Best Laid Plans

BLP Q&A Ep 56: Planner peace, post-vacation strategies, and more!

August 23, 2021

Show Notes:

Today’s episode is all Q&A. Thanks to you all (yes, you reading this!) I was able to share more suggestions for the listener who wrote in asking about ideas for re-entry after a vacation.

Other topics included holiday planning (which admittedly I’m not sure I’m great at!) and how to get back into a planning routine when you’ve falling off entirely.


The topics above are apropros because I feel BEHIND! Not on my planning routine per se, but just . . . in life. I need an uninterrupted day to catch up on just emails / longer range planning / task management. While a full day is probably not going to happen, I am going to try to make this Tuesday’s main objective.

I did finish with a nagging work project on Friday (slightly earlier than anticipated!) AND had a work speaking event moved up a month (just randomly – I was thrilled), so this time should be available. I am already looking forward to how I will feel afterwards . . .

Planning Pic from Yesterday:

Ink + Volt Meal Planning Pad with PrepDish Super Fast Plan

(The above meal planning pad was sent to me by the company, as an Ink + Volt review will be coming to BLP in the coming months. This pad is beautiful. It contains a year’s worth of pages and is made in the USA. Gold foiling, nice heavy paper, and a super functional layout.)

(And, PrepDIsh is an episode sponsor, but I really do use their plans! They did not ask me to post this.)

Yesterday I feel like all I did was prep for the upcoming week and shuttle kids around (A had her BFF’s birthday party), but it is what it is. More tomorrow!


  • Reply Gwinne August 23, 2021 at 7:57 am

    Oh can’t wait for your ink vote review. That’s the plan or I’ve been using for a couple years. It’s not perfect for me but Close and I think it’s gorgeous. Looking for something very similar but daily or with more daily space.

    • Reply Sunny August 23, 2021 at 6:57 pm

      I am excited for the Ink + Volt review too! Just started using the academic version this month, after looking at lots and lots of planners online (previously a Hobonichi user for many years). I agree with Gwinne, it’s pretty great except I miss having more daily space. I tried the Ink + Volt “today” pad, but I didn’t need all the fields. I ended up ordering the Day Designer for Blue Sky Today To Do notebook from Amazon, and this combo is working well for me.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 24, 2021 at 6:47 am

      I feel like I need to use it for a bit before I do the review justice so I think I’ll jump in in Sept. I agree it has nice aesthetics. I see it more as daily/goal setting planner rather than “calendar” planner so I’ll keep using my EC for my schedule (plus it’s to hard to move schedule type stuff and I”m really settled into that one for calendared meetngs/events!).

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 23, 2021 at 10:26 am

    I tried prepdish a couple of years ago and loved the concept but felt the meals were are little too ‘fancy’ for how we tend to eat. Like scallops for example. Have the meals gotten a bit more down-to-earth and kid friendly? I know your kids are excellent, open-minded eaters, though!

    I got my W222 over the weekend. So exciting!! Now I need to find the right pens for it as I fear my Pilot G-2 0.38 will really bleed. But this will be a fun thing to research. I’d be up for a planner match in 2022 if you do that as part of your regular content! I’m committed to making it work for 2022 but am open-minded about switching systems (one thing I wish W222 was a spread for planning your week, although I might adapt to the format and not find that necessary anymore!).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 23, 2021 at 12:31 pm

      I really like their super fast menus which I think are newer. I definitely modify a bit for the kids but it works well enough!!

      • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 23, 2021 at 2:43 pm

        Yes that is newer – I think they only had a GF and maybe one other type of menu when I used them before. Good to know that they work pretty well overall! We are just kind of basic when it comes to eating – scallops are such a special occasion type of thing!

  • Reply Lindsey August 23, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Sarah – you’re amazing! Curious if you’re ever looking for more guests to do a planner recommendation for like you did for Laura? I’m still trying to find my perfect planner and follow so many of your recommendations!

  • Reply Alyce August 23, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    The Ink + Volt meal planning notepad is exactly what I’m looking for, so I’m excited for the order I placed today to arrive. It’s exatly the combo I’ve been recreating on different notepads/scraps of paper. It will be so nice to have it all in one place.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 24, 2021 at 6:46 am

      yay! I think you will really like it – it’s much prettier even in person than my poorly lit photo 🙂
      I agree, it’s the most featured meal planning pad I’ve ever used. And not in an overly fussy way – in a super functional way.

  • Reply Noemi August 23, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    I came here looking for links to the two cookbooks you recommended on the podcast. Somehow, even when I would rewind I kept missing the name of the first cookbook! I got it on my 4th try, ha, but it would be great if you could include links to both of the ones you mentioned in these show notes (unless you did share the links elsewhere?). Thanks!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 24, 2021 at 6:45 am

      Yes! Dinner Illustrated and Run Fast Eat Slow 🙂
      Dinner Illustrated is our #1. I have to give The Frugal Girl (her blog) credit – that’s where I learned about it! SO many great options in that book.

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