have exact time, but if I do I just write it where I write the event, but otherwise, if something needs to get done around a certain time, maybe a symbol system? Circles are morning, square are afternoon, and triangles are evening?

If you really need this much detail you're probably better off with the chronodex though.

As for the binding I really like seeing the events and notes for that date together. I've updated the instructable again with an example. But binder rings should work, or maybe you might be able to find someone to spiral bind it? Maybe at the office they might have the machine that does those comb binds? Just throwing out ideas. Hope they help.

Dominic+Bender made it!(author)2012-10-23

I worked a little with my new template and you are right on several counts, especially the need for detailed "timezones", or the lack thereof. I guess I will get rid of that, seeing how it does not really matter for vague events and you still need the exact time for precise ones... I like the idea with symbols though... A circle with four quarters filled according to timeslot (morning, noon, afternoon, evening or something like that) might work...

Different colors for different days is another great idea. With the days moved to the inside, I get more space but it got harder to spot a day at first glance. Having the actual date in each square would be neat, but... Come to think about it, the way I've been doing my templates is probably too tedious - with week and starting date etc. for each set on a different layer, meaning I have to modify each one separately if I get a new idea. I think making the template and then adding week and date by hand would make things simpler... The things you don't even think of...

As for crossing out dates, I use the small triangles near the center for that. It does help finding "today", at least for me, and they do not take up much space.

I like throwing ideas back and forth, it really helps putting things in perspective and get fresh ideas, too. Right now I'm really liking the idea of one week at the side of the page as opposed to two in the center...

The problem is, I usually find something I like for planning and note-taking purpose, use it for a while, but then it drifts out somehow, gets left at home and so on. Then I find something new. The versatility of this system is kinda the problem for me - I want something perfect, and will probably end up going in circles (literally speaking) trying to improve it, always printing new calendars and never really using one for any length of time. I think to avoid this, I'll modify my template one last time - or just use yours - and try to give it some use...

AlanTheRobot made it!(author)2012-10-28

I came to the same conclusion. Placing the date on the computer on each circle is torture. Doing it by hand is way easier.

If the little triangles work for you than they work. I was just suggesting ways to get rid of the clutter.

Throwing ideas back and forth definitely helps. I got to the half-circle idea after talking to a few friends and getting some feedback on my original idea.

Either you haven't found the perfect system for you, or you're looking for something that's too perfect. Before I developed this I kept changing how I was organized every few months or so. I also made the big mistake of trying to change how I worked to suit whatever method I was trying out. Try giving the template a real try. After you find what you feel is missing or doesn't help you, add to it and delete what you don't need. Make it work for you until it's as close to perfect as it can be, that's my best advice.

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