#PlanOneThing : The Making of a Planner


Today, we wanted to explain the "WHY?" behind many of our planner decisions. I (Hallie) asked Sarah Kate and Kylie a little about the process to developing the planner and why they made some of the decisions they did. Remember, this project was almost 100% their implementation. Alana and I definitely had some input, but the girls were the brains behind this beautiful planner now in your hands!


Why Simplicity?

Over the years, I have had many planners, and so many of those have been so fun (but also so busy).  Throughout this past year, God has been weighing on my heart to simplify, not just for this planner but in all aspects.  I have been learning that simplicity is a good foundation for creativity to flow.  Busy isn’t always best and saying yes to everything (stuff, people, activities) drains us and puts us in a box.  However, when we seek to choose those things that are life-giving and try not to do all the things, we are able to fully let our creativity flow (and that looks so different for everyone, which is beautiful).

Why This Layout?

This planner was built upon the idea that "Simplicity allows creativity". (You'll see that quote on bags soon!) We believed that by choosing a bare planner design, we were choosing to let you guys take control to use the planner in the way that best equips you.  So often in my life, my planner has been a yardstick of success measurement -- if it was empty I was lazy, and if it was fully I was productive.  I have grown to see how detrimental this was to my health--physical, emotional, and spiritual, and I continued to learn that we were not created to be machines.  This planner has just enough foundation to empower and equip you to take it and run.  And that is our hope.

Getting It Done

Guys, the Dot Planner has been in the works since February! After getting the doodles into the Dot Team’s hands, they told me to start thinking up a vision and team.  From there we began discussing how best to market the planner to a particular audience (thank you Dr. Price in the Business School at MC).  I recruited the team (Kylie, SB, and Mel), and from there we have been taking incremental steps to complete this baby!  Development of the actual planner took a lot of brainstorming with Hallie and Kylie, first, second, third, and fourth digital drafts, FINALLY receiving proofs from the printshop, changing a thousand little things about the proofs... and at each step, we continued moving onward.  

Then came Hallie’s peptalks about all things social media (which scared me to death!!), but we did it.  

By the time we started sharing on social media, we were hopeful and a little bit hesitant. What if no one ordered?? We planned to order 50 and bumped it up to 100 right before we launched. We pressed "Publish" on the first social media post and sat back to wait. But we didn't have to wait long. The preorders came quickly! We cheered with each one that came in (literally guys, you should see our group message). EIGHTY ONE guys, originally we were preordering 50 and worried that we wouldn't sell out of those. Overwhelmed in the most blessed way is the only way to describe this feeling that has overcome our team. And you know what, my description is all over because let’s face it, this process has been the most breathtaking whirlwind and I am still pinching myself that they are finally out in your hands to use and #PlanOneThing!


Supporting SK's Vision

When Sarah Kate came to me with this planner dream, she had a vision for it. When I say vision, I mean she (literally) already had every page sketched out how she thought a good planner would be constructed, which made my job that much easier. My first step was taking these sketches and turning them into a usable design. From there, we looked at the pages, printed them out, filled them in, so we could make sure we were designing a planner that not only looked pretty, but was actually functional. The whole design process we were bouncing ideas off of each other and tweaking things, and after about four finished drafts, we finally got it right! One of the challenges of the process was making this design that was so simple feel complete without all the extra elements. It was rewarding to be able to take SK’s dreams and visions of this planner and turn them into an actual, physical design!

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It has been such a joy to see these girls work their magic. Their gifts and talents are different and so complimentary, and we've found a good team truly is one in which each person works within their unique abilities! Next week, we'll be sharing some of the tips and tricks we have for getting started in your Dot Planner. We're loving following the hashtag and seeing in so many of your stories how you've started to #PlanOneThing!

Got questions about how to practically use each section? Share them with us in an email to hallie@dotproducts.org.

Hallie D. Brand