On a Saturday morning in November of 2010, I faced a nightmare.
I was an entrepreneur with an overflowing email inbox, a hand-scribbled to-do list, a pile of meeting notes, and a daunting holiday rush season in full swing.
Overwhelmed and feeling disastrously disorganized, I needed a solution, and quickly. Without any idea of what I was about to produce, I started drawing gridlines on notebook paper. The grid quickly became part calendar, part organized to-do list, and part motivational tool. The format of schedule on one side, task lisk on the other, saved my life that holiday season.
2011: The Search
Thinking such a tool had to exist, I set out to find it. No such luck. I looked at planners and agendas far and wide, but kid you not, couldn’t find a DAILY planner. I spent a full year utilizing, editing, fine-tuning, and perfecting the system, and debuted the Day Designer® in 2012. It was the first planner of it’s kind, a daily format, on the market. It took off like wildfire.
Then, one day, I got an email asking me if I’d be interested in having my products in Target. UM, YES! For the next couple of years, I partnered with a licensing company who manufactured and distributed a more basic version of the line.
Our licensing partner was ready to expand the line, but we wanted to stay small. I wanted some time to be a mom, so when they asked me if they could buy the company, I said yes! Nothing matters more than our littles, right?
The day after the sale closed, I remember looking at my planner and seeing an empty task list. My life had changed overnight, and I no longer needed a daily planner to track everything. I needed something simpler, but as every woman knows, I still needed a place to put a lot of lists.
After consulting for the Day Designer business for three years after the sale, my contract with the brand was coming to an end. I needed to think about what was next, and two things stood out in my mind.
One, I had more planner formats in me. New, original, fresh interpretations and ideas about ways we could schedule our days and change our lives.
Two, I had balance. I had spent the past three years fine-tuning another system I used for goal-setting: HEART Goals. Focused on five main areas in life, using the HEART system had helped me simplify my days, while still letting me shoot for the moon on some big dreams. It was a method I felt challenged to share with the world.
Coupling those two ideas, we debuted the “Week On One Page” planner in November of 2019. The first Academic Year edition was released in May of 2020.
While I no longer have any connection to the Day Designer brand, it will always be a wonderful part of my story. It’s something I’m proud I created, proud of getting it into Target, and believe it or not, proud of making the very difficult decision to sell, in order to focus on family first.
Today, we’re starting over again. We’re a family business, and we always will be. We have no plans to sell the business–ever. The WHITNEY ENGLISH brand is on a mission, just as it always has been–to help women find balance and beauty in everyday life.
We invite you to check out our shop to see what tools we have created to help you find meaning in your life, or feel free to drop us a line and let us know how we can better serve you.