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Design: the Mark+Fold Wall Planner

Our first wall planner

We were approached by several customers over the past few years, asking us to design a wall planner that broke the mould. They were fed up with freebie wall planners, which were ugly to look at from across the office, which were cluttered with bad typography and left too little space for writing.

As always with a new product, we started by asking our community for input. Via social media and other connections, we invited people to share their thoughts. It never ceases to amaze us how many diverse people are willing to spend time putting down quite detailed notes on what they do / don’t like about existing options, which features or details would really change their organisational-stationery-focused lives for the better! Always a delight to read, and we are extremely grateful for these pointers which help us write a design brief. 

 

Mark+Fold Wall Planner poster 50x70

Weekends are key

Something that came up a lot was the alignment (or not) of weekends. From the many wall planners we looked at, one approach is to start at the top of the page with the 1st of the month — this means that the numbers all line up (1st Jan is next to 1st Feb, 15th May is next to 15th June, and so on). However, the weekends ‘jump around’ and you don’t get a clear image of how the weeks fall.

Our preferred solution was to align the weekends along a horizontal line. This means that, at a glance, you can see how many weeks are in each month, whether it is a short month etc. You can see very quickly that it starts on a Friday (1 day before the weekend), and as dates are added in the planner, you can again see where they fall, both in relation to the month end and the days of the week.

As a quick test, we asked people to look at a mock-up and find their birthday. It tended to be quicker with this layout.

The side effect of this approach is that there is uneven white space at the top and bottom of the columns. We found this rather pleasing, and reminiscent of a music mixing deck. 

 

Mark+Fold Wall Planner poster 50x70

Over-writing

We were worried that an overly nice wall planner would be too precious to write on, so we wanted it to somehow be editable as plans change. So we came up with the index tabs

We decided to design around this ‘unit’ so that a tab fits perfectly — and very satisfyingly—into one day.

This then opens up all kinds of ‘hacks’ where you can highlight a block of days, when a team member is visiting from abroad, or when a key project is planned. 

We like this idea that people can use this in ways that work for them. So washi tape could be another way to mark periods of time, without making a permanent mark on your planner, and without obstructing the whole writing space.

 

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