This year I made a resolution to become more organized.  Reading Getting Things Done by David Allen helped guide me in the right direction.  I now try to utilize 3″ by 5″ index cards to stay on top of things.  My current planner/organizer/life is “classic” sized – 5.5″ by 8.5″.  Finding a way to display a few index cards from my hPDA will help me keep on track with GTD.  I created an Index Card Holder where the cards would remain visible.  (If visibility is not a concern, a variety of substitute materials would work perfectly). 

tut0  First you should gather your supplies. 
          *Plastic sheets (like an old report cover or a new report cover, transparency plastic, etc.)
          *Card-stock or heavy paper
          *Clear packing tape or any tape that you can stand looking at
          *Paper cutter (or add a ruler partner to your scissors)

Step 1.  Cut your piece of card stock or heavy paper to size.  Since my planner is 5.5″ by 8.5″, I used my paper cutter to trim my lavendar card stock to that size. 
Step 2.  Cut down your clear plastic sheets.  I decided that 3″ tall would allow a nice chunk of the index card to remain exposed and still support the card enough to keep it in the pocket.  Cut the width to be approximately half an inch shorter than the width of your card-stock.  My plastic ended up being 3″ by 5″.

Step 3.  Place a couple index cards on your card-stock.  Estimate how close you will need to go to the bottom edge and top edge.  I chose to make just two pockets since my purpose to keep the index cards visible.   Next place your clear plastic strips over your index cards to create the look of the pockets.  Play around until you are happy with the layout.  (I opted to keep the edge of my pocket far enough to avoid being punched.) 

Step 4.  I found it easiest to tape the bottom pocket’s bottom edge first.  Cut a piece of packaging tape 5″ long and tape the bottom of the clear plastic to the card-stock.  I put half the width of the tape onto the plastic sheet.  The other half adhered it to the very bottom of the card-stock and wrapped around to the backside. 

Step 5.  Now tape the bottom of the top pocket to the card-stock.  I just flipped the bottom pocket out of the way.  Now that everything is secure (yeah no more shifting!), tape the sides of the pockets in place.  I simply went around the edge of the card-stock to the backside to ensure it was nice & secure.
Step 6.  Punch your new index card holder to fit the planner of your choice.   (Circa/Rolla system showed).
Step 7.  Insert your new DIY Index Card Holder into your planner. TA DA you are done… and you DIY :D
There are several possible changes that could be made. 

  • Obviously, if you use a larger or smaller planner, the number of pockets you could create would vary. 
  • I made the pockets wide enough to fit two index cards with a little bit of an overlap.  You may only want to display one entire card at a time.
  • Clear plastic could have been used instead of the card-stock which would lead to more visibility.
  • Adding additional pockets to the reverse side would allow for even more index cards. 

Take this idea and run with it… Feel free to leave a comment with your results – I would love to see!