January and February seem like the right months of the year for a post on the language of planning. Since there’s so much useful vocabulary in this area, this will be a two-part blog post.
Starting with near-synonyms for ‘arrange’, a handy phrasal verb is set up. To set up a meeting or similar event is to organize it:
We need to set up a meeting.
I’ve set up interviews with both candidates.
You might also say that you line up an event or number of events: We’ve lined up some great speakers for you this week.
To schedule a formal or an official event is to arrange for it to happen at a particular time:
The flight was scheduled to arrive at 8:45.
We have a meeting scheduled for 10 a.m.
If you reschedule something, you agree on a new and later time or date for something to happen: I’ve rescheduled Tuesday’s meeting for Wednesday.
If you plan in detail a period of time or future project, you might say that you map it out: He’s got his career all mapped out ahead of him
If you make temporary arrangements which may change in the future, you might describe them as provisional: These dates are only provisional.
You could say the same thing by saying that you will pencil in the arrangement: Okay, let’s pencil in a meeting for next Thursday at 11.
A related phrase is not set in stone, meaning ‘not fixed’: These dates may change nearer the time – they’re certainly not set in stone.
To say that you make a provisional plan definite, you might use the phrasal verb firm up: We’ll need to firm up the details of the agreement.
To call or write to someone in order to say that a formal arrangement is certain is to confirm it: Provisionally, we’ll say February 20th for the meeting, then, but confirm it later.
To anticipate something when you are planning is to expect that it will happen: I don’t anticipate any problems with this stage of the project.
If you allow for something that might happen, you consider it when planning and make arrangements for it: We have to allow for the possibility that the project might be delayed.
Part 2 of this post will look at planning for potential problems.