Work From Home Designing Planners
Designing planners is a great way to make money from home. You can work for yourself and set your own hours, while still making an income doing what you love! The best part about designing planners is that there are so many opportunities out there. You can design planners for moms, women, or even kids – the options are endless.
The following blog post will teach you how to start designing planners at home by sharing tips on where to find resources and some webinars that will help get you started!
Making money from making and selling planners is a great way to hustle up some extra money for your family. Working from home moms get the appeal of working in our pajamas or the bare necessities – sweats, anyone? – and that sometimes removing the pressure of having to get up and put on makeup is a perk in and of itself.
Picking our own hours, doing what we want, when we want it, sometimes choosing our babies over our job: these are all great benefits to working from home and I’ve got a great idea for you to take on, if you’re looking for that next (or FIRST) fantastic side hustle. This is making some moms more than $12,000 a month as their full time jobs and they’re not putting in full time hours.
This is a viable way to bring home the bacon. So, let’s check out what it means to work from home designing planners.
Can You Make Money Selling Digital/Printable Planners
You bet your bubkiss you can make money selling planners. There are two in-demand formats right now that are great ways to make money and fill a need.
So many people are craving organization and a sense of control. Why not help them find that?
Well, if you design a digital planner, it’s a planner that the user only accesses using an iPad, tablet, phone, or computer. They do their “stickers” and writing, and all kinds of other fun things on their devices. There is no tangible product at any point.
But a printable planner at some point is designed to be printed off. Not by you. But by your customer. This makes it insanely easy to create one design and sell many. See below why this is such a great business model!
Why You Would Make Printable Planners To Sell
Why would printable planners or even digital planners be a great way to make money? Planners are evergreen, or they can be depending on if you create undated extension packets, and undated/customizable options.
Creating anything in the digital/printable niche is awesome because it can potentially become fairly passive since it utilizes the MAKE ONE, SELL MANY business model which is significantly much less work than MAKE ONE, SELL ONE.
Print on demand or POD is a great option as well. You would use other companies for this option which could turn it into a MOSM option.
Some examples of a Make One, Sell Many business model would be: ebooks, planners, journals, t-shirts, SVG files for Cricut users, courses, affiliate income via a blog/site, and printable graphics.
Fun examples of Make One, Sell One business models would be: handmade jewelry, treats, stickers you print and sell, customized products, or a massage. I would like a massage. Maybe I need to go get a massage.
Neither model is better than the other. Both are necessary and can be highly profitable. But right now, we’re talking about a Make One, Sell Many model because sometimes as moms we need to maximize the amount of money we make for our time.
Where Can You Sell Printable Planners
I’ll never tell you to only sell in one place. In fact, there are lots of options to where you can sell your digitally designed products. My two favorite are Etsy and your own website.
I like Etsy because they literally are a global shopping site that support people trying to make and sell planners.
But I always recommend you use your own website because you own your own product and space and your fees are limited.
When Do You Find Time To Design Planners
As a working from home mom, I have lots of kids ranging across various ages and I’m not going to lie, naptime is my best work partner. Even though I want to sit down and veg for some of it, I don’t. But designing a planner takes hardly an hour, depending on how many pages and how many fresh designs, and if I can make one a day during naptime, I’m making money while my kids sleep.
Another great time to design some planners would be after the kids go to bed. My husband and I like to sit and watch some television together as we wind down for the night. And since designing planners isn’t really mentally exerting, I’ll create a planner while we’re watching Law and Order SVU or something equally captivating.
If you’re really feeling ambitious, and who isn’t if they work from home?, you can even get up super early before anyone else is up and get to work.
If you want to make money, you’ll find the time!
How To Create A Printable Planner To Sell
Now that we’ve covered the who, what, when, let’s talk about the How.
Get out some paper and a pencil and start figuring out the items as we go. You’ll get a lot done, if you do it while you read.
Decide On Niche
You want to decide on the niche or topic that you’re going to create a planner for. This means you’re going to work around this topic in all of your design and planning ideas.
For instance, let’s say you want to do a gardening planner. You’ll want to make sure that in the future, you’ll be able to add extensions (planner add-ons), more versions and updated editions, as well as a large enough planner style for you to sell in the future. If you only make one planner, chances are you won’t sell that many. But if you make multiple versions of that same niche/topic planner, then you drastically increase the amount of users you can appeal to.
So, the first thing you’re going to do is decide on a niche/topic.
Decide on a Couple Styles
Styles have to do with color, fonts, images or graphics you might include, icons, borders around widgets or not, dotted lines versus solid, script versus block lettering, background versus none, and the list is endless.
Style is very important and you want to make sure you offer a minimalistic design as well as a decorative option of all your planners. This way you’re not leaving out anyone who might really like your planner idea but can’t get on board with the frilly flowers or the over-simplistic style.
Planning Out The First Planner
Whatever you do, start small until you get the hang of it.
In a basic planner, you’ll want to include a yearly calendar with 12 months (dated or undated). Then you’ll add monthly views (dated or undated), and then daily views. Sometimes you’ll want to do different layouts so make sure you mess around with this – horizontal view versus vertical view and maybe you’ll have a quote in one place where normally you might choose to put a Notes widget.
Whatever you do, start with some basic pages until you get the hang of it. Once you know how to design a few pages, adding in more and more is cake and you can start creating them faster and faster and with fewer mistakes.
Decide What Your Planner Will Have In It
Now, since you’ve started to plan to make and sell planners, you’ll want to start planning out what your planners (that’s a lot of planning for one sentence) will have in them.
For instance, what if you’re doing a gardening planner and you have the basics; yearly, monthly, and daily? Is that enough? Honey, no. That is NOT enough to make this stand out as a gardening planner. Even if you put in pictures of plants, it isn’t enough to stand out. So you’ll need to think about what kinds of things a gardener might want to keep track of.
You might include things like:
- Tips on what plants work great together and what plants can’t stand each other
- A map of the planting zones and their degree limitations
- A list of plants that are popular to grow
- Note taking for watering, planting, storing, or cultivating seeds
- A schedule plan for fertilizing, watering, and harvesting
There are so many things that can be included for your planners based on what the topic is, that the possibilities are endless. How you put them together are what will set you apart from someone else.
Utilize Multiple Layouts and Versions To Sell In Each Style
I’m a hardcore vertical planner user. I do NOT like horizontal for anything. That being said, a weekly dashboard style actually speaks to my organizational side and I like the simplicity of the designs. I have a friend who is more of a bullet journal user and she likes to color on everything. She also prefers daily and wants nothing to do with weekly layouts.
Make sure you’re giving multiple options for an idea. So, let’s go with the gardening planner example again. You might include a weekly dashboard in the horizontal design and make a way for the user to account for planting dates and watering times. Or you might do a vertical daily and put in debugging and fertilizing habit markers. Both options will sell. But not to the same people.
So make sure you offer different layouts for the different styles. Your users will thank you for it by buying more of your items. Money is always a great way to say thank you. At least, I think so.
What Programs Can I Use For Designing A Planner To Sell
There are so many ways to actually make and design your planners. Here are some of the top five easiest programs to use to design your planner. However, as a caveat, while I can use all 5 of these and have at least once before, I want to point out that the programs I PREFER are Planify and Bookbolt in tandem. I’ll explain how I do that below.
- Get started using Planify – these are the basics as presented in the 29 minute video below. Jennifer is the owner of Planify and she’s super fun and easy to listen to. I usually speed up or double time the tutorials I watch and this specific video works great in double speed or normal speed. She’s that easy to listen to when trying to learn how to make and sell planners.
- Also keep in mind that this is a fairly new site/program and they’re updating it all the time with great tools and fixes. Always fun to get in on the ground floor of anything planner related.
- Pros: Easily resize your planner styles without having to readjust anything or do anything special outside of clicking one button. That alone is worth the price. Cons: In some instances, it’s clumsy to use (this will get fixed, I’m sure) and it’s harder to maneuver around with more than two pages in a planner. (Hint: This is why I use Bookbolt along with Planify. Stay tuned for how!) Overall, though, Planify can’t be beat with the ease of designing, resizing, and exporting when trying to make and sell planners.
- Get started with Canva
- I love Canva. They have a free option and who doesn’t like free. We’ve designed many planners in this program.
- Pros: Lots of great design options with premium options you can pay for or free options you don’t have to pay for. Free is still a terrific design option. Cons: If you want to resize a design you have to fix everything yourself rather than just clicking a button and having it readjust things for you. Sorry, but that’s a big one for me.
- We designed these planner pages for another business we own using Canva and they turned out beautifully.
- Most Adobe products are the cream of the crop, but the learning curve here is insane. And no, just because you know how to design with one, does NOT mean you can conquer the world with another. I’m sorry, that’s not the way it works.
- Pros: resizing is meh, but doable. Most control over your design. Cons: Too many to list. At least for planner creation. The steps and layers required are intense and make me want to take a nap just thinking about it. But make no mistake, I’ve used it for planner creation. I’ll never go back to that. It takes too long.
- This page was designed using Photoshop. You can see how crisp Photoshop is, but to do this worksheet, it took me quite a bit of time and tedious copying and layering.
- Same as above. But this one I disliked even more.
- I actually really like Bookbolt for resizing, maneuvering, and overall layout design when I make and sell planners. I’m still trying to learn layout and design, but to be honest, that’s not what I’m using it for. I’ve been using Planify for the design which, like I said is fairly easy. Bookbolt isn’t hard, but I feel like the company is trying to spread themselves thin across multiple application options rather than specializing in just one or two. That being said: Pros: Love the interior merging option. LOVE. Love the templates optioned. And I love the resizing option that is made easy to use with a click of a button. Me and my buttons. I love them. Cons: Hard learning curve and looks like it me require more steps similar to Photoshop but not quite that laborious. I’m still getting to know this program and I’ll update as I learn more.
Once you’ve designed your piece in whatever program you decide, you’re going to export it as a PDF in the sizes that you want. When you make and sell planners, it’s important to pay attention to what the market wants.
Make sure it looks the way you want it to before you finalize your piece. Have fun and don’t hold back. The sky is the limit, just make sure you hold true to your plans for your niche/topic. You wouldn’t want to make a car maintenance checklist design and put it in with the gardening planner. That wouldn’t make sense and might turn your customers off which means less purchases and even less return purchasers.
Next, you need to decide what sizes and formats you want to sell. The availability and diversity of the sizes that you offer will impact your sales margin dramatically.
Here are the top sizes I use as a planner-holic and what I see the most out there in the planner world.
- US Letter versus US Letter Half page. I like both of these for different applications. They actually can also work in many Happy Planner or other disc planner applications. I will not be listing any of the Happy Planner sizes because those are copywritten and you don’t want to list that you offer those sizes.
- A4/A5/A6. Not sure what these are? Google the heck out of them. These are most popular outside of the United States, but are easily accessed in the States as well. I use these interchangeably with the above.
- Pocket sized is another awesome option. On Planify you can select foldout layouts and hello! Game changer.
- B6 ring is great as well, and has a lot of great options that you can do with it. I love the Dutch Door style. Check that out here.
- Mini sizes are offered on Planify as well as many versions of the Happy Planner sizes. Again, these are best to just apply as above.
- Personal sizes look great if you like to go that small. I write too much in my planners to entertain this one. But the two must-have sizes can easily be resized in a printing application to acquire this size.
Two Must-Have Sizes To Make and Sell Planners
The US Letter Size is closest in size to the A4 and the Half-page Letter is closest to the A5. These will work. There is a little bit of a difference, but for all intents and purposes they work pretty well as long as you have the design far enough away from the edges for printing.
Yes, I love these two programs. I can use them on their own, but I love to use them together to utilize both of their strengths to save me time and frustration.
Let’s be honest. Planify has a rocking design interface. It’s user experience is phenomenally easy with a slight learning curve that is just fun to mess around with. Wait until you try the sticker mode. Seriously. It’s so easy. I love it. Until they make it easy to design pages and see the layout of a full planner, though, I can’t use JUST Planify to design my planners. I also need to use Bookbolt.
So, here are the steps I use to use both Planify and Bookbolt to create a planner for printing in a book or selling as a printable for others.
- Design the pages I listed that I want in Planify.
- Daily, monthly, yearly, tasks, to-dos, lists, etc. the list is endless, but I’m not going to put them all on the same page. I’ll design two pages side by side.
- US Letter size is all I focus on in this one.
- Daily, monthly, yearly, tasks, to-dos, lists, etc. the list is endless, but I’m not going to put them all on the same page. I’ll design two pages side by side.
- Export the PDF of that two page spread once I love it.
- Save the style as a style template so you can easily apply that style to all the pages in that planner/family of planners.
- Repeat the last two steps until you have all the pages your layout will need.
- Do NOT export the number of pages you think you need. For instance, don’t export the PDF for daily pages more than once. You’ll be applying the number you want in the next few steps.
- Once you have all of your PDFs for the layout you want, you’ll upload these to the Bookbolt Interior Generator Pro as images.
- You’ll combine the pages and maneuver them around using the very easy to use click and drag method.
- This is where you’ll add as many of the pages as you want, like the daily pages where you might want multiple in the actual planner.
- You can move around the pages in the planner in this application and really make sure you like what you see.
- Choose the size you want to export into one PDF and then hit save.
- You’ll export this in multiple sizes without having to do any extra work. Doesn’t that sound awesome!
- You know it does.
- Upload where you need to in the sizes that you selected.
Don’t forget to include printing instructions
And once you’ve got your product ready to go, do NOT forget to include printing instructions. These are imperative for a successfully received product. Keep them concise but helpful.
How To Create A Personal Planner
If you’re not interested in selling planners but you want to make your own, there are multiple use options and payment plans on Planify. I have the Commercial option and I paid annually. I love making planners that much.
Why I Use Two Programs
How To Create A Journal To Sell
Want to do more with these programs? Check out our extensive list on how to create journals and other low content items to sell as a great side hustle.
How To Make Planners To Sell On Etsy
Want to learn how to make and sell planners on Etsy? Check out another awesome Side Hustle Mama and her terrific course on how to sell successfully on Etsy. I’ve taken her course and my daughter has as well and I love how easy it is to apply! I even have a review post about it. Check it out Sadie’s Digital Business Bank Course now!