Planning to Use my New Planner

Updated: Jan 24



I am excited to share my new planner with you. Even as an adult, new school supplies make me so happy! So here wanted to give the scoop on what I think of this Monk Manual, now that I have used it for a couple of days. And I am glad to have had it this week. For real. Serenity now....


Just to catch you up, we have had busy days because The Captain (my hubby) has been out of town. Back in the days when he used to travel nearly all of the time, it was hard because the kids were little and I felt outnumbered and housebound. You get me. The kids aren't exactly "littles" anymore, so instead, I have been dragging them from event to event and wrangling them home from their friends' houses. To sum up what that looks like--lots of driving the kids around (oh Lord, the driving), and fairly unstructured dinners (yay!). Not unique, I know. As an aside--Single moms, I love you. I absolutely feel for you, and I have no idea how you manage.


All planners are useful. Duh. But, I think this one is particularly so because it prompts you to be thoughtful about your schedule, not just write your schedule down. And that is what I wanted to do this year. It gives room for and encourages you to be really intentional. I know that is a huge buzzword, like authentic or influencer (gag) and everyone it talking about being more intentional. The thing is...we are talking about it, but are we actually doing it? I'm not, that is why I bought the planner. This format actually prods you to do/be the thing you said you wanted to do/be. Embarrassingly simple, but totally genius.


Anyway, the planner is set up by section--months, weeks, and days, and you can use the ribbon book marks to divide them. When I first figured this out, I turned up my nose, but after using it for a few days, I recognized the benefit of the design.



Month page. There are 4 consecutive month pages.

You zero in on the habit of the month and mark out the big-picture plans for that month. There is room to write down priorities, and then revisit at the end of the month and write down how those plans actually progressed. It kind of combines a journaling aspect with the day planner.



Week page. 14 consecutive week pages.

The weekly pages set a cadence about looking forward at the week as a whole, and then looking back. I think the MM designers consider the weekly-check in to be important--a day is too short to see marked progress or decline, and things can go really off track over the course of a month...so a week is the just right length of time to make an evaluation. Makes sense.


On a daily basis you write down your mindset and whatever habit you are trying to remember to tackle, what you are grateful for. All good reminders! And your daily schedule, as well, since it has an hour by hour portion. You examine it again at the end of the day--what were the best moments of the day, what you might have felt unrest about, and what you want to do better tomorrow. I love that they call it "unrest." Like, I felt unrest when the kids were going bananas at bedtime and 50% of them were screaming and crying and 25% were refusing to shower and 25% was acting like they could not hear me at all and my husband was watching The Real Housewives of Wherever and I wanted to run away and not look back.** Plenty of room on the "unrest" space to write it out.



Day page. There are about 95 consecutive day pages.

What do you think? Is this your jam? Or is it a little too touchy-feely? I'd love to hear your take on it. I am into it, and I am looking forward to taking a look at it again tonight to recap the day. Here's to hoping your day has more moments of "being your best" than "unrest."


xo, Ann Marie


*Not at all sponsored.

**May have actually happened.

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