Yesterday, inspired by Sam Shah’s new school planner and riding the first wave of back-to-school delight, I skipped over the details of which program he used (Adobe something – whatever), rolled up my sleeves, and created a new planner on Adobe Illustrator. I’ve made my own planner before, and am good at bending word processing programs to my will (below), but was interested to see what I might be able to do with more sophisticated software. Also, I’ve been curious for a while. What’s with these Adobe Programs? What do they do that’s so great?
Apparently, they do it all. It’s overwhelming, actually, to be able to make literally ANY design you can think of. I’d gotten used to having to work around the limitations of Word and Pages. It took me over an hour, but I learned to use enough of the tools to make what I need. I especially like the live paint bucket tool, which is brilliant. I can now successfully make straight and curved lines. And I found the warp, twirl, crystalize, and pucker tools – which are addictive in a lets-go-crazy psychedelic way. Only after these efforts and newfound design skills did I realize I’d used Illustrator instead of InDesign – and had to do a funky PDF work-around to increase the number of pages from 2 to 82. (I’m a perennial directions-skipper. I frequently over-estimate my ability to do things myself. Ikea shelves? Making risotto? Growing tomatoes? How hard can it be?)
My favorite innovation of the 2012-2013 planner (below), besides the doodle around the words “Scrap Paper”, is having just one area for each prep rather than one for each class. Since I teach two sections of each class, I have often made planners with spaces for each. Since I almost always teach both sections on the same day, the second section’s area always winds up empty, with all my notes and reminders front-loaded in the first section’s box. This waste of space bothers me more aesthetically than practically, but it’s remedied here. There’s one area on Monday for 5th grade, for example, though I teach 5th grade twice that day. We’ll see how it goes.
And the cover, with my cats on the back, because they remind me to be nice, and a crystallize/warp/twirl tool creation behind them because Adobe Illustrator lets you do stuff like that to a rectangle.