February 1, 2006

iCal printing on 3×5 index cards (Hipster PDA)…

Posted in GTD, Lifehacks, Mac at 6:04 am by a11en

Ok, just purchased the super-cheap Canon iP1600 printer. Great little thing, does a bang up job on most printing. Best thing is that the cost is freakin’ awesome. Even if it becomes a pain in the keyster, at that price, I can deal with a little pain…

So, I’ve been working with kGTD and also keeping a Hipster PDA in my pocket inside a Moleskine Cahier. Flexible, so it doesn’t hurt when I sit, and flexible in options, as it’s quite simplistic.

Anyways, I want to be able to print out my kGTD lists (as what good are they if they are stuck in my computer when I’m at the grocery store, etc. But, it turns out that iCal does not print 3×5’s. It complains that old ladies can’t see the text, and therefore, it will refuse to print.

So, in the end, what worked for me (and I’m sure there’s a better way), is to setup a small page in page-setup (do this in preview etc.), say 5×7. Now, print in iCal on the 5×7, but save it to PDF. Then go into preview, open up the print, and scale it down to 3×5. My driver for the iP1600 does scaling, so I just set it to scale down to 3×5. [Be sure to select the 5×7 paper size you printed to first.]

Not perfect, but it’ll do in a pinch. Now I can keep my weekly calendar from iCal in my pocket, and will also be printing out my tasks from kGTD and OOp.

Hope this helps someone…



  1. a11en said,

    An update: It turns out that if you print out to a 5×7 in iCal, but right before printing, select the printer’s “Scale down to: 3×5” within the advanced printer settings… you can print directly multiple pages within iCal. No need to print to PDF now. Of course, you could always print to PDF for a backup if you’d like. This *may* be printer specfic- I’ll have to try it on my work machine/printer… I suspect it’s not, however.

    Hope this helps someone!

  2. a11en said,

    Another update- Ok, so I just tried this again, forgetting how I used to do it- and I was able to get a bit better printing.

    First, my printer(s) support borderless printing. So, I setup in page-setup a page I call “3×5 card borderless”. Then, in iCal, I print to a 5×7 card (perhaps you can set up a larger 6×10 or something). I turn off everything except for the week view, all day events, and todos with dates. Turn on Medium font (dots may appear), and then print to the 5×7. When the page-setup screen comes up, go to Paper-handling, select scale-down and your 3×5 borderless page setup.

    Hope this helps a bit-

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