COVID19 Planners Reading

Day 152: 5 on a Friday

August 14, 2020

Have not used this format in a while! Here we go . . .

1Pen ratings from The Imani Michelle. I follow Imani on instagram and I love her planning style (“lawyer and blogger with a passion for minimal planning”). I recently realized she has a blog too — hooray! I have also ordered my first Zebra Sarasa Dry 0.4mm based on her reviews. She uses a lot of beautiful minimalistic inserts for her planning systems (cloth & paper, luxplans, etc)

2- Simple Families did a 2 part series on school. #1 is here, and #2 (a Q&A follow up) is here. The host Denaye Barahona made a lot of great points, the central one being OMG THIS SCHOOL YEAR IS GOING TO BE HARD AND WEIRD AND THAT’S OKAY.

3- Family outing. YEP, we ventured out of the house to an outdoor destination a third time yesterday on our staycation. Who are we!?

Flamingo Gardens was not crowded and was fairly thrilling to the kids (sensory deprivation will do that I guess!). It’s entirely outdoors other than a building you have to walk through to get in (which takes about 30 seconds), so quite pandemic-friendly. G kept her mask on until the last ~15 minutes (Josh carried her after that).

4- BOOKS UPDATE: I just finished Kevin Kwan’s Sex and Vanity which was total candy (but fun) and have moved onto The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This selection was a residency book club pick and is fascinating so far. I can definitively say that my 2020 reading life has been better than 2020 actual life thus far.

5- DINNER. We have done some extra takeout this week (vacation!) but I did cook last night and it was soooo good: chicken sweet potato curry. Sadly the recipe is not online (Dinner Illustrated cookbook yet again – this is my total workhorse cookbook) but this one is similar: here. (Ours did not include peanut butter in the sauce, though.)


I served with little dishes of peanuts and green onions to put on top and then G ate them all (yes all the green onions) and then asked for “more snacks” which cracked me up. This was a hit with all 3 kids though A had hers without sweet potato.

BONUS PIC from my planner insta (thinking about changing the name to reflect BLP podcast but haven’t pulled the trigger yet!)

bullet journal ideas


  • Reply Arden August 14, 2020 at 7:16 am

    Can you put anything in small dishes and G will eat it as snacks? This is hilarious to me!! Hi

  • Reply gwinne August 14, 2020 at 7:49 am

    Ok. I absolutely love that you have a bullet journal entry to talk about potential bullet journal entries 🙂

    To Arden’s point, I often put “lunchable” type lunches in quartered plastic containers (i.e. crackers, cheese or diced meat, fruit, veg). I use them now even when there’s no school lunch to pack. I do not know why food is interesting that way.

  • Reply Lori C August 14, 2020 at 10:57 am

    I love all of this! And I love Simple Families podcast. Denaye has such a calm soothing way about her. I haven’t listened to those ones yet though so I will check them out! I love the bujo spread ideas, and I am totally checking out Imani’s page. I can do minimalist!

  • Reply Grateful Kae August 14, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    I just recently discovered Simple Families from your recommendation and also from reader/blogger Coco who also highly recommended it. I’ve only listened to one episode so far but am definitely interested in listening to more. The first thing that struck me was how even her opening is very “simple”, with no music or background noise at all. (She later does bring in some quiet music later in the intro, but I thought her ‘voice only’ intro really sets the tone of simplicity.) By the way- I REALLY like your intro music on Best Laid Plans! Not sure what it is about it but I just love it! Great choice!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 14, 2020 at 4:48 pm

      I like it too but it’s actually switching — Amanda who designed the website has a band and graciously recorded an original intro/outro!! Likely debuting this Monday 🙂

      I listen to all podcasts on 1.5 speed – so all the music sounds a little manic to me!! HA!

  • Reply Coco August 14, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    I love simple families and her voice is really soothing!!!
    love love the journal ideas page. please bring more!!!

  • Reply Sara B. August 14, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    Ok, you have tried the Staedler Triplus Fineliner pens, right? They say 0.3mm but I don’t think they really write that small, and they are my FAVE.

    We are struggling with getting out again, between the heat, and just feeling like there aren’t that many good places to go that are open, uncrowded, and not $$. (I’m also trying to reconcile our still-closed playgrounds and school ready to open F2F 8/21.) Maybe I’ll pony up for our Gardens this year.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 15, 2020 at 5:55 am

      It was very hot esp in masks, but felt good to walk around somewhere!! I know you’re in FL too but I don’t know how far you are from the beach . . . but if you have an uncrowded one that’s a great option too.

  • Reply Lori C August 14, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Sarah – question for Best Laid Plans Q&A perhaps… but what does your typical projects list look like? I struggle because I list a project like, “make outside look presentable” and there are like 10 kajillion tasks associated with that (weed patio, hang twinkle lights, weed side yard, buy hanging plant basket, hang number on front of house… etc etc) there must be a way for my list to be more manageable… ? I would love to hear an example (real or fake) of one of your projects and how those translate into your weekly task list.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 15, 2020 at 5:58 am

      I don’t necessarily list every step to most projects until I need to! Otherwise lists probably would get unwieldy. Even when I was creating BLP (a multistep project) . . . I never had all the steps written out in one place. Just one or two that I was focusing on within a given time frame.

      My “Projects” lists are much more general (I’ll share mine in a future post, good idea!) and then when I transfer to monthly, weekly, daily the tasks become much more specific based on what is doable within a time frame.

      • Reply Lori C August 15, 2020 at 9:44 am

        That’s helpful thank you!! Look forward to seeing the post.

  • Reply Jenn August 15, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Oooh I feel you on the 2020 reading life being better than reality! 😆 I’m in the middle of The Last Flight and loving it!

  • Reply Teresa August 16, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Wanting to add some encouragement to your day… the planning insight you are sharing has been so helpful to me this year. I’ve tried but never been able to use a planner before reading your blog. I got on board with the hobonichi techo In February and combined with some of the full focus attributes, I’m in love! Thank you!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 17, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    My 2020 reading life is definitely > 2020. I hope you enjoy Henrietta Lacks. We read that for book club years ago and everyone enjoyed it (enjoyed isn’t really the right word to use but you know what I mean). I still think about those Hela cells all these years later. There was so much depth to that book. I thought of you when Gretchen Rubin mentioned reading Medical Apartheid. That sounded like another good read for your resident book club. I’m planning to read it as well.

    I’m super impressed that G ate green onions! Those have a very strong taste to them!! It’s funny what kids will and won’t eat. Like our son looooves black olives. I never would have guessed he would like them. But he won’t eat green or kalamata olives so he must like the salty taste of them or something.

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