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Welcome to Best Laid Plans -- a podcast all about planning and the planning tools we love. From planning techniques and organizing philosophies to planners and notebooks, we cover it all. Host Sarah Hart-Unger is a mother of 3, physician, podcasting pro, and a lover of lists and all things paper! Listen in weekly for conversations about planning and productivity as well as product reviews and interviews with planning experts!
 
Love your career? Love your family? Best of Both Worlds is the show for you! Hosts Laura Vanderkam, author of I Know How She Does It and a mom of four, and Sarah Hart-Unger, a practicing physician and mom of two (soon to be three!) discuss work/life balance, career development, parenting, time management, productivity, and making time for fun. Tune in each week for strategies to help you thrive in all spheres of life.
 
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show series
 
This episode is all about ways to organize your finances. Sarah discusses 4 essential parts of being intentional with finances, including tracking your earnings & expenses, learning about investing, following and monitoring your long-term progress, and making sure you are revisiting your financial goals (with your partner, if that applies to you!).…
 
This episode starts with a discussion of summer 2021: are camp spreadsheets yet in effect? Laura and Sarah discuss the merits of keeping things simple (especially this year!). Then, Laura interviews former WSJ journalist Joann Lublin about what she has discovered studying the ways executive mothers navigate work and life. (Her new book on the topic…
 
Laken is a longtime member of the online planning community known for her openness, her positive encouragement, and her gorgeous and unique handwriting! In this episode, she gives an overview of her personal planning methods and her goal setting style, plus an introduction to the community she's built to help others achieve their goals. Find her on…
 
This episode is all about . . . fun! One of Laura's goals for the year was to cultivate more fun in her life, so this episode is an exploration of exactly what we find fun and how one might go about having more of it! In the Q&A, they answer a listener question looking for work-from-home lunch inspiration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit me…
 
It's a hybrid episode!  In the first portion, Sarah answers listener questions on tasks vs to-dos, managing small recurrent tasks that threaten to take over our actions lists, and ways to organize multiple in-progress projects that involve a lot of reference material.  Then, in the product review segment Sarah discusses the MakseLife Quarterly Goal…
 
Sarah and Laura open up with a discussion of winter doldrums (or lack thereof), and strategies for getting through February, which can feel like a long month (even though it's not!). Then, Sarah interviews Marlise Pierre-Wright, a 3rd-year medical student at Northwestern University and mother to a 5-month-old. Marlise made the decision to start her…
 
In this episode, Sarah takes a deep dives into the concept of planning and anticipation. This is much harder to come by in 2021, but still worth doing! Then, she discusses current planning success & failures. Finally, she answers a fascinating listener question: how can you help your significant other with planning & time management? Episode Sponso…
 
In this episode, Sarah and Laura talk about their current parenting stages, and then Sarah asks Laura all about issues pertaining to parenting tweens and teens, something Laura has been experiencing for the past few years. Topics discussed include getting one on one time, how involved to get with school work, current social life/screen time issues …
 
In this first episode of the new year, Laura and Sarah ponder 2021 exercise ambitions. Then, Dr. Christina Shenvi, an emergency medicine physician who also coaches medical students and faculty on productivity, joins Laura to discuss both of their favorite topics: time management! Christina shares how she teaches people to think about their time, an…
 
In this Deep Dive episodes, Sarah shares details about her morning routine and how she goes about daily planning. She also muses on the idea of essentially crowding out bad or mindless habits by intentionally spending time on things you want to, including through the use of effective routines.By Sarah Hart-Unger
 
In the intro, Sarah and Laura talk a little about the entertainment they currently enjoy. Then, Laura interviews Kristen Meinzer, the co-host of Movie Therapy with Rafer & Kristen, and By the Book (with Jolenta Greenberg). They discuss how TV and movies are helping people get through the pandemic, and some good shows to check out now. They also tal…
 
It's another Q&A Mailbag episode! Topics are wide-ranging and fun, from travel tips (because someday we will travel again!), toy recommendations, postpartum fashion advice, postwork rituals, and conversation starters for your kids at dinner. Show sponsor: Sweaty Betty - for Power Leggings and more! Get 20% off your purchase by visiting http://sweat…
 
In this Q&A episode, Sarah answers questions about meal planning, tracking multiple active cases at work, planning in the post-newborn period, how she fits in podcasting with her busy work and family life, and more! Show Sponsor: Wear Your Power is an on-demand e-course that will give you a new perspective on your style and a week of outfits you lo…
 
SHU opens up about her family's experience with COVD-19 and subsequent quarantine. Everyone is currently doing okay as this airs, so her story has a hopeful ending! She shares their story, from getting test results to being on home lockdown over winter break (and beyond). In the Q&A, a listener writes in about home office space, and Laura and Sarah…
 
In this very fun guest episode, Sarah interviews Meg and Myra, the cohosts of Planners & Wine -- yes, another podcast about planners! Their podcast is a ton of fun, as they share very real and important opinions (some planner related, and some not!) and have amazing chemistry together. Sarah interviews both Meg & Myra about the mission and directio…
 
In the intro, Laura and Sarah talk about current weekend days with kids. Then guest Simone de Munoz joins Sarah to chat about balancing her own life and work as a nonprofit analyst who also wrote her debut novel coming out next spring! Her novel is a thriller novel called Manflu about a pandemic and a vaccine scientist -- and oddly enough it was st…
 
It's an annual tradition - Laura and Sarah get together to review 2021 goals! Yes, this year may look different, but there are still lots of interesting things to pursue and think about. While it didn't come as easily as in years past, Laura and Sarah identified goals in the areas of work, family, personal, and relationships. If you're looking for …
 
Still looking for a 2021 planner? In the last review-focused episode of the year, Sarah reviews the unique Spaces Planner! The Spaces is a weekly system with tons of flexibility and an unusual square footprint. Sarah leads with a discussion about matching your planner size to you planner needs -- as in, don't plan on toting a round a dictionary-siz…
 
This year was like no other (understatement!) and so Laura and Sarah take some time to review the lessons learned under the circumstances. They discuss newfound habits, those new baby days, and much more. From red wine and dairy to puzzles and hikes, they delve deep into the things that made 2020 different and what they plan to carry on into the ne…
 
In this episode, Sarah shares her end of year goal setting process, as well as some of the things that felt a little more challenging in this usual year. She discusses setting "pandemic-proof" goals, using categories, seeking accountability, getting inspiraiton from others, and choosing a word for the year. If you've created your own goals list or …
 
In this episode, Sarah and Laura share their favorite childhood gifts, and then move on to some general tips around gift giving and gift shopping. Learn how Laura keeps her gifts organized with 5 kids to shop for, and how she makes extended family gift giving simple but still lovely. Sarah discusses the challenges of 8 nights of Hanukkah, plus cont…
 
Rachel Miller is an author, journalist, and her pieces are always creative and fun. She has written her own guide to dot journaling -- filled with artistry and inspiration and fun ideas for using your own dot grid notebook as planner and self-care tool. She shares her current planning methods, tips on how to get started, and surprises me with the p…
 
Laura and Sarah open up this episode by talking about some big news -- Laura is moving (though not very far!). She discusses how they made their decision while Sarah shares her family's plans to remain renters indefinitely. Then, Laura welcomes guest Ahlia Kitwana, founder of Little Black Buddha, a new company that helps people through career trans…
 
The tables are turned, and now Sarah gets to ask Laura some of the same fun (yet revealing) questions, and also adds in some different ones! Laura reveals the inner core of her middle school self, some little known intel on the family pet, her most-eaten meals, her thoughts on the various stages of parenting, and also gets to allocate a theoretical…
 
Cal Newport is a computer science professor and writer about topics from technology to productivity to work culture, and he is also now the author of his newly released Time Block Planner! Cal chats with Sarah -- a long time fan -- about his productivity systems, digital/paper hybrid planning, planning weekends and personal time, and of course his …
 
We decided it would be fun to share interviews with each other -- so you can hear some varied content, some of it light and fun and some of it more unexpected! In Part 1 of this series, Laura interviews SHU, and Sarah discusses many things, including what she was like in middle school, early career aspirations, what makes up her perfect vacation, a…
 
Episode 2 focused on the components of current weekly review process; this episode does the same for the monthly review. The Components: 1) Review Prior Month’s Goals and any Lists - celebrate successes & decide what to do with incomplete tasks 2) Budget reconciliation (we use You Need a Budget) 3) Review any upcoming big events with partner (if ap…
 
In this episode, attorney and mother of 3 Colleen Blanco shares her story about her experience with giving birth at 24 weeks and her subsequent NICU journey, including an emergency evacuation of the entire neonatal unit during Hurricane Sandy! She describes the challenges and celebrates the wins. Her story is powerful, and we hope it might help oth…
 
Still in planner selection mode for 2021? The Wonderland 222 Planner and Notebook is worth a look, even if you think you've already figured out your perfect system! As a die hard Hobonichi fan I did not think there'd be any question as to what I'll be using next year but . . . this one truly gives me pause, and this episode includes a full review w…
 
Author Claire Tansey aims to make dinner more joyful and less complicated, and she joins Laura and Sarah to discuss ways to make that a reality, even when young kids & busy lifestyles may complicate the equation. In the intro, Sarah & Laura share the past week of meals their families have enjoyed, and the Q&A focuses on a listener whose parents do …
 
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