The Low-Tech, Lo-Fi Approach to Daily Organization

With every Tom, Dick and Harry reaching for their Palm, iPaq or BlackBerry, why not take the road less digitally traveled and use an analog PDA?  Between PocketMod, the Hipster PDA and D*I*Y Planner, keeping your life organized sans electronic devices has never been easier. . .or more fun.


A PocketMod is a piece of paper cleverly divided into eight sections.  You can select what module appears in each section by dragging and dropping the ones you want onto one of eight pages.  The modules include a shopping list, a food diary, a tip table, SuDoku, a check register; there are more than two dozen from which to choose.  Once you print the paper, follow the handy folding guide or even watch a video on how to fold your PocketMod.

You can also download a PDF to PocketMod converter.  It will convert your PDF to the PocketMod template.  The possibilities are limited only to your imagination when you use the converter in conjunction with the your PDF files.

Hipster PDA

The Hipster PDA (Parietal Disgorgement Aid) is a data management system whose components are, quite simply, a stack of index cards, a small binder clip and a pen.  You write your notes, calendar appointments, contact information, to-do lists, etc. on the cards.  To transfer data to other users, simply write it down, unclip the card and give it to the other person.  Try using colored cards as separators to create instant directories, er, sections.

D*I*Y Planner

A collection of official D*I*Y Planner templates and user-submitted templates await you at this site.  You can modify, assemble and print planner pages in various sizes at the site.  All you need to get started is—in addition to a computer and printer, of course—a planner, heavy-stock paper, a hole punch and a paper trimmer.  The site even has templates for the aforementioned Hipster PDA.

Is the paper-and-pen revolution afoot?  I wouldn’t go that far, but I was intrigued by the idea.  I configured a PocketMod with the following pages:

1. Cover page

2. Appointment timesheet

3. Appointment timesheet

4. Full Year 2006 calendar

5. Simple list

6. Simple list

7. SuDoku

8. Blank



My PDA of choice is the BlackBerry.  I’ve been using one for years and have no intention on giving it up.  I did supplement my device with paper and pen last year, though.  I purchased a pack of Notes on the Run from Planner Pads, Co.  The notes are very handy; one side has a Things-to-do list on the top half and a Reminder section, subtitled Who should I see, call, write or thank today?, on the bottom.  The other side is a list titled Thoughts/Ideas.  The cards are 3″ x 5, so they’re very easy to carry around.  Even though I have a BlackBerry device, and three computers at my disposal, I still find a little piece of paper comes in handy for check lists, notes, reminders, etc.  I used to rely heavily on Post-it notes for these items.  I still do, but the Notes on the Run cards make it easier to keep tasks that may span multiple days more accessible. 


I do use Outlook and I’m aware that it has many printing options which can include Calendar and Tasks items.  They can be configured and printed so that they can be planner pages, too.  None of the options are configured to print like the PocketMod, though.  I did download the PDF to PocketMod converter and will toy around with printing Calendar and Tasks pages to a file, converting the file to a PDF, converting the PDF to PocketMod pages and incorporating them into my existing configuration.

So if you’re looking to organize your daily life, consider a few low-tech options.  Happy printing. . .and folding from a random broad.

Good luck and happy taking care of things from a random broad.

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Explore posts in the same categories: DIY Planner, Hipster PDA, Notes on the Run, Organization, Paper, PDA, PDF, Planners, PocketMod, Random Thoughts, Sudoku

2 Comments on “The Low-Tech, Lo-Fi Approach to Daily Organization”

  1. Bush poll Says:

    Bush poll

    I am Karin, very interesting article that contained the information I was searching for in Google, thanks.

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