Planner perfection, at least I hope so

2016 calendar / planner season is nearly here and The Annual will only go into production with your support.

The Annual Lifebook

I was designing early editions of The Annual years ago. At first, I was simply trying to find a better structured, more beautiful solution than I could in stores. As a designer working at Better Homes and Gardens magazine, it was my job to source products for photo shoots and what I wanted simply wasn’t for sale, so I made my own. I spent many a night printing pages and cutting them to size with an Exacto knife and then assembling them into a 3-ring-binder. Not long after, everything went digital.

As I left the magazine to help found a global design firm, my new role required I embrace digital calendar management and I packed my planner away.

It wasn’t long before I realized I’d lost track of my center. I was working long hours, constantly reactive to the needs of my colleagues, and by all accounts doing well—but I could no longer hear the intuitive sense that helped me get that far. I had to get back to basics.

This need for clarity, to pause each morning and set my own direction for the day, encouraged me to pull my early versions of The Annual back out. After a few weeks of putting my pen to paper I was reclaiming my creative energy and focus, and my colleagues were happier with me as well.

I thought to myself, “I can’t be the only one feeling like this”
So I refreshed The Annual’s typography and layouts, ensured as much unlabeled clear space as possible, and then called my friends in a Portland, Oregon print shop to produce the prototype you see here.

If you’re struggling to find your center amidst the din of distractions—there is another way. We can reclaim our calm, together.