How I Plan to Create a Planner

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I was chatting with a friend (@tauschajohanson) who wants to design a planner that will benefit those who suffer from OCD. She suggested that I make a planner too, but one that targets direct sales reps. She planted the seed.

The thing is, I am a graphic designer, and I am crazy skeptical when brands try to pitch  planners or journals to me that I could easily design for myself. I know not everyone has this skill, so they buy the planning tools, which is great! I'm glad those inspiring entrepreneurs are doing good, buy inspiring others to achieve their goals and be organized.

Good for them. Not for me.


On the flip side, I am OBSESSED with offices supplies, writing utensils, notebooks, and journals/planners that are well-designed. When I see a journal, planner or notebook that actually had some thought put into it, I be like, "shut up and take my money."

But this stupid planner idea wouldn't leave me alone!

It is stuck to me like annoying static pellets you pad you fragile products with. It's attracted to me like static electricity. It was fun, sometimes, but obnoxious at others times. 

So the rest of that week I lost quite a bit of sleep as ideas raced through my head and  researched dozens of planners, agenda layouts: yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, you name it. I posted a couple surveys that my small and loyal band of followers could take to give me some insight into their preferences. You can take it too:

For the everyday (12 questions)

For direct sales reps, freelancers, and small business owners (26 questions)

At this point I have had 55+ individuals take the everyday planner survey and 20+ take the direct sales one. This happened over about 5 days. Not too shabby. Apparently people have some serious opinions about their planning and goal setting tools.

This is what I've learned:

  • The top priorities of productive women: Family, order in the home, achieving goals (home, habit or work related), and self care and how to find a good balance between all of those.

  • People prefer dated vs undated.

  • They also prefer a printed final product they can hold in their hands, versus digital or a downloadable pdf they can print at home.

  • I am not my audience. I definitely prefer undated, because if it's dated and I don't use a day or a week, I consider it a waste. And I like the convenience of printing at home (again, crafty graphic designer here. I have the skills and tools to customize and cut how I want).

  • My brain won't stop until this product is live.

So, I'm going for it. And this is my plan

Luckily I have been able to get some sleep and let my brain percolate after an exhausting week of helping my sister (@j.m.porium) move into her new home. Totally worth it. Percolating and letting your brain stew while being distracted is a good thing. 

Here is my game plan:

  1. I am slowly (I repeat, S L O W L Y-cause this is mostly a one woman show) continuing to gather insights through surveys, social media engagement, and

  2. research other planners and what makes them so successful (or find out the reasons why people want to buy them)

  3. Design and test layouts. I have been scouring the inter web and discovering there are many ways to design a weekly layout and some are more popular than others.

Here are my goals:

  1. Design a planner or a portion of it dedicated to helping direct sales reps, freelancers, and small business owners achieve their goals and become successful.

  2. Design a planner or a portion of it dedicated to family and order in the home (and by order I mean organization, I can't help you discipline your children. especially when I don't even have kids)

  3. Design a planner or a portion of it dedicated to helping you find balance and remember to make self care a priority

If you like what I'm doing, feel free to follow along. I would love any input and help I can get. Leave your comments below or take my surveys!