Ever have that moment when you’ve found an outdated planner you totally forgot about? Or when you rediscovered a planner you only used for one month? Or maybe you’re curious to start using a planner, but now they’re all outdated, or you’re going to be missing four months of the year? Or maybe you want to use a planner, but you’re not sure you can fork over $30 plus on a planner?
No matter the reason, at the base of all these dilemmas is what do I do with a planner that is outdated and I’ve got 6 solutions for you.
Here are my six uses for unused, outdated planners:
Taking a peek at the next year’s dates, you’ll notice that each day only moves forward by one year (unless it’s a leap year, then it gets funky). Which means, you can pretty easily move everything over just by one day! So instead of January 1st being on a Saturday (like it was for 2022), it’s on a Sunday (for 2023). If you don’t care for too much crossing out here and there, you can easily change dates in your planner as you go to accommodate the new dates.
Or if you’re feeling crafty, you can use washi tape to cover up the daily dates in the week spread and write over it with the dates for the new year!
Our Kindred planners have the same number of weeks for each monthly and weekly spread and tracker pages, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough weeks or too many weeks for any given monthly or weekly layout.
Ignore the dates entirely and use the planner as one giant goals tracker. List out your goals you want to achieve in the month layout and break them down more specifically in the weekly layout. Our planners’ weekly spreads have enough space for you to jot notes down for each day of the week and track your goals more specifically.
For example, if one of your goals is to “be more intentional” in the next year, you could pick one area of life to be more intentional about each month (i.e. be more intentional with finances). List out what being more intentional in that area looks like for you in the “notes” section of a month (i.e. mindful spending or saving more frequently). And in the weekly pages, for each day you can write down how you moved towards that or didn’t.
In the Kindred Planners, we include a weekly “focus” and “be still” sections. For the “focus” section, you could write down a summary of what being intentional in that life practice looked like quantitatively (i.e. how much you spent and how much saved). For the “be still” section, you could reflect on how being intentional in that area is going (i.e. what about saving money is hard?), the more qualitative summary of the week’s being intentional practice.
Again, ignore the dates in the planner and use the entire planner as a giant fitness tracker. This is especially helpful if you’re training for a big race or event sometime in the year and need something to keep better track of each detail.
The month layout can be used to set a fitness goal for each month. You could even use each day of the month as a giant checkbox for which to mark which days of the month on each day of you worked out or moved towards your fitness goal. The weekly layout can be used to keep track of each day’s exercise details – how far you ran, how you felt about a certain workout, how much you lifted, how many calories you burned, etc. The meal plan space can be used to track what you ate during the week.
There have been seasons of my life where I have needed to monitor my eating habits, or monitor baby girl’s eating habits, or do an elimination diet in order to understand why my body is reacting the way it is. If you have had to do any sort of food challenge or elimination diet, you’ll know that these can take months to complete. I’ve tried using a digital tracker (and sometimes that works), but having a paper tracker has been more helpful in seeing the bigger picture of what is going on and patterns throughout.
Use the monthly layout to see how many days you have in a month and plan out when you need to start certain aspects of your food tracking or to know when you have big events coming that might be difficult for food tracking. Use the weekly layout to write down exactly what you ate and to note how you felt that day.
For the Kindred Planners, use the “focus” and “be still” sections of the weekly layouts to track how you are generally feeling about tracking your food. Use the space to practice being in tune with the why and who behind the what of food tracking.
If you are getting into meal planning and need more space to write out all those jumbled thoughts, then using a full planner might be helpful! Plus, then you can keep all your meals and lists in one written place, and one physical space (the kitchen or dining room) and don’t have to worry about having to carry your personal planner everywhere.
Additionally, it can be helpful to be able to look back to other meals you’ve done quickly and easily when your brain is tired and meal planning is hard (which might be every week if you’re me).
Use the monthly spread to write down big events to keep track of. Use the tracker pages to track any food habits or rhythms you want to do – meatless Mondays, or how many days you ate meat, how many days you ate dairy, how many days you drank more than two cups of coffee, etc. Use the weekly space to write out meals for the week, notes for the meals (i.e. preheat oven to 400F starting at 4PM), etc.
If you’re using a Kindred Planner, use the “focus” section of the weekly spread to write out your grocery list and use the “be still” section of the weekly spread to note how you’re feeling this week and if there’s anything contributing to your interest/lack thereof to this responsibility.
Psst: If meal planning is tricky for you, check out this guide to meal planning in 10 minutes.
A practice I have adopted in my life (sporadically and inconsistently) is examen. It is a spiritual discipline to help you notice patterns in your life of what is life giving and what is life thwarting. At its basic practice, you ask yourself, daily, what has been life giving and life thwarting that day. You can also do this for the week as a whole or the month and the year. But the idea is that you would look back on these answers and begin to notice what gives you life and what is thwarting you, giving more space and room for the giving and less to the thwarting.
You could use an outdated planner to track these! Every day of the week you could write down what has been life giving and life thwarting. At the end of the month, you could write down what patterns you noticed over the month as to what was life giving and thwarting.
I hope this list helps you see that that planner you were about toss or maybe were tempted to buy (even if its “missing a few months”), might still be worth keeping or picking up.
But, regardless of how you use an outdated planner, I would encourage that with our kindred planners, you would use them to remember not just the what you are doing, but the why and who behind the what. Why are you doing what you’re tracking or planning? Who are you being and becoming in the midst of doing? As important as it is track any of the above, it’s equally, if not more important, to not lose our beings in the doings.
PS: Our Simple planners come undated, so you get all the signature pieces of our kindred planners (the reflection pages, tracker pages, preparation pages, etc.) without the dates, making it super easy to customize it for whatever your year has in store. No matter if your year starts on January 1st, September 1st, or May 12th.
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