June 29, 2020

Making a Physical Goal Setting Diary

As a side project, I made a diary that also helps you set goals.


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For scale next to a 13 inch Macbook Pro

Most of my projects usually involve software or technology as the output. The idea of building something people will use and make their lives easier is a big driver for me, and being able to build something once but have 100's or 1000's of people use it is one of the best ways to do that.

However, the act of making something physical also has an appeal, perhaps even more so for me because so much of my creation takes place in a computer.

Introspection, productivity and planning are also ideas that interest me, and having made some goal-planning software already (more on that later), I thought it would be an interesting project to make a physical goal setting diary.


I have seen and purchased other diaries that had a similar sort of theme with a planning section as well as a calendar/daily planner, but they didn't fit my own vision of how I structure and plan my life. That's not to say there is anything wrong with them, just that they don't suit me.

I also thought it would be a nice compliment to the goal setting software I had already created.


It's an A5 Sized Diary (112 Pages with a Matt Finish) with a standard monthly calendar plus the following extras:

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Planning and Dreams Pages
  • Setting up your year - if you want to set values, goals, habits, plans, dreams, and wishes for this year, or your own personal goals, this is the planner for you.
  • Cheatsheets - quick guides for keeping on track, self-care, and other hints and tips. We’ve left space for you to add your own personal tips as well if you like.
  • Monthly Plans - at the beginning and end of every month, we will ask you to review what went right, what did not, and what you would like to change for that month.
  • Reviews - Every three months, we will ask you to do a bigger review of your goals - are you on track or is there anything you would like to change?


Nobody - I made it primarily for me. I printed a few copies of it and gave them to friends. Again, with enough time, I'd like to do some more work with it. If any marketers/designers know anything about this industry, get in touch, I'd love to talk.


Despite it being a physical diary, some technology was used in it's creation:

  • Adobe InDesign - I bought a diary theme online and modified/extended it.
  • Printers - I used two different printers, each with a slightly different result. Pro-tip: Try out a few and get some samples before you print a large batch of anything - the differences between printers is quite pronounced.


Not at the moment. With time, I think I could make a go of it as a business. While I repurposed a theme, I think the design and cover in particular could do with some focused work by a real professional in this area.

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The Welcome and Mindfullness Pages

It was still a really worthwhile experience and it's something to come back to in the future.