United Front: Ship’s Log Planner Course
This is a new video (18:56mins, updated 1/4/2022) overview of the contents to help folk get used to and understand the major features and how to navigate through the planner. There’s more in-depth help in the remainder of this online course.
How we Plan
How we do things is not the right way, the only way, or the way y’all should do things. But since folk may have never done any planning at all before, we’re going to give an overview of how we plan. We are looking at it from the big rocks in the bucket first (annual planning) to the water in the bucket (daily planning).
However, when you begin to do planning, you will likely start from the daily planning and work your way towards weekly planning. Then add in monthly planning. Then quarterly and yearly planning.
So take this as an eventual goal, start from planning the day, and work your way towards planning ahead for larger chunks of time, over time.
(as posted on Quora)
We aren’t perfect but we have a “system” for how we go about it, from LONG work in self-improvement stuff (like 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Covey, and Getting Things Done by David Allen etc.). And we’ve worked UP to doing this over the years — definitely didn’t always do as much planning as we do in the last 5–10 years. We’ve known we’re a system for like 36 years. So this isn’t a standard to hold yourselves to.
So, right now (edit: we started in October 2021) we’re already planning our 2022 “big projects” in the way that you put the big rocks in a bucket first before adding small rocks, pebbles, sand or water. So we know we’re planning to do 3 live coaching groups for example, some of the conference(s) we plan to present at, and so on.
We have a place we jot quarterly/monthly reminders (in a planner we created) so we know that in say January we need to do income taxes, or our PO Box renews so there will be an extra bill that month. We track when call for presenters for some conferences are usually posted so we can check their site and see what the deadlines will be that year, etc.
Then we plan each month. At the first of the month (or the last of the prior month) we have a big system meeting and do a selves-assessment (we developed one) to kinda “take our temperature” on selves-care needs for the month — what are we prioritizing as a system (say our internal communication has been slipping, or our energy dipping, etc.)…and which of our projects are we working on. We list a few projects to move ahead or concentrate on for the month and maybe some other health or system goals for selves-care.
Then each week, usually Sunday evening, or Monday morning, we have another “bigger” meeting – not all-hands, but just a little longer than our daily meetings. We transfer our appointments from the electronic calendar to our planner (we keep the electronic calendar most up-to-date for alarms/notifications) for the week, think about weekly things (grocery shopping? laundry? etc.) and whether there’s anything we will need to plan for (what day does recycling go out this week? When do we next need to move our car?). And which projects (from our monthly plan) we’re concentrating on this week.
Each day at our morning meeting we check the electronic calendar make sure we don’t have anything new that was added, make sure we’re aware of today’s appointments, and right now we’re doing a tarot card reading each day as a reminder to stay spiritually connected (usually just a 1-card pull, it doesn’t take long), and give ourselves an internal pep-talk. lol — like what will we work on today? Any stressors to manage? We take time during the morning meeting to make sure our planner is up-to-date for the day before, and log sleep, etc.
We do miss days. We do neglect to write in the planner when we’re not doing well. In fact it’s in our safety plan as a sign we’re not doing well (that we’re not using our planner). But when we’re doing OK we do a lot better when doing these things than when we’re not doing these things.
And not everyone would do as well with our methods, but this is what we find works for us. It doesn’t stand alone. There’s other things we do for emotional regulation1, resilience2, staying motivated3, managing spoons. To just take this and not the other things and try to replicate the planning without also working on presence, energy, etc. probably won’t work as well. Like we have a very clear purpose and plan, and these things help us make progress on our shared life purpose and our plans. This would be less meaningful if we didn’t know what we wanted to get done as a group.
- See the Emotional Regulation self-help topic at Kinhost.org — optional
- This is a big topic in the Building Community course at United Front: Building Community Group Coaching Pilot — not yet available publicly
- see the Developing Better Spoons course at United Front: Developing Better Spoons — suggested course after working on the United Front: System Safety Plan Course