Best Laid Plans

BLP Notes: Some Planner Matchmaking, Recording Gratitude, and Combining Work/Life

August 30, 2021

Brands Mentioned In this Episode:

Hobonichi (2022 releases are out and go on sale this week!)

Wonderland 222

Ink + Volt

Full Focus (affiliate link)

Positively Present (gratitude journal)




Plum Paper

Golden Coil

Audience Participation Question

From listener Molly:

I’m essentially looking for a weekly planner that dedicates a lot more space to weekend dates, than it does to weekend days.  That is what I need for my personal life.  I typically have 3-5 things I need to do personally in the middle of the work day or each evening, and very full weekends, and that would fit my needs.  I tend to use a daily page (using just a daily plan notepad I bought from Etsy) for my daily work needs, so I’m all set there.

Other than cobbling together a custom option using inserts, any ideas for Molly?

Brief Weekend Report

I watched a Hobonichi Preview on Instagram Live and spent the rest of the weekend fawning over the covers. I’m not sure what’s driving me back to my planner roots, but I will definitely be placing an order this week (and next week’s episode will be all about this year’s offerings!).

G’s first encounter with Ziggy the clown . . .

Josh was on call, so we generally followed a template of AM activity / afternoon laziness (ie, screen time for the kids). Saturday I managed to get everyone back outside but yesterday I just couldn’t go back out in the heat (we had spent the morning outside – outdoor bday party!). I did feel a bit guilty about that. Will try again next weekend to think up a non-torturous activity to do at ~4 pm.

Oh! And everyone is going to school today (Annabel was also PCR negative). We will see how long that lasts . . .

Thinking of those in Louisiana impacted by Hurricane Ida. List of potential places to donate is here.


  • Reply Grateful Kae August 30, 2021 at 10:28 am

    Another idea for the gratitude recording….The way I was eventually able to really make a daily gratitude habit STICK after a long time of being inconsistent was to get a cheap daily desk calendar, one of those little square ones, with the pages you tear off each day. Then each morning when I sat down at my desk, I would tear the previous day’s page off to change the date, jot down a couple gratitude items on the back of the page, and then I would tuck them in the little calendar box in my desk drawer to save them. But, in the case of your listener who finds it “cringey” (LOL, that’s my 13 year old’s favorite word), she could literally even just write a couple things down and then crumple the calendar page up and throw it away! Or she could save them for a month and then toss them or whatever. (I personally enjoy reading back over them, so I save all of mine long term! I have several years worth saved up now. But to each their own. 🙂 I think it’s just the act of pausing to reflect on it that matters, anyway, even if it never gets written down.

    • Reply Grateful Kae August 30, 2021 at 10:31 am

      Adding- I specifically found that using the daily calendar page to help make this stick worked so well because the act of changing the date was the “trigger” that reminded me to immediately do my gratitude practice too. And I would ALWAYS change the date page, because who wants the wrong date staring at them on their desk calendar??

    • Reply Maggie August 31, 2021 at 9:33 pm

      This is the best idea ever!!!! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 30, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    I just got the W222 last week and am excited to try it out. I’m reminding myself that it doesn’t need to be PERFECT and I can switch systems in 2023. I am typically a satisfiser but for some reason when it comes to planners, I feel like a maximizer, I think because I would personally never change systems mid-year (too much work to move things to new planner + the cost of a new system). I think I am probably going to find that a weekly system you described is a better fit. Which the W222 kind of is, but I think I may need a different format? We’ll see how 2022 in that system goes. I’m just in a weird planning phase I went from using an EC life planner for many years then to a bullet journal in 2017, but my planning majorly dropped off then due to pregnancy and then having super young kids. I think 2022 will still not quite bit a ‘typical’ year yet? I don’t think I know what typical means as a working parent yet, though? This is probably a topic for me to noodle through in a blog post, though!! I just feel like the pregnancy and infant years are such outliers!

    I’m a lot like the 2nd medical professional w/ a 50% administrative role who asked about what to do about deadlines and such, but since I am not someone who makes daily pages, Outlook is much better for managing deadlines. So I think knowing yourself/how you plan drives whether to use paper or electronic. I tend to use my planner for goals/to-dos/projects that don’t necessarily have a hard deadline/due date. If there is a hard deadline, though, I use my outlook calendar.

  • Reply Hope August 30, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Amplify will have the option of choosing a vertical or horizontal weekly in 2022

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 30, 2021 at 12:57 pm

      Omg!!!! That’s so great!!

      • Reply Jenn August 31, 2021 at 11:34 am

        I enjoyed this episode! Sarah you mentioned the Jibun Techo… is its paper as slick as the Hobonichi paper?

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 31, 2021 at 2:37 pm

          No! It is definitely less slick and less smudge-prone.

  • Reply Aimee August 30, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    Ivory Paper Planners offers a daily and weekly together. You should have the founder on your show. She calls her warehouse the Pink House.

  • Reply Alyce August 30, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    Re: gratitude – if the idea of re-reading it makes the listener cringe, they should consider just writing their gratitudes out on whatever old piece of paper – a post-it note! a loose leaf sheet of paper! any old notepad! – and go through the exercise of deciding what they’re grateful for and writing it down. And then recycle the paper! There’s no need whatsoever to keep it in some beautiful bound journal and ever look at it again.

    Re: weekend planner request – the listener may want to consider Hobonichi! Given that it gives weekend days the same amount of space as weekdays, it provides more weekend space than most planners. But with the daily pages, there would be more than enough space if the weekend plans needed more space. Plus, if the listener is already using a seperate daily planner, it sounds like they could also benefit from the Hobonichi’s daily pages as well!

  • Reply Amanda August 31, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Fun episode! 2022 will be my second year of getting a fancy planner inspired by you! I did plum paper last year but am really craving the sleek look of a bound book with lay flat binding. After this episode and looking through links I think I am going to go with Ink and Volt. It has most of the components I’m looking for and I like the look and size. I appreciated the question from the clinician about wanting a weekly planner as I am in the same boat…3.5 days per week I am just seeing patients/doing procedures so I don’t need a ton of daily pages. Thank you!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 31, 2021 at 2:39 pm

      Ink + Volt mini review coming to an ep soon! They have nice paper (no smudge issues) and very professional looking layout with a reasonable (doable!) amount of goal setting content. I’d prefer if they had more lines or dot grid but that’s just me 🙂

      And their notepads are luscious!

  • Reply Brooke September 5, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    I love my Amplify for exactly what Molly is looking for – it’s got space for a few personal to do each weekday, and then I take over the weekends for my longer personal to do. Sat and Sun have their own full day.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 6, 2021 at 7:11 am

      amplify is great and I’m so happy they came out with a vertical weekly option!

  • Reply Christina September 10, 2021 at 10:51 am

    I am feeling planner wanderlust and could use a recommendation! I’ve been using the Hobonichi Techo Cousin for a few years, and like it a lot. However, I am starting to migrate more of my daily journaling and tracking to Evernote, so I’m looking for a weekly-centered spread.

    This is what I’m looking for:
    – Lay flat binding… no coils or rings!
    – Vertical weekly layout as the “primary” layout
    – Ideally, the days in the weekly lay out wouldn’t be super narrow, so I can do block planning and note taking.
    – I do not need a lot of space, however, for Saturdays and Sundays.
    – A yearly layout, like the Techo, for keeping a family health log (I picked that up from you, thank you!)
    – A full blank page at the beginning of each month for goal writing. But otherwise, no need for separate monthly pages.
    – Paper that is white or near white, that is thicker than tomoe river paper to decrease bleed through. This is not a deal breaker though, as I usually use ball point pens anyway.
    – Planner weight/size doesn’t really matter to me all that much.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 10, 2021 at 5:02 pm

      Sounds like an erin condren hourly softbound but they haven’t released any for 2022 yet!!

      Will keep thinking …

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 10, 2021 at 5:04 pm

      Ink and volt another great option and I like their paper!

      • Reply Christina September 13, 2021 at 11:04 am

        Thank you for the suggestions! I will have to check out some YouTube vids of these so I can get a good feel for what their layout is like.

      • Reply Christina September 20, 2021 at 5:52 pm

        I decided to give Ink + Volt (undated 6 mo. planner) a try! I just ordered it today using your affiliate link from today’s BLP ep. Thank you again for the recommendation!

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 20, 2021 at 6:59 pm

          Aww! I don’t think I am an affiliate (it was just a regular link) but still great! I hope you love it!

          • Christina October 16, 2021 at 1:13 pm

            An update: I’ve been using the Ink and Volt for almost a month now and I LOVE IT. It is exactly what I need right now.

          • Sarah Hart-Unger October 16, 2021 at 3:38 pm

            I am so glad!!!!! It’s a really great planner!

  • Reply Nicole Vinson September 19, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I will let you which planner I pick & my success 🙂 So excited to hear my request and your response when I was driving the other day!

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