Everyone has their only style of planning. It’s one of the reasons I created Ponderlily Planners—to empower you to build a schedule and life with you at the center. Your hopes, your dreams, your intentions and to-dos—everything that matters most to you. Understanding your unique Planning Love Language helps you to uncover your planning approach and lean into the areas where you need support.
The Five Love Languages
The Five Love Languages by psychologist Gary Chapman is a widely-popular book written in 1992 that gave the world a way to say, “Riiiiiiight, that’s when and how I feel love...”
Dr. Chapman offered up the following five “languages” to describe giving or receiving love:
- Acts of Service (ex. Your partner says, “I’ll make you dinner and clean the house!” You’re in love).
- Quality Time (ex. Your partner wants to sit and talk. It makes you swoon).
- Gifts (ex. Your partner bought you flowers and/or a new iPad. You go weak in the knees).
- Words of Affirmation (ex. Your partner looks you in the eyes and says, “You’re great.” Euphoria washes over you).
- Physical Touch (ex. You get a giant hug. You’re planning the wedding).
Dr. Chapman’s idea was that the better we understand our own love language, the better we can ask for what we need and then “speak” our partner’s language. The key is awareness. The more we understand how we’re wired for love, the better we can give it. Especially to ourselves.
The same goes for planning and productivity. How can we bring awareness to our personal style of planning, or—our Planning Love Language—so we can make the most of our plans, relationships and dreams? Good question, my friend! You’re smart! (ex. words of affirmation, btw).
What is a Planning Love Language?
Your planning love language is about recognizing your own organizational tendencies and natural flows so you can work with them, not against them. They can help you feel connected, supported, and empowered as you work toward the things that matter.
Understanding your planning love language can help you to be realistic about what’s possible for you, and how your plans are likely to unfold. This sets us up for optimum success with our schedules, commitments, and obligations. And when we set ourselves up for success, we have a much better chance of finding meaning and purpose in our days. And isn’t that what it’s all about, my friend?
When you get clear on your planning love language, your planner itself can become a love letter to yourself. And your personal planning style is the way you communicate in that letter.
Most of us fall into three general categories when it comes to a planning mode. Read below to find out what your planning love language is...
The Intentional Action Planner
Planning Love Language: Planning Ahead
The Intentional Action Planner is the one you need when you’ve got seventeen multi-faceted projects in the works, a rigorous family schedule, a home renovation going on, a training schedule for the upcoming marathon, a dog that needs walking, and, oh yeah, sleep. Time is never wasted. Every minute needs a job. These are your hyper-scheduled, ultra-focused, get-stuff-done people who draft emails in their sleep. They love a tight meeting, a focused time block, and a thorough hour-by-hour itinerary for the family trip.
Intentional Action Planners feel love when you respect their schedules, provide efficient communication, and give them extremely challenging tasks. If it’s hard, they’ll probably be great at it. You know the saying, "If you need something done, give it to a busy person"? This is that person; they are busy, but they will also get it done.
If this is you…
YOU’RE GREAT AT: Getting things done! Time management has never been your problem; you’re efficient and you take smart shortcuts to maximize your productivity. Every hour has a purpose, and it’s leading you to your goals.
YOUR POWER PLANNING MOVE: To-Dos and Daily Intentions.
WATCH OUT FOR: Too much rigidity and perhaps missing great options that weren’t a part of your initial plan. You love to check things off your list and yes, plan to accomplish. But don’t forget to leave space to deviate and restore balance if need be. Stop and smell the roses, even if you have to change your schedule to build in a rose-smelling time block. It’s worth it.
LEAN INTO: Recharging and Reasons to Celebrate.
The Spontaneous Inspiration Planner
Planning Love Language: Being in the Moment
These are the people you want at your big, annual backyard barbeque. Although they’ll probably be late (they got caught up with a home improvement project), they’re intuitive, present, and happy to go with the flow as things unfold. They’re feelings-first kind of friends and never miss a chance to explore something new. They have big plans and big visions and hundreds of sticky notes all over their office. They may not get to all of them, but the ideas themselves energize and give life to each day.
Spontaneous Inspiration Planners feel love when you give them the time and space to explore their new idea, even if it doesn’t go anywhere. But hang on—because sometimes, like the iPhone in the ’90s, it might.
If this is you…
YOU’RE GREAT AT: Bringing people together and celebrating life’s moments, big and small. You genuinely enjoy life, and constantly seek moments of connection, fun and adventure.
YOUR POWER PLANNING MOVE: Reasons to Celebrate.
WATCH OUT FOR: Your genius inspiration brain may lead to a lack of focus. You’ve got great ideas, but set up boundaries so you can keep moving toward the things that truly matter to you. Write it down, keep it simple, and focus on one amazing idea at a time.
LEAN INTO: Positive Habit Tracker.
The Balanced Focus Planner
Planning Love Language: Everything in Moderation
The Balanced Focus Planner has both super-scheduled weeks, but also giant blank spots on the weekends labeled “something fun.” She likes to have a predictable schedule but can also appreciate the joy of a spontaneous plan when it lands on her doorstep.
Balanced Focus Planners tend to be connected to the bigger picture of their days. They feel love when you help them allow for free time, as well as highly structured days with clear productivity metrics. These friends are always doing a dance with different parts of themselves, so they might need extra time to work it all out in their planner. It’s good––they’re trying to accommodate two very dynamic sides of themselves and achieve a work-life balance that brings a sense of wellness.
If this is you…
YOU’RE GREAT AT: Intentionally planning your month to include both rest, work, fun and creativity. You understand the importance of feeding yourself with inspiration in order to motivate your obligations and responsibilities.
YOUR POWER PLANNING MOVE: The Monthly Roadmap.
WATCH OUT FOR: Trying to get a perfect balance. Some days or months will require a rigid schedule, while other seasons will be all about new ideas. Both are good. There is a season for everything. Set your expectations and know that daydreaming and checklists are both ok.
LEAN INTO: Daily Intentions.
Implementing Your Planning Love Language
As you schedule your days and make space for the things that matter, remember: your planning love language provides a unique way of seeing the world and bringing your whole self to everything you do. And your whole self might crave a to-do list, or some time for intention setting, or leaving large blocks of time open for inspiration.
Everything belongs. And everything matters. Awareness of your planning love language is the key to striking the right balance for you.
Ponderlily Planners are a space where you can speak your love language and create a personalized journey to meaning, purpose, intention, and support. We’re cheering you on—always.
Want more personalized support? Discover your Productivity Personality!