Different Methods of Planner Design
As an online business owner, you know implementing planners and workbooks into your business model can make a huge difference. These files act as an asset to your brand and open up the doors for multiple opportunities that can propel your business forward – from earning passive income, to growing your email list, to bundling paid offerings.
There are so many benefits to using digital downloadables, but you may have asked yourself what exactly is the best way to design these assets. How can you be strategic with your time and money, all while receiving your desired results in the end?
Let’s take a look at the three different methods you can implement to developing and designing printable planners or workbooks for your business:
Do It Yourself
Of course, the first method is doing it yourself. This requires sitting down at your computer and completing all of the brainstorming, researching, outlining, designing, and editing, from start to finish.
This is a great option if you have the time to commit a few days, up to a few weeks, to complete your project. Additionally, if you’re comfortable with graphic design and creating something from scratch, we say go for it and see what your creative mind can come up with!
Though a great option, it doesn’t come without some potential disadvantages, which include running the risk of producing a planner low in design quality.
There are practical and functional elements to planner design – spacing, line depth, font pairings, color space, scaling, bleed, graphic formats, finishing processes, printing requirements…just to name a few – and if you’re not as familiar with the science behind design, you may being creating a low quality planner.
Why does this matter? Well, if you’re selling or sharing your planner with your audience, you want to position yourself in high regards. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all seen a poorly designed PDF. You wouldn’t want that impression to be attached to your brand.
Additionally, on a technical level, there are certain PDF standards you should be aware of for a high-resolution file. Not all PDFs are the same, and you may run into some issues down the road, especially if you’re planning on having your files printed.
With all of that in mind, if you have some extra time and are confident in your design knowledge, DIY planners are the perfect solution for you!
Estimated Cost: price of design software
Estimate Time: a few days – a couple of weeks
Level: likely advanced
White Label Planners
If you’re lacking in time but you also want your hands in the production of your planner designs, investing into white label planners is the perfect method for you to consider.
White label planners are editable templates, designed by professionals, that you can legally purchase, add your branding and voice to, and present as your own.
With all of the foundational content pre-designed, you’ll only have to add your logo, adjust the colors to your brand color palette, insert any desired images or graphics, and update any existing elements to make the planner unique to you and your brand.
Some disadvantages to white label planners can arise if you want something completely special for your business. As a template sold publicly, other business owners also have access to purchase these white label planners, which is why we suggest taking 30 minutes to an hour to edit the planner template to make it function and look unique to you.
As a one-time investment, white label planners are the perfect method for business owners who:
- are busy and lack the time to design something from scratch
- aren’t confident in their design skills or lack the design software required to create high quality files
- want an expert-made planner that has already been researched and cleared by professionals
Estimated Cost: on average $40-$60 per white label
Estimate Time: 30 minutes – 1 hour
Related Blog Post: Why You Should Consider White Label Planners to Monetize Your Small Business
Custom Planner Design
If, as a business owner, you lack time, plus you want something completely custom for your business that no one else will have, you may want to consider hiring a graphic designer to design a custom planner.
Your designer will work with you one-on-one to curate a planner or workbook exactly how you envision it. For our clients, the sky’s the limit and we go above and beyond to bring their vision to life onto paper.
If you decide to go this route, it’s important to do research on your designer. Make sure they’ve designed planners before, both digital and print. As I mentioned before, there’s a science to planner design, which requires experience and education in print design to create not only a pretty planner, but a functional one.
Potential downfalls of getting a custom planner designed for you would be cost. Graphic designers are talented at what they do and should be compensated for the hours that go into developing innovative and unique projects. This may not be the best method for you if you’re on a strict budget.
Note: if you intend on sending your planner off to a commercial printer, it is best to hire a planner graphic designer well versed in print production. All planner files will have to be compatible with the print press to minimize production delays and potential fees!
Estimated Cost: $500+ (depends on scope of work)
Estimate Time: 1 – 3 weeks
Level: beginner & advanced
As you can see, there’s no one perfect way to design and produce a planner for your business. Depending on the time you have available, the design skills you possess, and the expectations you have, one method may be more beneficial to you at this time than the others. Whether you’re doing it yourself, editing a done-for-you white label planner, or hiring a graphic designer, I hope that you’re able to deliver impactful and quality planner designs to your audience!
What method do you resonate with the most? Let me know in the comments below!