2. Are you a planner?

Transcript item

Jo Gore: Hi, everybody! We're here today to talk about planning. So, Jo, are you a planner?

Jo Blackmore: Um, definitely, yes! I am a planner. Um, I like to plan most things in my life in advance. If I leave things to the last minute, I usually feel a little bit stressed. Um, and what about you, Jo, are you a planner too, or are you a more of a spontaneous type of person?

Jo Gore: Er, I don't know. I think I'm a mixture. But I don't think I'm as well organised as you. Um, and actually if I plan too much in advance, then I get quite stressed that, that too many commitments and I haven't left myself some room, you know, to decide things on the day, to go with the flow and, um, to improvise a bit more. So, I think I'm a mixture.

Jo Blackmore: Mm, so you like to plan but you also like to play it by ear sometimes.

Jo Gore: Exactly, yes. I like the opportunity to play it by ear definitely.

Jo Blackmore: And do you, um, do you write a list of things to do? A to-do list?

Jo Gore: I'm a big fan of the to-do list actually. That's probably my number one, or, well, my only organisational strategy. Um, I need to see things written down to feel organised and then, so, every day I write my list and I circle the priorities in order. 

Jo Blackmore: So, you do sound like, really, like an organised person. I must say, I think of myself as a planner, but I don't always write a list of things to do, and actually I forget them! So, er, I need to take some of your organisation tips, I think.

Jo Gore: Thanks, Jo! I don't know if I'm the best model, but thank you for the compliment! 

So, we'd like to hear from you, from our users. Um, do you consider yourself to be a planner? Or do you prefer to be spontaneous and go with the flow? Do you think you're well organised? Um, or do you need more organisational strategies in your life? Er, what do you think? Tell us about you. We're looking forward to hearing from you.


In this video, Jo and Jo talk about whether they like planning and organising things in advance, or whether they prefer to be spontaneous and go with the flow.

Watch the video to find out who's more organised!

To plan or not to plan?

Are you the kind of person who likes to plan? Or are you the more spontaneous type? Maybe you're a mixture of the two.

If avoiding surprises and mistakes is important to you, you're probably a planner. Planners usually think something is successful when it goes exactly as they expected.

For non-planners, freedom matters most. Spontaneous types like to leave some decisions open, so that they can go with the flow. They're happy when they've enjoyed themselves, even if not everything has gone perfectly.

People sometimes think of non-planners as more creative than planners. But is that really true? A planner might arrange their day to make sure they get time to do something creative. But if you're disorganised, you might get to the end of the day and find you have no time left for things you enjoy.
On the other hand, having too many plans can be stressful. It can also stop you enjoying the moment, or mean you can't adapt your thinking to fit a new situation.

As with most things in life, the answer is probably to find balance. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Over to you

  • Are you a planner or do you prefer to be spontaneous? 
  • Are you well organised or not very organised at all?
  • Do you write to-do lists?
Average: 4.5 (8 votes)

Submitted by marcelomello on Mon, 29/01/2024 - 23:48


Are you a planner or do you prefer to be spontaneous? I´m a mixture. Depend of the situation.

Are you well organised or not very organised at all? I´m very organised.

Do you write to-do lists? I have this habit. Doing to-do lists, it is impossible forgeting some things and tours.

Submitted by Massryclashofclans on Thu, 25/01/2024 - 18:43


I am a planner, I like to plan in advance.
I am kind of organised.
I write to-do lists, but I procrastinate too much.

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Submitted by WinterBear_7 on Wed, 24/01/2024 - 05:13


I'm definitely not a planner but i love planning things and being organized. I got to say I'm more of a spontaneous person as I rarely accomplished things I planned. However,2024 is going to be the year I try planning again and I aim to achieve lots of my goals.

Submitted by Rafaela6144 on Wed, 24/01/2024 - 00:26


Are you a planner or do you prefer to be spontaneous? I'm a planner.
Are you well organized or not very organized at all? I'm very organized.
Do you write to-do lists? all the time.

Submitted by Daniel1999BrazilRJ on Mon, 22/01/2024 - 19:46


I'm just spontaneous most of the time, but in academic life I'm more of a planner. So I could say I am kind of a mixture of both. I'm more about not being organized. I prefer to-do lists, as it is more simple.

I wanted to practice my speaking as well:

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Submitted by Magedelabd on Sun, 21/01/2024 - 05:48


I believe that I want to be a planer , but I do not now if I am doing that good or not .
I think to that I am organized , I do not feel comfort if the things around me are not in a good shape.
I always clear my mind by doing a list for my tasks.

Submitted by yasminsilvasousa on Fri, 19/01/2024 - 20:05


I am a mixture of both. the spontaneous and planner type.
I am well organized.
I write to-do list on Sundays for the week.

Submitted by coquin69 on Thu, 18/01/2024 - 17:56


Hello, I'm a student from Spain. I'm not either a spontaneous person nor a planner, but rather a mixture of both. For me, it really depends on if I'm going with friends or not, as going alone and getting my own plans ruined isn't a big deal. However, spoiling other people's plans is a different story.

Submitted by mariahmoreira on Tue, 16/01/2024 - 12:44


I am a spontaneous person,I am very well organized and sometimes I do to-do lists.

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Submitted by victorsolozabal on Fri, 12/01/2024 - 13:01


I am a more spontaneous type, I can see it clearly on my trips abroad.
I could say I am a pretty organized person.
I never do my to-do lists although I know I should.
I'm Victor Fleury. From Brazil.

I'm a mix of two: spontaneous and organized. Learning to do lists e choose the priorities in order to have more control of my tasks during the day.
I'm Patricia, from Brazil.

Submitted by aminelebrima on Fri, 05/01/2024 - 18:26


Often, i prefer to organise my self before as, i'am like joe blackmore, l feel bit stressed when I let everythings for the last minutes.

Submitted by miguelson on Thu, 04/01/2024 - 11:21


I am not that much of a planner yet, but I am working hard to be, at least in the important things of my life, career, studies, and my health.
About having fun and enjoying, surely I don't mean to be a planner, but keep myself spontaneous, although a bit (or more) of planning is really needed to travel.
I use to-do lists sometimes, but I am alike Jo Blackmore and usually forget about them.

Submitted by Dimonius on Thu, 04/01/2024 - 10:11


Hi, I am a planner mostly, I have a to-do-list for every day and it helps me with my studding, work, sport and hobbies. But sometimes I act spontaneously, specialy on the weekend, because I just want to rest that days and it possible to change my plan and do something different I like.

Submitted by Andreamirez on Fri, 29/12/2023 - 20:48


I consider my self a mixture of both planning and spontaneity, but not in equal measure. I believe that I lean more towards being a planner than being spontaneous. For instance, when I plan a trip, event, or party, I prefer to be organized. I make list of the most important things to do and stick to them. I enjoy working with schedules, calendars, diaries, and planners. However, my spontaneous side is also quite creative, if something unexpected happens that is not in my planner, I'm able to adapt and improvise. I may change the order or structure, but I still strive to achieve my goals.

Submitted by dafmaciasg on Thu, 28/12/2023 - 20:12


l am a mixture sometimes l do plans and other times l don’t plans.
l think that most of times l am disorganized person but l have complicate activities l can be organized doing it.
l can write a list tasks or list activities when l have a lot of activities for do and l can’t have an order of these activities in my brain.

Submitted by Nazareth-0301 on Wed, 27/12/2023 - 03:39


I think I am mix of both, 50% of the time I like to make plan, specially if it's talk about a my future, I planned to move to Canada by 2023 and I did it, I was making the plannig during 3 years, I invested all my free time in excel sheet planning the trip and route to get to Canada, how to make save, looking where to live. On the other hand when I was thinking in hanging out with someone or visiting some place, I didn't any kind of plan I just get flow, or in my last job, I had somes situations where I didn't enough time to make plan or think a lot, I just have to make a quick decision, so all that things tought me that the life if always surprising us. Because even I plannig a trip hopping not to make a mistake, I always did it.

Submitted by Nazareth-0301 on Wed, 27/12/2023 - 02:20


I have several plan to these new year, I really want to get better my english speking, every day that I spend if a challenge for me in the race of improving my speaking, but now I have a clear goal because the 2023 thought me the importance of learnign well, in these new year I going to get a job throught the idiom, since I moved to Canada it has been a big challenge and, in the lasts months have been difficults to settlet in for the new langaguage.

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Submitted by stefherz on Sat, 04/02/2023 - 12:42


I'm definitetly more a planner than a spontanous person. I like to write down (in an app or on paper) everything I need to do and until when I need or want to do it. I find that writing to-do lists makes life less stressful, because once I've written my tasks down I'm not afraid to forget them anymore.
But the hardest part for me is planning realistically. I always think that I get more things done in a specific time than I actually do in the end.

Submitted by Luiscarza on Wed, 01/02/2023 - 21:50


I considered a mixture people. I used to do plans but not to write a list, but on the other hand I am not very organized and it’s difficult to me make a list of things to do and, usually I forget what to do or.
I think is important no to planning everything, is okay to be spontaneous sometimes.

Submitted by ggc_020190 on Tue, 24/01/2023 - 18:38


Hi everyone!

I think I'm a planner but not a good one. I like to know what are the things that need to be done, but when it comes to organize myself to do it I usually fail due to my lack of consistency. I need to be more realistic with the objectives that I set myself, I use to set objectives maybe too ambitious to be finished it during the time I'm thinking of, and most of the time I end up feeling stressed about not finishing them.

Hi @ggc_020190,

I think I'm a little like you ... I like to plan things and love to make a list of things that need to be done, but I often put off the things that need doing and do the ones that I don't mind doing. I also add them to the ongoing list and cross them out straightaway so it feels like I've achieved something! I would love to change this about myself ... maybe 2023 is the year that it will happen! 

I hope you achieve your goals this year and I think it's a great start to realise that you need to be more realistic with your objectives. Good luck and all the best with 2023.❤

~Tina ツ
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by pwaik on Tue, 24/01/2023 - 09:29


Hello, I think based on situation is better than a planner or a spontaneous person. I 'm also a spontaneous type of person , it doesn't good for every time.

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Submitted by sheikou on Sun, 22/01/2023 - 05:23


Hi, I'm Yuliya. I hope that 2023 will be better than last

Submitted by Maglou on Sat, 21/01/2023 - 14:02


Hello everybody, it depends of the range, if I'm rather well-organized or spontaneous. At work I have to be structured and well-prepared, because the job requires that. Also for my child it's important that I have at least a certain level of organisation and structure for instance in terms of meal times. However with my friends or family I like to be spontaneous and not to have too many plans. So we can do what everybody likes in that very moment and we don't stick in a plan just because we once made it some time ago.
And last but not least: studying English. I' m studying by my own without a teacher or language course so that I definitely need a plan in order to keep track of the learning matter.

Hi Maglou! Same here, when it comes to my job and my study routine I plan everything very well (even if I not always stick to my plan), but in my personal life I'm not too much of a planner. Which sometimes has the negative side effect that I wind up not doing or taking ages to do things I actually really want to do (like meeting a friend or making enhancements in my house).

Submitted by Poozu on Thu, 19/01/2023 - 11:28


I am a planner. I like to plan my work one week in advance so that I can schedule my work. And then I plan for the day also, that's usually the first task when I start my day. However, I am not a long-term planner, which I should do so that I can plan my savings, and see where I should reach five years down the line. Sometimes I need a lot of motivation to stick to the plans and be more disciplined.

Submitted by .'. eve .'. on Tue, 17/01/2023 - 20:51


hello everybody! I think I'm a mixture of the two. Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed with to-do things and just don't even know how to start doing them, I do a simple list with everything I must do by the day. It helps me focus more and procrastinate less. Because I'm also a bit of a lazy person some days! At the same time, I don't plan my entire month or year on one of those planning calendars, because I don't find easy sticking to them.

Submitted by DonatellaGiardino on Tue, 17/01/2023 - 15:11


Hi, I'm Donatella. I'm 60 years old and i'm a pensioner.
In the first part of my life i had to organize my life, for job family, holiday etc.
Now i would like to be more a spontaneus woman and live my life in freedom. But i don't want getting a lazy person....I will study english, make physical activity, read many books, without obligations.

Hello from Greece,
I am Aristea, and I am 56 years old. I made a big change in my business life last year. Usually I make plans for the next days but I also like to be somehow spontaneuous and find a balance in my life. For the time being I am facing a health issue with my back and I am looking forward to be active again with jogging, physical activities etc. I really hope to improve my English knowledge in 2023. Best regards from Thessaloniki.

Submitted by sura alawneh on Sat, 14/01/2023 - 21:12


hi everyone
i think i was a planner person till the day i quit my job , i wasn't that person who makes to do list every day but i like to organise my things i have to do all the day or in the next two days in my mind. After i left my job i go with the flow i tried to organise my plans but i can't i feel stress when i do that so i hope to find a new job because my day will be more organised and i'll go back to that planner person i used to be.

Submitted by Luis_Angel on Fri, 13/01/2023 - 22:42


Cheers you all!

I can say that I'm that kind of person who is usually organised (mainly for school), and I even have a to-do list (usually used for homework and rarely for house-chores), but when it is required, I can be a little bit spontaneous and may improvise about what I'll be doing some time after.

However, I can add that I am a little bit chaotic and not really organised as I wish I could be.

Greetings ^^!

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Submitted by Erick20 on Wed, 11/01/2023 - 20:25


Hi everyone! Definitely I'm a planner person. When I was in college I used to schedule all my things to do. I used to write all my homeworks in a to do list and striked them out when they were completed. Then, when the pandemic started, I organized myself to have a time for taking classes, do excersice, have lunch, take time with my family and time to have a good rest. Now, I'm not still writing a To do list, but I'm still schedule all the things that I have to do through the day, and to be honest when I'm not doing the things in time, I feel so stress.

Submitted by Alecampos on Wed, 11/01/2023 - 13:15


Hi everyone I believe I´m pretty organized person, by myself to be this way help me to fell security because I want to know exactly what I'm looking for and because that I normally safe time to do all I want. In this exactly moment I'm organizing all point of my life and I restart to do list to really know what I need to do to get all goal that I planned for this year.

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Submitted by orange.sphere on Wed, 11/01/2023 - 02:45


Hello, well I don't want to sound pretentious but actually I consider myself as a pretty organised person, I'm in the planner team. In fact, I wrote in my planner to do this lesson today hahaha. I use a paper planner where I have the whole year already layouted to me, so I can write when I will do the things that I want to do and that I have to do, It helps me because I also leave some space for leisure and rest and because it was already planned I do not feel guilty for spending my afternoon watching Modern Family.

However, I can't do the "time blocking thing", having my hours scheduled is horrible, I know what I need to do this week or even what I must do today, but I need to decide in which moment I'm going to do it, I'm a night owl so everything schedule before 9 am it's certainly not going to happen. If i don't feel like doing it I won't, no questions ask, because I know that when I'll be in the mood to do that specific thing I will hyperfocus on that, what ends up making me more efficient.

And of course I write to-do lists, if it isn't written down its not going to happen, that's the rule hahahaha. Thank you.

Practicing my pronunciation: https://www.speakpipe.com/voice-recorder/msg/3fm4ze9hv9r4vfas

Submitted by sindhus on Mon, 09/01/2023 - 18:14


Hi all..It’s me sindhu. Well I am neither a planner nor a spontaneous person. I am a person who goes with the situation. The worst part of mine is I’m a perfectionist which makes me delay in many places. So I won’t advise anyone to be a perfectionist.