The Fobster

When my Hipster PDA got left behind, I found myself picking up all sorts of scraps of paper to write on. Now I keep a small stack of planner templates on my keychain. It is small enough not to bother me, is with me just about where ever I go, and includes the stuff I need to stay organized.


  • Two Covers with Frames. Add some art and you have a nice front and back cover.
  • Blanks. Includes check-offs for see other side, notes, to-do. Title line.
  • Grids. Includes check-offs for see other side, notes, to-do. Title line.
  • Check Lists. Lines and boxes
  • Finances. Note where the money is coming and going.
  • Contacts. Just the few ones you need to know…or a place for new folks.
  • Quick Fold Cards. Personal notes are always leave a few.
  • One Day Planners. Plan each hour of your day, and keep it with you.
  • Flying Spaghetti Monster Foldable Alter. ‘nuf said.
  • Meditation Screen. Take a deep breath and relax….

In addition I recommend:

Don’t put in identifiable information in case your keys get lost.

Make a front a back cover out of the clear plastic of a 2 liter pop bottle. Cut along the curve so that it helps keep the papers together.

If you find the paper comes out of the clip, add some more sheets. I’ve had as many as 30.

A small chain works well to keep the clip on the keychain. If I have a lot of keys and keep taking them out of my pocket, the bulky keys leverage off the clip from the chain. Keep your key bulk small, or wear ’em on the outside.

There are a ton of keychain pens out there. I often find I have a pen in my pocket, car, etc… so don’t feel the need to buy one. However, I took a cheap plastic pen whose ink has run down a bit, taken out the back plug, sawed off short the case and ink tube (leaving a bit of air at the end), put the plug back in, and have a loop of string out the pen’s cap. Works well so far, but no guarantees it won’t explode in your pants!

If you come up with other templates and ideas for the Fobster, feel free to use the Open Office Draw file to customize your own. It is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license 2.0 Let me know how it goes, and be sure to stop by the D*I*Y Planner site.

Fobster (pdf)

Scribus source available, just shoot me a note.

About John

Interested in how information intersects daily life, technology, and art. Collaboration specialist, working in social and collaborative media. Biomedical Informaticist, focusing on patient/patient, patient/provider communication.
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7 Responses to The Fobster

  1. Rod Ackerman says:

    Wow! Hard to believe no replies to such an interesting idea. Even more so that no one has expressed their gratitude in your helping them expand their hPDA horizons.

    But then again, maybe its been left to me to be the first?

    Maybe not.


  2. John says:

    Thanks Rob.

    This has been out for awhile..and is a re-print of sorts from my old blog. It actually made its debut over at and garnered a few comments there.

  3. Jon W. says:

    Very cool idea! The template is great. I love how so many people are using their creativity and ingenuity to create things that can capture moments of inspiration in such low-tech ways.


  4. John says:

    Thanks Jon.

    I’ve kept a copies on my keychain for over a year now and it still works when I need to. I am having trouble finding a cheap pen I trust won’t leak.

  5. DarkFlib says:

    Why use a pen when you can use a pencil?

  6. John says:

    I really like pencils, but the tips of the wood ones would snap off in my back pocket. But maybe with a cap…

  7. DarkFlib says:

    I often carry a mechanical pencil around with me, although not perfect it seems to work for me…

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