Creating a Planner DIY: Dated vs Undated

Creating a Planner DIY: Dated vs Undated

create a planner Jan 21, 2021

There’s a lot to consider when creating your own planner. One question that comes up quite often when people are thinking of creating a planner is:

Should I create a dated or undated planner? 


Some businesses have little interest in creating a dated planner, and if that is you - then you have your answer.  There is no reason you have to do dated.  However, if you would like to create a dated planner, the question isn't so much IF you should as it is WHEN you should.  

Let me break it down for you.

I think that just about anyone would agree that buying a planner right before the start of the new year is an exciting and motivating way to get organized.  Because many entrepreneurs have the start of a new year in mind when creating a planner, they often lean towards creating a dated planner. 

What they don't always realize is that there can be risks to creating a dated planner and the reality is that you’ll most likely be sitting on a lot of unsold inventory if you’re new to the DIY planner business.

When I am consulting with clients inside my Planner Academy, I always take their unique context into consideration when answering this question, however, there are a few important things I always ask them that you can ask yourself to help you make this decision for your business. 


Things to Consider When Deciding Between Creating a Dated or Undated Planner:


Is your business established enough to know your sales volume? 

Have you sold other products similar to your planner?  Do you have high confidence in the number of planners you will sell when you launch?

If your answers are yes, creating a dated planner may be a great fit for your business and won’t leave you sitting on a lot of inventory that may never sell.  


Or... is this is a new business venture or the 1st time you are selling a planner or physical product in your business?

If this is new, undated is often the best way to get started.  When you choose undated, you can sell your planner year-round.  It is a misperception that people only buy at the beginning of the year.  People invest in planners all year long!

From a marketing and sales point of view, you can always do a bigger push right before the new year, and then continue to promote and sell your undated planner throughout the year.  Another option is creating a 90-day undated planner so that you receive more repeat purchases.


When to Create a Dated Planner:


If you have an established business, you know your volume and sales cycles, and you can project the sales of your planners with confidence, this is when it would make sense to create a dated planner from a risk perspective.

If you are a new DIY planner creator, I would recommend that you start with undated from a risk perspective. When you’re new to the DIY planner business, it’s much harder to predict how many planners (or workbooks or journals) you’ll actually sell.  Additionally, if you create a dated yearly planner, you’ll have a very short sales window.  This isn't as big of a concern for a well established business and product, but can significantly increase the risk of not selling through your inventory for a newer planner / business.  

That being said, if you have your heart set on dated, then go for it!  Just be sure to be very strategic about how many planners you order from your printer and in your marketing efforts and launch plan so you can make the most of the short selling window.


Have other questions about creating a planner?


Inside our Planner Academy you get access to both a packed curriculum AND weekly Q&A calls where we discuss everything you could possibly need to know about creating, designing, printing, and selling a planner. Here’s a few of the questions we recently covered in one of our Q&A calls:

  • What to include and exclude to keep costs low and quality high
  • How to add embellishments like tear offs and tabs cost effectively
  • A big mistake people make when selecting their printer that keeps them stuck and having to charge way more than they wanted for their planner
  • When to launch the planner for maximum sales potential
  • The 2 pieces that take the longest and how to fast track them
  • The behind-the-scenes process I followed to create my Lean Out Planner

There's a lot more inside the Planner Academy too - check it out to learn more.


So what did you decide - dated or undated?  

As you can tell, you have plenty of options. Creating an undated planner can be just as valuable as a dated planner as long as you let your creativity guide you and tune into the needs of your customers.



by Crista Grasso

Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale.  Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business.  She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast


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