Passion Planner Review
I don’t know about you, but I sucked at keeping a planner. One missed day became two. Two days became a week. And before I knew it, I was crawling back to Google Calendar and scattered to-do lists written on Post-It notes. For that reason, I never bothered looking for the perfect planner.
I’m pretty sure that if I tried searching, however, I’d end up getting a Passion Planner.
The Passion Planner was created by Angelia Trinidad, a fellow UCLA alumna who, like many recent college grads, felt lost and uncertain about her future after being thrown into the “real world”. She turned her post-graduate struggles into a Kickstarter success and now, the Passion Planner is helping people find their passions and achieve their goals.
While I’m more than happy with my bullet journal, the opportunity to try the Passion Planner presented itself last year in the form of a very generous giveaway at UCLA – I’m talking 20,000 free planners. My brother, who thinks he’s too good for a planner, gave me his to try out. And after about two months of using it, I’m here to share my thoughts on the Passion Planner.
THE PASSION PLANNER
I used the black “Academic Compact” planner, which is roughly A5-sized. It has a soft faux leather cover with rounded corners and an elastic band, making it easy to carry around. The planner also includes a bright green ribbon, which you can remove, as well as an inner pocket that – to be honest – looks like it's been hastily glued in.
Now, on to what’s inside.
An integral part of the Passion Planner is “passion planning”. As a visual person, I love this idea! It involves mapping out your short-term and long-term goals in a “Passion Roadmap”, breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps using mind maps and incorporating these steps into your daily schedules.
Next, we have the monthly spread. In addition to a spacious calendar, there are boxes in which you can jot down people and places you’re seeing that month, a not-to-do list to help you kick bad habits, a to-do list that breaks down large projects and, of course, an area for your mind map. Pretty straightforward.
I love how the Passion Planner assumes that I wake up by 6:00AM.
In all seriousness, the weekly layouts are crucial for turning your goals into action. Each day is broken up into half-hour increments where you schedule tasks, events, meetings, etc. On the bottom, there are to-do lists for personal life and work, divided up into sections based on priority level. And lastly, you have an empty space for literally anything – mind maps, ideas, doodles – the possibilities are endless.
Another thing to note is that the Passion Planner is overflowing with positive messages and tips for self-growth. While the planner heavily focuses on setting goals, it still keeps you grounded by encouraging you to self-reflect. And at the end of each month, there are two reflection pages where you can write about how your month went, the lessons you’ve learned and things that you’re grateful for. So if you're into all of that, you'll appreciate the Passion Planner.
There’s a lot going on in one little planner, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your needs. Final thoughts? I’ll start with the cons because I’m the type of person who asks for the bad news before the good news.
The planner may be overwhelming for some. You might need a little discipline and patience to take full advantage of the Passion Planner system. You have the Passion Roadmap, detailed mind maps, hour-by-hour schedules, focuses, to-do lists, and reflection pages. Then, there’s the matter of tying it all together. It’s incredibly structured and might take some time to get used to.
The design isn’t for everyone. Some people might not like the plain look and feel of a Passion Planner. However, that could be remedied with a bit of time, effort, and colorful pens. There are also tips and free printables on their website to help you make your Passion Planner uniquely yours.
It has all the elements to help you organize your life. It focuses on breaking down your goals into achievable steps and incorporating them into your schedule. Speaking of schedules, it’s perfect for hour-by-hour planning and setting appointments, too. And there's plenty of room for reflection, tracking, and other personal touches.
Decent paper. And plenty of it. In the back, there are twenty extra sheets of paper (ten blank and ten gridded) to do with as you please. They handle most inks with little to no ghosting. For fun, I also tried using Sharpie and Copic markers, which gave me the results I expected. Considering that the paper isn’t meant for watercolors, though, it did pretty well against a thin layer of paint. So if you don’t mind the slight buckling, it’s great for brush lettering!
The company has a strong giving culture. Major props to the Passion Planner team for this one! Although the full prices are relatively steep ($25 to $35), Passion Planner is a Get One, Give One Company. That means that when you buy a planner, someone in need gets a planner, too! Schools, organizations, and even individuals can apply to be recipients. Through this and their Pay-It-Forward program, they’ve given away thousands of planners nationwide.
I definitely would’ve loved the Passion Planner back in university when my schedules were all over the place, but that’s not the case today. All in all, this is a great planner for the busy bees and goal-setters. If you want to test the waters before investing in a Passion Planner, I recommend downloading their free PDF to try. Who knows – it just might be your perfect planner!