By Edwin D. Arceo

Current planners today got their start from the Filofax and Day-Timers of the 80s, they are organizers which did not just include a calendar; it had task lists, conversion tables, a world map, some had rulers, card organizers, pockets, etc. There was even a movie based on it. Executives then used this to makes sense of their day, week or month. Some went to the extreme of putting money, keys and other flat personal effects. Then it evolved in today’s planner which are now based on certain themes. Of course, there are still many cheap, run-of-the-mill variety for those who are into the essentials.

Jacob’s Fountain interviewed Certified Positive’s, Beatriz T. Arit, CEO and Sarah Olicia, the EVP so that we can get a more proper perspective on this lifestyle called planning.

Jacobs Fountain: Why have a planner?

Bea: Planners, as it’s name suggests, helps one organize their days. As they say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Having a planner introduces, practices, and refines the discipline of organization which if used properly, can maximize one’s day. 🙂 It also serves as a nice diary to look back on from years to come.

Sarah: Having a planner helps us to be more organized and is a good practice in keeping records of important things, events, and/or tasks. We may have a jam-packed schedule but to see them on paper gives us the feeling of being at peace that somehow we can handle things because we have planned them ahead of time. A planner helps us in setting goals. By writing them down, we can pencil in targets and deadlines as to when we want them done. It will help us to balance our life and priorities.

JF: I’m sure you use the planner that you publish, how important is it to you?

B: It’s more-than-words important to me. 🙂 First, it represents the hard work we have done as a team; second, it motivates me to move forward to improve and to better steward God’s business into greener pastures; and third, it keeps my most important memories and thoughts. But the most important feature of all for me is that it brings me closer to the Lord daily.

S: Definitely, I use the Daily Interact Certified Positive planner (DICPP) and it’s of great importance in my daily life. As I write down weekly/daily my schedules and to-do’s, it takes out the stress most people are experiencing when it comes to what to do first and when to do it. Through the DICPP, I get to manage time with ease and it improves my productivity and efficiency. I see how faithful God is every day and He has revealed to me a lot of who He is as I use the planner.

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JF: Are planners only for obsessive-compulsive types?

B: Absolutely not! 🙂 I don’t even think I’m even part of the “obsessive-compulsive” bracket as I love having my happy organized mess in my workspace. For me, planners are for people who are intentional with maximizing their days and are serious into achieving certain goals. It’s hard to measure success without a starting point. A planner can definitely help in measuring where they currently are to where they would like to go.

It’s also great for those that are sentimental and like to remember their days. Also for the creatives, as they can use the planner as their creative outlets to represent their day.

S: I used to think that planners are only for people whose life revolves in the corporate world and that planners are limited to a certain type of individuals especially the people who have an obsessive-compulsive planning character as they are said to be “risk-avoidance” people and are obsessed with the future. But I came to realize that it is not. People who have a hard time juggling their schedules and want to have a direction and improve their organization skills are also the people who use a planner.

Planners filled out by enthusiastic and committed users

Planners filled out by enthusiastic and committed users courtesy of Certified Positive

JF: Has it been a game-changer for your career as well as your personal life? How?

B: Definitely! But it’s different from the publisher’s point of view as the next planner should surpass its predecessors’ standing in terms of design, content, and impact. As a publisher, using this helps me see the possible improvements for the next year’s planner. As a user, it helps me arrange my thoughts and motivate me to achieve my yearly and monthly goals.

S: The DICPP has been my best friend these days especially during the busy ones. When I write, I remember mostly what I have written that I need not check it again and again. The planner plays a huge part in my life. It disciplines me and helps me make healthy boundaries on saying yes or no to certain invitation or appointment. The planner guides me on the things I need to accomplish for the day and truly a joy to see progress as I check off the things that are already done. It serves as a personal record of the things I have done and my plans the Lord has overridden. It is like a reference tool and a scrapbook at the same time that records my journey with Jesus daily. Planning and looking back every now and then is such a joy—knowing that God has been with me and forever is with me on this journey. It shows that God truly is the BEST planner who orchestrates everything in His perfect place and time.

JF: What kind of people do you recommend use a planner?certified-positive-planner2

B: There are so many planners out there catered for different lifestyles. It’s nice to see where your lifestyle and goals fit in. A basic planner that contains just the months and days are for those who would simply like to keep their schedules on track. Specialized planners, like the Daily Interact Certified Positive series are for those who would like to focus on improving a certain aspect of their lives, in our case, inclined to the spiritual side that would hopefully help them grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord daily.

S: I recommend the use of the planner (specifically the Daily Interact Certified Positive Planner) to people who have a hard time keeping up with their busy schedules and priorities—people who want to improve their organization skills, and people who want to have a direction and a balanced life—anyone who seeks (1) to be more organized in planning, (2) to start journeying with the Lord, (3) to have a deeper relationship with the Lord, (4) to be #CertifiedPositive in blessings and in trials, and (5) to grow deeper in faith and share Jesus.

JF: How about digital or online planners?

B: Writing has been an age-old, proven tradition of keeping memories and passing them on for generations. Online planners are ok as well if it would do its job to help one organize one’s day. For me, I’d prefer the pen and paper as it’s something that involves a personal touch. Writing is said to help declutter thoughts and is also proven to be therapeutic. To whichever method one chooses, as long as it gets the job done. 🙂

S: A lot of planning apps in our smartphones with notifications or alerts are being used nowadays (even Google calendars). Not all of us may like the idea of having a physical product than that of a digital solution. However, there are still different printed planners being used and found on bookstore shelves.

Writing down our schedules and ideas help us to remember things better—it improves our memory. Turning one page at a time gives you the feeling of progress and that time is constantly moving, giving you the sense of valuing each day and time you give to certain tasks you write down and act upon—it encourages us to make better plans in reference to what God has taught us in the days that passed. Writing things down gives a more personal touch and time and makes us think more creative in setting goals. We can easily write a note or remarks on a specific task or item in our to-do-list and schedules. You can also bring a physical planner anywhere you go without having to worry about your location. It does not run out of battery life. You can use it even at the most remote area that has neither signal nor electricity.

JF: What is Certified Positive’s planner all about?

B: The Daily Interact Certified Positive planner is all about starting or improving your personal relationship with Jesus daily. It is a friend, an encourager, or a teacher that brings you to know that Jesus is real and He wants to transform your life to more than what you thought was possible. It is grounded in the Bible, God’s word, as it is the ultimate book for all things that we need on earth. This is THE planner that invests on just not our earthly lives, but it also helps you plan for eternity.

S: The DICPP is all about planning together with the Lord and journeying with Him daily. The features of the DICPP are designed not only to help people in becoming more organized and balanced but also to be closer to the Lord daily. Its ultimate goal is to draw people to the Lord, be intimate and have a personal relationship with Him that even in blessings and challenges that we face daily, we can still be #CertifiedPositive in Christ knowing that He’s with us on this journey. #RomansEightTwentyEight

JF: Tips on using a planner.

B: Three Simple tips: (1) Allot the first 15 to 30 mins of your morning in planning your day; (2) Make a daily habit to update unfinished tasks and carrying them over to today’s work (or to postpone them); (3) Love and care for your planner. Treat it as an extension of your thoughts and a keeper of important “aha!” moments and events. Look back on your goals every now and then and push forward for a better you! 🙂

S:

  • Before you do your planning, pray that God would give you the wisdom to set your goals and priorities to align to His will.
  • Look for a planner that best suits your personality, lifestyle or preferences.
  • Be disciplined. Schedule a regular time to update or input your to-do-list—can be evening or the day before you do your task or early in the morning before you start your day—you call it a regular planning session.
  • Also, have time for weekly planning to set your goals and appointments for the week. A physical planner is very flexible that you can do whatever you want to do with it in a way that you can write down whatever that you need to accomplish and you’ll know how you can work out your productivity. You become aware of your progress as you check off things in your to-do-list.
  • It is always nice to write down confirmed and even tentative schedules for the month as you use the monthly spread and update once in awhile. It will help you make decisions whether to accept an invitation or not. You need not stress yourself to fill up every space of your planner—take it as a free space for your creativity or to schedule a day to spend quality time with God, ministry, family, and friends and/or just to enjoy a day out.
  • Create a habit of checking your planner a lot especially when making appointments so that you will not make a mistake of committing to 2 or more appointments all at the same time. It will give you a chance to see your free schedule for leisure or other activities—priority setting.
  • Use ONLY ONE planner for everything. We may be attracted to many planners or having many notebooks with us, but it is smart and efficient to use a single planner in writing down our tasks and schedules. In this way, we avoid the trouble of having a messed up schedule. It creates a habit of being organized.
  • Open yourself to change. We may plan the best that we can, but the Lord’s plan are far better than what we have in mind. Be open and humbly submit to His will because, at the end of the day, His plans will prevail—“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”–Proverbs 16:3
From Left: Sarah Olicia, EVP and Bea T. Arit, CEO

From Left: Sarah Olicia, EVP and Bea T. Arit, CEO