Planner Day 2022 | JOY for Today

Planning reduces your stress by helping you consider, prioritize, and delegate the tasks ahead of you. A reduction in stress leads to increased opportunities for JOY. To maximize that joyous opportunity, we recommend taking it one step farther: acknowledge that ultimately it is God's ways that will stand. The burden for perfection never has been nor never will be on you; give it to God.

A Bible lays over the top of a planner. Text overlay reads: Planner Day; August 1st Annually; "But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever. What he wants to do will last for all time." Psalm 33:11

Planner Day Headings:

Did You Know:

  1. Planning reduces stress? Approximately 25% of our happiness depends on stress management, and the most effective stress management technique (according to 3,000 participants) is planning. This Time article goes on to suggest making daily, annual, and even ten-year plans. (Time)
  2. If you plan on paper, you will remember and focus better? Writing requires our brain to work harder, whereas typing is more automatic. Because our brain works harder and stimulates focus-inducing brain cells when we write, we are much more likely to remember written reminders than typed ones. (Mental Floss)
  3. Keeping your plans on paper feels more satisfying and motivating? First of all, physically crossing off completed tasks offers satisfaction unmatched by digital planners. After crossing off the item, you are naturally motivated to move on to the next item on your list. It also allows you to reflect on your accomplishments over the course of the day, month, week, and year. Finally, when you plan on paper, your sole focus is planning and since you are less likely to be distracted the process is more satisfying. (Mental Floss)
  4. Writing your goals on paper aids you in achieving them? Because writing takes more effort, we take time to formulate what we want to say before recording it. This process helps us narrow down what is important and solidifies it in our minds. People who write down their goals, share them with others, and were held accountable were 33% more likely to reach their goals compared to people who only kept their goals mentally. (Luxafor)
  5. You're more likely to use a paper planner than a digital one? We tend to attach to physical objects more easily than digital ones. So, we're more likely to remember and want to use a physical planner than a digital one. Furthermore, a physical planner takes up space, so you're more apt to notice it and act on that visual cue to utilize it. (Luxafor)

We'd Love to Know:

Which fact most inspires you?

Wolfe Stew Connects

I love planning, the Mr. does not. I could spend my life on this step, the Mr. loves jumping in and seeing what happens. Our life has been much of a balancing act: we complement and challenge each other and that's what makes our marriage work

He challenges me to loosen up and forces me to consider that maybe I don't need to plan everything out to the nth degree.

I challenge him to be more serious and force him to consider what would happen if he embraced more of a goal-driven mindset.

Balance is found somewhere in the middle. I'm learning (slowly) that plans are not an advanced copy of my life. Just because I wrote it down does not mean it must happen as written or I'm unsuccessful. And he is learning (I think) that keeping a goal in mind provides a sense of purpose.

The other piece of planning that I'm also learning (painstakingly so) is that my plans, ultimately, are meaningless. It is God's plans that stand (Psalm 33:11). So, as I make those plans, it's important I remember that God's purposes and plans will always trump my own. I must remain flexible and expect God to alter my schedule. Learning to see these interruptions as blessings requires surrender to the supremacy of His plan.

Giving up our plans for His is a battle. To help develop our willingness to surrender, we've crafted a GROWTH for Today calendar. It has daily exercises that are short, impactful, and surrender-focused. When you surrender your plans to the Master Planner, you will find victory, Warrior. 

We'd Love to Know:

Are you a planner or a pantser? 

Bible Verses and Quotes about Planning


  • "But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever. What he wants to do will last for all time." Psalm 33:11 NIRV
  • "The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you." Matthew 6:33 ICB
  • "But let everything be done in a way that is right and orderly." I Corinthians 14:40 ICB
  • "If you plan and work hard, you will have plenty; if you hurry to get rich, you will end up poor." Proverbs 21:5 CEV
  • "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds;" Proverbs 27:23 NIV


  • "Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans." - Peter F. Drucker
  • "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." - Yogi Berra
  • "By failing to plan, you are planning to fail!" - Benjamin Franklin
  • "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." - Abraham Lincoln
  • "Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential." Winston Churchill

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote would you want on your planner?

Planner Day Activity Suggestions

Planner Day is the perfect day to choose the right planning style for you. Then, start planning. We offer inspiration, tips, and our big five back-to-school planning considerations for you.

Our Nephew's Suggestion:
"Make a big plan!"
You know that project or dream you've been meaning to start but keep putting it off? Seize the day! Start planning it out today.

Our General Planning Suggestions:

  1. Choose a planner. Personally, I prefer to purchase simple, inexpensive planners because they are ready-for-use and adaptable to my purposes. I also rely heavily on our printable calendars for monthly and yearly planning. For weekly and daily planning, I've rounded up a few printable options for your consideration:
    • Template Lab has several printable planner options. My favorites are:
      •  Template 12 in a yellow and black color scheme with designated spaces for to-do lists; priorities; grateful statements; morning, afternoon, and evening commitments; and notes/journaling.
      • The Weekly Daily Planner in a pastel color scheme with weekly goals and a to-do list on the left side and space for daily plans on the right. At the bottom is a space for notes.
    • Cara Palmer also offers a variety of planning pages but only one daily planner option. The daily planner has spaces to note correspondence (calling/emailing), achievements, notes, goals (including due and completion date spaces), self care plans, and priorities.
    • Paper Trail Design offers daily and weekly planner options that are simple and grayscale. The weekly planners leave space for daily planning on the left, goal making, to-do listing, and note-taking on the right. The daily planner has time slots for scheduling on the left, goal-making and to-do listing spaces on the right and spaces for meal planning, note-taking, water intake, and exercise tracking on the bottom.
  2. Plan. Go crazy. Don't be afraid to go into elaborate detail. Plan for the day, month, year, or ten years - whatever you are ready to tackle.
  3. Be flexible. Remember, plans are just that: plans. It really is okay if your week, day, hour, or minute doesn't go precisely as planned. The process of planning helps you organize your goals. MY FAVORITE TIP: choose three. During the day, keep track of your top three goals. Display them in a prominent spot. When you finish these three, choose another three. 
  4. Celebrate. At the day's end, take time to celebrate your accomplishments. If you didn't get all the things done you wanted, consider the value in how you chose to spend your time instead.
  5. Revise. Look at the rest of the week (or next day/month/year). What do you need to change in your future plans based on how today (this month/year) went? 

Back-to-School Planning

Our top five areas of focus for back-to-school planning are as follows:
  1. Physical Space Organization Sketch it out first. Think about:
    1. SPACES for the different ways you teach (small group, whole group, reading, centers, etc.)
    2. BULLETIN BOARDS for each subject, motivational, rules and expectations, student work, etc.
    3. MATERIALS a place for everything and everything in its place. Consider labeling with pictures for younger learners.
    4. MOVEMENT Is it safe? Logical? 
  2. Procedures Print off The Owl Teacher's list and:
    1. CROSS OFF the ones you don't need to worry about.
    2. HIGHLIGHT the ones you need to develop procedures for. (We put each procedure on a different PowerPoint slide for quick convenience when we need to review or add procedures.)
    3. Put an EXCLAMATION POINT next to the ones that require more preparation (forms, space creation, additional resources, etc.).
    4. Make and prioritize a TO-DO LIST to ready these procedures for practice during the first two weeks.
  3. Behavioral Expectations (including consequences) Use your school rules and consider:
    1. How will those expectations look in your classroom in VARIOUS SETTINGS? (Small group, whole group, assembly, hallways, etc.)
    2. What is MOST IMPORTANT to you? (This should always be your primary behavioral expectation. Ours is respect.)
    3. How can you effectively and frequently COMMUNICATE EXPECTATIONS to your learners? (We remind learners of the most important - 1 to 3 - specific expectations at each change of activity.)
    4. How will you ENFORCE/REINFORCE your expectations? (Verbally, rewards, referrals, parent-contact, etc.) 
  4. Parent Communication Plan Be proactive! Consider:
    1. Setting-up CLASS DOJO.
    2. Updating CONTACT INFORMATION. (Ask parents to verify their contact information at back-to-school nights.)
    3. Establishing a ROUTINE to regularly make phone calls or send notes home. (We call each parent within the first week to establish positive contact. Then, every Friday, we call three parents with specific, positive feedback regarding their student.)  
  5. Community-Building Activities Highlight the need for teamwork and compassion. Some of our favorites:
    1. Preschool to First 
      1. NAME GAMES from Kids Activities 
      2. THIS OR THAT (from This or That Questions) - Designate one side of the room as "this" and one side as "that." Then, ask "this or that" questions. Learners go to the side of the room that corresponds to their preference.
    2. Second and Third
      1. ME IN A BAG - On the first day of school, you bring in a bag with 3-5 items that represent you. Then, the learners each get a brown paper bag to take home to fill with 3-5 things about themselves. Take turns sharing what they put in their bag and why with the class. The audience considers personal connections with each presenter.
      2. GUESS WHO - Each student writes three unique things about themselves. The teacher reads off the clues and the class guesses who it is.
    3. Fourth to Sixth Grade
      1. FIND SOMEONE WHO (from Teaching with a Mountain View via Teachers Pay Teachers.) For this activity, learners travel around the room asking classmates to sign a box with a phrase that describes them. Aim for no repeat signatures and blackouts!
      2. TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE - Each student writes two truths about themselves and one lie. After they are done sharing, the audience must choose which statement is the lie.

We'd Love to Know: 

Your best planning tip.

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Come back next week for...Global Sleep Under the Stars Night!

Fighting the Good Fight with You,

Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

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Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.


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