Hipster- General Stack

Hipster General Stack
I like to organize things. I also need a place to record and refer to things throughout the day. Back in the corporate world I used carry cut up pieces of blank paper clipped together in my back pocket. I kept my to-do’s, ideas, etc on them.

In June of 2005, with a kick-start from 43 folders and Douglas Johnson, I published my 1st Hipster Stack. I’d get a kick out of what others can do with this, so I am releasing it under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. (Do be careful with attributing some of the other folk’s content I’ve included.)

My general stack has something for everybody:

Categorization via the Meta-Line Organizer.
Designed for cheap (gray scale) printing.
Economical use of an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. (Plus more room to write.)

  • Blank.
  • Grid.
  • Checklist.
    • I’ll often keep my ‘official’ to-do list on this.
  • Lined.
  • Tear-away.
    • Allows me to give notes to folks and not lose too much paper.
  • Fold Up Cards.
    • More formal cards. Yes, that is a picture of poison oak.
  • Dictionary.
  • Rulers.
    • Metric and English. Sorry it is a bit rough when printed.
  • Conversions.
    • Metric and English.
  • Star Chart.
    • I do a bit of astronomy so it makes sense to me.
  • World Map with Time Zones.
  • Chess and Checkers.
  • Playing Cards.
  • Go.
    • The 9×9 version.
  • Battleship.
    • For two players.
  • Sundial Day Planner.
    • I get fed up with one’s life totally planned by the hour so here is my little retort.
  • Morse Code and Semaphore.
    • I can never remember this stuff when I could use it… so like similar stuff, into the Hipster it goes.
  • Staff (Music)
  • Do It Yourself Art.
    • OK, this is along the lines of the conceptual work I do…but totally valid for anyone to use and compose their own art.
  • Full Sheet.
    • Because sometimes you just need a full sheet of paper.

Hipster PDA (pdf) Hipster PDA Scribus Source file available upon request.

My blog’s Hipster PDA category has more free hipster PDA related goodies including a working slide rule, a graphically encoded audio podcast, keyfob, and extras.

(First published Sept 18, 2007)

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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18 Responses to Hipster- General Stack

  1. Flavio says:


    How do you use the GO board? Against yourself?

  2. John says:

    Well, it is sort of a joke more than anything else…But I think quite usable. …If you play Go, and it doesn’t work for you, please let me know

    GO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(board_game)

    FYI: I still have to some cards to the playing card sheet…forgot some!

  3. Flavio says:

    I don’t play Go very often. 🙁
    Just curious about how you (or any one) use it.

  4. M. D. says:

    Are you supposed to cut out the chess ‘pieces’ and play on the board?

  5. M. D. says:

    Oh, and could you make a .doc version, with the things just as images?

  6. John says:

    Yes, the idea is to cut out the pieces, chess, playing cards, or Go then use them to play. Probably better in theory than in reality, but it should work in a pinch.

    I do need to re-do the playing cards, I forgot two, … so maybe I can get Scribus to save them as graphics. However, I do have several other projects so not sure how soon I’ll get to it. Sorry M.D.

  7. Pingback: organization « daily offeriffic

  8. K Hansen says:

    I’d like a copy of the scribus source if you still have it around. I really like the concept you’ve put together.

  9. John says:

    I still have the source and will send it out. Looks like I’m missing some of the original graphics for the cards, but it’s mostly there. (I could probably dig up the pics too, if need be.)

    ..I know, I need to fix the playing card deck…

  10. thommo says:

    I’m having trouble deciphering the icons on the Meta-Line Organizer. I just don’t get wht they are apart from the check(tick)

  11. John says:

    Happy to help, and glad folks still find this project interesting. I have gotten this question before on other forums, so I should put up a little something here.

    The icons in the rounded cones are meant to help categorize the information on the sheet. Similar information would get have a similar icon marked. The check, clover, pen, and data disk icons are really somewhat arbitrary. I wanted somethings that were distinct from each other even when printed small. You can attribute your own meaning to each.

    However, here is what I think they mean:

    The check is for to-do type info, lists.
    The clover is for family stuff. It has 4 petals, and my family has four members.
    The pen is for art related inspirations.
    The tape disk is for work.

  12. John says:

    I wish I did! Feel free to fill in a few blanks when you cut them up 🙂

    I know, I really need to re-do. Course I’ve been saying that since 2007…gulp!

    On the positive side, I used the metric ruler just yesterday for my tactical chalk holder. (http://john-norris.net/2011/03/06/213/)

  13. Jesper Eklund says:

    I really like this hPDA, and I’d like to make my own version of it. Could you send me the scribus-files? Might I also suggest that you make a small calendar to go whith the rest? I’ll do that in mine. There are several more or less usable scribus oriented python-scripts around that can generate simple but efficient calendars – much as your system in whole. If you’d like to I’ll send you a couple of links.

  14. John says:

    Thanks for the compliment. I still get a kick out of this one too. I’ve got a copy of the original file and and happy to send it to you. Your Scribus skills are way beyond mine, and my focus was on handy info and pushing the envelope for this sort of thing. I still mean to fix the missing playing card in that deck!

  15. johnwin says:

    Hi John,

    Could you let me have a copy of the scribus file please?

    john at johnwin dot co dot uk


  16. John says:

    Happy to do so, John. It’s on its way.

  17. Gianluigi says:

    Hello mister John,
    your notebook hipster is really great but I would like to translate it, so you could send me a copy of Scribus file, please?
    A really good job, kind regards, from Italy, Gianluigi.
    theramingo at gmail dot com


  18. John says:

    Glad you liked it. I’ll send the Scribus file out to you tonight. All the best!

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