Day 4: ETP Journal Step 1 – US Mini B&W

ETP Journal BW US Letter 2UP I started work on an update to the half-size Emergent Task Planner, concentrating first on the black-and-white laserprinter version for US Letter. The template is a 2-UP PDF (meaning that there are two pages per printout), which is helpful if you’re making a bound version of a double-sided journal. Production time: 2.5 hours to adapt the old design available as a multi-pack to have the cosmetic features of the 365 Day Almanac version.

Instead of making all the versions at once, I’m going to spread the production out over the week. Next up will be the A4 version, and after that I’ll probably make the color versions. I can also start the conversation with my printer about producing high-quality bound versions of these for sale on Amazon.

While I don’t think I’ll be releasing them all as free versions, I will provided the B&W laserprinter version for US and A4 sizes so people can try them out. Color versions and special variations will be available as digital downloads on Gumroad.

I’m pretty pleased with this refinement over the older version. And, this is a good time to solicit some feedback before moving ahead with print production. If you leave a comment or send me an email with feedback/requests, I’ll send you a free ETP Mini PDF package when it’s all done!

In the meantime:

» Download Mini ETP Template (2UP on US Letter)
European users: I’ll post the A4 version tomorrow…thanks for your patience!

Adobe Acrobat Reader is recommended for printing. The built-in "Mac OS X Preview" and "Chrome Browser" PDF viewers do not always draw dotted lines correctly.


Groundhog Day Resolution Posts for 2014

I am challenging myself to create a new product every day for the month of February 2013. The Challenge Page lists all the products in one place. Check it out!

Enjoy!

10 Comments

  1. JHS 4 years ago

    It seems like the form is just 1 page, not the 2UP. I think this is a great update overall though!

  2. Author
    Dave Seah 4 years ago

    You’re right! I uploaded the wrong file…all these filenames start to look the same after a while :) I’ll correct this shortly…thanks for reporting it!

  3. Dan 4 years ago

    Hi David,

    (If you moderate comments, I won’t at all be offended if you choose to keep this private.)

    I love your ETP’s. I purchased a pack a month or so ago, and have found them to be really helpful. These comments might be useless, but I offer them more as ‘user experience’ and thought provokers.

    Changes I noticed and my response:

    • Gutter for staple binding – Not helpful to me. I print/cut on paper cutter and punch mine for the Circa/Rollabind/Staples system, and the extra gutter is not needed and thus becomes “lost” space. One of the things that it so amazing about your design is how you get so darn much use out of every millimeter. I mourn the loss of width in the hourly column.

    • Title Bar. I like that you’ve included 2013 but for me, it’s too big, because I really like to put the weekday in. I’m just analog enough (and this is, after-all, an analog system) that I think in the day first, then the date. I can’t write small enough in the space left to get the Day/Date.

    • Elimination of the “hour bar” to the left of the 15-min boxes. I’m still not sure on this one. I didn’t use the hour bars per se, but they did work for me visually. Rather than a box of the same width as the 15-min boxes or complete elimination, what about a bar or narrower box to help define the hours better as in the original? (On the same note, the gray shading in the ‘break boxes’ seems lighter, probably because it now has to perform double-duty as a visual indicator of the optional break and the actual box for time recording…)

    • Task Descriptions. I like the treatment you did with the numbers – bold, clear, nice. I miss the added height in the original 1/2/3 tasks. Again, the extra white space (and blockier font) given to the “Three Major Tasks for today” is less valuable to me than a place to add a note/clarifier to the major task. The original with a line and a half was less clear visually, but did sort of work for me.Loss of the time blocks is also unclear. I never needed 4 hours worth for the major tasks, but did try to use them, even though they potentially duplicate the “narrative” in the left column. The difference is that the accountability to time tied directly to the major tasks works well in the original and requres a lot of squinting or is lost in the daily narrative.

    • What else is going on today? Super nit-pick here. The old version had the dot line separators so that the first dod was centered under the numerals. The new one has the dots pushed left. Visually, the old design “popped” the numbers more for me, which was nice since I do use them in the day narrative often as call-outs when the “other stuff” takes a bigger chunk out of the day.

    The bottom line is I’m no designer, just a user, and although I will use the new version for four days (the two sided print I made today), for my next print run I’m pretty sure I’ll be sticking with the old version, because the tweaks seem to move away from my personal use cases.

    Thanks for listening. I’ve really enjoyed reading your introspective posts of late, and am really “for you” as you embark on your 2013 Groundhog resolutions.

  4. Warren 4 years ago

    Dave, I love the Mini sizes. Any chance you can build one that’s properly sized for legal paper (8.5×14)?

    Thanks!

  5. Author
    Dave Seah 4 years ago

    Dan: That’s great feedback! Thanks for taking the time to post your use case; it’s one of the more detailed ones I’ve received. I’m often designing in a vacuum because I don’t hear feedback like this more than a couple times a year. BTW, if you’d like a refund, contact me with your purchase information and I’ll issue one.

    Incidentally, I was on the fence about the numbers too, so I went with the left-alignment to create a super-crisp line.

    Incidentally, the “for sale” version of this design comes with a blank version (no year), two versions of the 2-up design, and a single page version in black-and-white and color. Email me and I’ll send you an updated pack for you to try out.

  6. Author
    Dave Seah 4 years ago

    Warren: That’s a great idea! Do you mean one per legal sheet, or two per legal sheet?

  7. Warren 4 years ago

    I mean two per legal sheet, oriented the same way these are: suitable for binding. That would be perfect. (By the way, if you also did this with the Day Grid Balancer, I would be in heaven :-).

    As I described in another post, I merge two copies of these pdfs together, print them on 8.5×14 paper, fold them in half, and then bind them in my notebook. Right now, I’ve been printing a DGB on the first page to give a weekly overview, and then an ETT on the other sheets to keep track of the time. It’s a good mix of planning and measurement. The DGB is just a bit too tiny done this way right now; the fonts are too small. But the layout is ideal, and I like the way the sheet forces me to consider the “theme” of the day — it’s a nice way to plan.

    Warren

  8. Dan 4 years ago

    Dave – refund? No way! First of all, the version I’m using is PCEO-ETP03C-3T3-USMINI-2UP-D2 and I think you actually gave that one away and I just sent you a donation because your product is awesome!

    My comments were really about the tweaks you made in the newer version, most of which are probably better from a professional design perspective, but less so for my wacky way of using them. As you continue to tweak and consider the myriad of options/versions out there, I thought it might be helpful to you to know the way one user (me) uses the forms and responded to the tweaks.

    I really, really like the ETP. Thanks for creating it.

  9. Caleb 4 years ago

    I would also like to toss in a vote for the 2 up legal size. I think that would be fantastic. A little more space to better define the allotted work notes. I find that having more space for the “random” parts of the day is nice.

  10. KSW 4 years ago

    I XOXO DS’s products

A message from Dave:

I believe we all benefit when we respectfully share our perspectives on common experiences. My house rules are "please be respectful of divergent views" and "enjoy the flow of ideas!"

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