Even though modern smartphones can do almost everything except cook the dinner, lots of people still prefer to make reminder notes or diary entries in the old-fashioned way. That is, they like to write things down. That is why personal planners are still popular choices. It is also why stationery stores still do good business.
If you are one of those people, you might like to know about a great piece of software that lets you design your very own personal planner or notebook. People have always loved personalising things, but the cost of doing so was often prohibitive. Now, DIY designer packages make it possible to create your very own personal planner for little more than the cost of a standard off-the-shelf planner.
Technically speaking, it was possible to design your own planners and other printed products from the earliest days of desktop publishing (DTP) packages. The problem was these packages were expensive to buy, and there was a steep learning curve before you could use them. Most people had little option but to hire a graphic designer either directly, or to use a printer’s own graphic design service. Either way, this pushed the cost to a pretty high level.
DTP packages have become easier to use, as software designers have tried hard to make them as intuitive as possible. What is even better is that lots of printing companies are now making design software tools available to customers, and many of these tools are free to use. This cuts out the need for graphic designers, and keeps costs in check.
The challenge for these companies is to come up with a package that the average person will have no problems in using, while at the same time being able to produce something that looks professional, and personal-planner.co.uk has managed to do that perfectly.
Their self-design software could not be easier to use, and you will be genuinely impressed by the finished product. Everything is done right on their website, so you do not need to download and install anything before you can get started. When you navigate to personal-planner.co.uk’s home page, you will see a large circular button with the caption “Create your own.” When you click on this, you are then asked to select the type of product you are going to design. You can choose to design a Planner, a Notebook, or you can select Accessories.
The method of customizing whatever product you select is pretty much the same, so we will just look at the Planner design in detail. If you click on Planner, your next option is to select what size planner you want. Currently, you have four options. The size of each of these is given in both centimetres and inches. You might want to measure out the various sizes on a sheet of A4 paper so that you get an accurate impression of what size your choice will be.
It is worth pointing out at this stage that you can easily go back and change any or all of the options you select right up until the time you make your order. It is only then that your choices are fixed. This means you can experiment until you get your planner looking exactly how you want it.
The next screen lets you choose a background colour for your cover page. If you would prefer a background pattern, just click on the Patterns tab. Or you have the choice of selecting from one of 20 design templates. You can also select an image in JPG format to use on your cover page. Click on Cover Picture and then Upload Image. You will see a warning if the resolution of the image you select is too low. You can continue with a low-resolution image, but the print quality will be poorer.
You can have two short lines of text on the cover, and you are able to select the text colour, and the position of the text on the cover. You also need to specify the starting date for your planner. Your planner will come with an elastic tab to keep it closed, and you can select its colour on this screen. When you have finished making your cover selections, you can choose what the back cover will look like.
The next stage is to choose various options for the inside pages. Here you can select the language, select information that will appear on each page, choose a design for the spread, and you can select various options such as ruler pattern, and page layout pattern. You can even set up personal dates, perfect for remembering birthdays, anniversaries and other special dates. Next, you can choose 3 modules that will appear at the bottom of your planner pages. There are 13 pre-designed modules to choose from.
You then go on to select how the last few pages will appear. There will be 18 pages at the end of your planner, and you have a range of options as to what will appear on them. You can leave them blank, add maps, music sheets, and so on. The last design choice is for the first two-page spread in your planner. Here you can put in your own contact information, which will help you get your planner back if you lose it.
Describing the design process makes it sound more complicated than it actually is. As you are going through it, the bulk of your screen will be taken up with a graphic display of your planner. As you make choices, these are instantly shown in the display.
One minor quibble about personal-planner.co.uk’s software is that it cannot adjust the resolution of the design pages to match the resolution on your computer. If you are using a low-resolution screen, you will not be able to see the entire page, and there are no scroll bars. However, this is going to affect only people using really old hardware.
Overall, this is an excellent package for producing personalized printing. A personalised planner or notebook is a brilliant gift idea. If you run a small business, you could run off personalised planners to give to your customers.
So, if you love the sound of that – how about winning one? Personal Planner have kindly given us the opportunity for one of our readers to win one of their amazing planners. So enter below and keep everything crossed!