Something well-designed to get me well organized
August 30, 2012 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Tell me of the most beautifully designed, paper-based gtd / organizers / planners in the land! I want nice typography, attractive materials and maximum usability in one package. Is this possible?

I am a graphic designer. I need a way to track my major ongoing (non-client) projects and tasks, as well as maybe plan timelines. I want to do this on a well-designed, paper-based ... thing. Or things. I have a pile of blank moleskines, but I'm looking for something with more structure. Most planners are ugly, and I think I need something task oriented rather than page-a-day. I can work within a Getting Things Done system but it's not necessary.

I'm also interested in related items, like beautiful paper-based productivity stuff to hang on the wall, or a nice year-long calendar poster* that has room for notes.

If there is nothing out there that works for me, I might just end up designing my own. So links to any beautiful non-digital organizing systems are welcome, even if they are not for me or not for sale.

*That is, one poster which shows the entire year, not the traditional flip style.
posted by 100kb to Shopping (11 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I use David Seah's forms (and he's working on an ipad version of one of the task timers right now), and find them pleasant to look at and really useful.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:27 PM on August 30, 2012 [6 favorites]

Best answer: You'd like the Behance Action Method.
posted by jbickers at 1:51 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I haven't used GTD or Evernote as a planning system for years, because they turned out to be both overkill and underkill for my specific needs, but when I did both they were an excellent combination, so you might want to check out this physical Moleskine that's designed with page guides and special stickers, so it's easier to import your notes and whatnot into Evernote.

Even if that doesn't work for you, since your a graphic designer, what about designing a set of GTD-style icons and having them printed out as stickers? Then you could pretty much just use any kind of notebook, and slap the stickers on as needed.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 2:10 PM on August 30, 2012

Have you seen or I have to use their templates as I'm pretty particular with my planner needs.

If you want to spend the money, you can get one of those expandable notebook things you can make your own planner with. They sell one kind at staples ( and the DIY website has info on the others. Here is another one
posted by eq21 at 6:51 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Take a look at Daycraft, it's lovely.
posted by drea at 10:56 PM on August 30, 2012

I second David Seah! Very clean, streamlined style, and when I used his stuff, I always got the feeling that a lot of thought had been put into them, by someone who understands how durn hard it is to get working sometimes.
posted by undue influence at 6:26 AM on August 31, 2012

Best answer: I, too, am always looking for a one-pager nice looking wall calendar that I can write on. It's too late for 2012 [for me] but design-milk did a write up of some nice ones last year and I bet a bunch of them will be remade for 2013.
posted by jessamyn at 8:28 AM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

My husband has been using the Architects and Designers Diary from Paragraf for years now.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 6:22 PM on August 31, 2012

Response by poster: Great suggestions so far! I'm loving the Behance Action Journal. It is so beautiful, and seems like it would work really well with my style of organizing. I'll also take David Seah's forms for a spin, maybe they will make me better at tracking hours.

The design-milk post led me to these calendars which are just gorgeous and perfect. Crossing my fingers she produces them for 2013.

I still want to see if anyone else has things to share, so I'm going to wait before marking best answers. Thanks everyone!
posted by 100kb at 6:56 PM on August 31, 2012

The most beautiful system for getting stuff done is not GTD, but any of Mark Forster's amazing systems. He's released a number of them, available for free on his website, which unfortunately appears to be down right now. They are beautiful in their simplicity, and the way they work with your natural motivation. I have never been so productive, as when using his systems.

All you need is a notebook - any notebook will do - a pen, and a highlighter. I prefer a simple visual diary either in A5 or half letter, with lovely thick paper.

Although his website is down, you can see one of his previous systems (called Autofocus) in action, in this short video.

Also, I'm keenly following this thread to see what other ideas are around. Some great ones so far everybody.
posted by damian_ at 4:08 AM on September 1, 2012

Crispin Finn made a 2012 year calendar that you might like, assuming a similar one is made for next year.
posted by jeri at 5:35 PM on September 3, 2012

« Older You helped me stay light... now help me rejoin the...   |   Dear Employer: Take a chance on meeee <3, Me Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.