Best Laid Plans COVID19 Goals Planners

Day 141: BLP Ep #2 – Weekly Review

August 3, 2020

HI! I have promised show notes, so here we go!

Episode #2 is out! It’s 19 minutes long and a detailed account of my current weekly review process, with plenty of ideas for customization!

Here is a pic of the Weekly Review checklist that I refer to in the episode:

(Sorry there’s some ghosting from a list written on the other side – small downside of the Tomoe River paper that makes up my accessory notebook! Likely in the future I will just write this out on a back page of my bullet journal.)

Here is a shot of my Weekly Goals Page (the end product of sorts of the review) and my current Calendar Landscape (in a Jibun Techo – not mentioned on the podcast episode because I didn’t yet have it at the time fo recording):

Currently I’m using Apple Notes for my projects lists (just so easy & available everywhere for me) but paper for all of my goals lists (year / quintile / monthly / weekly / daily!). This suits me – I find paper projects lists to get kind of unwieldy and I like to be able to clean them up and update them over time. I know others love Trello, Cozi, Google Keep, Evernote — there are so many! Please share if you have a great way of keeping projects lists. I am fascinated by how people collect / sort this kind of data.

I also have to admit that #4 (empty inboxes) does not always happen every week! I tend to empty my work inboxes (both clinical + email) every Friday, but my personal one is slightly more sporadic. I do typically clean it out entirely every 7-10 days, though.

#7 is much less important during the pandemic because . . . no one is going anywhere. But if I were, I would make sure Josh knew. ALSO our whiteboards are on hiatus because G kept scribbling on them, rendering them useless. I mean . . who can blame her? But still. Luckily, there isn’t much that needs to go up there now! Simple times, I guess.

Okay! It’s 7 am and I am happy to say that I have completed my own Weekly Review this morning. It took about ~45 min total (that included Monday’s daily plan, too). I find this ritual very worth it for me and currently do it on my workout rest day, so I have a longer early morning time slot.


  • Reply Joy August 3, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Great episode! I do plan my week but am not as comprehensive as you are. However, I see the need and you have inspired me! I was going to ask about how long it takes and you mentioned in this post 45 minutes. Is this an average time? I assume it will take longer before I get a flow going? And my personal virtual inboxes are ridiculously overflowing. However, I did manage inbox 0 at work last week!

    This is great, Sarah! Thanks so much for planning inspiration.

  • Reply Marcia (OrganisingQueen) August 3, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Why have I never made a real weekly checklist? (it’s in my mind but would be much easier to actually open the page in my bujo/ planner and work through it. thank you!!!

  • Reply Emma August 3, 2020 at 10:36 am

    I love Trello! I actually keep all of my review checklists in there too and just set them to repeat weekly/monthly etc. The reason I like it most I think is that I can have a board that’s the larger area of my life (say work or home) with the projects as cards, and then those cards can link to individual project boards. This way, I can get an overview, but also click through to see all of the details of a particular project. I still use a daily paper planner for each day.

  • Reply Torey August 3, 2020 at 10:51 am

    I love the idea of a weekly review ritual. By Friday afternoon, I’m so ready to just shut down and push all the outstanding tasks and decisions to Monday. But that makes Monday mornings a super slow start. I’m going to try it out. Looking forward to listening to the podcast!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 3, 2020 at 10:59 am

      Thinking about it, I basically do my work weekly review Friday PM and my rest of life weekly review Monday AM!

  • Reply coveredbridgegenealogy August 3, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    I’m loving your podcast! I think an episode on new beginnings and how you use them in planning (weekly, monthly, quintile, etc) would be great.

  • Reply Caitlin August 3, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    I love Omnifocus for lists. I think it was an investment to start, but I love that I can do my review more piecemeal (review projects/next actions not all at once, in case I get interrupted). I also love just forwarding emails that have to dos on them to my Omni inbox. Made it a little less stressful for me than the handwritten lists that I tended to rewrite to perfection 😉

  • Reply Kathleen August 4, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Agree with everyone else — I am loving this new podcast and looking to incorporate some more thoughtful planning into what I already do.

    Question: can you describe your project lists — what exactly are they? I am envisioning you have one for the blog and the podcast, with next steps of things that need to be done. Do you have a separate list for each work project?

    Thanks again for being so open with sharing your process and passion! It has been very helpful as I perfect my own process.

    • Reply Hannah August 6, 2020 at 6:17 pm

      Agree! Really enjoying the new podcast. I feel like such an amateur though — it’d be super helpful if you could explain in greater detail things like project lists, what happens to the emails you archive (like do you then go back and delete them?), what your review with Josh/nanny looks like, what exactly goes on the whiteboard, etc. Would love to have the little steps all spelled out!

  • Reply CNM August 4, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Listed to the first 2 episodes of Best Laid Plans! I love planning so I’ve subscribed.

    A question- you mentioned that you were given a daily planner as a kid, with one page for each day of the year. I have a 3rd grader who will be doing at-home learning this year (school is 100% remote for at least the foreseeable future). I think that a page-a-day planner would be helpful so he (and I and his tutor) can keep track of what needs to be done any any given day and, hopefully, have space for him to write a little something too. Any suggestions? Ideally, it would be academic year start (August).

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 6, 2020 at 10:21 am

    I’ve listened to the first episodes and they were great. Hearing you talk about your early relationship with planners reminded me how excited I was when I got a planner from school in high school! Up until then, I never had access to a planner. My parents are not planners like me so I don’t think it occurred to them to give me a calendar. I’ll have to see if my son takes after me and is into planning or if he’s like daddy who would never own a planner! Ha!

    One question I had is whether your relationship w/ planning/the intensity of your use of the planner ebbed and flowed as you had kids? I have a 2yo and a baby on the way and I’ve found that since becoming a mom, I plan way less and mostly focus on meal plans/appts/to do lists. I don’t know if this is a season of life thing or a permanent change? Before having kids, I was a chronic over-scheduler, though, so maybe it’s only natural to plan less during this phase of life? Curious if it’s just me or if others have felt similarly during the super-demanding early years of parenting…

  • Reply Chelsea August 10, 2020 at 2:58 am

    gimme pen recommendationssssssss

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 10, 2020 at 7:01 am

      What kind of pen??

  • Reply Vicky August 14, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    I love this! Can’t wait to start implementing and creating my own version – starting with yours because it’s easier that way. I’m pretty new to paper planners, I was always a digital person, which I still am, but I’m doing a hybrid now. Congrats on the podcast, you’re doing great!

  • Reply 2016windaily July 6, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Coming back to this, with your repeat of this episode!! After you had Lisa Woodruff on, I dusted off my old Sunday basket, and have been doing that for my weekly review. It has been very helpful for getting things off my mind until the scheduled time, and also for task batching as you say. Some of your steps would be useful to add to that process. I notice you also said you are doing the 100 day that she does, looking forward to that review!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.