The Monk Manual: The New Planner on the Block

You guys, I love planners. A thoughtful planner is essential to an organized, well-ordered life.

Choosing a planner can be one of the most important decisions one makes in a year because how we spend our time matters.  Basically, my planner is my brain outside of my body.  Whatever planner I choose needs to make sense with the way my brain organizes information, my goals, my rhythms, etc.

A few weeks ago I caught wind of a new and upcoming planner called the Monk Manual and I’m super excited to share about in this space with you, my friends who also have a deep and slightly irrational love for #allthingsplanning.

Monk Manual

What is the Monk Manual?

The Monk Manual is a 90-day planner that helps us focus on the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS…. and you get to decide what those are.

The creator of the Monk Manual was struggling with balancing a demanding job with a demanding family life, and he accidentally came up with this planner. He wasn’t meaning to start a business; he was simply trying to figure out how to use his time the best way he could.

Long story short (you can read more about it here), he did a bunch of research and decided that the monks knew what was up when it came to living a peaceful, productive, and fulfilled life. They weren’t concerned with doing more, more, more (hello, America!), but instead they were focused on doing the most important things well.

This planner was birthed from that research.

How does it work? 

It’s a 3-part planner:

  • It has a monthly page.
  • It has a weekly page.
  • It has a daily page.

In the monthly, we take a few minutes to think about the big picture. By the end of the month, what are some of the things I want to get done? What relationships am I focusing on? What do I want to learn about or what area do I want to grow in?”

In the weekly, we’re zooming in a little. We are deciding which days we’re going to focus on which goals, as well as reflect on what’s going well and how we can adjust course.

In the daily, we’re in the weeds. We are writing down our schedule, our top 3 projects for the day, a little list of to-dos, and a daily space for reflection: what am I thankful for? Where did I feel unrest today? When did I feel I was at my best? How can I be generous to those around me tomorrow?

You can read more about the pages on their Kickstarter website.

What’s awesome about it?

  • It’s a cross between a journal and a planner.
  • It creates space for daily, weekly, and monthly reflection, which is something that is easy to forget to do, but vital for keeping us healthy and connected to God, ourselves, and the world around us. The daily reflection space reminds me of the Daily Examen.
  • It’s beautiful- gorgeous leather cover and the pages are thick enough that pen won’t bleed through to the other side #plannerproblems.
  • For guys or gals. Some of my favorite planners feel “girlish”. This one doesn’t at all.
  • It’s flexible.

Any drawbacks?

  • The price is a bit steep. If you’re not used to nice planners, then it may feel like a difficult price tag to swallow. However, for people who are going to maximize its use, it’s totally worth it.

For more information, you can visit their FB page or go straight to their Kickstarter page where they blew their initial goal out of the water in 3 hours :).

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