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A Plan(ner) for 2022

A few weeks ago, I decided to go shopping for a 2022 planner. I’m starting to get some things scheduled for January and beyond, particularly at work, so I figured I’d get a head start on writing it all down. I’ve only started to use a planner regularly in the last couple of years, after abandoning them completely upon graduating from college.

If you’re not a planner person, this story may not be very interesting to you, but I have a lot of opinions about what my planner should look like. For 2020, a good friend of mine made me a custom planner. This past year I used a Happy Planner and it generally served me well, but with my new job position, the format isn’t quite as good a fit with my schedule. So I went out to look at some different planner layouts at a couple of stores and didn’t find anything I liked — either the layout wasn’t quite right or the design was meh (or both). The one I liked the most — a celestial themed planner from Michael’s with a vertical layout — only went through May of next year.

So of course, in keeping with my personal brand, I decided to make my own 2022 planner.

I went with a celestial theme, since I’m apparently really into that right now. I used a combination of digital art that I bought on Etsy and some I designed myself in Photoshop; I also spent some time practicing galaxies and starry skies with gouache in a new watercolor sketchbook and scanned those in. I ended up with a pretty good collection of starry sky backgrounds and moons and little abstract compositions of stars and circles that I cycled throughout.

To do the actual layout, I signed up for a 7-day trial of Adobe InDesign, which is an amazing program that is hard for me to justify paying for most of the time (I do have a subscription to Photoshop already, which is more suited to most of the work I do). I took full advantage of my trial, though, let me tell you. It’s been several years since I last had access to InDesign — we used it to lay out the student newspaper I worked for in Baltimore, and its predecessor for our high school yearbooks — but luckily once I got going, most of the knowledge came back to me. It has all kinds of great tricks and shortcuts, like the ability to make templates (or “parents”) which you can apply to multiple pages (instead of laying each one out individually) — it saves a tremendous amount of time, especially since the weekly layouts are all basically the same, and my planner ended up being about 150 pages in total. And of course InDesign plays nicely with Photoshop for importing graphics and images.

I still strongly believe that I would not like to spend 8+ hours every day sitting in front of a computer screen, even for something as fun as design work, but I have say, this is the most immersed in a project that I’ve been in a long time. The combination of doing something creative but also with a practical use just makes my whole brain happy. I’m sure that since it’s my first time using this planner format, I’ll find things that I’ll want to tweak as the year goes on, but it’s been really fun to come up with a format that’s completely tailored to me.

Jake suggested that I sell copies of my planner in my Etsy shop. I don’t know if that’s feasible, since I’m just printing it at home and it takes a lot of time, but I am thinking about maybe adding the 2-3 layouts I made to my shop as digital files. A part of me really likes the idea of having something that’s 100% unique to me, but another part of me thinks, maybe other folks are looking for layouts like these, since I had a hard time finding them myself.

Are you a “planner person”? Does a project like designing your own planner sound appealing to you, or would you rather just buy one that’s ready made?

2 thoughts on “A Plan(ner) for 2022”

  1. Yes, I am a planner person. It would be ideal to be able to customize one since it’s difficult finding one that works exactly how you need it too.
    Your planners are beautiful! I think they would do very well in your Etsy. πŸ™‚


    1. Why thank you! πŸ™‚ I don’t think I’m going to have the time to get the files up before the first of the year, but maybe I can do an undated version to put up later on.

      Have you looked at Etsy to see the planners that some other people have listed? There are a lot of different customization options (which is another part of the reason I didn’t hurry to post mine). I have also discovered one or two things I would change about mine if I was to do it again. Maybe this year can be the trial run for next year.


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