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Passion Planner: Planners Give More Productivity and Happiness

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I vowed to myself in 2016 – I would use a planner to be more productive, journal my feelings and experiences, and track my progress each week. In actuality, I just bought several planners, a large desk calendar, 2 notebooks, and one passion planner. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until September that I found a system that worked for me. Lucky for you, though – I’m sharing what worked for me!

This isn’t a sponsored (aka paid) review, but there are a couple affiliate links through the post.

Finding the Right Planner

First – you should know I’m a planner, goal setter, and writer. I love to have something pretty to write in and my goals scrolled across things.

With that said – at the end of each year, I listen to Jim Rohn’s Art of Exceptional Living. I’ll even listen to the chapter on goals with pen and paper. After buying a few thousand dollar productivity training – his mindset and goal training is still the best one out there. Plus, it’s under $15.

From there – I write out goals for the next year, 3 years and 5 years.

My problem is usually that I write them and only remember 1 or 2 and don’t take daily action towards the others – so I knew finding the right planner and system would be key.

I struggled to find the right weekly and daily planner at first, though. Here are 3 planning methods that crashed and burned (for me).

First, I tried a large desk calendar.

On the top of the month – I would write down my 1-year goal and break it down into a monthly goal. Then I would put to-dos on some of the days.

This was a system I had heard Amy Porterfield used a lot. It helped with figuring out when my mom and I wanted to host training for our team, and it helped plan our family vacations – but that was about it!

Verdict: If you need to figure out a broad sense of where launches, training, and trips should go – the system was helpful. However, I hated that I couldn’t carry the calendar with me. It also didn’t leave room for a daily agenda or notes.

Then, I tried a Lilly Pulitzer Planner.


It was so pretty and colorful! However, it still didn’t outline the day like I wanted. I wanted a play-by-play, hour-by-hour option…with still space to write out ideas and notes.

Plus the planners had too many extras that didn’t relate to me – pretty picture pages and “my next escape” to plan our my trips just wasn’t for me.

Verdict: This was a major dud, and it was pricey for what it was in my opinion. I did like having a bigger space to record my thoughts and to-do’s for each day, and it did have a page for each month as an overview too. So it may serve someone else well, but it wasn’t my favorite of planners.

Finally, I also purchased 2 Lilly Notebooks in my search.

Lilly Pulitzer Notebook

The idea was to record notes from any personal development book I was reading. Then, the other book was a prayer journal. So not exactly a weekly planner or anything, but it was still a part of my strive to organize my thoughts.

Verdict: The 2 notebooks got used maybe 10 times each. I couldn’t find my place easy, and where the notebook has a hardback – I didn’t carry it as much as I hoped. Plus I wanted my personal development notes to be with my goals and daily planner.

Finally – I found the planner to beat all planners!

By September, I had pretty much-accepted defeat. Maybe I was just bound to be a little unorganized with my goals and thoughts, or maybe my goal to be organized was just too large and strict.

Then I heard about the Passion Planner.

Passion Planner

I was really hesitant to make yet another purchase, but I went for it. I saw that they had a January-January notebook and then an August to August one…so I went for the mid-year one in hopes to start immediately.

This planner is exactly what I was looking for. It gives space at the beginning of the planner to think and write down about your priorities and goals. This part of the Passion Planner is called the “Passion Roadmap”.

Passion Planner Passion Roadmap
Photo from Passion Planner

Then once you have the big picture done, you are ready to get started. It includes a monthly planner, as well as, a monthly reflection at the end of each month. The reflection’s guided questions help assess your progress in the last 30 days and what you are happiest about accomplishing.

daily planner
Photo from Passion Planner

Then you have a daily planner section broken down by the hour. I really like this because I like to break my day up into 90-minute chunks and know exactly what I’m doing in each chunk. (Ya, I’m a type A personality).

how to use the daily planner
Photo from Passion Planner

Plus there is still room each week to write in priorities, personal to-dos and notes that I take from my personal development.

Not only does it help me stay on track, but it’s something I’ll keep forever and be able to go back and say okay I accomplished this is 2016 and was doing XYZ, do I need to change something or go back to those habits to have similar results? Plus, I love that all of my personal development notes are all in one place.

You can see how the Passion Planner works with a video here.

I did invest in a journal as well. Instead of the hardback, I invested in a smaller moleskin notebook.

moleskin journal

I’ve always been a journaler. I started when I was about 9 and was having ulcers from worrying. (Ya, I’m THAT Type-A!) Journaling helped me let go, organize my thoughts, and approach any situation with an objective view. It’s amazing what seeing your thoughts on paper can do – you can see holes in your thoughts and are less critical of yourself as well.

So now, in my Passion Planner, I put down a time to journal for 20 minutes every day. The journal and planner are both small and light enough to go in my purse as well so anytime I have an idea or something pop up – I can easily add it to the appropriate one.

  • Do you use planners? Do you have a favorite one?

  • What are some goals you are setting for the new year?

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  1. I too am trying to find the perfect planner. I have purchased the commit 30 planner for 207. It’s similar to the planner you purchased. I love the size and space to map out my goal. Before each month you write down your goal for the next 30 days. Then you check off each day when you complete your goal. I am hoping for great results in 2017. :) Thanks for sharing your planner.

  2. I love planners. I’ve tried a few too and always go back to a simple spiral one that I find on Amazon. This one looks really great though. May have to check it out.

  3. Perfect timing! I love notebooks and planners as much as my husband keeps trying to get me to go digital after so many years though it doesn’t seem to work for me.

  4. That sounds amazing! I love planners – the problem is that I’ve never found a “perfect” one and end up with things in different places – calendar, planner, notebook, bullet journal… I’m still working on the perfect system for me. Thanks for the tip!

  5. I use to journal and plan everything out. I still make tons of lists and calendar everything but I’ve gotten away from writing everything down. I’m a huge planner and organization freak too. So it must be that I haven’t found the right planner to make me stick with it and use. I think I’d like one that includes space to track workouts and nutrition info too. I’ll have to check out the passion planner. Thanks for the detailed post on all the different planners.

  6. I have a very plain planner for blog planning and then use the Lilly planner for life. I actually love it and it give me just enough space to write day of goals, without driving myself crazy. I’m a sucker for the stickers and travel pages too. :-)

  7. An ad for this same planner popped up on my FB this morning. I was looking at it and thinking… I need to check it out. Now after reading this.. I REALLY need to check it out.
    I love using planners, but could use one that helps me focus in on what I’m doing blog wise.

  8. I am so glad to have found this page, I run a Facebook group for vision impaired crafters and we are going to do a vision board and I thought a passion planner would be awesome. I shared the video and all about a vision board. I just need this passion planner. How exactly do I go about getting one?