📖 DIY Tool: a nature-based calendar and more [closed]

A lovely day fellow brains and hearts.

Today I fulfil a little wish and share one of my printable sets. I enjoy inventing pen and paper solutions very much, so it is my pleasure too. Anybody who likes to grab it, feel free to do so. And without further ado lets get to the subject.

direct links
download: 2020 calendar kit (weekly) part 1
download: 2020 calendar kit (tables) part 2
download: 2020 calendar kit (singles) bonus

door to my little web corner just in case

a DIY calendar kit that allows many ways of assembling and using it
Perhaps someone might love nature as much as I do. Someone might struggle with the concept of time as I do. Maybe someone fell in love with science or art or other things too. Even if not, one of the many possibilities might cover a need of yours. This set was created to cover my personal 2020 needs. If you don’t want to go with my preferred assembly, I will show other solutions too.

I won’t jump into manuals right away. To put it together also needs time. Everyone who feels confident to experiment with the templates on their own… set your printer to monochrome mode. Also known as black & white or grey scale. I design my templates using grey6 and grey7, so they save black ink. I work with unbleached recycling paper (Steinbeis 80g/m² Classis White ISO 70) too, so monochrome mode is highly recommended for all darker paper tones. On white paper howsoever color mode will give you light grey results. Which can turn out beautiful too, depending on your printer and chosen paper quality.

:eight_spoked_asterisk: Support - DIY Prints and Templates
(In the meantime you also have the opportunity to get support you need for all kinds of quick little emergencies. Ask questions about the things you wonder of. Show snapshots of your difficulties and give a little description, what you are currently tempering with.)

Happy experimenting with your test prints. Updates follow.
My peers have also used my PDF templates on iPAD and other graphic tablets in the past. So enjoy, too. Have a good start into the week, guys.


Lets get started
I don’t know about you guys, I like things simple and easy. So lets have a look onto the things, which come in handy. Nothing expensive or fancy. A future preview.

the tools I like to work with
I use a 3mm thick binder’s board instead of one of those cutting mats. They are really robust. A cuter tool, a lineal and an old coin for putting the paper edges into a good shape. And at last but not least metal staples to hold all into place. A nail file, a needle, a pencil and scissors are good to have, too.

Most of this can be found in a household anyway. The only thing I really had to look for in my corner, where longer stronger staples. I didn’t liked our common normal ones. Not nice to work with. I chose Staples Type G (Box), Heftklammer A Typ 53, Nr. 4476 of Faster Tools. Not the only manufacturer, who produces them.

Besides a printer and about up to 30 sheets of paper, you might want to have a look into one of your paper stores. I really like recycled cardboard like “Kraftkarton” and love to decorate it with ink and tusche (China ink, India ink). On the picture you see the assembled A5 of 2019.

Next time lets go into printouts and mastering it.


I just want to say, this is an awesome thread and I can’t wait to see what comes next!!


Update 2019.11.20
(weekly) got additional weekly layouts included, mistake was corrected
(tables) mistake was corrected
(singles) bonus set of unsplit double pages and 2019 weeklies

Downloads should work via Desktop Browser and Mobile Browser now. I might give the templates and printables a lovely subpage of their own in the future. For now, HTML links just have been placed directly accessible. No further additional templates planned regarding this set.

Sooooo, triple double checked. I don’t expect any surprises during test printing in the afternoon. Regardless. I say, happy downloading to everyone. I officially call them out as good enough. :blush:

Thank you.


:rose: Lets have some “floral” fun with “bottom” printers

The following picture shows how “bottom” printers normally work. During the printing process they are turning the page from front to back. So that has to be taken in consideration, if you like to do a bookbinders print manually. My printer is best handled manually, it likes to joke around with grabbing the paper sometimes. Wonky misprints are not my favorite outcome. And not anybody can print both sides at once.

Now, comes the creative fun part. Grab a piece of your paper and take at least two different colored pens. Draw with one pen a squared shape in the middle of the page, leaving plenty of room at top, bottom, left and right. Put a sketch in the middle of the square, that has a top and a bottom. I did roses in “turquoise” and “red”. Write top, bottom, left and right on the square.

Black” will be my color for the next steps, so the edges still have to have room to write little notes. You can draw the arrow at the top too, if you like. Makes everything easier to recognize and be handled.

So taking my “black” pen, ready for action. Grabbing a bunch of additional paper sheets. Off we go, heading to the printer. Lets wake up sleeping beauty. And pick some roses on the way. I like the smell of roses. :laughing::wink:

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:rose: Lets do the first “floral” printing part

Printer on. The “floral” paper gets on top of the other sheets of course and all into the tray. Should be a piece of cake. Most printers I know, working better, if the stack is more than a single sheet of paper. Checking if everything is centered and all edges are matching. If not, giving it a tiny shake and a slight push. A thumb on top of the paper prevents the paper from slipping… putting the tray back in. Careful.

I like to work with Adobe Reader DC. So lets choose a template. Well, page 1 of the “singles” looks good. I take that and get the setup ready. It needs just a bunch of clicks. The templates are already created as “Landscape”. So choosing automatic format at the main window, will take care of all, for me. I don’t have to worry.

Also I tell the setup, I only like the first page getting printed and please do it at full size. Only two or three tiny little clicks left to make sure of.

I set it to grey as you can see. The monochrome mode, to make sure that the grey6 and grey7 lines turn out beautiful on my darker paper. As I have already described earlier on. I don’t bother further with the format as I said and check, if it will give me an A4 printout. Nope, it wouldn’t have, it would have cut it. That’s not what I want.

Very important for my printer, disabling the fast print or it turns my printout into a whole mess. For the best settings of your printer, you might will have to experiment a little. Well therefor are test prints made, right? :blush:

So have fun with it and it is always good to make some notes, if you do experiment. I did in my early bookbinder’s days. Mastering a printer is not impossible. So don’t beat yourself up or be disappointed, if it doesn’t work out right away. Creativity is a process. Enjoy the happy accidents, they might surprise you with something funny or awesome.

:drum: drum roll…
Here it comes and if you ask me, looking as supposed to. Yay. Okay, time to make the first helpful marks with my “black” pen. Depending on your printer and your chosen settings the top of the “Landscape” template can end up left or right. In my case right it is.

As you can see, I lifted the paper and there it was, the little arrow looking at me. The page has turned from front to back as expected. So far so good. The second page side will require a bit of thinking. Lets tackle that next time.

Oh my gosh! Look what’s that!? Footprints.
Don’t you think, we better should take the right way as in right way. You don’t know what’s there. It might could be a dragon. Don’t run into a dragon, he might be moody. Or worse, hungry. Hmm, it could be a T. Rex, too. :thinking: Who knows…


:rose: Lets print the second “floral” page side

Wouuhsaaah… be the printer, be the printer… :person_in_lotus_position:t3: okay, I am the printer. We can have a look onto printing the second page. Even I do bookbinding for quite some time now, it always is like a little adventure. With every notebook I make, I still learn something new. I never have done a manual for somebody else before. :smiley: How exciting! And a nice challenge.

Well, our “Blue” got excited by mentioning the T. Rex. You must know, he has a passion for dinosaurs, so he was unstoppable and headed left. But he promised me the pictures. So lets see what he has found on his phat, too.

The paper has to get back into the tray of course. So I put it back on top of the stack, the same way my printer has delivered it to me. Remember, the page will just turn from back to front now. And my printer will give me the top of the “Landscape” printout on the right. That means the printed first side must be the visible picture, like the rose was before. And so the thick line marking the top of my printout has also to remain at right. A last check and the tray gets carefully inserted back into its place again.

:bulb: Fun facts:
The rose on the back is currently facing upside down. Turning the page 180 degrees makes no sense even the circled arrow would end up at top again. It just messes up the printouts. I got so excited by arrows that I made this little happy accident. My false focus is the reason why this toolkit thread happens to have little side stories. And a funny and also better manual. Cheers to little happy accidents.

For printing out the second page side it also is essential that the whole settings are the same like the first time. Checking it, is a routine, I always do. So I check, if it still gives me full size, all on grey scale, automatic “Landscape” / “Portrait” format, no fast print and an A4 printout.

I see no need to change my chosen template. I have to tell my printer’s setup again about of just printing page 1 of “singles” or otherwise it does them all. The whole setup statuses normally don’t change, if I haven’t closed my PDF Reader and opened again. Well, but routine is routine. So I like to make sure of. I can move on.

:drum: drum roll please…
Heeere it comes. Yeah and I am happy with it. You can see my “black” pen marks I did all the way along. On the first sight everything looks good on both pictures. Only that one rose comes out upside down and the other all about right. The printer has done it’s job, the thick line of the top is at the right as supposed to. So lets investigate it further what went wrong on “Blue’s” left path.

Lifting the paper shows further differences. You can already see that the thick line of the template’s top comes out wrongly on the left path. Because of turning the paper 180 degrees its on the left now, of one of the page sides. That would make a notebook you would have to turn by 180 degrees every second page.

:thinking::rofl: Thinking about it. Well, we could call it “the spinning notebook” and sell it on etsy. But I am pretty sure that it would flop the sales. And it would also become harder to assemble it. It would be kind of quite a crazy notebook with the potential to frustrate people.

The next two pictures show what I mean quite well. I placed the roses versus each other for you. The right path comes out well, the left path not so much.

Folding a tiny part of each paper shows it even better. The colored arrows indicating the match and mismatch. Hopefully this manual was a good help to you of mastering your “bottom” printer, also in long terms. The time comes, when you leave your test prints for doing the real job. Well, there will always be a pencil for erasable little page notes. You wont have to draw squares and sketches anymore. Just a few little marginal notes or marks will do the job, too.

Trust in yourself.

Look who I have found… not so sleeping beauty. She was so kind to fill up my sheet of paper and gave me her autograph, too. Isn’t that lovely? Oh, you have found t. Lex, as in “tiny Lexter the lizard”. Her pet. Did you know, he loves to play princess and dragon and fakes footprints. Don’t be sad, technically a lizard has dinosaur ancestors. And he doesn’t will eat you.

I have a great idea, next time let us do skydiving. No? :laughing:

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@anotherBrain, thank you very much for sharing all your hard work. Longer response once I have had a chance to play with this…

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I enjoy myself very much and the whole process. At least I make myself laugh, so “hard work” doesn’t fit it quite well. I don’t see a reason, why it should be done without having fun. “Normal” manuals are boring. Luckily we are not part of a “normal” forum.

No pressure. You don’t have to make any huge responses at all @khagen . So it is not necessary to put yourself under stress, because of the feeling you have to.

Hmm, I can’t help noticing it. It somehow looks actually really beautiful, when all posts of a part (rose icon) are sticking together in a row. Like a necklace made of pearls. Thihi.

Happy start into the week guys.


… What is a Year-Clock Template (I mean… obviously it is what is linked… but… what?) and how do you use it? Never seen/heard of one before.

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To answer your question comprehensive…

:blush: The year clock template is a new tool I invented for my personal needs. I prepared the rough outlines in advance to have a nice start. And it is meant for evolving it during the year. I don’t know yet what kind of adventures are awaiting me, but I like to find out and observe it. Further I am really bad at handling timelines, so I externalize them. Observing nature and its cycles will keep me also engaged using my companion. This double page is connected with my weekly double page, which is connected with my healthcare section, which is connected with my life’s category page (just dot grid).

I drew a little mockup as a window into my mind. This double page will also assist me in collecting field notes during my scouts. So I have planned my future intentions.

But in reality it is just an empty cycle, it can become also something completely different. It could picture a ideal routine cycle of the day, too. Or measure something using percentages. Imagination is a powerful tool. I have intended to show ideas and possibilities a bit later on. Chances are it might inspire someone to find new ways of their own. I know that I like to measure, to log, to collect, to conclude. I see things connected. I don’t foul myself believing my way suits others, so the templates are rough empty outlines for a reason. Its just a kit. You can choose parts to your liking. Or non at all.

I won’t speed up myself, I can’t to be honest. But you are free to go crazy on paper and experiment. I keep doing one step at a time. I really like to finish what I have started. :wink: And I have enjoyed answering your question very much. I enjoyed putting my thought on paper for you. So thank you for your interest.

Huh. Interesting. I doubt I would use the page as shown but I do see some application in project based planning. We are going to be opening a new location next year, looks like, and I could see breaking things down into phases on the clock-face, and as you radiate out from the center you fill in more details, deadlines, etc.
Sadly, work is blocking the links. I’ll have to grab them at home and print out there. I think I will be giving a spin. (Circle pun intended)


Ok, choosey beggars and all that… Good lord, how do I make this darker?
I only have laser printers handy. (workplace printer)
Printer settings via the driver have failed me.
I tried using the copier function to darken it, but it also gave a gray haze in the back due to the scan of the page.
Using the copy in the middle for now, but am I missing something?

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is your ink low on the printer ? cause typically if its not very dark it could mean low ink.

Laser printer, uses toner. And no, it’s fine. Tried a few printers of varying models. No change.

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oh okay then I don’t know a solution then sorry mate.

Does this info from the initial post help at all?
I think it should be possible to change the whole lot on one go by changing this setting, but you might need the OP to come back and tell you which setting that is…

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I tried that. No change. I think OP has an inkjet printer (and, you know… doesn’t have a workplace locking down any features on the print server.)
Sigh. I’ll figure something out. Just not now.

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Don’t worry, I will put you out of your misery. Here you go, custom colored single. First Page colored in the darker grey7 and second page in a solid black, just in case. Judging from the tiny glimpse of your test prints, you probably should be okay with grey7, too. It was intentional having the dot grid and the circle in the lighter grey6 for drawing reasons. Dark enough to be seen, light enough to be of no disturbance.

custom colored clock template

The picture shows my printing result. You can see how much darker the weekly part normally is, compared to the dot grid. Enlarge the picture. And well its an evening snapshot.

And a snapshot at daytime. Also enlarge.

Have a nice evening everyone.

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Update 2019.12.11
Support - DIY Prints and Templates

The opportunity to get support you need for all kinds of quick little emergencies. Ask questions about the things you wonder of. Show snapshots of your difficulties and give a little description, what you are currently tempering with.

1 Like