A Slight Update to the Amazon version of the Full-Size ETP Pad

A Slight Update to the Amazon version of the Full-Size ETP Pad

Comparison I’m close to running-out of Emergent Task Planner pads on Amazon, and this gives me an opportunity to update the design slightly for the next print run. The current pads are the 2009 design I believe, which uses the old font (Helevetica Neue Condensed) and has a number of quirks.

The changes are not to the layout; I’ve decided not to shift things around again because there is an entrenched population of users that might not appreciate it. However, there have been complaints over the years that I felt I could address. Some of them are mine, and some of them are based on feedback I’ve gotten from users:

  • One of my issues is that the old design uses color tints. While they still look good because I’ve specified two-color Pantone inks instead of using a more typical 4-color process, they nevertheless were a tiny bit fuzzier than they needed to be. You can see this with a magnifying glass in the “What Else is Going On?” section numbers (10-36), and the time boxing lines on the very left. One reason for using a custom Pantone two-color process was to make the resolution of these tinted elements acceptable, but a few years later I realized I could achieve the same affect just by exploiting the enhanced resolution available with two-color and make thinner lines! So, I have gotten rid of the tints everywhere except for two places. Can you find them? :-)
  • A few people have been confused by the “60” and “15” numbers in the top few boxes of the left-side Day Grid. They were intended to convey that the boxes were 60 minutes and 15 minutes. I don’t think it’s really necessary after all, so I’ve taken them out.

  • To help align the fill-in “hour” blanks at the left-side of the form with the actual area on the Day grid, I’ve introduced hour separator grid lines that visually bracket each hour. I’m hoping that this helps people see how “8AM” lines up with a particular 15-minute bubble after the separator. The blank line and the separator line use the same visual style to reinforce this. We’ll see if it helps!

  • A few people have not liked that I wrote mid-day break and late break in the Day Grid. I’ve taken out those words, leaving the “start” label for the first box. The orange boxes are still there, and people can still use them for breaks. The secondary purpose they serve is to split the Day Grid into rough morning, afternoon, and evening sections, so it’s easier to get a sense when in the day you are going to do something.

  • I also removed the “review” prompt at the bottom of the Day Grid. It seemed kind of pushy to me.

  • I’ve realigned the grid lines so the left-side Day Grid lines-up with the “What Else is going On” lines. This is more of an aesthetic fix for me, since it bugged me a lot.

  • I’ve highlighted the first three tasks with the orange bubbles. This is what all the other ETP products do, so now the ETP full-size pad matches their look.

  • I’ve gotten rid of extraneous elements, such as extra vertical lines in the Day Grid hour fill-ins and the outlining key-line for the DATE box at the top-left. They just clutter-up the design. The triangles are also gone, which allowed me to re-space the design slightly; to compensate for their loss, I’ve just made the titles bigger.

  • I’ve retired the “Printable CEO™” language at the bottom left of the form, replacing it with “Emergent Task Planner™”, which is the more famous and marketable moniker that people recognize. I’ve also added a link to the “productivity tools” section on my website.


p>I think that’s about everything. I’ve sent the new design to the printer, and hopefully we’ll see the new pads arrive at Amazon in the next couple of weeks. There might be time to make some minor changes if I hear about them now.


  1. Jack Baty 10 years ago

    I’ve introduced hour separator grid lines that visually bracket each hour

    Yay! This change alone is worth reordering a pad or two. Thanks.

  2. Robert Wheeler 10 years ago

    I have adhd. I would suggest as another option. The timeline which is on the left, create a version where it is on the right. You have this style on a previous version of your work. For me I plan on the left and work through to the right. I get stuck trying to go from right to left.

  3. Erin Savov 10 years ago

    Hi Dave!

    I ordered and quickly received you Mini ETP from Amazon. Today is my first day to use it.

    I truly enjoy the weight and feel of the planner. It feels great in my hand and is just the right amount of flexibility vs. rigidness.

    What I WAS hoping for and found disappointing that it was not there were some “usage instructions”.

    I imagined an insert or a page which could be torn out later with Dave’s witty writing and enthusiasm guiding me in my usage of the Mini ETP. For example I know that the boxes on the left represent 15 minute increments but I don’t know HOW to best use the boxes. Do I put a slash sometimes, an X for other times? I do VERY MUCH like the dotted division line indicating one hour.

    Some people will probably happen across your product on Amazon and not necessarily be familiar with you blog or like me… tend to not read everything :-)

    Hugs! Erin