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I’ve been following paperboatcaptain (aka Maria, an apprentice boatbuilder and artist from Germany) for a while on flickr. Her drawings/collages are whimsical w/bright colors and gorgeous textures.


She contacted me a few days ago to share photos of her new little handmade organizer using my DIY Planner Templates, I almost fell out of my chair it’s SO cool!

paperboatcaptain paperboatcaptain paperboatcaptain

Check out more photos of it and her lovely artwork on flickr.
Thanks so much for sharing Maria!

The internet’s a crazy place… you send these little pieces of yourself into space and every once in a while they find a little home and grow into something unexpected and beautiful. xo

In an attempt to lure myself into using my 3-ring planner this year I made a cover for it out of my favorite leftover gray linen. Unfortunately, the linen is a little too stretchy — It turned out okay but the inside seam curves around in a circular shape where I pulled the fabric too tight. Bah! (Photos on flickr.)

I’ll still use it but I’m definitely consulting tutorials and finding cute solid cotton before I try again.

Anyways, for about a year I’ve been trying to decide what to do with a box of binders my husband saved from the dumpster at work. They’re all different sizes with ugly covers with company logos on them. I took the plastic cover off of one, and was thinking of collaging on the bookboard and mod podge-ing over it. That turned into an ordeal though because the plastic cover holds on the front bookboard!

I think I might buy some bookbinding supplies and try to attach the cover that way, who knows! I’ve read tons of blogs/tutorials on bookbinding but it’s so intimidating!

—-You could make this awesome Planner made of trash and print my templates on your scraps! Wonderful!


A few years ago I was completely obsessed with D*I*Y Planner. I spent hours going through templates and putting together the PERFECT planner.
And then I never used it.

I’m still fascinated by David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’, Franklyn Covey & the numerous other techniques/products designed to increase your productivity but I realized that as an artistic person I would never be able to schedule my life with so much structure. And in the short time that I was trying, it was having the opposite effect — I was spending so much time trying to figure out how to ‘plan’ every day it was cutting into my ‘doing’ time.

Fall of ’07 I was watching a livejournal community where people (mostly young women) would post pictures of their planners filled with doodles about boys, poetry, school schedules, homework, to-do lists and magazine collages. It was all very stream of conscious and the complete opposite of what D*I*Y Planner seemed to represent. They were combining their planner, journal & sketchbook all in one and sharing it as art. I loved it and started creating templates that followed their example.


First, I drew a set of 4 x 6 planner templates by hand.

DOWNLOAD: 4x6-templates-ahhhdesign.pdf (349 downloads)

I designed the dates and months to be filled by the user — I know that no matter how much I love my planner, there are going to be days (maybe months) that I don’t touch it. This way I’m not wasting paper and printing templates I’ll never use. There aren’t very many notebooks and supplies made for 4×6 notecards either. For a gift for my brother ‘n’ law I ripped apart a cheap 3×5 notebook and put it back together as a 4×6 notebook. (photos – I’ve been thinking of writing a tutorial on this, if anyone is interested?)

While my brother ‘n’ law (and many others) have super-itty-bitty writing (and reading) abilities, I do not. So, as I was working on a planner for my sister I redesigned the pages in an 8.5 x 11 format.

DOWNLOAD: letter_black.pdf (3578 downloads)

This format is my favorite, by far. You can buy a three-ring binder in wonderful colors and any divider/folder you could want at your local office supply store to go inside. Plus there’s so much room and flexibility!


The whole point of this post though… is to introduce my new 2009 templates!

They’re 8.5 x 11 and the most minimal so far, to leave tons of room for personalization. The most fun feature for me is the dashed month in the top left, ready for outlining and coloring in. The Download includes a 2009 year-at-a-glance, 12 months and a blank notes page.
DOWNLOAD: 2009_diyplanner.pdf (2781 downloads)

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Amanda Hawkins

Amanda Hawkins

Take care of little humans,
stare at tiny computer,
scribble on paper,
Maker of DIY Planners and 🎨 artist; front-end web developer and designer well-versed in CSS & WordPress. Make music with RBK & as Love Morris. Check out or send an email if you're interested in hiring me for WordPress dev. Subscribe to a newsletter I rarely send out. Connect on Instagram & Twitter.

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