I began the Five Things project as a daily handwritten journal. Over time this grew hard to maintain and most of my entries were stored on my computer waiting to be transcribed to my notebook. I built the Five Things website to have an easy way to write entries and to read over your old entries, but I still missed the idea of a physical journal.


I got really carried away with designing the various books and page layouts. I envisioned Five Things supporting a wide range of book options and really pushed myself to come up with lots of ideas and variations. Here are some of my various sketches and designs

Cover Ideas

Page Layouts


I researched the best ways to print your own books and the most popular method was through PDFs. So I looked into PDF generating libraries and found a few to try.


PDFJS is a PDF generation library written in Javascript. I used it to create several templates that would parse my JSON data and generate the pages of my book. In total I created eight different templates that could print books in a variety of shapes, column styles, and designs. I used this library when I first began to play around with PDF generation.


jsPDF is a client side PDF library with more support and documentation than PDFJS. I recently tried this library out and found it had a lot more flexibility than PDFJS.

The Results