time management

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!

July 28, 2021

Getting Started with the Evergreen Planner: The Cover and The Annual

If you’ve spent anytime following us on Instagram or here on the blog, you know we spent YEARS hustling and dreaming about the day this planner system would get into YOUR hands. We get so excited with each new purchase, because we know the power of this planner system to help you craft an intentional lifestyle, day in and day out.

The Evergreen Planner doesn’t just track everything you have to get done each day (though it does do a marvelous job of that). The Evergreen Planner was engineered as a daily companion that gets you focused to take action on those vital heart goals that keep throbbing at your core. And behind this gorgeous product is a movement of women who believe that goals like that are worth crafting a lifestyle to support.

But learning to plan is not just about having the right planning tools; a big part of being able to craft an intentional lifestyle is being able to make those tools work for you. This is what our new blog series is going to be all about.

This series will give you everything you need to set up this planner in a way that completely fits you—your lifestyle, your goals, your priorities. If you’ve purchased our system, you will have received a lot of this info over email. But the uses of this planner are truly endless. We are regularly discovering new ways we use it in our own lives, so even if you’ve seen this info, keep reading! You never know what new tricks you might pick up.

If you’re brand new to our way of planning, remember that like any new system you implement, it may take some time to break in. Don’t sweat if it seems to take a little while to find your rhythm. We’re all about self-compassionate planning around here. Make adjustments and keep tweaking what you’re doing – because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters: you having a planner that works for your goals and dreams.

Setting up your new planner: The Cover

This traveler’s journal is as useful as it is beautiful! It was designed to protect and bind your system into one cohesive unit, all while maintaining a timeless look that works for any style.

  • Slip your Annual in the first elastic, and your Monthly in the next {pro-tip: if your booklets feel loose, undo the knot of your spine elastic, tighten, and re-tie}.
  • Loop pen clips through one circle elastic on the right side {McCauley holds 3-4 pens on hers!}, and loop your favorite washi tape in the other.
  • Fill those pockets with receipts, planning accessories, sticky pads, a ruler or polaroids… you know, #allthethings {Shelby has legit replaced her wallet with her Cover!}

Setting up your new planner: The Annual

This is the bird’s eye-view of your year. Mark important dates you don’t want to forget {pro-tip: don’t mark every date you can think of – mark only the ones you will need to show up for, which will require planning or space to celebrate}

Use the three pages between each month in a way that suits your lifestyle. Check out our Pinterest board for spread inspiration!

We’ve left this space for you to:

The Annual is an extremely versatile piece. It can be as beautiful or as simple as you need it to be!


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!

July 21, 2021

3 Tips for When Your Day Went Differently Than You Planned

You had great plans and then… whelp, you don’t know exactly what happened, but none of your targets for the day were accomplished. Your planner looks like a snapshot of someone else’s ideas because it definitely wasn’t the day you just lived.

You had great plans to make plans, but the baby was up all night so you missed your alarm. You threw a brief glance at your planner before you headed out the door, and now you’re home again staring at a blank spread and wondering why you even tried to start using a day planner to begin with.

We’ve been there.


Just because we started a planner business doesn’t mean we’re immune to the chaos of life, or that we always have days that perfectly match what we planned. In fact, there are days that the planner (you know, the one we spent years developing) is still completely blank as the day comes to an end.

We can’t make all our plans happen, but we have learned a few tricks about reflecting on chaotic days (or seasons) and pivoting to help our planned goals meet our lived reality.

By the time we’re sliding into bed at night with a brain full of noise, we need some perspective. Thankfully, our blank planner is still sitting there, beckoning us to get our thoughts organized once more.

These 3 exercises have helped us turn our brains from overwhelming noise to purposeful reflection:

1. Write out in your planner all the things you did get done that day.

They’re likely not big milestones: you may write in “held teething baby all morning” or “purchased groceries.” Or maybe you did get a lot done because you were hit with inspiration, and you brainstormed and then sketched out your entire business marketing plan for the next three months(!!)… but it just wasn’t the thing you had planned. Whatever you did, write it in. It may not feel like an accomplishment, but seeing on paper how your day played out (even retroactively) will give you perspective.

2. Evaluate how you spent your time.

Did you binge-watch the latest Netflix show? Maybe this means your brain is craving rest and you need to make space for things that will truly revive you. Or, it may mean it’s time to get serious about the time that’s getting frittered away and take your accountability mechanisms to the next level by hiring a coach or getting into a mastermind group. Did life throw you a curve ball and you had to pivot to meet immediate needs? Celebrate that and adjust the next few days to fit in those critical to-do items, dropping the ones you had planned that aren’t essential, and rescheduling the ones you had planned that are. Make notes on what your reflection time reveals. This will enable you to plan more effectively in the future. With your planner in hand, you can even begin, right away, to apply some of the things you learned from troubleshooting your schedule.

3. Learn and plan for the future.

The more you do this, the more patterns will appear. Maybe you gravitate towards errands on a certain day, or find there’s one morning a week you always miss your alarm (thanks to that weekly late night at church). You can change your plans to reflect those patterns. Plan that persistent errand-day for running errands! Give yourself that morning to sleep in (you probably need it)! Get real about how much time you have, and how much time tasks really take. Add at least 15 minutes of margin to pad significant transitions in your day (commutes, nap times, meetings, meals), and make sure you’re scheduling in enough downtime (and actual SLEEP time!)

Your rhythms must inform your plans as much as your plans must dictate your rhythms.

Reflecting on days that don’t go as planned is extremely helpful as you continue to hone a lifestyle that is truly life-giving.


Are you ready to launch into an entirely new way of planning? We created the Evergreen Planner System because we needed a place to both make plans and evaluate the days when things were off. The Getting Started Kit is the perfect way to try two of our core products – the Annual and the Monthly. Don’t wait until we launch our next subscription box – get the tools you need for intentional living today!

March 31, 2021

How to Stop Wasting Time: Perspective

Stop for just a second and ask yourself: what is a week of your life actually worth?

We only have 4,452 weeks from the moment we’re born until our 85th birthday (if we’re given that many years).

Just…let that sink in. We have fewer than 5k weeks in an entire (generous) lifespan, and yet, sometimes we just let a “bad” or “off” week (or several) slip away without seriously evaluating underlying causes and lessons we could be learning.

Now, don’t misunderstand: sometimes a week that’s way more heavy on rest, fun, or flexibility is needed. Sometimes, crises (internal and external) endow a week with a heavenly purpose that we cannot immediately grasp from our point of view in the moment.

But are we really grasping that there are only 936 weeks from the moment our child takes her first breath to the day she’s graduating highschool? That we have only 156 weeks we get to invest into the hungry mind of our toddler before his little brain networks solidify? That in just 520 weeks an entire decade of marriage is in the books? 

Are we really grasping the fact that this upcoming week is either laying another brick in the foundations of the future we’re called to help build—or that it’s stuffing the foundations with wood, hay, and stubble, and all manner of things that (thankfully) will not last in the refining fires of God’s redemption?

How quickly the weeks just tick away on our calendars.

This post is in no way designed to inspire fear: we cannot attack time with a death grip and try to slow it down or expect it to develop our personal histories exactly as we wish. However, we are called to accept the reality that time is the most precious resource we are called to steward. Unlike money or energy (two things we tend to be wayyyy more careful about spending), time is not renewable. A week that passes can never be brought back again. This week, once lived, becomes part of our personal (and family) history.

While we have eternity in Christ to explore His creation, expressing ourselves creatively as an amen to His Image in us, and basking in the goodness of communion with and in Him—our time on this side of glory is much more limited (and yet endowed with eternal purpose).

We have a finite number of weeks to walk the earth and advance the oasis of Christ’s joy into the desert, to invest rare love into hungry hearts, and to respond to temporal needs with creativity. We have a finite number of weeks to advance the cause of Christ to a world in such desperate need of His mercies.

In our modern world, being “short on time” seems to be an unquestioned constant. But we are not any shorter on time than in any other era of history. Instead, our life expectancy is better than it’s been for millennia. Our homes and garages are stocked with machines that save so much time that it would absolutely boggle the minds of our ancestors. Speed of transportation is unprecedented, and speed of communication is immediate.

Our problem is not a shortness of time, but a confusion of our priorities. 

Evaluating Your Time Exercise & Worksheet

Take some time to journal through the following questions & complete this worksheet.

  • How exactly are you investing our weeks?
  • If we were to map out an average week, what areas of life get most of our attention?
  • Is our schedule packed to the gills with extra drive time?
  • Are we devoting the majority of our time dropping everything and responding to the boundary-less “emergencies” of others?
  • Does mindless scrolling get the best hours of our week?
  • Are our current priorities, events, projects, screentime activities and conversations worth the precious time out of our week that they’re claiming?
  • Are more important things consistently being de-prioritized in response to the tyranny of the urgent, digital distractions, or a reactive lifestyle that’s been slapped together haphazardly?

It can be difficult to honestly evaluate how we have spent our time, but it can also be the exact catalyst needed to make us make the necessary changes. How you spend your moments is how you spend your life. Make sure you’re truly making space to thrive.


Are you ready to launch into an entirely new way of planning? We created the Evergreen Planner System because we needed a tool that would help us use the time we’ve been given intentionally, and it has become something we can’t live without. The Getting Started Kit is the perfect way to try two of our core products – the Annual and the Monthly. Don’t wait until we launch our next subscription box – get the tools you need today!