Best Laid Plans

BLP Ep #99: Intentional Practices for Tough Times

June 20, 2022

Planner Peace

Today’s episode opens with a Planner Peace segment from Emelia, who created custom nursing school planners for herself AND shared her beautiful system with her classmates!

Here are some photos she sent:

traveler’s notebook style cover
totally custom interior based on class schedule + syllabus!
Emelia’s classmates are so lucky!!

Family Wall Calendar Ideas

1- Lots of great options on Etsy, including a number of custom offerings from 1801andco: shop here!

2- The Essential Calendar – simple + effective!

3- MC Squares – super easy and stick to non-magnetic fridges (we have one of those!).

Intentional Practices for Tough Times

Things are actually better for me than when I recorded this episode, but I was inspired by some recent stress to write about . . . well, things that often help me when I am knee deep in uncertainty and negative emotions.

creating a manifesto

drawing out an ideal week and/or time-tracking

self-care planning: including looking at calendar + time track data and specifically thinking about how to fit in more rest / sleep / relaxation 


gratitude – writing 3 good things in my planner or putting gratitude into my 5 year journal

reading books that focus on philosophies or others who have been thorough much harder things (just finished A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine, and Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl is one I read recently that also comes to mind)



I think it would be fun do to an Ask Me Anything ep for #100! So . . .I need questions. Submit them via email (shuboxblog at gmail), in the comments here, or via Speakpipe below! I’m even going to post to Insta (the horror!) and will take the questions I get, print them, and pull them out of a box one at a time the way I heard Ali on the Run do it in this episode.


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  • Reply Chelsea June 20, 2022 at 8:30 am

    When I was listening to Emelia’s planner peace segment, I kept thinking “What an awesome side business that would be.” I’m not sure exactly what the business model would be, but I imagine that lots of students would love to have a nice-looking calendar with all of their school commitments on it.

  • Reply Coree June 20, 2022 at 10:56 am

    Needed that today. I just had a moan to my husband about my social isolation (a mix of no work travel, newish town, friends being away) and compared myself to a “goldfish in a bowl….” and I’ve been grumpy all weekend. And really I just need to suck it up cupcake and make some friends in new town.

    Maybe that’s a good AMA: What’s your social circle like? What do you like? What would you change about it?

    I’m also curious about how you decide what to prioritise. I love that you basically nope out of serious home decor, but really care about your wardrobe. I’m probably the opposite, I can wear athleisure or linen sacks and call it the day, but will spend literal months agonising over paint colours.

  • Reply Brooke June 20, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    Book recommendation: I’ve really been enjoying Daily Stoic this year – just one quick page a day

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 20, 2022 at 3:35 pm

      oooh, good to know! I’m interested in his other books too!

  • Reply Keren June 20, 2022 at 4:06 pm

    This episode came to me on a very stressful day. Thanks for all the ideas, meditation really helped and it’s easy to incorporate into busy days as well. I will try some of the other practices during the following days. I feel that lately I’ve been reacting to urgent things, some were only made urgent by me postponing them to the last minute. I’ve been moving tasks on my journal from one day to the next. I think I definitely need these practices to embrace intentionality.

  • Reply Lori C June 21, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    Sarah I listened to this episode twice so I could jot down all of the lovely tips you gave. I also am going through a tough time at work and this was just what I needed!

    Also sidenote my MC Square should arrive today- I will let you know how I like it!! Thank you for all of the great suggestions. I may end up trying the other two at some point as well.

  • Reply Rebecca Hall June 27, 2022 at 11:29 am

    Many legal and privacy scholars are wisely advising that people of reproductive age who can become pregnant, especially those in states where many methods of family planning are now, or will soon be, criminal, delete unsecured reproductive/cycle data such as period tracking apps. Have you come across any paper planners dedicated to this task, especially any that have some of the same features (i.e. predictive help, symptom-tracking, etc.)? I need to transition this function to a non-digital platform and am having trouble finding a great option… thanks!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 27, 2022 at 12:34 pm

      I think the yearly planning pages in hobonichi would be absolutely perfect for the this – they make a good symptom tracker in general. You could also make a bullet journal style layout!!

      I did hear this too and thought – how could this data really be useful when so many women have irregular cycles naturally?? (Myself included, in the past). But who knows …

  • Reply Vanessa August 17, 2022 at 8:44 am

    I am a little behind on my podcast listening. But love Emelia’s idea as I start my master’s program in counseling next week. Also, I would love to share the Personal planner company with you if you were not aware of them. I have used their planners, family wall calendar, and notebooks for several years and find them simple and easy to customize.

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