Packed Days & Planner Talk

September 17, 2020

Jigsaw Puzzle Days

Yesterday was . . . slightly crazy. I spent 98% of it either participating in a meeting or frantically preparing to present in a meeting. I also recorded 2 BOBW podcasts and a BLP episode, because it was supposed to be a “day off”.

(“OFF” definitely in quotes.)

I barely left my chair other than to get in my LIIFT (week 4 chest/tri OMGGGG). BUT, I am happy to report that the meetings went well, we have a nice stash of BOBW episodes (with some lovely guests!), and I did get to end the day with a toddler walk that was pretty great, though I did have to carry her the last block because she got tired.

I didn’t mind that part though!

Today is another jigsaw puzzle of a day, but it looks doable compared to yesterday.

Planner Musings

I have been thinking about 2021 (because of course) and my planning system!

Tentatively, it looks like this:

✔︎ Hobonichi Techo Cousin Avec for daily carry / daily planning / scheduling

✔︎ Some sort of goal setting planner (so many great options! Considering Cultivate What Matters, MakseLife, or just a separate dotted notebook)

✔︎ A freeform journal for random lists, thoughts, etc

✔︎ Notebook specifically to take notes for work meetings (I have come to find that I do best taking notes but I don’t love these all mixed up with other things!)

I also need a notebook for daily planning etc in the last few months of 2020 because I’m on page 128/160 of my current Archer & Olive dotted notebook. I will probably use my Amanda Rach Lee which arrived earlier this week!!


Intriguing 2021 planner option I had never heard of:

Australian reader Megan alerted me to the Curation Planner — an interesting Australian option from a small company (Saint Belford)! While I don’t think I have a need for it (see above), I just thought it looked very interesting and different and wanted to share. It’s a hardbound weekly planner with built in goal setting, self-care planning, etc. There are meal planning pages built in weekly too. Sort of like a Full Focus Planner, but without the daily pages for the whole year.

Instead, it has this fairly versatile weekly layout:

Megan inquired, and was informed it does lay flat (important!). With shipping, it’s ~$57 USD from Australia (it was a higher total in Australian dollars, but the exchange rate helped). Not cheap, but definitely a unique option!


  • Reply Meg Craft September 17, 2020 at 9:49 am

    That curation planner is very tempting.

  • Reply CZ September 17, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Sarah have you heard of Maia Heyck Merlin? She does workshops for teachers and other professionals on organization and planning. I went to one of her workshops a few years ago and it was great. I think she’d be a good guest for either of your podcasts.

  • Reply Kathy September 17, 2020 at 10:28 am

    I love the Ink and Volt planner (no affiliation) for goal setting. It’s also working well for my daily to-do lists, but one could use it exclusively for goals. If you are looking for other planners to review, I’m curious about your take on the Planner Pad. It worked beautifully for me for many years.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns September 17, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    I’m only on page 50 of my 250 page Leuchtturn1917, so I think it’s going to last me through 2021 at this pace… I know you like the Olive & Archer dot journal better and it smears less than leuchtturn, so I might try that in 2022? We’ll see. or maybe by then i will do more planning and want something different? I”m in such a ‘planning light’ phase of life with 1 (soon to be 2) young child. But that may change when he is 4 and life is *hopefully* more back to normal in 2022? I have pretty low expectations for 2021…

    That sucks that you had to be on work calls during your day ‘off’. Boo! I know that’s unavoidable sometimes!

  • Reply Allie September 17, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Hi Shu!

    My name is Allie and I’m a long time reader! Love all the planner talk. I’m a nursing professor and mom to 3 under 5. I love my Erin Condren – I have the vertical weekly. I am enjoying it, leave it out on my counter and I have plenty of space, but it is SO BIG. Do you have any recommendations for weekly vertical lay outs that are a little more travel friendly?

    Thank you!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 17, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      Jibun techo! A5 or B6. Or Nolty 🙂 both very streamlined options.

  • Reply coveredbridgegenealogy September 17, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    I love the Curation planner you listed. I have an Erin Condren that started in July, but I’m feeling like I need something new for a new year, especially after 2020!

  • Reply Danielle September 17, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    I got my next Full Focus Planner delivered yesterday. Ordered the French Blue with the Aviary notebook inserts. Lovely and calming. It’s a quarterly style so I follow the seasons. It arrived JUST in time! Next week starts autumn!

  • Reply Shay September 17, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Just ordered my 2021 Passion Planner!

  • Reply Kate September 18, 2020 at 12:41 am

    I am very tempted by the Curation planner and I don’t think I would have run across it if you had not mentioned it! After some trial and error, I think a weekly layout and A5 size are my ideal planner set up. I’m also looking at this Papier planner: (much simpler, but also a pretty A5 weekly planner)

  • Reply Mariana September 18, 2020 at 5:22 am

    I have fallen on all the planner rabbit holes this week. And I placed a few orders…

    Getting a Hobonichi for next year for the first time! Well, actually 2 Hobonichis, I got a Cousin and a Weeks. Super excited for them to arrive!

    This year I have been bullet journaling, but I am not super artsy, so I miss having a more structured planner. The current plan is Cousin as my main hub for all planning and some journaling/memory keeping. Weeks more for work and to carry around everywhere. A notebook for goals, notes, lists and anything else I want to write down (I ordered an Ottergami Pro… they look really good) and a Pocket Moleskine as a backup for portability.

  • Reply Federica September 18, 2020 at 8:08 am

    I have just received my hobonichi planner A6 for next year and I’m considering to buy something for goal setting.
    It would be very nice to have a product review on BLP podcast for goal setting planner/notebook (possibly available in Europe too 😁)
    I love reading your blog and listening to your podcasts!

  • Reply Aly September 18, 2020 at 8:23 am

    I’m in very interested in any goal setting planner recommendations. I’m in search of one.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 18, 2020 at 9:27 am

      Some to consider: Ink & Volt, Inkwell press (goal setting pages), Full Focus, MakseLife, and Cultivate. Cultivate is JUST the goals part (which can be a good thing if you want a separate planner like a Hobonichi for example 🙂 )

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