Five Minute Organizer

As secretaries day came last week I noticed something really significant. All the secretaries and office personnel were gone.

five minute organizer

The district had arranged a one day seminar in Riverside and they all had taken advantage of it. This was an amazing change and many administrators were at a loss without their administrative help. I overheard many conversations such as- “It will have to wait until tomorrow, ____ is gone and I don’t know what’s on the schedule.”

What do you do in a situation like this? Your schedule is turned upside down and normal channels of communication don’t work. Imagine if the power was turned off for hours on end. Your computer is down, your PDA discharged, and all of your common organization tools are inoperative.

What do you do?

The simple answer is the “Five Minute Organizer.” A simple tool for organizing your thoughts, goals and even your life. This simple personal organizer requires no batteries, is totally customizable, and fits neatly in your pocket or purse. You can create one in five minutes and be on your way to organizing your day. With some simple options your desk will be transformed into an organization station. You’ll be able to see your appointments, daily goals, and your next actions in one place.

The great thing is this little powerhouse is available as a free download from this blog. You’ll need a couple of items to complete the kit but you probably have them available in your office. Here are the supplies needed:

Five Minute Organizer

  • Avery Style Laser Business Cards (10 on a page)
  • Mini Binder Clips

Optional Supplies

  • Sharpie Markers
  • Ink Pen
  • Clothes Pin
  • Unsharpened Pencil
  • Cellophane Tape

five minute organizer

To Make a Walleteer (smaller version of the Hipster PDA)

  • Fill out the cards as needed
  • Sort the cards with most important on top
  • Put them in a stack and attach a mini clip at one end
  • You now have a convenient Walleteer pocket data assistant
  • Stores easily in pocket or purse

To Make an Organization Station

  • Fill out the cards as needed
  • Pick a Goal, Next Action, & Appointment Card
  • Clip the Pencil to the Clothespin to make a tower
  • Clip the Three cards to the pencil
  • Enjoy Instant Visual Feedback of your goals, projects, & appointments

five minute organizer station

To Make a Quick Note

  • Fill out the appropriate Card
  • Apply tape to the back of the card
  • Attach card to monitor or other line of sight location

Use your imagination and have fun with this little project. The pictures above will give you an idea of the versatility. You can modify the template in MS Word to meet your individual needs. If Avery business cards are not available or if you are using European A4 paper sizes, you can cut and paste the text from this template to one that works with your brand of cards. These personal organizer cards work well with David Allen’s, “Getting Things Done” productivity system and our 5 Year Personal Development Plan.

You might find some of these other free downloads useful…

Five Minute Flowchart

Instant Garage Sale

Five Minute Motivators

Five Minute Outliner



  1. Judy Warner says

    I tried to download but just get symbols when I open in Microsoft word. what am I doing wrong?

  2. says

    Thanks everyone for your feedback. I have uploaded a new zipfile with two versions of the Walleteer. One is for Word2003 and the other should work in any previous version back to Word97. I’ve also modified the template so it works better for filling in the fields from Word. The original link will now download the new version that contains both files. Let me know how it works for you.


  3. Alan says

    Great idea!

    This is the perfect size and format for capturing and carrying information.
    The cards are easy to customize and pleasant to use.
    (The only thing I haven’t figured out is how to make a pencil stand up in a clothespin.)


  4. says

    Thanks for the reply Alan. To make the tower just put the end of the pencil in the jaws of the clothespin and attach the clips up the side. Large plastic ones work the best.

    Have Fun,


  5. says

    Thanks for the reply Tim. I’ve used a Hipster PDA in the past and have referenced it many times on this site. I have a link to and visit Merlin’s site from time to time. Great stuff.

    This is a somewhat different idea with pre-printed smaller business card sheets that you can use many ways. You can use it with a clip like the Hipster or use a card wallet or stack them vertically in a desk viewer. Sometimes I even print up the sheets, 3 hole punch them, and carry them around in a notebook.

    I haven’t visited but I imagine there might be many similar ideas out on the net. Thanks for including the links. I didn’t mean to leave anyone out but I just recently discovered some great uses for these little cards and I thought I would share the ideas with my readers.


  6. Judy Warner says

    still only getting version one on downloading?? can you tell me how to get version 2–love your idea! Judy

  7. says

    lovely, is it US paper size and US Avery template?

    does not fit at all on European prints

    by the way, printing this page f***s up the browser (Firefox)

  8. says

    Thanks for the reply Jim. I like 3 x 5 cards and they work well for many things. The problem is printing them. Most printers have trouble with their small size and Avery and other card manufacturers don’t offer a common 8.5 x 11 inch index card multi-sheet. They do offer a post card size template but that will not fit very well in most pockets. I do agree that index cards and a Sharpie are great tools. and have many examples.

    Soobrosa, thanks for the comment. The template is for 8.5 x 11 inch Avery 10 card business cards. In most cases it won’t work on other brands of cards or European paper sizes. I’m sure you could find a template for your particular brand of business cards and create something similar or cut and paste from this template to the other one.


  9. says

    Great Idea for business card size! — One request though. Would it be possible to port this design over to Open Office 2.0? Then it could be really free since there is no charge for the office suite. I have Word 2000 and the 2003 template worked fine in it but neither template worked in OO2.0. I’m sure it would be a simple thing for you to make available.

    Great idea!

  10. Kalei says

    If I coach a goal setting course may I use these tools? Is there a copyright or patent I need to worry about? I think they are great!

  11. says

    domeny, regular 3×5 cards would work but you can’t run them through your printer for customized little forms. If the business cards are too small, you can get larger “postcard” sized versions that will also work in a printer.

    I definitely am going to try this Walleteer thing out.

  12. says

    It’s actually amazing how many high profile execs and CEO’s rely a little too much (I think) on their secretary – the point like here, as you say, when the secretary is away they can’t even organise their own lives!
    My mom has a friend who was quite a high-profile women in a certain industry (a CEO of sorts) and eventually she quit to do her own thing. You would not believe that a CEO of a company could not do some simple things – because everything used to really go to the secretary. Her admin skills were actually really bad. I couldn’t believe it, myself.

  13. says

    Tshirts, thanks for the reply. You make a great point. I think that behind almost any great leader you’ll find a very organized secretary or office administrator. I know where I work we could not function very long without our department facilitator.


  14. Dee says

    I use the index cards (4×6 or 5×8) as documents (portait) and as checklist .. if anyone can tell me if I can get a file holder for index card but verically exp; 8×5 .. so far I haven’t used the color (less costly)

  15. says

    Wow!!! That is a unique way of getting organized. This is just in time because I have been searching high and low for a personal secretary to help me sort out things, to remind of urgent things to do, and all; yet I can’t find the right person for me. So I resorted to doing things on my own. Although I can manage everything, I am not Super Woman. I need help. I will see what this cute organizer can do to my life.

  16. says

    omg John. My brother has been using a similar system for years. So glad I stumbled across this! It's a little better thought out than his but same basic concept. Looking forward to passing it on. LOVE the name :)

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