Five Steps to Planning with Meaning

by Karen Tarango

June 2019

Five Steps to Planning with Meaning


              There are those who plan to get things done and that’s fine. And there are those

who plan to decorate their plans and that’s fine too. Allow me to give you another

option which is to plan with meaning. These are things that touch your soul. They have

special significance and put a smile on your face.

              The first step for your consideration is to incorporate in your planner quotes or

bible verses that inspire you. These are positive words that you can read through out

your week. Words that are meaningful to you. We have enough troubles and negativity

in the world, but it doesn’t have to be that way in our planners. For example, say some

one gave you a compliment that really touched you, why not use that as a quote in

your weekly layout? How uplifting it would be to read that compliment every day! So

be sure to reserve a space for those inspiring words.

              The second step in planning with meaning is a vision board. However, you would

instead create it on a page then insert that into your planner. If you don’t know how to

make a vision page let me tell you how simple it can be. It is similar to a collage, a

collection of photos all in one place. First, you want to think of a few of your goals or

dreams to put on your vision page. Then you can either use some magazines and cut

out photos or print some pictures from the internet and tape them to your page. You

will also write down next to the photo the details of your vision/goal. Once you have

your vision page done pick a spot where you know it will be seen often. When you

look at your page of dreams and goals, visualize yourself accomplishing them. Live it

out in your mind. And don’t give up!

              The third step in planning with meaning is adding journaling to your daily page.

Writing down a highlight of your day adds a new aspect to your calendar. Wait until the

end of the day to journal. Pick something that was positive or note worthy. If you don’t

have the room to journal, simply insert a lined page or tape in a life card and write on

the back. Get creative! At the end of the week review all your journal entries. It can be

very enlightening and good for your soul!               

              The fourth step in planning with meaning is to personalize your planner. Go

beyond decorations and color coding. Consider what you really need and make your

planner work for you. If you need more ziplock-pouches, get those in there. If you

need more pockets get those in there. Write a list of your top three needs then fill

those needs. You will happier with your planner and more productive. For me, I need

lots of checklists stickers, especially on Mondays and Fridays. I have a lot of “to do’s”

on those days, so checklists stickers are a must for me. What about you? 

               The fifth step in planning with meaning is to choose your word of the year. The

idea is to pick a word that would be your theme or focus for the year. For example;

If you believe it is time for you to grow in all aspects of your life then your word

may be, “grow” or “step up” or “stretch”. As a reminder to yourself, write your word at

the top of your monthly and weekly layout pages. To incorporate it more in your life

you can also journal about your word of the year and what it means to you.

              Last word, you do not have to incorporate all five steps. Yet, I’m sure a few of

them jumped out at you though. Try a few of the steps and see what happens and let’s

make this the best year yet!


Karen L Tarango an avid planner, Pastor and author of several christian books. She is happily married to her husband Art. They reside in California with their two spoiled dogs and a cat.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.