Planner Tips

February 23, 2022

Recap of Podcast Season 1 Episodes

At the end of January, we spent several days together as a team batch recording episodes for the second season of our podcast, Make Space to Thrive. We’re so, so excited about the content coming your way. It’s encouraging and practical, and we believe it will help you continue to make intentional living an intuitive part of your life. Our first episode of season 2 will drop on March 2nd, 2022 and we can’t wait!

Here is a quick recap of all our episodes from Season 1, which aired this past fall. The topics of these episodes are so foundational, and a great place to start!

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January 19, 2022

Setting ROOTED Goals: Outlined for Clarity

Sustainable, Lasting, and Life-Giving Goals Are:


Last week, we discussed the importance of finding the overlap between your core calling goals, your starting point, and your deepest long-term priorities. It is in this intersection that we can find goals that are Organically Growing Out of Your Context—goals that make sense for you, where you are, today, and that act as a bridge to help you get to the next level.​

This week, in step 3, we’ll be talking about how to Outline (“Reverse-Engineer”) Your Goal for Clarity.

Other goal setting systems will encourage you to outline your goal for clarity—and there’s a reason for this. Our brains crave step-by-step clarity. This phase is all about being specific about your goal and breaking it down into actionable steps.

A Strong Goal is an Actionable Goal

If you remember ONE thing from this post, let it be this one: A strong goal is an actionable goal. Having clarity about the granular actions you must take to accomplish your goal gives your brain an objective that it can actually process, prioritize, and tackle in the day-to-day.

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December 15, 2021

Cultivating Peace Amidst Holiday To-Do’s

Christmas in ten. days. away. If you’re feeling a crushing sense of overwhelm at everything left to do before now and then, take a deep breath. Grab something warm to drink, and cozy up for some words of encouragement and practical tips before you launch into frenzied action.

We could never outdo Isaiah 9:6-7 or Luke 1:46-55 in an attempt to explain how incredible the Incarnation has been to world history. It is fitting that a celebration of Christ’s birth is a day with so much focus every year. God with us. It’s a profound thought. A revolution. The Light entering the darkness of history and chasing away sin and death “far as the curse is found.” It’s phenomenal.

You want to stay focused on what matters most. But with a hundred things on the to-do list, it’s kind of difficult to transpose the message of “peace on earth” to “peace within.” Here are some tips you can utilize today to step out of your frazzled hurry and into stillness of spirit.​

Practical Tips to Cultivate Peace This Week

  • Declutter your brain. You cannot expect to have the space to relax if your brain has a hundred tabs open and trying to load all at once. Get every single task and detail that’s weighing on your mind down on paper. And then sort them according to their priority. What absolutely has to happen? What is important, but not essential? What is fun, but not important? Having absolute clarity on the things that are most essential, will automatically bring a sense of peace to your to-do list.
  • Envision what you really want this Christmas. Be specific. It helps to journal this out in the flex space of your planner, incorporating and highlighting core value words in your description. Here are some ideas: reverent, calm, cozy, mindful, communion, delight, deep, warm, centered, focused, together, anticipation, hope.
  • Be willing to cut the nonessential. If your vision is a festive and delicious Christmas dinner—stressing yourself out to add variety to your cookie selection will minimally add to the warmth of togetherness. In fact, it could actually be counterproductive as you will struggle to have the presence of mind to relax and infuse peace into your family’s dinner with your own still spirit. The idea that the host has to be stressed out of her mind every Christmas as she slaves to make everything flawless is a LIE. Your family needs your joy more than they need a Pinterest-perfect dinner. Ruthlessly edit your to-do list so that you can show up for what’s truly essential this week.
  • Take stillness moments. When you feel your stress levels rising, don’t just push through. Take a deep breath and remember Who this week is all about! Jesus welcomed Mary to sit at His feet, even while Martha was running around like a chicken with her head cut off. It’s so tempting to say, “I’ll find my center in Christ after _____.” That doesn’t have to be your story this Christmas season. Christ came for you to lay down your burdens, too. He’s not worried if you forgot to order your Advent calendar in time, or if your kids have their matching pajamas clean on Christmas morning. So every time you feel your Martha coming on, choose a Mary moment. Take a long drink of water, settle the kids, and then take a moment by yourself to just Abide. Don’t get on Instagram, but instead set a timer for 5 minutes. Put on a playlist that ministers to you. Breathe deeply, keep your eyes closed, and lean into a conversation with God until the timer goes off. It doesn’t take much to recenter on what matters—but it does take intention.

Christmas is ten days away. That’s ten days to cultivate peace in your home. Ten days to knock out the essential things and let the rest fall away. Ten days to prepare to celebrate the greatest moment the world has ever known.


Need a tool to help you plan the holiday season effectively? Our free day planner is a great way to help you get out of your head, sort your priorities, and let everything else fall away.

December 8, 2021

How to Get the Most Out of Your Annual

If you’ve been hanging around here for long, you know we are all about planning that is simple to implement and customizable to your unique season and lifestyle. Our undated Annual booklet does both of these things beautifully. The design perfectly combines the ideas of absolute simplicity and maximum flexibility into a calendar you can carry with you wherever you go.

The New Year is only a few weeks away, and many of you are busting out a crisp new Annual and dreaming of all 2022 will bring. If you’ve used our Annual in the past, you know it is full of blank bullet pages that you can use in a way that fits your current season and needs. It can be a process figuring out exactly how you want to use the blank pages of your Annual, so this post is full of inspiring ideas (most of these come straight from how team Evergreen has used the Annual this last year).

Before we begin, it’s crucial to remember that above all this is a productivity tool. We love this booklet because – as the bullet journaling community has taught us – a simple notebook can so easily become a beautiful keepsake you’ll look at for years to come. But, it doesn’t have to be aesthetically pleasing for it to be useful. So if you’re Annual is full of messy handwriting, scribbled dreams and planned events, rest assured you’re using your Annual perfectly. This post is full of ideas on how to maximize the use of your Annual, but don’t let these ideas turn in to a to-do list!! Use what is helpful for your unique season and let the rest fall away.

How to Set up Your Annual for a New Year

Our Annual booklet is undated, enabling you to start it at any time in the year. As January is right around the corner, most will be starting with the New Year, but you’ll still want to sit down first thing and write in each month’s date for the entire year and stick on your botanical month stickers (or your own favorite sticker pack!). Here are two simple tips when it comes to planning dates ahead of time with your Annual:

  • Use pencil when writing in future dates. Writing in pencil enables you to keep events on your radar, while also easily being able to erase and change as plans shift or commitments have to be whittled down. (Clari uses washi tape marked with Sharpie to denote when she’s hosting company. The visual difference helps immediately remind her of the prep work that will be needed to host, and the washi enables it to be easily removed if guests have to adjust plans.)
  • Only write events & holidays relevant to you this year. This is simple, but it can be easy to bust out a new undated Annual, look up standard holidays and be writing in Presidents Day in February before you even realize what you are doing. If you aren’t tied to a school calendar, President’s Day will have little bearing on your year, but it’ll be begging for attention come February and your brain will spend wasted time wondering why it’s there. Write in only events that you need to show up for mentally or physically, and as we mentioned above, use pencil until plans seem absolute.

Keeping your Annual clear and minimal will enable your brain to have absolute clarity when it comes to planning each month. You’ll open a new month and know exactly what events and dates you’re committed to, and be able to plan and purge commitments as needed.

How to maximize the use of the blank bullet pages at the front and back of the Annual:

The front of the Annual has three pages of blank bullet space and the back has one page. Here are some ways we’ve used these blank pages in our booklets:

How to maximize the use of the blank bullet pages that accompany each month spread:

Each month has a simple calendar grid, a blank bullet grid opposite and then a full spread of additional blank bullet space. Here are some ways our team has used this blank space this year:

  • Writing focus points or goals for the month/quarter
  • Listing critical to-do items
  • Charting week rhythms for the month
  • Brainstorming ideas and goals
  • Journaling important events
  • Planning work tasks
  • Tracking monthly reading
  • Capturing highlights from the month
  • Storing any paper mementos (a note from a friend, drawing from a child, photo, etc.)

McCauley loves to write future month goal ideas lightly in pencil as she is brainstorming them, and then going back in with pen once her goals are finalized. Shelby utilizes endless paperclips to store notes or to-do lists for herself in future months, so when she turns to a new month, all her thoughts and ideas are there waiting for her.

As we said at the start, the Annual is not primarily a scrapbooking tool, but if you’re interested in adding a little more fun to your Annual this year check out our blog post that gives simple ways to add some beauty to your planner.

You may find that you use your Annual’s blank space in the same way each month, or you may find that you change it up to fit your needs as they fluctuate. We’ve found that our use of the Annual can ebb and flow quite a bit. In some seasons, we really sink into the beauty and aesthetic possibilities of the Annual, in others we simply jot our critical lists, prioritize tasks and then hit the ground running. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you need for your current season.