I’m planner-obsessed. Not a day goes by without looking at my weekly spread. I check for tasks I need to do or appointments I need to attend. It’s my number one productivity tool and my savior from a chaotic and messy day.
I’ve used all kinds of planners to manage my day/week/month. I’ve tried Moleskine, Daycraft, giveaway planners from local insurance companies, and the seasonal Starbucks planner that comes with three thousand pesos worth of coffee. I’ve even tried purchasing planners from digital marketers just to see what their attractive “you-can-make-thousands-of-dollars” planners can do for me.
Unfortunately, not one planner has stuck with me through the entire year.
More importantly, none of these planners helped me work towards my goals or resolutions. I’d either forget about them or forget about updating the planner all together. At one point, the waste of time and money convinced me that I didn’t need a planner after all.
Then came the Passion Planner
A Kickstarter project in 2014 boomed with passion and popularity. The “Passion Planner” gained so much attention and support from the worldwide community that it reached its $10,000 funding goal in just four hours.
The Passion Planner is designed to help you mind map, outline, and break down big and scary goals so you can work on them AND achieve them. It’s a planner, a goal tracker, a journal, and a to-do list for BOTH personal and work-related tasks.
It’s no surprise I fell in love with the brand and its mission. I follow the Passion Planner journey and have done so for two years.
I tried the PDF version for the first few months of 2015, but it just didn’t stick because of how messy it was to organize each page. So I promised myself to buy a hard copy of the planner for 2017. And I got it!
I got the undated Passion Planner and began using it on the first day of Jan. I made sure to use it for six months before writing anything about it. This way, I can decide if this planner works and if there was anything that the planner fell short of.
Passion Planner helps me complete projects and meet my goals
I’m happy to report that the Passion Planner has helped me complete several projects. In fact, you’re looking at one now.
These goals weren’t just things I listed down on the first page. They were mind-mapped and broken down into smaller chunks every month. This is what sets the Passion Planner apart, and what truly helped me achieve them.
The planner starts off with an introduction to mind mapping and how this can help you visualize your goals and break them down into smaller, concrete steps. From there, you can create a “passion roadmap” for goals you want to achieve in three months, five months, one year, three years, and in your entire lifetime.
At the end of the mind map session, you can note down due dates. This gives me control over how much effort I put into making these goals happen.
The third goal was especially scary and unpredictable, but the planner kept me on track so I didn’t waste a lot of time.
By mid-April, I got the new job, launched Diwa Daily, and redesigned stefgonzaga.com—a little later than expected, but completed nonetheless. ✌️
Passion Planner enables me to be more positive
The planner contains weekly spreads, monthly spreads and accompanying reflection pages for each month. Each weekly spread has an inspirational quote, a prompt, and a short Daily Gratitude column on the right side of the page.
The Daily Gratitude column is my favorite part of the spread. It allows me to do two things:
- Capture memories of good things that happened during the week
- Be happy and grateful for all this goodness
Reading six months of happy moments reminds me that life is insanely beautiful. It may throw tons of curveballs at me, but it’s the good and happy experiences that keep me going.
Returning to the monthly spreads, you’ll find a monthly reflection page where you’d write a detailed recap of how you spent your month.
You’d write the most memorable part of your month, the three big lessons it has taught you, your personal assessment of the month, and what/who you are especially grateful for. Every month I’d note down the best things that happened, who/what I’m grateful for achieving said things, and what I can do to make next month even better.
Passion Planner empowers me to focus and prioritize
So many things can happen in a single day that focusing on what needs to get done becomes difficult.
Sometimes I’d forget what I have to do first or I’d completely miss meetings or calls I’ve scheduled to take. Once this happens, my entire day falls apart and I’d lose direction.
Passion Planner addresses lack of prioritization with the “This Week’s Focus” box and “Today’s Focus” box. The latter sits on top of each day column on the weekly spread. Just write down the one thing that you need to focus on for that particular day or week and make sure to athis before the day ends.
This daily habit has kept me on track in that I’m able to finish my high-priority tasks before calling it a day. If something unforeseen forces me to move said task, I make sure to note down why I had to move it and highlight the new entry so I don’t forget.
At the bottom of the weekly schedule are task lists for both Personal and Work-related tasks. Both lists are divided into three categories based on priority: Top Priority, Priority, and Errands.
After scheduling tasks into the spread, I’d list them down and tick them off once done. This reinforces prioritization and pushes me to get things done before the week ends.
Passion Planner helps me list and track the things I love to do
I’m passionate about games, anime, home improvements, writing, movies, TV series, and taking notes. These, however, don’t fit into the weekly spread or the Space of Infinite Possibilities. In this case, I use the blank and grid pages at the end of the planner.
Listing and tracking things gives me that sense of accomplishment that I couldn’t feel and experience years ago. I love that I have enough space to write down project plans, shorter reflections, and DIY trackers of movies watched or games played.
As of today, I finally made my personal wish of watching more Studio Ghibli films a reality thanks to my Hayao Miyazaki marathon checklist.
Passion Planner gives back
The people behind Passion Planner understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to buy the tools they need to reach their goals. Determined to bridge the gap, they’ve launched several programs that enable them to give a Passion Planner for free:
- Refer-3-Get-1 – refer 3 friends and get a Passion Planner for free
- Get One, Give One – “invest in yourself, empower another”
- Become a Passion Planner Rep – be a Passion Planner representative and enjoy the benefits
- Share Your Story – if your Passion Planner story gets featured, you get a free Undated Sunday Compact Timeless Black planner
Passion Planner have donated planners to schools, organizations, and to worthy individuals since the company started. They inspire thousands of people to pursue their dreams that the change they’ve made is remarkable.
Suggestions for improvement
The Passion Planner feels near perfect because it addresses everything that matters to a busy person with lots of interests and passions. Parents, students, professionals, and other direction-less souls can use it to visualize and concretize ideas that would otherwise have stayed as dreams.
If the Passion Planner team would ever consider modifying the product, maybe they can revise the monthly reflection pages, particularly the two sections where you’d list down steps for improvement. It’s redundant since it’s asking I write the same improvement steps twice.
For the monthly spread, the Not To-Do List isn’t always that useful since I’m just turning my positive monthly to-do’s upside down. I sometimes forget to even look at this section, which further emphasizes its lack of significance.
Finally, I’d love to see dot grid alongside or in place of grid pages. A change of font would be nice too.
Dreams can come true if you focus and work on it
The Passion Planner has been a huge help and a game changer for me. Projects and goals that feel too overwhelming have become doable and achievable. I’m glad that I trusted this tool and can’t wait to see what other amazing things the Passion Planner family has to offer.
But since I’ll be trying out different planners each year, there’ll be more planners to review in the coming years. I can then decide if this is truly the planner to use for the rest of my life.
A huge thank you to the founder Angelia Trinidad (did you know she’s Filipino-American?) and her team for creating such an amazing product for us passionate yet direction-less fools.