Ask Difference

Planing vs. Planning — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on April 4, 2024
Planing is the act of smoothing or shaping a surface, especially wood, while Planning refers to the process of making plans for something.
Planing vs. Planning — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Planing and Planning


Key Differences

Planing and Planning, at first glance, may seem related due to their similar spelling, but they have entirely distinct definitions. Planing pertains to the act of shaving or smoothing, typically wood, using a plane. In contrast, Planning is all about strategizing or determining steps for future actions.
While Planing can be a physical act often associated with woodworking or carpentry, Planning is a mental or organizational process. One might be planing a wooden board to make it smooth, but they would be planning a weekend trip or a project's execution.
The tools involved also highlight the difference between Planing and Planning. Planing typically involves a tool called a "plane" which shaves off layers of wood to achieve a desired thickness or smoothness. Planning, on the other hand, might involve calendars, lists, or software to help strategize and organize.
If someone says they're planing a piece of timber, it's clear they're working to shape or smooth that wood. But if they mention they're planning a meeting, it indicates they're organizing or scheduling a future event.
Interestingly, one letter can change the whole context of a word. While Planing has a more tactile, hands-on implication, Planning is centered around forethought and organization.

Comparison Chart


Shaving or smoothing, typically wood
Strategizing or making plans

Part of Speech

Verb, Noun

Associated Tools

Calendars, lists, software

Derived Words

Planed (past tense of planing)
Planner, Planning session

Example Context

Planing a wooden board
Planning a vacation

Compare with Definitions


Shaping wood with a plane.
The carpenter spent hours planing the intricate details.


The act of organizing.
She was always planning family gatherings.


Smoothing a surface.
He was planing the door to make it fit.


Intending or deciding in advance.
We are planning to visit Europe next summer.


The action of a boat lifting out of the water.
The speedboat was planing across the lake.


Preparing and scheduling.
Planning our meals for the week helps us eat healthier.


Removing the top layer of something.
Planing the old paint revealed the wood's grain.


Strategizing for the future.
Planning ahead can save a lot of trouble later.


Making a surface flat.
Planing the table ensured it was perfectly level.


Designing or laying out.
The architect is planning a new mall.


Not an independent word but used with other words to convey their meaning i.e. hydroplaning


Planning is the process of thinking about the activities required to achieve a desired goal. It is the first and foremost activity to achieve desired results.


A carpenter's tool with an adjustable blade for smoothing and leveling wood.


The process of making plans for something
The planning stages of the operation
Mass production methods call for detailed planning


A trowel-shaped tool for smoothing the surface of clay, sand, or plaster in a mold.


An orderly or step-by-step conception or proposal for accomplishing an objective
A plan for improving math instruction.


To smooth or finish with a plane
Planed the door.


A proposed or intended course of action
Had no plans for the evening.


To remove with a plane
Plane off the rough edges on a board.


A systematic arrangement of elements or important parts; a configuration or outline
A seating plan.
The plan of a story.


To work with a plane.


A drawing or diagram made to scale showing the structure or arrangement of something.


To rise partly out of the water, as a hydroplane does at high speeds.


In perspective rendering, one of several imaginary planes perpendicular to the line of vision between the viewer and the object being depicted.


To soar or glide.


A program or policy stipulating a service or benefit
A pension plan.


To travel by airplane.


To formulate a scheme or program for the accomplishment, enactment, or attainment of
Plan a campaign.


Present participle of plane


To have as a specific aim or purpose; intend
They plan to buy a house.


The act by which something is planed.


To draw or make a graphic representation of.


To make plans.


Present participle of plan


(uncountable) Action of the verb to plan.


The act of formulating of a course of action, or of drawing up plans.


The act of making contingency plans.


Planning permission.
My neighbours were going to build an extension but they didn't get planning.


An act of formulating a program for a definite course of action;
The planning was more fun than the trip itself


The act or process of drawing up plans or layouts for some project or enterprise


The cognitive process of thinking about what you will do in the event of something happening;
His planning for retirement was hindered by several uncertainties

Common Curiosities

Is Planing only associated with wood?

Mostly, but it can also refer to a boat moving on the water with its bow lifted.

Do Planing and Planning mean the same thing?

No, Planing refers to smoothing or shaping, especially wood, while Planning involves making plans.

What tool is associated with Planing?

A plane is typically used for planing.

Which term would you use when organizing an event?

You would be "planning" an event.

Can Planing also refer to removing material other than wood?

Primarily, it refers to wood, but contextually it could mean removing the top layer of other materials.

Why might someone be Planing wood?

To smooth it, shape it, or fit it properly.

Can you use software for Planning?

Yes, many use software tools for planning tasks, projects, or events.

Can Planning be both a verb and a noun?

Yes, you can be "planning" something (verb) or refer to the "planning" of an event (noun).

Can you "plan" on doing something without making detailed plans?

Yes, "plan" can mean a general intention without detailed organization.

Is Planing typically a manual process?

Yes, especially in the context of woodworking.

Can you be "planning" a piece of wood?

Typically, no. Planning involves making plans, while planing involves shaping wood.

Is a "planner" someone who does Planing?

No, a "planner" is associated with planning, often someone who organizes or schedules.

What's another word for Planning in the context of strategizing?

Another term could be "organizing" or "scheduling."

What might be a synonym for Planing?

"Smoothing" or "shaping" in the context of woodworking.

Does Planning always require writing things down?

No, while writing can aid planning, one can plan mentally or verbally as well.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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