A #Lovestruck Ode to My Passion Planner
August 1 is celebrated as National Planner Day. Crazy? I know. But those of us who thrive by planning get it. I am such a person. Which is odd, because as a writer, that wasn’t always the case.
In the world of creative writing, there are two general camps: Plotters and Pantsers. Plotters—not surprisingly—like to plot out their stories before they dive in. While on the opposite side of the aisle are Pantsers—who like to wing it, or just fly by the seat of their pants.
When I began my journey into creative writing, I was definitely a Pantser before I even knew it was a thing. Now, more than a decade in (ouch!), I am firmly in the middle as any real Libra girl would be—performing a delicate balancing act with a little bit of both.
And as luck would have it, that middle-of-the-road-balancing-act writing strategy that fuels my fictitious worlds also seeped into my real life.
A few years ago, I found myself stuck and at odds with the world. I couldn’t find my writing groove because I was working too much, which made me frustrated with my career because it was acting as an impediment to my publishing dreams. My thoughts were muddled, my emotions erratic, and my sense of worth diminished—I didn’t feel like I was doing anything well.
And then, a gift arrived in one of my Facebook writer’s groups: a thread about the best planners for writers/creatives.
On this fateful day, I was like Alice through the looking glass when a writer friend mentioned she used a Passion Planner. She waxed poetically about its many benefits, but I was already intrigued just by the use of the term “passion.”
I was in my season of chasing and embracing my passion – writing. But I was nowhere near being able to make a suitable income from that passion, so continuing to work a day job had to be part of the equation. I was using an annual planner for my day job, but that’s where it began an ended, which didn’t make sense. My job wasn’t the full representation of my life.
And therein lied the problem. I had not figured out a way to blend career and creative. I kept them separate, and therefore they couldn’t comfortably coe
Until I met the Passion Planner.
And here’s why it changed my life, ripped straight from passionplanner.com: Today, Passion Planner and our inspirational #PashFam work together to build a better tomorrow. With structure for plans, blank pages for creativity, and room for reflection, Passion Planner helps you identify your dreams and build toward them every day. When you have your Passion Planner by your side and the #PashFam all around you, there’s nothing you can’t do.
I was hooked! There’s a Passion Roadmap for short- and long-term goals. There’s a Gamechanger diagram to help you map out the steps to achieving your big goals. Monthly and weekly layouts give you the space to capture your personal and work appointments and tasks—separate but equal. There’s a monthly reflection—a chance to sit with yourself and reflect on progress and where there’s room for improvement. There’s even a “Space of Infinite Possibility,” blank pages and dotted pages to let your creativity soar.
I was thrilled at the idea of combining my dual existences, but my Passion Planner became so much more. I organized my planning according to the roles I play in my life using colored pens. My writing goals and tasks are always in orange and day job tasks are always in black. When there’s more black ink than orange, I know I’m off track. (I use 12 colored pens and have a role assigned to each, which is a little scary and overwhelming, but I digress…)
I also doodle, use stickers and Washi tape, and spend Sunday mornings preparing for my week like a kid with a coloring book. My inner child gets to come out and play with my Passion Planner. And, the obsessive planner alter ego also gets her time in the sun.
But I haven’t even told you the two best things about the Passion Planner community. First, you can sample the planning pages for free by simply downloading them from the site. That’s how I started. I knew it was a big commitment and I needed to experience the value, but also test my own commitment to the process. I spent an afternoon at a coffee shop, planned out my first week and the Passion Roadmap, and I was all in.
And last, but certainly not least, it’s their Get One, Give One Program. For every planner sold, they “donate funds and planners to nonprofit organizations who are doing great work in their communities, ranging from raising mental health awareness to providing education for underserved youth.” Already, they’ve donated more than 400,000 planners. Due to COVID-19, the program is on hold, but because they literally give the planner away as a full PDF on their website, access is guaranteed to anyone and everyone no matter financial status.
So, in short, my Passion Planner makes me feel good, supports doing good, and ensures I can be good—to myself, my loved ones, my work, and my creativity.
This might seem like an ad for Passion Planners—I assure you it is not. I don’t earn or gain anything from this post. I just get to pay homage to a physical object that has had an impact on my creative life.