I've finally given up on keeping my calendar, etc. on the laptop. It just doesn't work for me. I've gone back to the system that got me through my youth juggling homework, work, extracurricular activities, volunteer commitments, family events, and some minor political activism -- an 8" by 5.5" paper planner.

I caught a sale at Office Max, and picked up a leather planner binder with some undated starter pages and a year's worth of dated refill pages, for about $15 more than I'd have expected to pay for just just the year of dated pages. Not bad, since the binder could have retailed for more than I paid for the entire shopping trip. That, of course, is one of my biggest reasons for trying to leave my paper day planner habits behind: they get expensive. I was lucky to have found a good bargain.

I'm very particular about my planner, and as luck would have it, the pages I like the best are among the most expensive on the planet: Day-Timer. The possibility of making my own pages has lingered for some time on a shelf somewhere in the back of my mind. However, the time required to come up with a layout I am happy with would likely be considerable, so the idea has remained shelved, until now... Enter DIY Planner, a great (Drupal-powered!) site offering organizational tips, and free templates for creating everything from the ubiquitous 8"x5.5" ring-bound planner to the super-light "Hipster PDA", an organizational system designed to be printed on index cards and bound with a binder clip for maximum portability. With a computer, printer, and some basic office supplies (plus a binder, if you like that sort of thing), it is quite easy to create a fairly customized planner system for a fraction of the price of commercial ones, thanks to the DIY Planner templates.

I'm well stocked with Day-Timer dated pages through the end of 2007, however I plan to give DIY addon pages a try right away.