Best Laid Plans

Welcome to Best Laid Plans -- a podcast all about planning and the planning tools we love. From planning techniques and organizing philosophies to planners and notebooks, we cover it all. Host Sarah Hart-Unger is a mother of 3, physician, podcasting pro, and a lover of lists and all things paper! Listen in weekly for conversations about planning and productivity as well as product reviews and interviews with planning experts!

Education
Self-Improvement
Society & Culture
1
Few Planner Updates + Deep Thoughts on Instagra...
22 min
2
Planner Review Episode: 2022 Sprouted and Curat...
35 min
3
Reflection Season, Planner Pad Review, and an E...
In this episode, Sarah discusses ways to make the most of the next 2 months (Quintile 5 = Reflection + Celebration season!). Then, she dives into a planner review of the Planner Pad -- which is not really a "pad" per se, but does have a die hard...
22 min
4
Planning Retreats: Personal, Work, Couples and ...
In this episode, Sarah opens with a discussion of planning tips for Obligers, inspired by a listener comment. Then she moves to a discussion about planning retreats -- how to devote an entire day (or more!) to planning, whether it is for work,...
29 min
5
Launching Her Own Stationery Shop with Karina f...
In this fun interview episode, Sarah has a chat with Karina about the origin story and launch of her stationery shop, Honeypress! They also discuss some of her latest releases, including the Kokuyo Jibun Techo lineup, and Karina delves into her plans...
44 min
6
Fall Launch Updates + Q&A: Planner Sizes, Combi...
This episode opens with a discussion of fall launch updates from a few of Sarah's favorite brands, as well as a brief recap of what she is using now. Then, she answers listener questions on illness tracking, combining different areas of life into one...
25 min
7
Finding Planner Peace via Todoist with Sarah Po...
Sarah Powers (@powersofmine on Insta, and cohost of the very popular podcast The Mom Hour) joins Sarah today to discuss her favorite planning tools. She shares how she went from using a Moleskine notebook with a very full and somewhat stressful...
34 min
8
Chat about All Things Planning-Adjacent with Gr...
In this episode, Sarah is thrilled to interview author, speaker, thought leader, and amazing podcast host Gretchen Rubin! They have a really fun conversation about Gretchen's planning habits, from her decades-old Filofax to the Album of Now. They talk...
37 min
9
Full Focus Mini-Review + Q&A: Work Planning EP 61
In this episode, Sarah starts out answering a question about what kinds of planning tools she uses in her work day. Then, she provides a follow up recommendation for our listener looking for a comprehensive A4 system - the Panda Planner! Next, she...
27 min
10
Planner Matchmaking and Ink+Volt Mini-Review EP 60
In this episode, Sarah addresses two listeners who wrote in requesting planner matchups! Monica wants a versatile A4 system with tons of features, and Erika is hoping for a planner similar to the Hobonichi Cousin Avec - but on different paper. Another...
26 min
11
Daily Planning Love + Kitlife Daily + Page Prod...
This episode opens with all of the things Sarah loves about daily planning. Benefits as she lists them include motivation, accountability, record-keeping, understanding schedule nuances, having a daily clean slate, and helping to prioritize. Then, the...
27 min
12
All About Hobonichi! 2022 Releases, Covers, Tom...
This episode is all about Hobonichi Techo planners. Sarah discusses the various options (A5 Cousin, A6 Original, Avec, A6 English, Weeks, Weeks Mega -- apologies to the Day Free, which was left out!). Then, she discusses pros and cons of using this...
24 min
13
Q&A: Planner Matchmaking Requests, Gratitude, a...
This Q&A episode is in part dedicated to planner matchmaking requests! Listeners wrote in asking for various layouts and combos, and Sarah does her best to try to think of great ideas for them to try. She also answers a listener question about...
24 min
14
Q&A: Tips for returning from vacation, Thoughts...
In this Q&A episode, Sarah discusses some listener tips for what to do to make returning from vacation feel more manageable. Then, there are questions about difficulty finding planner peace, planning for the holiday season (quite early!), cookbook...
16 min
15
Best Laid Plans + Amanda's Favorites! EP: 55
Amanda from Amanda's Favorites is known for her amazing and in-depth YouTube planner reviews. Sarah was honored and excited to interview her for the show! They chat about go-to planners, digital planning, under-the-radar planner brands, kids'...
28 min
16
Back to School: Routines, Vintage Supplies, & M...
Today's episode is all about the back to school season! Sarah discusses routines to think about and other aspects of life to re-evaluate as we head into this second "fresh start" season of the year. Then, in a really fun segment she discusses her...
20 min
17
Welcome Back + &Studium Daily Planner Review EP 53
Welcome back to Season 3 of Best Laid Plans! Sarah returns from a monthlong hiatus full of ideas and planning energy. She provides an update on her current planning setup and then dives into a review of the compact and versatile &Studium Daily...
25 min
18
Planning Your Year in Quartiles or Quintiles EP 52
In this episode, Sarah does a deep dive into planning larger chunks of the year, whether are quarters or quintiles. She details the feelings and rituals that generally occur in each Quintile, as well as the use of breaking up the year in this way. ...
18 min
19
Planning, Routines & Crowding out Bad Habits EP 51
In this Deep Dive episodes, Sarah shares details about her morning routine and how she goes about daily planning. She also muses on the idea of essentially crowding out bad or mindless habits by intentionally spending time on things you want to,...
20 min
20
Getting Started with Planning EP 50
This episode was inspired by a listener who wanted to hear about ideas for getting started with planning from scratch.  While it is hard to be prescriptive about what any one person should use, there are definitely a number of fundamental things...
27 min
21
The Weekly Review EP 49
This episode takes a deep dive into one of Sarah's favorite planning techniques: the Weekly Review.  There are so many great ways to do a weekly review process, and one size definitely does not fit all!  Listen to discover...
20 min
22
Ask Me Anything - Your Q&A! EP 48
For the season finale of BLP, Sarah put out a call to Instagram for questions for an "Ask Me Anything" format episode. Listeners write in with wonderful questions, from tips on setting up a planning routine to specific pen and planner queries. Join in...
32 min
23
Midyear Goals Check-in (with my own goals as an...
In this episode, Sarah discusses the merit of performing a mid-year goals check in. She recommends setting aside some time and going carefully through all of the goals you identified at the beginning of the year. And then - the audit can begin! Some...
22 min
24
Planner Matchmaking with Laura Vanderkam EP 46
In this episode, Sarah provides a planner matchmaking service for Laura Vanderkam! Laura is a time management expert who also happens to be Sarah's good friend and podcast cohost on Best of Both Worlds. For years, she's used a plain spiral notebook to...
25 min
25
Planning Your Summer! EP 45
This episode is all about planning your summer, with an in-depth discussion of the various things Sarah has spent time dreaming about for Summer 2021. Topics include childcare/camp, personal projects, summer reading & entertainment, travel,...
24 min
26
The Get to Work Book and Much More with Planner...
So many listeners recommended Elise Cripe a guest, and Sarah was thrilled to chat with her about her beautiful, professional, and functional planner: the Get to Work Book! This planner has goal-setting functionality, weekly spreads, and made a unique...
26 min
27
Simplified Planner Review EP 43
In this episode, Sarah provides an honest and candid review and walk-through the Simplified Daily Planner by Emily Ley. The Simplified line of planners contains both a daily and weekly option, and all feature beautiful colors and thoughtful design...
24 min
28
Q&A - Long-range planning, less feminine planne...
It's another all Q&A episode, featuring your submitted write-in and audio questions! Question 1 opens with a question on "manly" planners for a 25 year old who has just received a promotion. Q2 is from a soon-to-be medicine resident wondering if...
25 min
29
From Essentialism to Effortless with Author Gre...
This episode features author Greg McKeown, known for his work Essentialism and now introducing some powerful newer ideas in his latest release Effortless. In the conversation, Sarah and Greg take a deeper dive into the why around planning and what...
32 min
30
Routines and More with Ashley Brown of Routine ...
In this fun conversational episode, Sarah welcomes Ashley Brown to the show. Ashley is a mother, nurse educator, podcaster, and routines expert! She has her own suite of products designed to help people (especially women) optimize their routines, and...
22 min
31
Midyear Planner Switchup and Review of the Erin...
If you have felt the pull to switch planners 3 or 4 months into 2021 -- well, just know that you are not alone! Due to a few factors, Sarah jumped out of the (lovely!) Wonderland 222 and into a larger more colorful Erin Condren softbound weekly, with...
24 min
32
Q&A Episode: Filing miscellaneous information, ...
In this Q&A episode, Sarah answers 4 listener questions. The first asks about how to handle bits of information that you might need later-- but are unsure exactly when. Then, a listener asks about the Eisenhower matrix, and relates it specifically...
23 min
33
Digital Planning Hacks from Gmail to Tasks to G...
In this fun interview episode, Sarah interviews Kelsey Wharton, a mother of 3 (ages 1-8!) and fellow podcaster -- she cohosts The Girl Next Door Podcast, which happens to be one of Sarah's favorites! Kelsey has always impressed Sarah with her...
29 min
34
Quintiles or Quarters: How to Consider Your Yea...
In this episode, Sarah does a deep dive into planning larger chunks of the year, whether are quarters or quintiles. She details the feelings and rituals that generally occur in each Quintile, as well as the use of breaking up the year in this way. ...
17 min
35
Spring Reviews: Day Designer, Villa Beautiful P...
Today's episode includes a deep dive review of the Day Designer, a monthly and daily planner with beautiful patterned covers and a distinctive layout. Then, Sarah discusses her recent purchase of two Villa Beautiful crystal gel pens and (finally) a...
22 min
36
Q&A Question: Your Voices & More! EP 34
This episode features 3 listener audio questions, plus a couple of extra bonus questions at the end! Topics covered include creating organized systems to share mental load with a partner, using budgeting tools to plan ahead for bigger less frequent...
21 min
37
Organizing Your Home, Your Paper, and Your Life...
Long-time listeners will know Sarah has been a long term admirer of Organize 365 founder and CEO Lisa Woodruff for quite some time. In today's episode, Sarah has Lisa share some of her greatest ideas (and there are many!) that pertain to organizing...
31 min
38
Organizing Your Financial Life EP 32
This episode is all about ways to organize your finances. Sarah discusses 4 essential parts of being intentional with finances, including tracking your earnings & expenses, learning about investing, following and monitoring your long-term...
21 min
39
Goal Setting, Handwriting, and More with Laken ...
Laken is a longtime member of the online planning community known for her openness, her positive encouragement, and her gorgeous and unique handwriting! In this episode, she gives an overview of her personal planning methods and her goal setting...
24 min
40
Mini Q&A and MakseLife Quarterly Goal Setting N...
It's a hybrid episode!  In the first portion, Sarah answers listener questions on tasks vs to-dos, managing small recurrent tasks that threaten to take over our actions lists, and ways to organize multiple in-progress projects that involve a lot...
23 min
41
Planning & Anticipation in Pandemic Times EP 29
In this episode, Sarah takes a deep dives into the concept of planning and anticipation. This is much harder to come by in 2021, but still worth doing! Then, she discusses current planning success & failures. Finally, she answers a fascinating...
22 min
42
Daily Planning, Routines, and Crowding Out Bad ...
In this Deep Dive episodes, Sarah shares details about her morning routine and how she goes about daily planning. She also muses on the idea of essentially crowding out bad or mindless habits by intentionally spending time on things you want to,...
19 min
43
Layered Living Planner: Self-care, Goal setting...
In this episode, Sarah takes a deep dive into the Layered Living Planner by HerSpace. Sarah shares her thoughts and excitement about this unique planner, and then talks a bit about goal setting planners in general.
17 min
44
Q&A: Meal planning, Post-baby planning, Quarter...
In this Q&A episode, Sarah answers questions about meal planning, tracking multiple active cases at work, planning in the post-newborn period, how she fits in podcasting with her busy work and family life, and more! Show Sponsor: Wear Your Power...
26 min
45
Planner Chat with Meg & Myra from Planners & Wi...
In this very fun guest episode, Sarah interviews Meg and Myra, the cohosts of Planners & Wine -- yes, another podcast about planners! Their podcast is a ton of fun, as they share very real and important opinions (some planner related, and some...
28 min
46
2021 Systems Overview EP: 24
It's a new year (AND a new quintile!), so welcome to a brand new season of Best Laid Plans! In this episode, Sarah gives an overview of all of the systems and products she plans on using in 2021 to stay organized, from the digital to the physical.
21 min
47
Year End Q&A EP: 23
It's an all Q&A episode for the end of the year! Sarah answers your questions on goal setting, creating trackers for illnesses, managing big projects, messy planner pages, planners for kids, and more! Keep the questions coming - feel free to...
22 min
48
Spaces Planner & Thoughts on Planner Size EP 22
Still looking for a 2021 planner? In the last review-focused episode of the year, Sarah reviews the unique Spaces Planner! The Spaces is a weekly system with tons of flexibility and an unusual square footprint. Sarah leads with a discussion about...
17 min
49
Tips for End of Year Goal Setting (even after a...
In this episode, Sarah shares her end of year goal setting process, as well as some of the things that felt a little more challenging in this usual year. She discusses setting "pandemic-proof" goals, using categories, seeking accountability, getting...
16 min
50
Dot Journaling and More with Rachel Miller EP 20
Rachel Miller is an author, journalist, and her pieces are always creative and fun. She has written her own guide to dot journaling -- filled with artistry and inspiration and fun ideas for using your own dot grid notebook as planner and self-care...
22 min
51
Rest EP: 19
It's the season of a lot of activity, even during pandemic times.  Rest often gets overlooked, but it deserves discussion, contemplation and most likely even a spot in our calendars.  In this short but sweet...
10 min
52
Time Block Planning and Much More with Cal Newp...
Cal Newport is a computer science professor and writer about topics from technology to productivity to work culture, and he is also now the author of his newly released Time Block Planner!  Cal chats with Sarah -- a long time fan -- about...
30 min
53
Technique Spotlight: Monthly Review EP: 17
Episode 2 focused on the components of current weekly review process; this episode does the same for the monthly review. The Components: 1) Review Prior Month’s Goals and any Lists - celebrate successes & decide what to do with...
15 min
54
Planner Review: Wonderland 222 EP: 16
Still in planner selection mode for 2021?  The Wonderland 222 Planner and Notebook is worth a look, even if you think you've already figured out your perfect system!   As a die hard Hobonichi fan I did not think there'd be any question as to...
27 min
55
2 Reviews! MyWeek and Cultivate What Matters P...
We're deep into planner-buying season, so today's ep is a double review feature!  The first product is the compact, versatile and lovely MyWeek -- created and manufactured in Canada by designer Cyrstal Reynolds.  MyWeek is a weekly planner...
27 min
56
Q&A - Planning Through Hectic Work Days, Pandem...
It's another Q&A episode!  Today, Sarah addresses questions on planning through hectic work days when a lot of unpredictable tasks come up.  She also answers questions about planning uncertainty in this era of the pandemic, whether to...
22 min
57
Planning with Inserts, Discs, Rings & More with...
Today's episode features a brief update on screen time goals and the planning methods supporting habit change.  Then comes our deep dive into the guest segment with Imani Michelle, an attorney in NYC with a passion for planning! ...
27 min
58
Amplify Planner Review + Q&A EP: 12
In this review episode, Sarah starts with some listener-submitted tips, and then dives deep into the Amplify Planner and a custom Papier dot grid journal. In the Q&A, a listener writes in about whether having one or many planning...
24 min
59
Habits Deep Dive: Focus on Screen Time E11
Today's deep dive concept episode is all about tracking habits.  Sarah goes into various ways people track habits in their planning systems, as well as what has worked best for her which is a simple practice of daily habit...
24 min
60
Q&A Episode Plus a Surprise Cameo EP: 10
It's another BLP Q&A Epsiode!  In this episode, Sarah answers questions about her accessory notebook, workout and meal planning, keeping track of big projects, and how to capture small details that link to...
21 min
61
Favorite planning-related podcasts, books, and ...
This potpourri episode is filled with favorites related to planning!  Sarah goes into her most influential/inspirational planning-related books as well as her top 5 favorite planning podcasts.  Then, there is an overview of upcoming fall...
23 min
62
Tatiana, Owner and Creator at The Stationery Mu...
Tatiana is an inspiring young entrepreneur with amazing design sense and a giving, open spirit.  She has a shop called The Stationery Muse that features beautiful stickers, planning products, and now she is launching her own planner product for...
21 min
63
Product Reviews: Live Rich Planner & Jibun Tech...
Welcome to the first official product review episode!  Today Sarah will be reviewing 2 very different products - the large and comprehensive ring-bound Live Rich Planner and the compact Japanese Jibun Techo Biz (B6).  Find out if either of...
33 min
64
Planning Basics: Building Your System from the...
This episode was inspired by a listener who wanted to hear about ideas for getting started with planning from scratch.  While it is hard to be prescriptive about what any one person should use, there are definitely a number of fundamental things...
26 min
65
Planning and Productivity Q&A EP 5
In this all Q&A episode, Sarah addresses questions from listeners submitted through her blog & Instagram!  Topics include: specific descriptions of planning rituals (with time estimates), how to make planning a habit, time blocking, how...
25 min
66
Rocketbooks, Kanban, and More with Guest Planni...
You can find Beth at her blog parentlightly.com. Show music courtesy of Rushmore Beekeepers with additional production by Greene Means Go
33 min
67
Overview of Current Systems -- Hobonichi & Beyo...
22 min
68
Technique Spotlight on The Weekly Review EP: 2
This episode takes a deep dive into one of Sarah's favorite planning techniques: the Weekly Review.  There are so many great ways to do a weekly review process, and one size definitely does not fit all!  Listen to discover...
19 min
69
Hello & A Planning Story . . . EP: 1
Hello and welcome to Best Laid Plans!  Today's episode gives you a little bit of background about me (your host, Sarah Hart-Unger) and tells the story of how I became so fascinated by planners and planning techniques over the years. ...
13 min