August 2021

August 25, 2021

Using Prompts Effectively: Targets, Gratitude, Lessons & Victories

You know at your core that developing strong habits can change your life. It’s a beautiful vision. But actually re-crafting your lifestyle around your most life-giving priorities takes more effort than just knowing it’s a good idea. We created our planner to deeply and consistently support you in this work.

We invested years of research into the development of a network of powerful prompts that have been proven to result in more intuitive and confident choices, a more effective approach to productivity, and a stronger growth mindset. We distilled them down to the essentials so that they could fit seamlessly into a healthy morning (or evening) rhythm. And we personally field-tested them for years. We have been reaping so many benefits from having organized minds and putting our personal growth cues on autopilot, and we are thrilled to get this game-changing system into the your hands.

Our planner has eight effective prompts, and in this post we are going to look at the first four: Targets, Gratitude, Lessons & Victories.

A quick tip before we jump in…

We truly believe that learning to leverage each one of these prompts on the day spread will significantly increase the results of your productive efforts. But it’s also critical to keep everything in the context of the season you are in. If seeing all of the prompts overwhelms you, start with 1-3, commit to practicing them regularly, and see what happens (you can even cover the others with washi tape while you get into a good mental groove with the ones you’ve chosen). We made this planner for you, so use it in the way that best fits the season you are in today.


If you could only choose 1-3 things to get done today that will move the needle forward on your most essential goals and responsibilities, what would they be? This is the question you should ask yourself when your pen hovers over the “targets” prompt. They can be as simple as “fold all the laundry” and as amazing as “go live with the new website.”

Keep in mind: this is NOT your traditional todo list (you have one of those to the right of your time-blocker). Your top “targets” section isn’t the space to write down the things you think you should do or the things you hope to get to. These are your critical goals, the ones you are committing to getting done. We all have days where we have to pivot what we planned because providence comes knocking. But beginning with realistic daily targets will make this practice wildly more effective.


Gratitude has become a buzz word in recent years, but it’s not without cause. Recognizing the relationships and resources God has graciously given us is a key practice in helping the mind to become considerate instead of simply reactionary. It’s a moment to pause, breathe deeply, and take in the realities of your situation. It’s an opportunity to relish the goodness of life, write words of appreciation, and to see a higher purpose in the sorrows. This isn’t forced optimism or fake positivity; this is training your brain to see God’s abundance and lean into hope.


We all have challenging days. We all have weeks that went nothing like we thought they would. But more importantly, we all have a choice about how we’ll process those experiences. Will we sigh and vainly wish life would get easier? Or will we take the time to actually reflect on the choices we made? When we’re considering the lessons of a tough season, we should evaluate all of the things that are actually within our control. Are we by default making choices that drain ourselves of energy and sink us deeper into survival mode? Do we have sound boundaries for our schedules, our relationships, our words, our emotions? Unless we get still and seek wisdom, we’ll react our lives away. Noting lessons—big or small—empowers us to adapt our plans to our lived reality, admit where we need to grow, and make changes. This cycle of experience, reflection, learning, and growth, is what will push you to get beyond survival mode and actually accomplish those heart goals you dream about.


This is one practice we can’t help but get on a soap box about every time it’s mentioned. If you never stop to acknowledge your successes, you’re WIRING your brain to think that all of your effort is futile. We’re blowing the whistle on this in all of our lives. We’ve gotta STOP IGNORING PROGRESS.

Take the time to micro-journal even a handful of victories – big or small – you’ve accomplished lately (waking up on time, hitting 1,000 subscribers, completing that work or school project, sweet one-on-one time with a child).

It’s so easy to let progress slip away in the shuffle of daily to-do’s. But by neglecting celebration, rest, and enjoying the fruits of your labor, you’re turning away the comfort God provides through His abundant blessings. You’re acting like the fate of the world rests on the intensity of your hustle—and that is a recipe for burnout. Celebrating your victories might just be the key to revitalizing your motivational energy.

Take time to think about each of the four prompts above and consider how using them might help you reflect, adjust your habits, and work towards more intentional living. As we said at the start, we’ve seen huge benefits from using these prompts daily. When something feels off in our planning rhythm, it’s often because we’ve let the habit of using these prompts slide. If you’re in a tough season and trying to work towards better rhythms, begin by using these prompts and see where it takes you.

Using these prompts again and again and again and again each day will build initially small, but long-lasting habits around creating targets and goals, reflecting on your days, and pivoting where needed.


The Evergreen Planner system is comprised of three unique pieces: the Cover, the Annual and the Monthly. Here at Evergreen we believe in self-compassionate planning and want to inspire women to craft a lifestyle that both fuels their dreams and serves their daily rhythms. Learn more about our system here!

August 18, 2021

Why We LOVE Blank Space & How To Utilize It

Have you ever gotten lost down the rabbit hole of artistic journaling layouts? We have always adored how customizable a blank notebook is, and a quick Pinterest search will show you the myriads of ways you can make it your own.

But for us, that level of creativity isn’t always feasible. Art supply caddy or not, we have thoughts to organize and things to do! As much as we’d love to spend our time drawing and creating unique daily layouts, we needed something that met us when we woke up each morning and was immediately useable. So we built in some structure, but kept what we loved: that blank bullet space that can be used in solely practical ways (hello scratch notes I hope no one ever sees) or that can that become the canvas for your latest masterpiece.

It flexes to fit your unique style in so. many. ways.

Your daily spread bullet space becomes home to:
  • meeting/phone call notes
  • breaking down a task into actionable steps
  • that book recommendation your friend just mentioned
  • key takeaways from a podcast
  • brainstorming a project
  • mind-mapping through complex layers of thought
  • dumping ideas that you can come back to sort later
The blank bullet space on our week spread is great for:
  • your running to-do list
  • displaying week goals
  • nailing down a meal plan
  • inspiring yourself with lyrics, scripture, or a quote

Have you noticed the blank bullet page at the beginning of your Monthly? Our friend Holly (one of our first beta users) came up with a revolutionary way to utilize this space as you retire a booklet:

  • Go through the booklet and note pages you’ll want to reference later (such as the notes from a doctor’s visit, the recipe your sister shared with you, or those critical business ideas).
  • List these out index-style on the first page of your monthly, noting the topics & page numbers.
  • Transfer any notes you immediately need to your new Monthly (or to a section of your Annual, if you’ll need them all year)
  • When done, use a checkmark on your new index page to let you know this booklet has been sorted.
  • Slip it out of the Cover & store.

It is now easy to pull out and reference in the future thanks to this quick cataloging process.

The three pages at the end of the Monthly are great for:
  • journaling through the progress made on monthly goals
  • working up goals for the upcoming month
  • tracking monthly expenses
  • month-long habit trackers
  • vision boards
  • any brainstorming session that takes several pages

We love each of the above uses, and have utilized each of them at different points. But there are also plenty of days the blank space stays blank. Having blank space in your planner isn’t negative, and doesn’t mean there is a lack of planning. Blank space reminds your brain that you have space to process, that your life isn’t filled to the max, but full of the things you have chosen based on our goals & values.

So if you find a lot of the blank bullet space remains blank, don’t fret. When nothing comes to mind, leave it blank and remember you’re giving your mind the gift of space to process and focus, then fill only when you find the need to.


The Evergreen Planner system is comprised of three unique pieces: the Cover, the Annual and the Monthly. Here at Evergreen we believe in self-compassionate planning and want to inspire women to craft a lifestyle that both fuels their dreams and serves their daily rhythms. Learn more about our system here!

August 11, 2021

Our Dutch Door Layout: The How & The Why

Perhaps more than any other feature in our planner, the built-in dutch door layout is the most unique to the Evergreen planner system. It’s widely used in the bullet journaling community, but we built ours seamlessly into the design and functionality of the Monthly booklet.

When it came to designing our planner, a built-in dutch door was near the top of the “must have” list & here’s why:

Have you ever made a great plan and it seemed perfect in every way (actionable, the right season, doable), but then you almost immediately went off plan? It’s not just you!

In “Boundaries for Leaders,” Dr. Henry Cloud reveals that making a plan and then completely proceeding without following the plan plagues organizations everywhere.

As a coach, he recommends creating a system where essential, updated information and goal-driving tasks are ALWAYS before the eyes. He says systems like this create what’s called “a working memory” which is vital for getting & keeping the brain on board with the overarching mission in day-to-day operations.

This is what our dutch door feature provides. Your agenda for the full week stays in view while you plan your days. Your habit tracker keeps your habit-goals top of mind. Above that is a flex space that stays visible all week long for a running to-do list or for weekly goals and reminders. This is exactly the type of system your brain craves to stay focused.

To create the dutch door effect you can either fold or tear off the edges of the day spread pages at the perforated line. This enables you to see your week’s agenda and habit tracker all week long.

Folded or removed edges are great for grocery lists that can be torn and taken to the store, notes from phone calls, or running to-do lists. {pro-tip: leaving the Sunday Dutch Door and folding it toward your week spread, creates the perfect place to brain-dump your week’s to-do list. The list can be folded out to view while planning each day, or paper-clipped closed to enable you to see your vertical calendar}

Using a piece of washi tape, these paper strips can easily be moved from page to page as your week progresses, enabling you to move lists or notes as you need them. If you don’t have an immediate use for the removed paper edges, they can be kept in the back of the Cover for later use, or given to kiddos who like to plan just like mama!


The Evergreen Planner system is comprised of three unique pieces: the Cover, the Annual and the Monthly. Here at Evergreen we believe in self-compassionate planning and want to inspire women to craft a lifestyle that both fuels their dreams and serves their daily rhythms. Learn more about our system here!

August 4, 2021

Getting Started with the Evergreen Planner: The Monthly

As we’ve said before, the Monthly booklet is the muscle of the Evergreen Planner system. It is intuitively designed to help you plan your weeks, time-block your days, organize your thoughts, develop highly effective habits, and generally make space for the most important things in life. It is a way of planning that will grow with you as you hone your planning skills & planning rhythm. The way you use it in your first month will likely be entirely different than the way you use it 12 months in. 

Begin by folding or tearing the perforated edges of each day page of your current week. This creates the dutch door effect in the layout, and will allow you to see your week’s agenda and your day spread at the same time. {pro-tip: folded/torn pages can be used for lists, scratch notes, given to kids for notes or paper chains, and easily recycled when no longer needed}

On the first page of your week (we call this the “week spread”) write the month and dates on the vertical week agenda space in the leftmost column. Then in that same column, write down any appointments and deadlines you have for the week. We recommend that all time-sensitive data is marked in that leftmost column so that it will remain visible throughout the week.

Fill in the three columns to the right of the vertical calendar. These categories are customizable to your lifestyle, but here are some schemes you can try:

  • Home | Business | Meals (for the working gal who also has to #feedthelittlepeople)
  • To Do | Lessons | Activities (for the homeschool mama always on the go)
  • Morning | Afternoon | Evening (for the lady who likes to map her day in time blocks)
  • Homework | Work | Friends (for the college chic doing #allthethings)
  • Job | Side Hustle #1 | Side Hustle #2 (we see you, dreamer girl)

Just as the Annual gives you a map of your year, the week spread gives you a map of your week, and serves as a great reference as you go to plan each day. Have a business task that needs to fall on a specific day? You now have a place to anchor that. Have a set day you do errands, or perhaps a theme for every day of the week? You now have a framework ready to fill in!

The blank bullet space to the right of the calendar and column page can be used to braindump to-do lists, write out meals for the week, sketch something lovely, or write something that will inspire you throughout the week. Make it serve you how you like! If nothing readily comes to mind, leave it blank! This is your planner, and white space is good for the brain.

At the end of your week (the rightmost section of your Saturday day spread), you will find a habit tracker. Above that, you’ll also see a column of blank bullet space. Use the blank bullet space for something you want to see all week. Our favorite uses:

  • Listing 1-3 target goals for the week
  • Keeping a to-do list for the random things that pop up through the week
  • Writing a running list of people to get back to

Planning each day can happen the night before or in the morning—or at lunch, you know, when life happens. But we will tell you this: if you consistently make space at the same time every day to sink into deep work mode {80-90% singular focus} while using your planner to reverse engineer your goals, you can make some serious progress on intentional living in a remarkably short amount of time (for more about our approach to goal planning, read our ROOTED goal series).

Use the targets section to write out your top 3-5 goals for that day. This can be as simple as “fold laundry” or as weighty as a major business goal. This section should replace the traditional to-do list in your mind. Research has proven that conventional to-do lists overwhelm rather than help get you focused on what matters most. But distilling your top targets down to just 1-3 goals, you’re forced to ask the question: “what will really move the needle forward on what matters most today?”

Use the lined section under the day header to time-block, writing the hours along the left side {pro-tip: start your day when you want & end it when you want, whether that’s tracking all the hours you’re awake, or just your working hours}.

Referencing your vertical week agenda (that you can see thanks to those torn/folded perforated dutch doors), write out any appointments you have that day. Then, chart out when you’ll be doing each of your top targets. Mark out your daily rhythm as well: meals, nap time, commutes, work hours, etc.

Use the bullet space under the “to do” header to write out specific tasks you plan to tackle during the day {pro-tip: write your to-do list items next to the appropriate time-blocks}.

Taking time to reflect upon and write down the day’s lessons, victories & gratitude are proven methods of increasing personal growth and productivity. Writing down your seasonal goals, and your motivational “why” behind each one, is scientifically proven to help you become more likely to achieve those goals! (Our micro-journaling prompts are a streamlined version of the reflection habits that world class leaders attribute as foundational to their success!) However, if you’re feeling the least bit overwhelmed, know that these sections can be customized to whatever matters most to you in this season. We even know mamas who use the “lessons” portion to track their kiddos’ schoolwork!

The blank bullet space on each day is completely customizable. It’s there for you any time you need a place to write something down throughout your day. Take notes, make lists, take up long-form journaling, sketch things (practical or artistic), brain-dump, mind-map, or design your own Pinterest-inspired layouts. Whether you use it to the max, or whether it’s often blank, it’s always there to help you organize your thoughts.


The Evergreen Planner system is comprised of three unique pieces: the Coverthe Annual and the Monthly. Here at Evergreen we believe in self-compassionate planning and want to inspire women to craft a lifestyle that both fuels their dreams and serves their daily rhythms. Learn more about our system here!