I am currently in the middle of creating my 2024 Dream Planner Collection. If you missed it, go back and listen to my Behind the Scenes podcast episode. I share all about my new collection, and the current step I am at in the creating process.
If you are curious how to create a paper planner or journal, I want to share with you the 7 steps to go from idea to completed product. This is my dream printing method. These 7 steps are founded on 4 main pillars: ideation, design, printing and marketing.
What are the 7 steps to creating your planner or journal? Let’s take a look.
7 Steps to Go from Idea to Completed Product:
Ideation is putting your idea to paper and is broken into a few phases. These make up steps 1-3 of my method.
There is something innately inside of us that wants to create. It's a reflection of the Creator in you. You are created in the eyes of God, and He is such an artistic creator. Free yourself and sketch out what YOU want!
Clarity is important before your start. What product are you creating and who is it for? For me, I knew I wanted to create a planner for Christian women to get their life together and be with Jesus, because that is what I needed.
As you start work on your product’s layout, I recommend starting with the master pages. These pages will look different depending on your product. What do you want it to look like? What do you want to track? What words do you want to encourage?
Once you have decided your master pages, about 80% of your layout is complete. I teach this in Print School, so if you join me there, you do not have to have this done before starting.
2. Finalizing master pages
Once you have your master pages complete and final, you will create an index file in Google Sheets. An index file is a skeleton outline that consists of your page numbers and listed content for each page.
3. Write your copy
When you go to write your copy, start by sitting and writing down what you want in your product. What do you want to say to the person this product is for? Remember, words are powerful!
Every product has copy, but what product you create will determine the amount of copy you have. For me, I have my Welcome Letter and Seasonal Prayers. I change these each year, but the remaining copy I use from my previous year’s template.
The design step is so much fun! This is the step you get to start designing and building out what you are creating. There are 2 paths in the design phase:
- You design. Designing yourself saves money, but uses your time. If you are interested but feel overwhelmed, Nadine Taylor does a course to teach yourself with either Adobe or Canva. She will teach you everything you need to know about design and is a fabulous teacher! She is my go- to designer, and she does extensive training in Print School.
- Hire a designer. The second path is to hire someone. I personally outsource my design to Nadine Taylor. As I mentioned above, she is amazing! If you choose to hire, be sure the designer has a thorough understanding of your product.
5. Editing and revision
In editing and revision, you will walk through your entire product and double check spelling, ensure dates are correct, and make any necessary revisions. I would also recommend giving your product to someone you trust as a new and different pair of eyes, so they can also provide feedback.
This step you get to find a printer and order a sample! I suggest printing a single sample and do your marketing off that one sample. I personally use a printer overseas and love them. And if you are in Print School, you not only get access to my printer, but I also pay for your sample!
Time to celebrate your hard work! Your sample is in the oven, and you are one step closer to having your printed product in hand. I teach my students at this phase to focus on your marketing and pre-order strategy. If you want to learn more, I dive into how to market without a lot of upfront cost in my free workshop.
And those are your 7 steps! Are you ready to start?!
Those are my 7 steps on how to go from idea to completed product for your paper planner or journal! Be sure to listen to the full episode to get an even deeper look at these steps.
If you want to make your product together, I want to encourage you to apply to my Print School. Print School will provide you with my templates, my steps and method, printer and designer. You get it all from start to finish! I would love to help you on your paper product journey!If you have questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me! You can DM me at my personal Instagram or Horacio Printing Instagram page.