Best Laid Plans The Podcast

BLP Ep #136: Mixed Bag!

March 6, 2023

Today’s episode is a mixed bag!

Planner Peace

From a physician with 3 young children (younger than mine!):

“I started using the Planner Pad (thanks to this podcast!) and love being able to list out weekly tasks both by category and then assign them to a day. However, I was finding that I would list too many tasks per week and then have to copy them forward. The Planner Pad people suggest a system that involves folding over vs tearing off the top corner to track undone items. 

Instead, I now use an accessory notebook to hold my yearly and seasonal goals, which I do Jan/May/Sept, in the front, and lists of to-dos by project in the back, so I can limit myself to listing only items for that week. 

I am using a Moleskine cahier for this which works well because the back pages are perforated so I rewrite the lists and tear out the old ones during my monthly review. I use the remaining front pages to list accomplishments and highlights by month. I use the paper calendar for long term planning, which I sync to my work Outlook once a month, and then transfer meetings back to the paper planner on Fridays. After I choose tasks for the next week, I list any weekend work or home admin tasks on a single sticky note and put it on the front of the planner so I don’t have to open it up or otherwise think about work until Monday. 

The other piece of my system, for managing information, is using a wiki software (I use Voodoopad but there are several). I have 3 wiki files on my computer: one to take notes on journal articles or drop in screenshots of slides from scientific talks; one for active research projects, where I put meeting notes etc; and one for personal/family information, where I put random parenting/fitness/household tips. I find this more useful than Evernote because adding links is an easy way to have all the information accessible and easy to synthesize. 

Anyway, just wanted to share since I feel like you get a lot of questions about handling meeting notes and I find this system to work really well. I really appreciate the podcast as inspiration for keeping things together despite tiny chaos agents small children. Thanks so much!”

Academic physician + mother of 3!

Planning Wanderlust

Yep. I moved. I KNOW. I’m now in the Sterling Ink B6 weekly and using the Stalogy a5 (which I was already using as a notebook) as my daily pages.

current daily layout; will eventually share pictures of the weekly too!

I then go through some things that are working (running training plan; goals notebook; desk in my closet!) and some things that are still a work in progress (those big home organizing goals).

Planner recs for a physician in fellowship training:

Something not too big + fairly minimal! Don’t recreate the EMR in your planner obviously – unnecessary + not HIPAA-compliant!


Hobonichi Weeks

Jibun Techo

Small Mochithings find

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  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns March 7, 2023 at 9:05 am

    My YTD goals have been a bit of a mixed bag. I planned/bought tickets for the trips I’ll take in 2023 so I am excited about that! I did great w/ my 23 minutes outside in ’23 goal in January but February was not great… but I traveled quite a bit for work and had other things going on. But I set this goal knowing I would not achieve perfection. And I got outside more than I would have if I hadn’t set that goal!

  • Reply Lesley C March 7, 2023 at 11:04 am

    Hi Sarah, we are planning a family trip to Amelia Island (3 kids!) and of course I thought of you. Can you share the VRBO you stayed in? Or any tips! Thanks

  • Reply Sharon March 11, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    I totally missed the part in the episode about you using the new Sterling Ink Common Planner!!!! I’ve been wondering if you had got your hands on one and what you think!!?? Curious why you aren’t using the blank pages in the back as your dailies?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 11, 2023 at 4:08 pm

      I like looking at my weekly when I create my dailies!!!!

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