In Design Made Simple

Create Professional Low Content Books With This Industry Standard Tool

  • Would you like to take your journal and planner design to the next level but are worried that InDesign is too complicated to learn?
  • Not loving how things look in Powerpoint?
  • Ready to take your book business seriously?

InDesign is powerful, but it doesn’t need to be intimidating. In fact, most of what you need to know to create journal and planner layouts is pretty straightforward.

Once you understand how to do basic functions like add text and images, as well as create lines and shapes, it becomes easy. Once you understand how it works, you can create professional books quickly.

You can even layout your covers in InDesign so you don’t need to subscribe to all of Creative Cloud, just InDesign.

What you will learn

  • Create a document with and without bleed
  • Create and manipulate text, lines, and shapes
  • Perfectly repeat lines, objects and text with a couple clicks
  • Create master layouts and use them to build your books in a flash.
  • Layout a cover in InDesign
  • and much more (full outline below)

Follow along step by step and create a gratitude journal with a weekly layout and lined prompt pages. Then we will make a planner with a weekly spread, a month at a glance page, and also learn about options for creating a calendar and a daily appointment spread.

Why this course?

  • Beginner friendly: I start out slow, explaining everything, and as we repeat concepts I gradually move faster
  • I have recorded all of my mouse clicks and keystrokes
  • Cheatsheets are provided so you don’t need to re-watch the videos if you forget how to do something
  • You will learn by doing. After a few introductory videos, we will learn how to use InDesign by creating a journal and a planner. These two projects will teach you 90% of what you need to know to create your low content books. For the rest, I include several quick tip lessons for how to accomplish other tasks at the end of the course.
  • Excellent value–I believe in fair pricing and always aim to over-deliver. If for any reason you don’t agree, let me know so I can make things right. You’d pay at least twice as much for this course elsewhere.
  • Note: This course was filmed using Adobe In Design CC 2020. The 2022 version of InDesign looks very similar, but there may be some minor variations.

Sample Lesson

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction

  • What to expect in this course
  • Working with Margins & Bleed
  • Tour of InDesign workspace

Module 2: Creating a Journal

  • Create a new document with no bleed
  • The Pages window
  • Gathering ideas for your journal

Module 3: Designing Your First Journal Spread

  • Creating Shapes & Corners
  • Duplicate object & align them
  • Create text
  • Using rulers and guides
  • Adding lines
  • Text boxes, shapes, paths
  • Type on a path
  • Transform tool

Module 4: Finishing Up Our Journal

  • Prompt line journal pages
  • Assemble your manuscript from Master pages
  • Title page & adjusting tracking
  • Exporting your document

Module 5: Creating a Planner-Weekly Spreads

  • Document setup with bleed
  • Adding a background image
  • Adding planner boxes
  • Add text labels on a new layer
  • Creating a shape for the dates
  • Adding a habit tracker

Module 6: Monthly & Daily Spreads

  • Monthly at a glance grid
  • Add numbers: step and repeat a text box
  • Assemble & export your document
  • Monthly calendar options
  • Creating a daily appointment page
  • Repurposing planner layouts

Module 6: Layout Your Cover in InDesign

  • Get a cover template from KDP
  • Create cover document & place your template
  • Cover design
  • Export cover

Quick Tips Videos

  • Images & Frames – Avoiding Frustration
  • Re-size multiple objects at once
  • Adding drop shadows
  • Round only some corners
  • More shape tool options
  • Changing a font across a document
  • Adjust layout to a new size


  • PDF of course notes and other cheatsheets