Strange Brouhaha

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stuff that's been on my desktop

First, look at the Hipster PDA.

Second, see all the templates available at

I'm not a big "Day Planner" fan. Back when I worked at the music store, we were all given these things and I found them to just be a waste. I ended up holing a bunch of properly-sized blank paper and using the planner as an expensive notebook. These templates look neat, but honestly, since I don't really have the planner mindset, most of them aren't that useful for me--I carry around a blank notebook and a few pens and that's always been sufficient. However, in general, the DIYPlanner stuff can replace your expensive planner refills for a fraction of the cost.

I like the Hipster concept, tongue-in-cheek though it may have originally been, just because it's small and neat. I've been using a couple of freeware programs to try and design cards that are more closely-aligned with the way my particular brain works (or doesn't).

For page layout, I've been using the Windows version of Scribus. It's not PageMaker, but I don't really need PageMaker, do I? (Answer: No.) Graphics professionals may or may not find it lacking, but it suits my needs and it seems really nice. Give it a shot--it's free and it's open.

For graphics, I've been messing around with Inkscape, which is not Adobe Illustrator the same way that Scribus is not PageMaker. It's also free, and as a bonus, Scribus will take your Inkscape SVG files and import them as native objects. Always a plus.

I like these programs fairly well, although obviously time will tell if they're ultimately really useful to me. I just don't know enough to know what they're missing.


  • Which is really all that's important, no? If it does what you need it to do... it does what you need it to.

    I've sold a lot of people on using Wordpad, the text editor that comes with Windows, instead of Word -- if all you're doing is editing text in a row... who needs more?

    By Anonymous david adam edelstein, at 9:14 PM  

  • Interestingly enough (or not), the original version of this post contained a long digression on how I wish Microsoft would make a Word Lite: Word -- not Wordpad, but real, honest-to-goodness Word -- without VBA, without Merge, without grammar checking, without collabarative what-have-you, with just a rudimentary feature set that's suitable for creating and editing documents without the feature creep.

    Wordpad isn't it, unfortunately; it has crappy pagination and isn't suitable for writing long documents.

    But yeah, most people don't need Word as it stands. Wordpad, Notepad, or vi would work just as well. (I use vi for pretty much everything.)

    By Blogger Robert, at 9:57 PM  

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