Mighty Planners: Where Passion Met Necessity

Mighty Planners began the way most ventures begin; at the crossroads between passion and necessity.

By: Blake Oakey

Mighty Planners began the way most ventures begin; at the crossroads between passion and necessity. Anyone who knows me can attest to my love (obsession) with planners, pens, and other stationery supplies. In March of 2017 I started playing around with the idea of designing my own planner. I was trying to bridge the gap between the planners I love, and the popular bullet journaling system that was taking Instagram and Pinterest by storm. It wasn’t until June of 2017 that I really began to take the idea seriously.

Around the same time I was creating the planner I was also dealing with serious mental health issues. I had been diagnosed with depression as well as anxiety and was just trying to keep my head above water. There were certain insights I had made while in counseling that had made a pretty significant impact in my fight against depression. I looked for ways to incorporate those insights into my established planner system but was finding it difficult to do. That June, while with my family in Hawaii, I decided to forge ahead with the idea of a planner that supports mental health and personal wellness.

In those beginning stages I was all over the place. I had no idea how to create a planner, how to fund it, how to manufacture it, or how to market it. I was nervous to say the least. I didn’t want to fail at something that I felt was important. I recall spending my days poolside sketching planner spread designs and sitting in the room teaching myself Adobe InDesign. While my family would go snorkeling or surfing, I was in the resort business center printing out my designs. That week alone I went through a number of iterations. It was a messy process. I pretty much co-opted the hotel room table, covering it with spread designs marked in red ink where changes or corrections needed to happen.

While engaging in this creative process, I was also making myself aware of the statistics surrounding mental health in Utah. In the United States, 1-in-5 people will experience a mental health issue this year. That number increases to 1-in-4 for Utah. The number one cause of death for youth ages 10-17 in Utah is suicide. Mental health in the beehive state was, and still is, a cause for concern.

While working through the design process, I was researching the manufacturing process. I had to learn all the specifics of making a planner. What paper quality do I use? What type of binding would be best? What size am I printing? What should the cover material be? Etc. The manufacturing process, followed by the importing and customs process, was a real headache. It took an extra month to get the planners past custom officials and into the trunk of my car. That was November 2017. Since then, it has all been about marketing and selling. I think this is where my UVU education came into play. As a communication student (now graduate), I was used to creating campaigns, doing research, and writing case studies. Knowing how to create a story and connect my target audiences to that story has had beneficial results for my planners.

My planners are selling. People are using them. It makes me feel really satisfied that a small passion project could turn into a physical product that, hopefully, is making a real difference in the lives of its users.

Feel free to get your Mighty Planner here! Get a $5 discount by using the code “XOXO”