Oh planners… there are a lot of generic and cheap ones out there that will get the job done, but for a lot of people it’s lacking in one aspect or another. For example, do you honestly use every single ‘Day’ page? If you don’t then it goes to waste! This is why undated planners are the best. Use them when you need to, save the page when you aren’t doing anything that day, that way they last longer!
1. Passion Planner
Created by young entrepreneur Angelina Trinidad, this planner was created to get her out of her “directionless floating” post college, now she shares this tool with you. Here are the big flicks:
- Passion Roadmap Pages: Allows you to make a block diagram of your life, goals, etc. It lets you see the big picture.
- Monthly Planner: Generic feature, but this is undated so you can start anytime
- Weekly Planner: Also generic, 30 minute blocks, 6AM-11PM for each day. I personally prefer to see all 24 hours only because some people (Military for example) work weird hours or even a straight 24 hours before they get to sleep.
- Does not seem to be an individual day pages, but if the weekly planner pages are robust enough to where they might not be necessary.
2. Panda Planner
Another great origin story. The creator Michael Leip suffered from depression, anxiety and the inability to think clearly. The lack of suitable planners out there for his needs drove him to create the Panda Planner. For some reason, these were semi popular at my last command. I guess once one person buys it, it becomes a trend. Major features:
- Undated monthly, weekly, and daily sections.
- Presents you with several questions to ask yourself in each section. When you force yourself to answer these questions, it can actually make you happy and more focused. For example: What am I grateful for? How will I improve tomorrow?
- Priority boxes and To-Do boxes that you can check off when complete
- Like the Passion Planner, the hours where you can plan your day are limited. This one is even more limited (6am to 9pm). I understand that by limiting how much you work and forcing yourself to sleep eight hours leads to healthier and happier lives, but sometimes… duty calls and you gotta late.
I remember having this while I was working nights and would occasionally have to be up during the day and I would be upset because I had to write in extra hour blocks in white space to plan my day. Overall though, it did make me happier, healthier and more productive.
3. Productivity Planner
This one is kind of in its own category compared to the first two. The print quality of Panda and Passion are very similar, and have similar features. The Productivity Planner is more To-Do list oriented.
- Standard monthly, weekly, daily sections
- Weekly inspirational quote
- In each day you will find a spot for you write the absolutely one thing you need to do that day, followed by secondary and tertiary To-Dos
- To-Dos are completed using the Pomodoro Technique
- Estimate how many 25 minute blocks you need to complete a task
- Complete a task for 25 minutes at a time, fill in a Pomodoro bubble, take a 5 minute break, repeat until complete
- Record how many actual 25 minute blocks you used
I don’t really like this technique, because I’m a fan of just fucking getting it done. However, some people swear by this method. Also there’s only 5 bubbles per To-Do item, so if you take longer than 125 minutes then what? And what if your To-Do is to get a new Driver’s License at the DMV? Maybe each bubble should be an hour then…
Overall, it’s still great, just not my number one. It may be yours though.
- Undated, obviously.
- Notes sections.
- A way to manage micro and macro schedules.
- Comes in A5 size
- Panda and Planner also come in A4
- They also start with “P”
Don’t dwell too much on which one to get. They’ll all help you become more productive in our fast paced world. If you feel like you need even more customization, then maybe bullet journals are for you. Personally, I would get too caught up in making sure my bullet journal layout is perfect that I would not actually get anything done.