2021: In Review at Planetary

By Joshua Gross, 13 January, 2022

It’s truly hard to believe it’s 2022 already — I’d just gotten comfortable with it being 2021.

With days and weeks blending together thanks to life during ~these times~, it seemed as important as ever to reflect on everything we’ve done at Planetary over the past year, and what we’re looking forward to in the year ahead.

Planetary will be nine years old this year: still a child but old enough to walk, talk, and make trouble.

When we started back in 2013, we began as a remote team and always felt strongly that it was the real “future of work.” It’s nice to see that everyone else is finally catching on and building tools to make the remote experience even stronger.

We worked with a lot of clients over the past year and I thought it would be nice to recap a few of our favorite projects:

Following a very successful redesign of The Prepared Montessorian in 2020, we worked with Higher Ground Education’s Academy of Thought and Industry, a middle and high school Montessori network, to redesign and rebuild their entire website to align with their updated branding and growing needs.

Higher Ground has an amazing network of schools and brilliant students; we were very lucky to work with them on this and several other of their websites over the past year.

Guidepost Montessori is Higher Ground’s largest school network, which required an equally extensive website. We worked with their team to make sure students and parents could find the information they needed quickly, apply easily, and learn about in-person and virtual Montessori schooling for children.

Last but certainly not least on the Higher Ground train in 2021 was Montessorium, the arm of the network that develops the thinking and philosophy of teaching the Montessori way at Higher Ground. Montessorium’s branding stands quite a bit apart from their schools, so we had a lot of fun with this one, putting a Modrian-inspired grid to work throughout the site.

Our friends over at Sacra launched their private markets research company in late 2020. We had the opportunity to partner with them over the past several months to design and evolve their product. If you’re an investor, you’d do well to sign up and check it out because their research is top notch.

In a similar vein, we worked with some other friends, this time over at Podia (which, if you’re not familiar and are a creator of any kind, you should totally be using). They needed help building some free tools for their creators, and we were happy to oblige!

Channeled is a startup launching a new customer success platform designed “Slack-first” with speed in mind. While we can’t say too much about the work we did with them yet, suffice to say this was a challenging and rewarding project and we can’t wait to see the company launch to the public.

Our team also partnered with Hellosaurus to redesign their entire Creator Studio. This was probably one of our most detailed projects of the last year, with well over 100 different screens and states to take into account. The new studio will give creators the flexibility to build incredibly extensive and truly interactive learning experiences for children—we are jazzed about the new possibilities.

Finally, we wrapped the year by finishing up a brand new redesign for Sunstone Credit, who are making loans for new solar installations more attainable. At Planetary, we’re big fans of helping folks generate more green energy. The new Webflow-based site will be going live this month.

While we primarily focus on our work with (our amazing ❤️) clients, being an agency and all, some of you probably know we’ve launched a few of our own products from time to time.

Ever since I started Planetary, this has been something I’ve been adamant that we continuously pursue, no matter how busy we get: doing this helps us better understand our clients and the business struggles they face day-to-day, and gives us an opportunity to test new ideas and approaches to design and tech.

We saw one of these products really take on a life of its own last year: Pizzatime. Shockingly, this grew much faster than any of us here ever expected and we’ve actually spun up an entire arm of the business just to continue working on it these days!

To date, we’ve delivered over 100,000 pizzas, coffees, and drinks which is just… bonkers. We have a lot in store for Pizzatime in 2022, too. Hopefully I’ll get to share it in 2022’s retrospective.

Without jinxing it, and with a glimmer of hope that saying this doesn’t age like milk… I’m looking forward to 2022 and all it brings. Last year ended on a high note for our team and I want to carry that enthusiasm and momentum through this year too.