How to Design a Planner in InDesign – Calendar Design // Part Two


everyone welcome back to Design Like a
Pro I’m Nicki and today I’m going to share with you part two of designing
calendars in this episode I’m going to take a highly requested tutorial and
this is talking about planners in the previous tutorial I showed you how to do
a simple one-page calendar and this one we’re going to take it to the next level
and really look at how to design pages for a planner now planners come in all
shapes and sizes so this is just going to give you the core skills that you
need to really start thinking about how to layout your pages and then you can
take it from there and continue to design your planner pages the way that
you see fit change the size to what you would like to use the size that I’m
using here is a standard a5 or letter size in the US this is a very large size
to use but it’s really nice because you can print these out put them in a binder
make a planner really really quickly if you would like to do this on your own so
let’s go ahead and get started this is a look at what we are designing today as
you can see it’s very simple black and white but we are just focusing on how to
get this layout in place you can jazz it up as you would like so things to note
here is that we are really going to be working on tables again a lot more than
we were in the previous lesson so this is really going to beef up your skills
and in design in regards to tables I’m using the latest version of InDesign you
are free to use whatever you have just know that later versions of InDesign
have really made working with tables easier so there may be some features
that I use that you may not have access to in an older version of InDesign okay
so let’s go ahead and start by creating a new document here okay so a couple
things to know again we’re working with a standard a5 or us letter size here but
we are creating two pages of our planner one for the left and one for the right
so we need to think about that when we are determining the page size really all
that we’re doing is we are doubling the width of our page size because we
essentially are having two sheets of paper next to each other but we’re
designing it all on one quote spread so that we know what we’re doing with our
pages so the only difference here is that we would change the width to 17
inches and again I’m using the us letter size here but you can use pre-made page
sizes so if you’re in any other country you may want to use a 5 for this but I’m
going to move up to tabloid because we’re actually doubling the size so you
can see here that it doubled it to 17 inches width and then our height is
going to be 11 inches so basically we took the 8 and a half times 2 and we
kept the height the same and in this case we’re not going to set it bleed if
you’re getting really fancy with your design or you have a background color
other than white that’s going to go off the page you definitely want to go ahead
and set this bleed size so that you have that ready to go I’m going to uncheck
facing pages we’re going to work on one month but obviously you would just be
duplicating this again and again once you get the one one set okay so now
we’re ready to go so now we have our sheet again this is actually going to be
two sheets we’re just designing our entire planner
spread on one sheet it makes a lot easier so the first thing that I do is I
throw some guides on here because it really helps me determine what’s on the
left and what’s on the right and it’s also going to help us know exactly where
that Center is or where the fold may be or where our pages are going to be cut
in half so that we don’t put any content there so I’m going to go ahead and grab
a guide if you don’t see your ruler go ahead and hit ctrl or command R that
toggles the ruler on and off so I’m just going to drag it out and then I’m going
to place it right in the center which is in this case eight-and-a-half inches
that’s dead center of our document and then I’m just going to drag two extra
guides one on each side not particularly paying attention to
dimensions it’s just that I like to have this little extra cushion so this is
sort of that center line that says okay if we’re going to have two pages we cut
it in half or if it’s going to be folded we have a little extra cushion on that
fold line to keep content away from it okay so now we can start placing our
items the first thing that I like to do is throw in the title of the month just
to start figuring out what kind of size we want
to work with and then we know where we can put the table for the actual days so
I’m going to type out the word January here and just sort of pick a font and
bump up this size to about fifty and then clean up the text box and just put
this in the upper left corner now you can see I have a box here I do not like
to see the boxes when I’m designing so oftentimes I’m an over print preview
which just gets rid of all of the outlines of the items I’m working on
makes for a cleaner workspace so now we have that now the next thing that I’m
going to do is just put a little line underneath here so we’re just grabbing
the line tool and then we are going to give that a pretty hefty stroke so let’s
go ahead and give that like a six there we go
and again I’m just keeping everything black and white for simplicity sake and
actually sometimes you may want just a black and white some black and white
planner pages and then I’m going to duplicate this line by just holding down
alt shift and basically that’s going to allow us to do this take it straight to
the other side keep it in line with the other so you’re going to see as we work
throughout this lesson that we’re constantly thinking about what’s on the
left and the right and we are aware of the gap in the middle of our document
that’s going to allow for us to have our separate pages okay so whatever we’re
doing on the Left more often than not we are going to duplicate it on the right
and I’m going to go ahead and take both of these lines and just shift-click both
of them again holding down alt shift and pulling that all the way down to the
bottom margin line here so we have something like that so you can see that
I’m starting to frame in where our calendar is going to go so the next step
is I’m going to drop in the days of the week now you may think we can just add
this to the table by having a header and that is very true I like to have a
little more control of design so I actually throw this bar in here
separately it just allows me to design this outside of the table which in a lot
of cases is a a lot more flexible so I’m going to take
the rectangle tool and we are just going to draw out a rectangle and we may
adjust this once we get the text in here but this is just going to give us
something to work with and I’m going to create a new color swatch and have sort
of like a light gray okay and then again we’re going to duplicate this now I’m
going to actually stop duplicating at this stage because I would like to get
one side done and then we can duplicate that once all of the hard work of
styling is done otherwise you’re essentially doing the work twice but in
this case we’re just going to grab the text tool and I’m going to say Sunday
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday and notes you can see that I’m
not paying much attention yet to styling I am putting all seven days and notes in
this box because we can accommodate for the space when we have just a text box
like this it’s a little more manual but again I prefer in this kit in this case
just because I have more control so we are going to go ahead and bump up that
and go ahead and style this really quick so I’m going to use a nice sans-serif
for this one and we’re going to all-caps our days of the week and then I’m going
to bring this up into our box and then extend the text box all the way across
and we know that Thursday Friday and notes are going to be on this side okay
so until we get our table in place it’s really hard to know how to line these up
with the actual squares so I’m going to leave that for now we’ll come back and
style the rest of that once we get our table in place okay so the table is
actually going to be extremely styled I push the limit on this a little bit just
to show you guys some more of the features of the table so you know exact
what’s available to you and it’s pretty cool all of the customizations that you
have with a table so the first step is to come up here to table and create a
new table now we are going to create two tables this is just going to be the
easiest way to work there is definitely a more advanced way where you can really
fight with the in the middle of your document to get one table across the
whole document but if you’re new to tables that can get a little tricky so I
just want to show you how to work with one table on the left one table on the
right makes it a little bit easier so if that’s the case we want to think about
how many rows that we’re going to have and how many columns we’re going to have
so we’re going to have six rows and four columns and the reason for six rows is
there some days of the month that carry over and you you can have six weeks in a
month or five weeks in a month it just depends on when the days fall so you
want to make sure that you’re accommodating all of those scenarios and
then the four columns across account for the days of the week and then on the
other side it’s going to be the days of the week and the notes and for now we’re
not going to have a header or footer but if you would like to put these days of
the week into your table then you can go ahead and add a header row and it just
sort of makes it easier to do that so I’m going to hit OK and you can see that
your icon changes and we are going to draw out our table into the space that
we have available and there you have it and what’s nice about that is InDesign
is going to adjust the cells of our table to fit how we told it the space
that’s available so now we could just leave it like this but it’s kind of
boring and there’s a lot more cool ways that we could style our strokes and our
rows we can have alternating colors as you saw in the example so how exactly do
we do that this is one of the nice things about the
newer features and InDesign guys is that InDesign make this a lot easier than it
used to be so these features make tables a lot less daunting so what I like to do
first is set the core styling for my table and then go in and tweak exactly
what I would want to do so you can see that when you select your table
this menu bar up here completely changes to give you a lot more features tied to
your table so the first thing that I’m going to do is actually come over here
and click style options and this is where you can set the style for your
table and it’s going to be universal across the board as long as you continue
to work in this table so you have your general table set up where you can style
the border if you want to you can remove the border if you want to we want to
have a lot more control over our borders so I’m going to set the table border to
zero because I don’t want an outer border all the way around the table I
just want specific borders along my columns and then we’re going to use
alternating colors for the rows so I don’t want to have any borders around
that and here you can set your row strokes if you want to alternate so you
can set that here we’re going to we’re going to style this manually so I’m not
going to use that same thing for column strokes you can do alternate if you want
to and get really fancy now we do want to set fills this is where we are going
to say every other row we want to have a specific fill so the first row is just
going to be paper color and then the next row is going to be this light gray
color and we can have other settings if we want to but that’s sort of how we
want this to work where it goes every other one and you can see that now our
table automatically adjusted to every other one and if that’s too dark you can
come back in here and do two things one we picked this watch color here so you
can actually adjust this if you want and hit preview and you’ll see that that’s
lightening up so you don’t actually have to go back into your settings if you
choose a swatch that’s already in existence so we just lighten that up a
bit so maybe a little dark if you’re writing on it so we just want a faint
color here okay and you can see that now the border around our table is
completely gone but we’re left with some inside borders that we want to go ahead
and style so the first thing that we want to do again is select this so that
we get our options here and we are going to completely get rid of the row
stroke so one thing we want to do is just select over here in this box the
strokes that we want to work on so the first one is the center one and you can
see that when you deselect all of them just by clicking them and then you come
back and select the one you want to work on there is a setting here where before
it didn’t say that we had a stroke so we’re just dealing with this middle row
stroke here and we want to just go ahead and set that to zero and you can see
that it completely disappears now and we only have the column strokes that we’re
dealing with there are no rows because we’re using the alternating colors we’re
just deciding not to use a stroke on that so now we’re going to deselect that
we don’t want to accidentally select this this does take some time to get
used to I messed with this so many times and accidentally selected a line and
then it was styling it so just take it slow and really look at what you’re
doing when you’re selecting these so the next step is to select the three columns
and then we’re going to go ahead and style these so we want to have this at
like a two point and you can see what you’re doing over here it shows you that
you’re what you have selected so you can see the action here and then we want to
go ahead and make this a dotted line and then we don’t really want that to be
black we want that to be maybe eight just a darker gray and if you see this
pop up I have this pop-up all the time because I forget to uncheck this so I’m
adding swatches to my library all the time but if you don’t want to be adding
every swatch to your cc library just uncheck that okay so then you you can
deselect here to see what it is that you’re doing and you can see that now
we’ve got some cool dotted lines that are breaking up our columns and then we
still have our every other row colored so that’s kind of what we’re looking at
right now for just the styling of the table there’s a lot more that you can do
but this way you now know how to change the stroke of your columns and your rows
and how to set alternating colors for your rows those are some of the key
things for pretty much any table not even just a planner okay so once we have
that set now it’s time to duplicate it across
so I’m going to hold down alt shift and we’re going to duplicate this table
across so that it’s on the other side and then we can come back up here and go
ahead and style this so that the spacing is more in line with each column so I’m
just using a mix of tabs and spaces to get these where I want them to be and
again you can see where if we would have just added this as part of the table we
you might think that would have saved you a lot of time which is true but
again it’s just kind of nice to have these separate because you don’t have to
style them with the table you have just more flexibility
okay so when we basically I want to Center this up a little bit that’s sort
of what we’re doing and just getting these so they’re in the center of each
of the columns all right okay once we have that now what I’m wanting to do is
go ahead and fold this just so they stand out a little more and that might
have just at the spacing anytime that you bold something or change the size
then your spacing gets a little bit off when you manually do this okay so we
have something like that perfect now I want this to not be touching that
necessarily so I’m going to bring up this box now a little bit closer just so
there’s a definite separation you can preview everything by hitting W and get
an idea of how this is shaping up and I’m actually going to extend this up
this way a little bit okay and then move the text box to the center there we go
just a little bit better spacing okay so the next step is to style the notes
column I don’t want the notes column to be exactly like the calendar here so I
actually want this to stand alone a little bit and then so much so that I’m
going to change the font of this and I don’t want it to be part of this great
box I would just like the days of the week to be part of it so we’re just
going to take that back in something like so and then I want to get rid of
all of the styling just in this column so we’re just going to click and drag
and we’re basically selecting this column and again you can see all of the
settings coming up here so what we want to do is we want to select this again I
get in the habit of deselecting the strokes of the columns in the rows and
then just selecting the ones that I want to deal with so that I don’t
accidentally change something I don’t want to so this right stroke we want to
set to zero and we don’t have anything set in the middle you could see that but
we do have a bottom stroke here and we also have some alternating colors so
again by selecting this we want to go ahead and set the bottom stroke to zero
and now you can see that went away and coming over here to swatches we’re going
to set the colors of both the fill and a stroke just to make sure to none and
then you should see just a white empty column perfect so now basically this
column still exists but we just deleted all of the styling for it so it’s blank
and then we can add in the stroke that we want to for our notes so we could do
that by taking the line tool again and just dragging this out styling it the
way that you want just thinking of like a just sort of like a faint gray so that
we can see what this looks like that looks good and then just holding down
alt shift spacing this out the way that you want and then once you get three of
them on there you can actually select all of them now and fill this in a lot
faster and so I’m using in designs guides here to help me space these
evenly when those green little lines pop up and then you can see that all of
these are spaced exactly the way that we want to take a quick preview by hitting
W and you can see that it’s starting to shape up nicely so there’s really only
one more step that we have and that’s to put in the numbers for our month and the
way to do that is you can place them directly into the cell of your calendar
it’s going to make a lot easier when you need to adjust
that for the next month and the month after that so one thing that you need to
do is think about the styling of this so in order to style all of your columns
you need to come over here and it’s faster if you think about the styling
first and then drop your numbers in I mean you could drop your numbers in and
then style them but basically I want to do this kind of quickly first so we’re
going to style this by setting the font and the size we want that to be right
aligned to our columns we want the numbers to hang out over here and then
we’re going to do the same thing on the other side just to make sure that
everything is styled appropriately okay and then you could start placing your
numbers where they should go so the first was actually on a Friday and then
we’re just going to keep clicking and placing our numbers quickly okay so now
we have all of our numbers in place now there’s a couple of things that we can
still continue to tweak here one of them is that these numbers are awfully close
to the edge here so they really hug the stroke of the columns and I’m a person
likes negative space around things so how do you change that without having to
go in here and manually adjust each number well fortunately InDesign makes
this very very easy because you can come over here and adjust the padding on your
cell basically and add a little bit of an inset to just the area that you want
to so I’m going to come over here to the right cell insert and we’re just going
to hit this a couple of times until it places it where you would like to for
your spacing and then do the same thing over here 1 2 3 4 and then that gives us
just nice spacing around our number now if you don’t want all of that spacing on
the top then you would deselect where it linked all of them up together and then
you can adjust everything you could bring that up a little bit more if you
want to so that you have a little bit more space
for the items that you want to put on the calendar so there you have it a
somewhat quick way of getting your planner pages in place and now you
probably should be a pro at tables after this especially with setting the styles
looking at placing strokes and alternate fills and things like that again you can
definitely take this technique now and just scale everything down the way that
you would like to for the specific size that you would like for your planners so
if you want this to be a little bit smaller you can do the same technique
it’s just that all of your cells will be a little bit smaller now there’s one
more thing that I want to show you and that’s if you want to adjust the size of
these cells the quickest way to do that is come down to the bottom and if you
hold down shift you’ll see that all of the cells adjust accordingly and that
way you’re not editing them individually is if you selected it like that so if
you want to adjust them all you come down here and grab the bottom hold down
shift and it’s going to constrain all of those so that you can size them
appropriately this works really well if you for example make a really larger
planner like this one and then you want to make a smaller version of it without
recreating everything you can just copy it into your new document and scale
those cells accordingly thank you guys so much for watching if you have any
questions about this lesson please leave them in the comments below I do my best
to answer every single one that comes through so please leave a comment if you
have any questions if you haven’t already please subscribe to stay up to
date with all of the latest and greatest here at design like a pro and I will see
you in the next episode you

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