The Passion Planner: for those of us who are passionate about plans.

This one goes out to all my Type A kindred spirits…and to those of you who are maybe a little too breezy and need to make a plan for once in your life.

Around this time of year, it seems like life gets hectic – the weather changes, decorations come out, and the invites start rolling in for Halloween festivities, fall gatherings, and holiday parties.  Don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining.  I happen to be a gal who enjoys staying busy, and anyone who knows me knows that I love a good planner.  The truth is, holiday season or not, I generally have my hands on a few different projects, and I refuse to sacrifice fun events and time with my loved ones…so my schedule stays pretty full.  With recently going back to teaching and beginning my yoga teacher training, starting this blog, and writing an eBook with my friend Tony, I knew this year was going to be every bit as packed as the last few, and that I’d need a heavy-duty planner to get me through.  I try to be breezy and spontaneous, I really do.  And every now and then you might just catch me asking about last-minute plans or deciding to take a day trip to anywhere.  But the heart wants what it wants, and I can’t help myself:  I love plans.  I love lists.  I love writing color-coded, bulleted lists and crossing things off one at a time.  If that’s wrong, then I just don’t want to be right.

But whether you’re a Type A champion weirdo like me or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of person, the bottom line is that we all have to keep track of our crazy lives, and in order to make sure I reach my goals and follow through on my commitments, all the while remembering everyone’s birthdays, anniversaries, and wedding dates, I have to keep up with a planner. (Or do I get to?!  Someone out there tell me I’m not alone in my passion for organization!)

Long story short, I came across the Passion Planner when a friend of mine shared a link to it on Facebook.  At the time, it was just barely getting started as a business, but I was hooked immediately.  This was the planner for planners.  This was the closest I had come to the planner of my dreams.  And it was only $30.  $30 for a whole entire year of my life mapped out on lined paper.  However, I had unfortunately just received a very nice Emily Ley planner for my birthday that I just had to have (not knocking those planners – they are also very lovely).  Thus began my wait; I couldn’t justify getting a Passion Planner when I had JUST received one…so I made the difficult choice to wait until my planner ran out this December.  And I was faithful…until my life really took a new direction in a lot of ways.  Time for a clean slate.  I made it a full 9 months before purchasing my academic Passion Planner for 2015-2016 and I haven’t looked back.

The creator, Angelia Trinidad, came up with the idea of the Passion Planner after she graduated; her aim was to help people achieve their goals and dreams through their daily activities.  The site has links to download undated, printable planner layouts for those who are strapped for cash, which you just don’t see much of these days.  The company also has a pay it forward program, where you can sponsor someone else with a planner.

Things I love about the Passion Planner:

  1. Each day goes from 6am-10:30pm, which is fantastic for someone like me who is up with the birds and stays busy until bedtime.
  2. Each day’s column is wide enough for a small sticky note, which I use to write out my lesson plans for teaching.  This saves me from needing a separate ‘lesson-planning notebook.’
  3. Each day has a spot for ‘today’s focus,’ so I can easily either create priorities for each day or remind myself of important events like birthdays, teacher work days, days for errands, etc.
  4. Each weekly layout has an inspirational quote, a box for ‘this week’s focus,’ and a box for ‘good things that happened,’ so you always remind yourself to express gratitude for even the smallest things.
  5. It has a nice silky bookmark to keep your place.  Enough said.
  6. It is a lovely, floppy, leathery-feeling planner and does not have a spiral, which I really appreciate.  Spirals get messed up so easily and they get in the way for those of us who are lefties!
  7. Each week’s layout also has a space for work AND personal To-Dos, as well as an open space for notes, reminders, brainstorming, etc.
  8. It has a monthly calendar layout as well as the daily layout – this is very important to me for reasons that are too nerdy and too lengthy to write about.
  9. Before each new monthly layout, the planner asks you to see what progress you’ve made towards your goals since the last month.  It might sound cheesy, but it’s one thing to have big dreams and quite another to make them happen – and that comes with planning and recording progress.  It has a whole brain mapping and goal-setting theme that carries throughout the year.
  10. Finally, the planner is good for whoever you are – whether you are a student, a parent, self-employed, or someone with a job who is just trying to get your life together…it works.

(I think it needs to be said here that the people over at Passion Planner don’t know me from Adam’s house cat.  They did not in any way sponsor or suggest this post.  I hope they don’t mind that I am bragging about them on my blog.)

So, if life gets crazy for you and your cell phone just won’t quite cut it for scheduling, the Passion Planner can organize your agenda, your goals, hopes, dreams, to-do lists, brainstorms, notes…really anything you could ask for.  It can carry you through the busy fall season, into the hectic holidays, and land you successfully into a new year.  Plus, it comes in two sizes so you can decide how portable you want it to be.

From a very early age, I’ve known I have a tiny bit a healthy bit of OCD when it comes to organization…but aside from my Type A tendencies, having old planners is like looking back at your old diaries – it’s an awesome way for me to look back at my life and remember important moments, see how far I’ve come, or realize how blessed I am to be able to max out this one beautiful life that I’ve been given.

Now I just have to find time to learn how to play the piano, get my Master’s thesis published, and get my PhD.   #goals

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(Had to throw in a corgi…props to Whitney Rizzi, my BFF and the mind behind www.jparkerphotos.com for these pictures)

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