Best Laid Plans

BLP Ep #76: Q&A – 2022 Pep Talk, Storing Planner Items, Planners for Night Shift Workers, and More

January 10, 2022

Another Monday . . . another ep of BLP! Today’s ep features some listener recommendations and then Q&A.

(So keep the great questions + recs coming please!)

Listener Recs Mentioned:

Jenni Bick store and The Completist Planners submitted by Anandi

The O Calendar submitted by Emma

No Matter What Planners for caregivers submitted by Terri

The Mom Hour Voices Ep, 2022

Q1: Planners for night shift workers

My ideas: Hobonichi (all 24 hours are there!) or just use the AM hours as PM! Other ideas welcome, however!

Q2: Planner storage

Here’s my Sunday basket with Magner Project Bag stuffed inside

IKEA tower I use

Q3: How to Plan with your Spouse

Okay – I got a little into this answer. The listener wants to know what to do with a partner who is just not that not planning. Does she handle it herself, get him interested, just skip planning things together?

I do think there is this thing called ‘Planning Privilege”, which describes the situation when one partner (let’s be real, more likely male) doesn’t want to DO any of the planning and may state outright “I just am not a planner, sorry” but still reaps the benefits of things (meals! trips! childcare!) being planned for them on a regular basis. I think this is particularly true when there are young kids around. But I am interested in other takes.

(My husband doesn’t necessarily lead/initiate planning sessions, but is generally happy to plan *with* me. This works for us! He has agreed to come on as a guest in an upcoming episode, so perhaps more to come on that!)


  • Reply JGold January 10, 2022 at 9:24 am

    Not sure all the features the person working night shift needed in a planner, but Cal Newport’s Time block planner has undated pages where you can fill in the times that you want to time block, and a facing page for notes, weekly priorities, habits etc. – very flexible

  • Reply Coree January 10, 2022 at 9:33 am

    I’m the planner in our relationship. I’ll do the big thinking about things (ie. when we need to sign up for swim, developmental stuff), notice when clothes need moved over etc. But it works for us because my husband is the doer – he runs errands, makes phone calls, returns things to the post office, chops veggies, fixes bikes, assembles IKEA furniture, etc. Crucially, I never feel like me asking is a burden, he’ll happily work off a list I scribble down.

    • Reply Grateful Kae January 10, 2022 at 11:31 am

      I feel like my husband and I are the exact same way. My husband actually likes “running errands” way more than I do, so he is generally happy to take that type of thing over if I tell him what I need. He also is better than I am at getting specific tasks done, like your bike example, or assembling stuff, etc. He is NOT great at “noticing” when things need to be done (or planning ahead to do things). I swear he can just look right past things that in my mind obviously need doing (e.g. chipped paint on our front door. I will notice it instantly and be mulling it over, thinking about when/ who is going to deal with that….he will literally not even notice it and be like, “What chipped paint?🙄 …..). But he’ll deal with it if I ask him to.

  • Reply Megan January 10, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    I am also the core planner in relationship as my husband is much more of a “take it as it comes” personality type. I’m a J on Myers Briggs and he’s a P. But I also think there are benefits to being the planner bc I decide what we are doing on weekends or planning in my own evening activities so benefits on both side. I have struggled with this different personality type so would love to hear more from others on how they handle as when it comes to kid logistics, I don’t like being the one handling and thinking about everything.

  • Reply reallifeinutopia January 11, 2022 at 5:43 am

    My husband and I are both planners and doers, and we naturally have gravitated to our domains. I do groceries, meal planning, buying clothes for kids, he does house repairs/improvements, kids’ sports stuff. There are some gray areas we need to work on though but I like the strategy of owning something from beggining to end but after reading comments here it seems that depends on your personality.

  • Reply Diane C. January 11, 2022 at 7:17 am

    I work a lot of evenings and I’ve been using the Inamio weekly planner – it’s one of the few planners I found that has a 24 hour format, though 1am-6am have one line per hour, whereas 6am – midnight is divided into half hour increments. Each week also has space along the side and under each day to write out weekly and daily notes.

    Re: planning with spouse. I’m more of a day to day planner, but my spouse is the long term/ big project planner. He does large house projects and vacations and big purchases and 529s, I do dinner and weekends and childcare and social plans. For us it balances and out, and we understand that results of plans are the planner’s prerogative. I do think, though, people plan based what their priorities are. So it’s not like my husband couldn’t make dinner if there wasn’t a meal plan, but rather he is just as happy to order take-out or do frozen pizza, options that don’t require planning. It’s not that I don’t want to go on a vacation, but I am not as specific in what I want out of a vacation as my husband is, so I’d be just as happy to see what is available closer to our vacation dates, whereas he likes to plan six months out. I feel like in our house, it is “S/he who cares most does the planning.” Even though one partner may reap the benefits of the other partner’s planning (and fully appreciates those plans), the non planning partner isn’t being purposely exploitive, they just might not be as invested in the specific result that the planning partner wants. I also think that a lot of times “planning priviledge” goes hand in hand with “maternal gatekeeping”. If I didn’t plan the things I do, I’m sure life would be totally fine. One summer, I was away for work and our daycare closed. My husband found a new daycare for our kid within the week, even though up til then I had done all the daycare arrangements. But that’s all to say, that I agree that the best way to stave off resentment is to talk about where these gaps in planning expectations and reality and priorities are. It’s almost like you need to plan to plan!

    • Reply Helena Murphy January 11, 2022 at 9:39 pm

      Diane C, loved the clarity of form and solid content of your analysis! Especially, ” a lot of times “planning priviledge” goes hand in hand with “maternal gatekeeping”. If I didn’t plan the things I do, I’m sure life would be totally fine.” Not to minimize the value in the planning/execution that I do but, yes, that is often the case.

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 12, 2022 at 6:49 am

        Don’t minimize though! It IS valuable work and likely multiple people are benefiting!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 12, 2022 at 6:48 am

      Agree with above, very interesting perspective. It sounds like your arrangement works really well (and I will point out that you make it very clear that you DON’T do all the planning – which isn’t always the case!). “Planning to plan” together is really necessary in many pairings. One can’t just ‘opt out’ of the process entirely was my point, especially if they are going to act like the planning is unnecessary while still enjoying the fruits of their partner’s labor. That definitely does NOT sound like what you have going on 🙂

  • Reply Lynn January 11, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    my husband benefits from my love of planning, and i benefit from him being happy to run errands, wrangle the kids, and schlep all the things in our trips.

    i have expressed my need for appreciation of my efforts that go unnoticed (since i don’t lift a finger 😬) and he gives me lots of feedback and support now. win win!

  • Reply Christine January 13, 2022 at 10:55 am

    I had to laugh at the ‘planner privilege’. It reminds me of a few years ago when I was doing the planning for a big road trip for our family, and I really wanted his input on a scheduling decision. His response was ‘ don’t worry about it, it will work out. It always does’. I had to politely let him know that it always worked out because of all the researching and planning I do that apparently he wasn’t aware of. I wasn’t mad or upset, but it did highlight clearly the differences between us when it came to planning.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger January 13, 2022 at 2:18 pm

      yep 🙂 that’s exactly what I was getting at.

  • Reply AnandiRC January 20, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    I agree that there is planning privilege, but I sort of accept that because for me there’s also “reliable car privilege”, as one example. Stereotypically, my husband is the one who generally makes sure our cars are in good working order, figured out where to charge our electric car while we have no garage, figures out the street parking permits from the city, and fills the other car with gas way more often than I do ;). I literally just go down to the car and drive it or tell him if some warning comes up and he just HANDLES it. So we’ve just sorted out that I care more about stuff like planning vacation details or making sure our family calendar has all the school stuff on it, etc. but he has gotten a MILLION times better about using the family calendar as well, to his credit. I think resentment in this area specifically might be a sign of one partner just feeling overwhelmed in general? I do think that I am better at holding that “mental load” and it may be my natural inclination as a project manager who manages a lot of work things at once vs. his role as a software engineer who is expected to mostly be in “deep work” about one problem at a time. I kind of see it as different strengths and preferences.

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