To Self

Toolbox: 8 steps to create your daily schedule graphic

Last Saturday, I wrote about the importance of needing a regular schedule – which is also a way to remind myself about it. There, I showed my own daily schedule graphic based on RJ Andrews’s designs based on Mason Currey’s book¬†Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, as featured in¬†The Daily Mail. I’ll show it again here.

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Now, armed with just Microsoft PowerPoint (or Keynote, which I use) and Adobe Photoshop, you can create your own schedule wheel, as I call it here,¬†easily. If you have a better method to do it, post it in the comments below and we can all follow it, but since I’m using the cards dealt me, this is the best I can do…

1. Create your schedule the traditional way.

Before you start creating your schedule wheel, you need to know first what your schedule is. Doing it the traditional way, i.e. listing them by time, is best.

2. Create three concentric circles in your slideshow program.

The space between the two outermost circles (i.e. the outer and the middle ones) should be very small. That’s the provision for the hours of the day.

The space between the two innermost ones, on the other hand (i.e. the inner and the middle ones) should be about 4-5 times wider. That’s the provision for your schedule proper.

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

3. Line the space between the two outermost circles with 24 lines indicating the hours.

To do this, you’ll need to create a very short line whose two ends connect both circles.

Now, since this line is flat, its angle or inclination is zero (or 360 degrees, which is essentially the same visually). Put this at the very rightmost tip of your circles. This represents 6:00 am.

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

To create 24 hours, you will need to line the space with 24 lines all-in-all. This is easiest done by the following (I will work clockwise):

  1. Create 3 other short lines and place them at the southern, western, and northern tips, to represent 12:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 12:00 am respectively. Make these lines, as well as the first one, very thick.
    1. The angle of the 12:00 pm line should be 90 degrees.
    2. The angle of the 6:00 pm line should be 180 degrees.
    3. The angle of the 12:00 am line should be 270 degrees.
  2. Create 4 short lines and place them at the exact¬†midpoint of each of your four “quadrants” or arcs. These represent 9:00 am, 3:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 3:00 am. Make these lines very thick too.
    1. The northeast line (3:00 am) should be 315 degrees.
    2. The northwest line (9:00 pm) should be 225 degrees.
    3. The southwest line (3:00 pm) should be 135 degrees.
    4. The southeast line (9:00 am) should be 45 degrees.
  3. Create 16 other lines and place two each along the eight new arcs. These lines should be thinner.

Since each arc takes up 45 degrees on the circle (there being 8 of them), each of the 24 lines should thus be situated, and aligned, every 15 degrees along the circle.

For example, because the 12:00 pm, or southern, line measures 90 degrees, the one after it, which represents 1:00 pm, should be 15 degrees more, or 105 degrees. 2:00 pm would be another 15 degrees more, or 120 degrees. And so on.

By ensuring that each hour line is just long enough to cover the exact distance between the two circles, you can move them along the space to ensure that they fit perfectly.

You should get a result similar to below.

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

4. Line the space between the two innermost circles with lines separating your daily activities.

The philosophy is similar to step #3; however, the lines are much thinner so as not to cause confusion.

Place lines only on the boundaries of your activities as written in your schedule I mentioned in #1. So, if your normal bedtime is from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am, you should put lines only between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am; the space between those two lines will be uninterrupted.

I do have thirty-minute-long activities; therefore, they nestle in between hours. As such, these lines’ angles will be only 7.5 degrees more than the hour. In our earlier example, the 1:00 pm line is 105 degrees, while the 2:00 pm line is 120 degrees. Given this, the 1:30 pm line measures 112.5 degrees, the midpoint between 105 and 120.

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

5. Open the file in Photoshop.

6. Fill in each of the spaces with color codes of your desire corresponding to the type of activity.

This is the reason why I asked you to make sure that the lines’ lengths are exact. By selecting the space to be colored in using the¬†Magic Wand Tool¬†(fourth from top, as seen below) then filling them in with the¬†Bucket Tool (the bucket-shaped icon in the middle), the color fill gets restricted to that space only.

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

To stay organized, assign a certain color or shade of such to a type of activity. For example, meals can be allotted an orange color (as in my example above), while work or work-related matters get assigned a dark green color. Be creative and imaginative!

7. Label each space.

What good will your schedule wheel be if you don’t know how to read it? To make things easy, label each space. For practicality purposes, it is best to place such labels outside and beside the circle. Use the¬†Text Tool¬†(the “T” icon) to do this.

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

Copyright 2015 Allister Roy S. Chua

8. Personalize and export away!

Add whatever you want – a colored background, colored hour lines, an image in the center (like I did). When you’re satisfied, save the document and export it as a photo that you can easily use!

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