It all began when a frazzled 23-year-old wife, mom, student, and freelance team leader slapped a well-worn spiral notebook onto a makeshift desk and quickly sketched out a worksheet. Shelby had ambition and grit, but she needed to get organized. Every planner she bought only seemed to add to the overwhelm. She just needed a way to get the cacophony of needs and responsibilities out of her head and onto paper so she could step back and sort through them with a clear mind.
A few weeks later, she carried a folder stuffed with these homemade worksheets into her sister’s home. Her brain clutter was spilled out on each sheet, her objectives were clarified, and her goals for the future were finally mapped. Every stroke of the pen had lightened her mental load, and it reflected in her step.
“Here’s something I made and have been using lately.” Shelby handed the folder to her sister with more than a little sheepishness. McCauley had been journaling solidly and had prioritization skills of steel. She was also a young wife and mom, and was developing a business of her own from her living room floor. Shelby didn’t think her sister needed much help in the department of mental organization.
But to her surprise, McCauley drooled over the designs. “I want to try these. Can I keep a few pages?”
Over the next few weeks, McCauley used the planner sheets. Then she called a meeting. With babies in carriers and drafting supplies covering every inch of the kitchen table, Shelby and McCauley shuffled planner features like puzzle pieces, discussing the parts of the original designs that were magic for them both. They focused on creating the best planner in the world, tossing out any manufacturing conventions that limited the planner’s functionality and elegance. Weeks later, their sides were splitting with laughter as they jabbed ice-picks through the spines of handmade booklets, learned how to sew binding, and fantasized the perfect leather cover that would bind it all together into one beautiful unit.
Soon, they’d each replaced their entire networks of calendars, sticky-notes, and journals with their newly designed planner prototype. They were most shocked to discover that they’d developed a system that was structured enough to get them both organized, yet flexible enough to work for their polar opposite personalities.
“We’re going to turn this into a legit business, Shel.” McCauley’s eyes shined
“I would’ve never believed we would both love the same planner. Can you imagine how many other women this could help?” Shelby asked.
But it was only the beginning.
In those moments at McCauley’s kitchen table—with nights spent distilling top productivity principles down into a single spread, drafting husbands to help with typesetting and leatherwork, and testing various paper weights with calligraphy pens while nursing our babies—the Evergreen Planner System sparked to life.
As the sisters tested the final renditions of their new system, they were shocked by it’s quality. Not only was it comprehensively useful in basically every area of their lives, but it was becoming absolutely essential to their progress and personal growth. The novelty never wore off. It not only organized them powerfully as they tackled the daily responsibilities, it also propelled them forward in the long-term goals that beat inside each of their hearts. It kept them focused, helped them develop working memories around their most important objectives, and became a central hub for decluttering their minds.
But it was only the beginning. Turning this planner system into a business was no longer a far-off fancy: getting this incredible tool into the hands of as many women as possible became a core mission.
Three-and-a-half years of field testing, half a dozen babies, hundreds of hours of productivity research, five major prototype models, and (approximately) 7,665 cups of coffee later…and the Evergreen Planner system finally came to life in December of 2019.
It is the only planner on the market to feature the innovative dutch-door feature, which allows you to plan each day in the context of your weekly goals and agenda. Gorgeous, minimalistic, and ridiculously intuitive, the booklet planner system boasts an unprecedented balance of robust structure with fully customizable flexibility. The locally made, genuine-leather Cover has surpassed even the sisters’ wildest dreams. And the entire system is supported by a quarterly subscription box that keeps your planning habits fire, and a supportive online community.
Shelby and McCauley have been blown away by the immediate enthusiasm that the planner system generated. Clari joined the team early in Spring, turning the visionary duo into a powerhouse trio. Every “this is the planner of my dreams” and “this planner finally helped me follow through on my most important goals” message that the team has received has been like gasoline on fire.
And as the first birthday of Evergreen Planner draws near, Shelby and McCauley remain confident about one thing. This is only the beginning.
Are you interested in trying a piece of the Evergreen Planner system for free? Check out this free printable day planner sheet! Like those original sheets Shelby created, you can use this printable to effectively plan your days until you’re ready to jump into the entire Evergreen Planner system.