Before the Evergreen planner system, I (Clari) had never used a true day-planner. I had tried a myriad of different planners when I worked as an executive assistant before having kids, but they were the types that only had a small box, a column, or a couple of lines for each day. I also used a digital calendar to coordinate meetings and make sure nothing was double booked, but other than getting binged with meeting reminders, I didn’t really reference it or use it to effectively plan my days. My thoughts, plans and tasks were scattered among digital notes, emails, sticky notes, a half-used planner and to-do lists written on random pieces of paper.
But then I became a mom and quit my traditional job. It never occurred to me that a planner could be used to plan rest, to form life-giving family rhythms, or to plan intentional time with my kiddos—just as much as it could be used to make sure critical work projects or mundane home tasks were completed. I again wandered through my days doing what was in front of me, and working off one endlessly long to-do list.
Annie Dillard, in her book The Writing Life, wrote, "How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and that one is what we are doing."
The reality is we have a lot of agency over whether we live our days intentionally, with purpose, or whether we let them pass by, moving from task to task based on emotions or a crushing sense of urgency. But we can just as easily fall into the trap of trying to squeeze every moment of productivity out of each day, neglecting our needs for rest or even the ones we're called to love. But in order to find that middle way, we have to begin by planning each day.
The beauty of planning each day (especially when you have an entire spread and can plan with the context of your week in view, like you can with our Classic booklet), is that you are able to plan each day in a way that honors the season you're in, the ones you've been given to love, and the work you're responsible for.
And planning a lot of days, over several weeks and months, enables you to begin forming life-giving rhythms that work to breathe life into your family and help you make progress on those bigger goals (revisit our Four Rules of Planning and ROOTED Goals episodes for more on these concepts).
In this episode, we walk through how we each plan our days on the day pages of our Classic booklet. If you’d like to follow along, you can download our free printable below. This printable has all the major elements of our Day page, enabling you to see exactly what we are talking about as we plan the different elements of our day using the time-blocker, top targets, prompts, etc. Because it’s the tool we each use, we talk about our specific planner throughout this episode. However, the principles we talk about can transfer to a lot of different planners, so whatever planner you use, we believe this will be an episode you find valuable!