Picture of the Day 2012.12.13

Picture of the Day 2012.12.13

New ETP Design I’ve been chipping away at the design for a new 365-day planner based on the ETP. The design is coming along 15 minutes at a time, part of my new morning ritual, and today I’m at the point where I’m pretty happy with the refined layout. Small spacing issues that have always bothered me have been better-resolved.

Animated GIFI removed half of the time tracking bubbles in the interest of having more space to write; I found I never put more than 2 hours in most of the time, and I think splitting up big tasks into two-hour chunks might not be a bad idea. I tried removing the hour bubbles from the day grid too, but without them it looks weak. I did remove the 15 and 60 minute indicators; they just confused people.

I think the new design feels more open and balanced, and it just feels more serene to me. Click the animated GIF on the right to see the difference between layouts.

UPDATE 12/17/2012: This is a picture of a 365-day planner I’m designing based on the ETP. The changes may make it into an update of the current ETP if I receive enough requests for it.


  1. Looking great!

  2. Jason Schermerhorn 7 years ago

    Looks like you’ve improved upon an already great piece of gear! Completely agree that removing half the time tracking bubbles makes a lot of sense – highly doubt most of us are working on a single action or project for more than two hours a day – and if you so focused, you probably don’t need to track multiple tasks.

  3. Lynn O'Connor 7 years ago

    Beautiful. I hope we can download new form soon!

  4. Alicia Scott 7 years ago

    I Like! Cool.

  5. Dan 7 years ago

    I also like it very much and look forward to the Mini-ETP version. Just discovered you about three weeks ago and have found these to be a major upgrade from my own index card based system I’d been using. Thank you!

    Newb question. Having only used this a couple weeks, I haven’t purchased the pack yet, which is actually why I showed up here this morning. It appears that your new version has a typed date? Is that just for demo purposes or are you actually using a fill-in pdf and doing some of the work on the PC before printing? (I printed a dozen sheets to start and punched them for my Circa/Arc binder but wonder about printing some of the info would be useful.) I’m buying the pack either way, just wondering about the workflow.


  6. Author
    Dave Seah 7 years ago

    Dan: Ooo, index cards! I love to cardify more of my tools, personally, but only if I could build the ultimate index card binder system :)

    With regards to your questions: the design shown in this picture is for a 365-day planner that’s going to have the dates. I used to put the years on all the forms, but it got to be a pain-in-the-butt to update 60+ PDFs every year, resave them, reupload them, re-take the screenshots, etc. They do look really nice, though. The downloadable ones are likely to remain yearless.

    I am working directly in InDesign and Illustrator with the raw graphics, which is how I’m adding the dates.

    Hope that answers your questions!

  7. Lynn O'Connor 7 years ago

    Hi David:

    As you know I always buy whatever you are selling on Amazon. I think you should consider having a “year and date” based version (with the other changes you’ve made) of the ETP for sale on Amazon. I have been putting these sheets into circa (or Arc) notebooks for years, I have my own additional “things” in my “Next Action” Circa book (calendars etc, your ETT form –at least several of them for days when I think I’ve been doing nothing). I would love having the dated ETP forms on the heavy stock paper pad, that comes with the Amazon version. Maybe you can get someone to help you create them fast (?). An intern in computer design or something? Just a thought, there are at least some of us out here who would buy them immediately.


  8. Jason Schermerhorn 7 years ago


    I was going to suggest that you should design some material for David Allen’s Getting Things Done workflow system – and saw Lynn referenced “next action” material. I’ve seen a few GTD forms, but they aren’t as nearly visually appealing or practically useful as your creations.

    Regards, Jason

  9. Author
    Dave Seah 7 years ago

    Lynn: I’d love to do that too, but dated materials have short shelf lives. I could probably do a minimum run of 250 pads with just the year as a test. For a full-year month-and-day dated version though, the capital outlay would be a lot greater in terms of cash. The design work isn’t the problem. Ballpark figure based on current production, I think it’s essentially 365 separate print runs of a minimum of 10,000 sheets each to make it economical, so would cost me in the neighborhood of uh, US$365,000 plus assembly, padding, packaging, shipping…An e-product is more likely (and it’s what I’m working on), or selling via a print-on-demand outfit that can guarantee the paper and printing quality. E-product is the half-step to getting there!

    Jason: I may do some e-product versions of that, though I don’t follow the GTD regimen myself. Thanks for the suggestion!

  10. Stephen 7 years ago

    Looks great Dave, nice little spruce up.

  11. Lynn O'Connor 7 years ago

    An e-product would be cool, I could just print it up on some heavier than usual paper. I’ll certainly be happy to purchase it.


  12. Max van Balgooy 7 years ago

    I use your ETP forms to keep focused on tasks on a weekly, rather than daily, basis. I count each bubble as 30 minutes rather than 15 (based on the “pomodoro” motivation system) and even with just eight bubbles, it’s adequate for 95% of my projects. Given the number of projects I’m juggling in a week, four hours devoted to one project is rare indeed. Thanks for sharing these forms and ideas–I also share a version of your Compact Calendar with colleagues (adjusting the holidays to meet the needs of our field).

  13. e-esthetique 7 years ago

    Hi David, I am using a modified version of your ETP and i also moved the date to the right, it is more easy to write it here :) Have an happy new year. M