Best Laid Plans Weekend

Episode 62: BLP x Gretchen Rubin

October 4, 2021

It was utterly thrilling to get to speak with Gretchen Rubin for the second time (she was on BOBW nearly 4 years ago – basically another era!). I love her books and almost never miss an episode of the podcast she cohosts with her sister, Happier. Because of this, it was so much fun to interview her! I felt like I could really delve into things I knew about only from listening, like her Filofax (I was so sad when she stopped using it!) and the sensory aspects of planning.

from her website; photo credit Heather Moore

She is launching a new line of beautiful journals and even the cutest tackle box of notepads that I am totally buying to gift someone this holiday season.

My favorite is probably the Don’t Break the Chain journal. I haven’t seen many others like it, and I love that it has a forgiving and analytical approach.

Available here!

Here is the tackle box:

Seriously how cute is this? Available here.

I had so much fun doing this interview. I hope you enjoy it!

Weekend Mini-Report: It was one of the best weekends in recent memory. It contained:

sleep (slept in until 7 Sat and 8 Sun!)


gymnastics (A/G), flag football (C)

a date night!!!

car show

decent weather (not toooo hot)



family grocery shopping

an on-time bedtime (!)

I can’t ask for much better than that.


  • Reply Emily October 4, 2021 at 6:59 am

    Am so looking forward to this interview! You both are two of my favorites and have not missed an episode of either Happier or BLP. Glad you had a great weekend as well. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Mrs. Candid October 4, 2021 at 7:35 am

    You know the feeling, when two of our best friends happen to meet in a coffee shop or so, and one of them calls us to tell about it … i am feeling that kind of excitement and thrill right now ☺ so eager to start listening to the episode …

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns October 4, 2021 at 11:11 am

    This episode was a DELIGHT! I’m a Gretchen superfan and listen to every episode of her podcast as well so it was fun to hear you both chat. I’m a fellow upholder and would guess that you are right about a lot of your listeners being upholders! Like Gretchen, my husband is a questioner – curious if yours is, too?

    Yay for a great weekend! Ours was pretty good. My parents were here for a night so that was super fun. I ran a 10 mile race yesterday morning after a really poor night of sleep thanks to our son having an awful night terror. He hadn’t had one in 10 months but of course he had one the night before my race when I had to be up at 5. Womp womp. The race went so so. I was feeling so strong up until 2 weeks ago when I got a horrible URV. I’m trying to ignore my slow time and focus on the fact that I ran 10 freaking miles, though!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger October 4, 2021 at 12:43 pm

      He is also a questioner. I think it’s a common pairing!!

  • Reply heather October 4, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    So fun to listen to you and Gretchen! Y’all got on like white on rice! πŸ™‚ Also part of an upholder/questioner pair too.

  • Reply Angela Sherman October 4, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    Sqeeeeaaaaaal! I am so excited about this! I actually started reading Gretchens blog bc of your blog. I haven’t been listening to podcasts much, but hers is a go to! I will have to listen to this one of yours!

  • Reply Grateful Kae October 4, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    I use the Habit Tracker section of my Wonderland 222 for tracking any attempts at “streak” type behaviors…but I relate greatly to I think it was your comment about not being a huge fan of streaks because of the pressure of them. I have been feeling the same way lately- I set about to do these streaks of something, inevitably life happens and I “fail” and then it’s all just irritating. And then to make matters worse, sometimes when I break the streak, I go off the deep end in the opposite direction (ex.: Streak goal= I will drink 1 gallon of water everyday. I do this for 7 days. Fall a little short/ fail one day. Then proceed to drink like, 2 ounces of water/day for the next 8 days. πŸ˜‚). I browsed her journal and I love the idea of just putting a simple “pass” sticker on a missed day, brushing it off and continuing on like no big deal. Genius! Consistency over time is so much more important anyway than an arbitrary “streak”. Love the concept.

  • Reply Jessica October 5, 2021 at 12:18 am

    What a great episode! I enjoyed the discussion of planning for different tendencies. I’m a questioner, and I don’t really stick with one method of planning for long (analysis paralysis?) and I don’t tend to buy planners (questioning if it’s worth the cost). I also tend to make my own layouts optimizing for myself, then print copies to fill out, which also seems very questioner-ish to me.
    Something related to the habit streaks that might also be a questioner thing: I really resist doing things every day. There are very few non-mandatory things that I think of as worth doing daily, and they tend to be quite quick for me to find them worth it (e.g. journaling a minimum of one sentence, deep breathing before bed, weighing myself). Similarly I enjoy analysis like Gretchen mentioned, but I don’t like the action of doing daily tracking – the only things I track are automated and I check them periodically (e.g. using Mint for tracking spending).

    Side note: I am a questioner but my partner is an obliger, not an upholder. Not too surprising though given how common obligers are.

  • Reply Alyce October 6, 2021 at 9:30 am

    I really enjoyed this discussion a lot. I’m a questioner (married to an upholder), and I’ve always been an avid planner. My planning has been deeply lackluster since 2019, when I gave birth to my first child who soon therafter developed very serious health issues and related disabilities, followed by some of my own health issues, and then the friggin pandemic. All of it combined has completely blown up my belief that things are within my control. As a questioner who needs to understand why they’re doing something, these doubts have completely upended how I see and value planning. Though now that I write that out, I can’t help but think that my reaction stemmed more from a low grade depression about all of this stuff. I have a huge backlog of projects that I haven’t executed because my planning has fallen to the wayside. And even after years of being on to do lists, the projects haven’t disappeared because they’re really important things that still need to get done! Obviously there’s continued value for planning. I ordered a full focus planner last week after your mini review in the hopes that I can spend the last three months of the year really getting through some of this stuff and getting my planning mojo back.

    And if I do, then I’ll have to confront the fact that my promotion last year means that many of my old planning approaches no longer hold up in this new job where I have both more and less autonomy and control over my time. Maybe a three month jumpstart into feeling more organized and in control of my life is precisely what I need to motivate myself to figure out new planning methods for this new phase of life.

  • Reply Angela Sherman October 6, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    So good, Listened to this podcast just now and I loved it. It was a great conversation between the two of you. I am so interested in her new stuff. I really love her work. her 4 tendencies do confuse me though. I really don’t like those multiple choice quizzes bc the answers are never 100% what I would answer so I always wonder how I’d get the right result. But the first time I reluctantly took it ( bc I love Gretchen) I thought for sure I was an obliger, took the test and it came back questioner. took it later and it was obliger.. I can’t honestly decide which one I really am… which makes me think questioner… but, Am I really. lol. I’m pretty sure my husband is a rebel, rebels perplex me alot. Like, why are they likely to join the military, I can’t make sense of that one.

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