new hpda template: gas mileage tracker

Summer’s over — and that means campus commutes, after-school activities, and last-minute runs to the office supply store. If you’re about to start college, become a taxi driver for your kids, or take a cross-country business trip, my newest Hipster PDA template, the gas mileage tracker, was made for you.

Based on a design that’s been extensively tested in the field, the gas mileage tracker is a handy form to keep in your back-pocket or briefcase hPDA. Plus, the template’s intuitive design is easy to understand and use in the field.

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introducing cardnets

CardNet Blank FrameShortly after I introduced the latest round of Active Voice productivity templates for the Hipster PDA (hPDA — available as free downloads here), I started to think about what the next round of templates would look like.

I wanted them to be different — not just in terms of content, but also in terms of the way they actually worked.

I took a look at how hPDA cards are designed, and how people use them. Most cards are designed to be used either as stand-alone units or together in sequence. But in life, few good ideas unfold in a steady linear direction over time — they tend to go off in many different directions at once.

So, I asked, what would cards look like that were designed to be used, not in straight lines, but in nonlinear networks? What if they could capture the multidimensional, interrelated nature of our ideas as they happen? CardNets are my answer. Maybe they can be yours, too.

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new calendars are here

hPDA template 2008 calendar downloadNew hPDA calendar templates for the second half of 2008 are now available on the Active Voice Downloads page. Just click on “Hipster PDA Templates” — “See the Templates.”

There, you’ll find calendars for the standard template design under “Organization & Lists” and for the hPhone custom set under “Just for Fun.”

Active Voice offers wallpapers and hPDA templates as free .png and scalable-vector .pdf graphics that you can download to your desktop and use in your favorite planner. They are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial – Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

paperjamming your computer

Cluttered DeskFor freelance writers, it’s all about the clip. All your research files, interview transcripts, and notes are there to help you create a professionally written product. But what do you do with the rest?

Considering how inexpensive external storage is these days, it might seem easier to just keep buying more — and larger — external hard drives or to upload your old files to an online storage provider. But those options have some very tangible drawbacks for freelancers.

As a freelancer, you have contractual and legal obligations to keep certain records for a specified time. Beyond those, disposal significantly reduces the amount of time that a program like Blacktree’s popular Quicksilver requires to index your files. It also cuts down the time — and narrows the results — of keyword and metadata searches.

In short, the less stuff you have to manage, the less you have to manage stuff.

That’s where PaperJamming techniques and templates come in. PaperJamming is personalized file management made fun. Here’s how to implement it on your computer:

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