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Want to make the most of your The Design Trust 2022 diary planner? Want to make more time to reflect and plan strategically, and get the accountability to turn your big and small ideas into reality?

Join The Design Trust Strategic Away Day Club for 4 virtual ‘Away Days’ (10am – 4pm) at the start of each quarter to reflect, to work ON your creative business ideas, and to plan ahead. All from the comfort of your own home or studio, under the guidance of Patricia van den Akker, the creator of the diary planner. And stay on track by joining an accountability group or get a partner for regular online meetups in between each Away Day.

  • 4 virtual Away Days throughout 2022, guided by Patricia to work ON your creative business
  • Includes the 2022 diary planner + the A2 wall planner!
  • Join our supportive online community of ambitious creatives across the globe for the whole year (max. 100 members)
  • Work with an accountability group or partner in between the sessions to turn your ideas into ‘done’

If you join the Strategic Away Day Club today then you will receive your diary planner and wall planner within 3 working days of joining.

Price £249 / $342 (Inc. UK Tax)

watch this short video to find out more …

what’s included in the 2022 strategic away day club?

As a 2022 Strategic Away Day Club member you’ll get:

  • 4 Away Days in 2022: on Fridays 21 January, 18 March, 24 June and 23 September from 10am – 4pm (UK time). Each day will consist of 3 parts: Reflection on the previous quarter or year, working on a specific topic such as finance or marketing, and planning the next 90 days. Each of the 3 online workshops will be guided by Patricia van den Akker, the creator of The Design Trust diary planner and an award-winning creative business adviser.
  • The Design Trust diary planner for 2022 is included in the Strategic Away Day Club price: 250+ pages incl. 50+ pages with specific advice + small creative business planning tools + finance/marketing trackers for your creative business, monthly & quarterly planners, quarterly social media planners, month-to-view, monthly + weekly action tips, week-to-view, and daily ‘get done’.

  • Get our popular A2 wall planner for free (worth £6,-)

  • Postage & packaging in the UK International postage depends on country.

  • 6 hours of live online training on strategic goal setting, business planning, time management, marketing and finance for creatives, and how to make the most of this diary planner. You can sign up for 2 x 2hour online workshops to be delivered by Patricia van den Akker in January 2022. Two additional hours of recordings will be available from November to help you get started.
  • A lively, friendly + supportive Facebook group – exclusively for purchasers of The Design Trust diary planner. Join in weekly questions, ask your own questions, and network with other creatives from across the globe. Managed by The Design Trust team.
The Design Trust 2022 diary planner financial forecast with calculator lifestyle

when was the last time you made time to reflect, think & plan properly?

You are a busy creative with loads of ideas and jobs, always on the go, with loads to do … but sometimes the best thing you can do as a business soletrader is actually to stop and make time.

Making time to reflect on … is this still the business you want? Is it still working for you? What do you want more of? What do you want less of? What’s really important to you? What are you really creating with your business?

Making time to dream big … imagining your future vision and purpose in colourful detail. Reminding yourself of your values, strengths and talents, and using them more effectively and creatively to create your voice and have a bigger impact in the world with the work you love to do. Supported by other creatives who also want to make things happen!

Making time to plan … to turn your ideas into action you will need first need to identify your goals (based on your values and talents!). What do you want to achieve in 2022? What about 2030? We will help you turn your vision into do-able actions. The 90-day Juicy Goal Action plan is a key tool in this. And yes we will work on your finances too!

Making time to share (if you want to!) and learn and grow together with other creative business owners. Because it can be lonely sometimes being your own boss! And wouldn’t you love to pick somebody’s brain who has got the experience you need? Or to get some extra inspiration for your ideas and plans? Or simply to grow your business alongside like-minded creatives?

Making time to turn your ideas into actions … by creating realistic plans and by focusing rather than being on a hamster wheel going nowhere. By working with an accountability partner or joining one of our small guided accountability groups who connect weekly or monthly to make sure that you keep on track. Whatever happens. Throughout the year.

The Design Trust 2022 diary planner March month to view with goals relaxed planning

That’s exactly why we created The Design Trust Strategic Away Day Club!

Because we, as ambitious creative entrepreneurs ourselves, know how hard it can be to make time and space for reflecting, thinking, dreaming, planning, learning, and taking action.

Away days are really common for big corporate companies, but how do you do this strategic work as a soletrader or if you run a small creative business? How can you plan more strategically, get input from others, and get accountability?

You know that to make the most of your precious time and energy that you need a structure to help you get clear on what you want and need to focus on. To have quarterly plans that you can then turn easily into monthly, weekly, and daily goals and actions.

You know that you need to look at your life and business from 10,000 feet to get the wider vision, but also to have specific goals and plans for what to do tomorrow.

You know that you need to energise and inspire yourself, yet still learn more to be at your best. Being part of a supportive online network can give you that boost you need, whenever you need it.

You know that you need a little kick under your bum sometimes to stay on track to make it happen. Because even the most focused business owner procrastinates sometimes or loses their mojo!

The Design Trust 2022 diary planner juicy 90 day goal filled in orange lifestyle 2


The Strategic Away Day Club is an online community of professional creatives who want to grow their business, and to make the time to work ON their business throughout 2022.

  • Join us for 4 online Strategic Away Days (10am – 4pm UK) in 2022: At the start of every quarter we’ll meet online for a one-day Strategic Away Day where you will be working on your own business’ strategy and plans for the year and quarter. Full of practical advice, deeper strategic learning and sharing, and mostly: you working on you and your business with the help of The Design Trust diary planner! The dates are Friday 21 January, 18 March, 24 June and 23 September 2022.
  • Join an-all-year-round supportive online community of creative professionals: You can access our private Club Hub throughout the year to ask any questions and to share your challenges and wins! And each quarter you can choose to also join an accountability group or match up with an accountability partner to work together to achieve your goals. We welcome both new and very established creatives from around the world who are committed to developing their creative business throughout 2022.

We will limit membership to 100 creatives so we can give you a more personal experience. And YES – The Design Trust 2022 diary planner and our popular A2 wall planner (worth £6) are INCLUDED in the Strategic Away Day Club price!

The Design Trust 2022 diary planner competitor research with orange cover on top right lifestyle

What are these 4 VIRTUAL away days like?

Four times a year (at the start of each quarter) we will get together for an online Strategic Away Day, where members come together to work on their own business strategies and plans for the year and that quarter.

During each Strategic Away Day you will work on your own strategy and plans for your creative business.

Be warned! These are intensive days. And you will be doing the work of reflecting, goal setting, and planning. The teaching will be minimal, so you can DO the strategic work with our guidance! By the end of each day you will have created your own clear 90-day goal and your own action plan for the next quarter.

There will be 3 online workshops of 90-120min each, during the day, with breaks in between:

  1. Workshop one (90 min) focuses on REFLECTING: On the previous year or quarter to focus on what’s working or needs work. We make time to take stock and find out where you are right now. You will use The Design Trust Diary Quarterly Reviews to focus, and you can discuss your discoveries with other creatives on the call and in private ‘breakout’ sessions (if you like).
  2. Workshop two (2 hours) you’ll work ON your business around a specific theme such as finance or marketing. We share our professional advice and expert tips, and you will work on your own and with others on your financial forecast, marketing plan or other important parts of your business.
  3. Workshop three (100 min) you will PLAN your next quarter, with the help of the 90-day action plan in The Design Trust diary planner. You will focus by selecting one specific business goal and you will then create a do-able action plan for the next quarter. We will share our own goal setting and planning tips and you will create accountability around your goals and actions with others too.

The Strategic Away Day dates for 2022 are: Friday 21 January, 18 March, 24 June and 23 September, from 10am – 4pm UK).

Because of the nature of how these sessions work, we highly recommend that you join these sessions live, although each day will be fully recorded and you will have access to the entire course for 12 months.

You will log in during the quarterly Strategic Away Day from your own computer, at home or in your studio, anywhere in the world. Bring your own cookies and hot drinks, use your own toilet and no need for parking or long journeys! And the sessions will take place, whatever will happen in 2022. (Even if we have to go back into a lockdown …)

Each quarterly online session will be a mixture of thought-provoking and reflective questions, creative exercises and planning. You will dig deeper into the content of The Design Trust Diary Planner and use the planner to work on your own business and life goals, finance, marketing, learning, and creativity.

You can do the exercises quietly by yourself if you like, and there will be plenty of opportunities to share too during the Strategic Away Days or on our online private platform afterwards or in between the 4 quarterly session.

Patricia van den Akker, the creator of the diary planner and the Director of The Design Trust, will host each of these 4 days. She will teach, guide, and challenge you through each online Strategic Away Day session (and beyond!), with a strong emphasis on YOU doing your own reflecting, dreaming, and planning for your life & business!

The Design Trust 2022 diary planner week to view and weekly action with computer
The Design Trust 2022 diary planner wheel of life and wheel of business exercises in ochre and mint lifestyle

who is the design trust strategic away day club for?

For creative professionals who are serious about wanting to develop their creative business in 2022, and who want help with developing and implementing better strategies and plans to make the most of their time, money, energy, and talents.

You might be a fairly new business (although we recommend that you have been going for at least 2 years) or very mature and established (in 2021 we had one well known creative with a career of 50+ years …, but most members had been in business between 2 – 8 years). You freelance, work for yourself, or you employ others or work in a partnership.

You might have an Etsy shop with handmade giftware or stationery or a highly luxurious jewellery or weaving practice selling to collectors. Or you are an illustrator wanting to get more licensing work or expanding your online teaching business next year.

But you definitely want to grow your creative business next year, and find the best ways of how to do that.

You might have clear business plans for 2022 or you might feel stuck and are not sure what to do next.

But you definitely want to get more professional and organised, back in charge, create a better suited strategy or brand for your business, and stop wasting time or stop feeling overwhelmed.

You definitely want to make serious time to work ON your business (including your finances, marketing, creative design & production, professional development) and want or need to dig deeper to make the most of The Design Trust diary planner throughout 2022.

You know that you need to make more deliberate time and choices to stand still each quarter to reflect and plan better, and take a day out of your busy schedule to really focus on what you want and need to do to improve your creative business, and what your next steps are going to be.

You are proud to be a small and independent creative, but you know that you need some help! You are pretty confident, but you do need a little push now and then to stop procrastinating and halt that overthinking… (not to mention your perfectionism!)

You can be based anywhere in the UK (because most broadband reaches even the most remote corners now!) but we very much welcome any creative from around the world (especially in times of Brexit!).

We are a very open, friendly, creative and diverse bunch … and that’s the way we like it!

THIS CLUB IS FOR CREATIVE BUSINESSES. The Design Trust works mostly with small independent designers and makers, crafts people, illustrators, visual artists, stationery businesses, homeware and giftware brands, Etsy shop owners, but also event organisers, shop or gallery owners, curators, and photographers.

We often welcome creatives working in the food (e.g. cookies!) and beauty industry (e.g. handmade soaps), and even sometimes within entertainment and theatre.

Above all, you are a professional creative who wants to create and run a better business. 

The Design Trust 2022 diary planner end of year review lilac cover

Your questions answered

  • Is the diary planner included in the price of the Strategic Away Day Club?

    Yes it is!

    If you join the Strategic Away Day Club then you will get The Design Trust 2022 diary planner + our A2 wall planner too.

    So no need to purchase a diary planner separately.

  • Why do the Strategic Away Day Club? Is the 6-hour online training included in the diary planner not enough?

    Yes, The Design Trust 2022 diary planner comes with 6 hours of online training! We will run this free online training live in mid/end January 2022 in two online workshops, hosted by Patricia van den Akker.

    In these two free online sessions she will explain in more detail how the planner works, her goal setting and time management advice, as well as showing you how to use the financial planning and marketing tools in the diary planner.

    For many creatives that’s plenty to get on with!

    However, if you want to dig deeper into using the diary planner, and also if you know that you want to really make the time and space to work more strategically ON your business in 2022, or like getting more accountability to set goals and stay on track … then we recommend the Strategic Away Day Club.

    Especially if you have got big plans for 2022!

    Or if you are not very good at keeping focused and being strategic about your business.

    If you have got a lot of ideas and need help with getting clarity. And creating ambitious but realistic plans with clear activities rather than fantasies that you abandon as soon as you hit a challenge …

    And if you know that you want quarterly support to really sit down and work on your business and plans. To have the structure and support you need to keep working on your business.

    And if you want to grow alongside other ambitious creatives. 

    That’s what the Strategic Away Day Club is created for!

  • I am thinking about starting a creative business. Is the Strategic Away Day for me?

    We have created the Strategic Away Day Club especially for creatives who want to grow their business.

    We recommend that you have been in business for at least 2 years to make the most of the sessions and the online community.

    However, we have had creatives with less experience but with strong ambitions who found the Away Day Club useful, so it’s up to you!

  • I can’t make the Away Days live. Is that a problem?

    We highly recommend that you try to join the Strategic Away Days live.

    That’s why we give you the dates of each, far in advance:  Fridays 21 January, 18 March, 24 June and 23 September 2022 from 10am – 4pm UK.

    Due to the nature of our online workshops (it’s much more involved than just watching a video or presentation!!!) you will be regularly working by yourself with your own diary planner, or you will have discussions with other creatives throughout the day.

    If you don’t join us live then you will miss out on this interaction and accountability, which is a crucial part of the Strategic Away Day Club experience.

    However, we have had several members last year who were not able to join live as they have other commitments or live in another time zone. They created their own Away Day by setting aside a day or so to go through the recordings by themselves. They also posted their insights and goals on our private hub afterwards, and they often joined one of the accountability groups or paired up with another member to still get the accountability and interaction.

    So, if you know that you are determined and self-motivated then you can make it work to make space and time for your business reflection and planning!

  • I am not based in the UK. Is the Strategic Away Day Club for me?


    We love to create an international community of creatives, so we would love to have you join The Strategic Away Day Club too!

    Last year we had creatives in Europe, the USA, and Asia joining us. 

    We believe that our approach to goal setting and time management is universal and useful wherever you are in the world.

    However, do note that due to the time difference it might be harder for you to join the Strategic Away Day Club sessions live as they will run on Fridays 21 January 2022, 25 March, 24 June and 23 September from 10am – 4pm UK time.

    However, each day will be recorded and you could decide to do the sessions by yourself or only join part of the day.  (Or get up really early if you are in the USA/Canada or stay up late in Australia!).

  • What’s the difference between The Design Trust Strategic Away Day Club and The Business Club?

    Great question!

    The main difference between The Strategic Away Day Club and The Business Club is that the Away Day Club is focused around the 2022 diary planner, and you reflecting, working on, and planning 4 days per year, under the guidance of Patricia van den Akker, the creator of the diary planner and the Director of The Design Trust.

    The longer answer …

    The Strategic Away Day Club:

    • The main purpose of the Strategic Away Day Club is to help you as a busy creative business entrepreneur to make time and space one day per quarter to reflect, review your ‘big picture’ and plan what you need to work on in your business. You will be working ON your business and using the diary planner as your guide and main tool. You can also connect with other Away Day Club members in between these sessions to ask questions on our private online hub, and to pair up or be part of an online accountability group that meets regularly throughout the year.

    • This online club is based around The Design Trust diary planner, and is set up to support you with 4 online days where you will reflect, dream and plan your year & quarter. It’s focused on creative business planning and goal setting, creating your future vision and direction, your purpose, values, strengths.

    • Each of the 4 sessions (10am – 4pm) is hosted by Patricia van den Akker, the Director of The Design Trust and an award-winning creative business adviser and trainer. During each session you will be working on your own business and plan, and much time is spent on you doing exercises or planning.

    • The 4 Strategic Away Days are guided by Patricia and you participate in very practical exercises during the days, and through homework exercises before and after each quarterly day.

    • There is an online community network and private online hub to connect to other members. You will be able to find the recordings and presentations of the sessions there (in case you missed them or want to delve deeper) throughout the year (from January 2022 – June 2023) on the hub.

    • We will limit the Strategic Away Day Club membership to max. 100 members to provide more personal feedback during the sessions and in the online hub, and to create a true community feel between the members.

    • You can only join for the entire year and we encourage you to commit to joining all 4 online Strategic Away Days live.

    • We will close the membership if we reach 100 members, or on Wednesday 18 January 2022. 

    The Design Trust Business Club:    

    • The main purpose of The Design Trust Business Club is to boost your creative business skills, knowledge and confidence by watching online training sessions, whenever you like, at your own pace.  You create your own learning path by accessing any of the 150+ online sessions, or the 3 live expert sessions each month. We will inspire you to take action, and to connect with other Business Club members too.

    • In The Business Club you can immediately access over 150+ online workshops, masterclasses and interviews with a wide variety of experts and successful creatives, from business planning to marketing and social media, selling wholesale or online, time management and costing and pricing. Each month we add at least 3 live online sessions with experts around monthly themes such as virtual events, social media to drive traffic to your site, commissions, marketing, and finance. We also add practical challenges such as writing a sales email, and recently did a website review session with our members.
    • There are at least 30 sessions of 1 hour added each year to The Business Club, and you have access to over 100 previously recorded sessions on a wide range of topics.

    • The Business Club is hosted by Anne-Marie Shepherd, our Business Club Manager, although Patricia sometimes runs sessions too.

    • The Business Club is perfect for creatives who want to be in control of their own learning and ‘pick-and-mix’ what they want to learn that month or week. There is a variety of formats and content – from interviews with successful creatives, to in-depth masterclasses about marketing, to training sessions with experts on social media or email marketing, to interviews with event organisers, gallery owners or journalists. Each session stands on its own.

    • There is a private online hub where our Business Club members can ask questions and share their insights.

    • We currently have 280+ Business Club members and there is no limit.

    • Business Club membership is available on a monthly basis (£25/month) or at an annual rate (£225,-) For more details or to join our Business Club membership click here. There is no contract so you can stop the membership whenever you like. Even joining just for one month!

    Dream Plan Do VIP Club  

    • The Dream Plan Do VIP Club is no longer available as we have stopped self-publishing the Dream Plan Do planner journal.

  • What equipment do I need?

    We try to make all our online courses and programmes as easy accessible as possible!

    We recommend that you join us on the four Away Days from a computer (PC or Apple Mac) with reliable broadband or Wi-Fi. You can connect with a tablet such as an iPad or a phone but we do not recommend this as we share slide presentations with text (which will be very small for you on a phone) and there might be issues with the ‘break out rooms’ or the chat.

    You do not need a headset but we recommend that you use a computer with a (built in) microphone and camera, so you can speak during the breakout sessions with other creatives.

    During the teaching parts of the Away Days your camera can be switched on or off (depending on your preference), and you will be muted.

    For the four Strategic Away Days we will be using Zoom, a very common video conferencing software that you will need to download. You sign up in advance and you click the link in an email to connect with us live. We will give clear instructions so you can use the software too.

    You will access the Strategic Away Day private hub (to access the recordings and presentations, to post your homework) via a password-protected part on our main website.

  • Can my friends join too? Can I share the Club?

    When you book your place for the 2022 Strategic Away Day Club you’ll get a license to join for one person only. If you work in a formal partnership or you employ somebody then you can both join on a single license.

    You’ll get one diary planner only with your Strategic Away Day Club membership, but you could purchase an additional diary planner separately if you wanted to for your business partner.

    However, if your friends or colleagues want to join then they will need to purchase their own Strategic Away Day Club membership. Please do not allow them to access to the club and the away day sessions.

    We have various friends who have joined together and they have found it super useful to work during the Away Day together and in between the sessions. Some even meet in real life during the Away Days, and then each work on their own business and planner for the day in the same room! (And share nice lunches too …)

  • I have another question!

    We are happy to answer your questions about the Strategic Away Day. Just use the ‘contact page‘ or email us on [email protected]

Strategic Away Day Club 2022 on computer with 3 stacked planners Cropped to banner

join the strategic away day club to Get organised & get the accountability you need to move your business forward throughout 2022

Price £249 / $342 (Inc. UK Tax)