I’m as attached to my mobile as any other millennial, I just can’t be without my phone. But as much as I love my phone, I’ve never really been a huge fan of my electronic calendar. It just hasn’t  been the same as writing things down in something tangible. I find it’s harder to look at all of my due dates and appointments all at once. I just can’t visualize things the right way when I look at a calendar of dots. What does that dot represent? Is that a holiday or something I scheduled? It drives me insane.

So I swear by writing things down the old fashioned way. I need to have a paper planner. But as paper planners have become more of a thing of the past, I’ve found it harder and harder to find a planner that I like. The past few years, I’ve even gone planner-free because I was tired of spending money on them and then not using them because the layout didn’t work for me or I didn’t like the size or style of the planner. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t thought about having a paper planner. Or browsed for one. Or drooled over the beautiful, customizable, build-your-own planner sites. During my hours of planner research, the closest to what I was looking for was the Passion Planner by Angelia Trinidad.

I was really excited for my mum when she told me that she had ordered a Passion Planner to help her stay organized in her retirement (I swear she’s the busiest retired person I’ve ever met), and to assist her keep her schedule straight while she’s dealing with post-concussion syndrome. I guess she had been researching planners, too and really wanted to give the Passion Planner a try. I admitted to having planner envy, and because my mum is the greatest, she also ordered a Passion Planner for me! I’m probably a little too excited about this.

So my planner is finally here and I’ve started the process of setting it up. Honestly, I wasn’t really sure where to start. It’s like starting a new notebook. I never use the first few pages, because what if I fuck it up and make it look ugly? Spelling mistakes, failed doodles, crappy handwriting. Disaster. Am I the only one like this? Yes, I’m a total freak?  Cool, cool.

Anyway. Luckily for me, there is a huge community behind Passion Planners, so there are heaps of resources to give me some inspiration. I may or may not have spent a day watching YouTube videos of how other people have set up their planners. The Passion Planner has its own YouTube and Instagram account with videos and tips and planner pron. But the planner addict thing runs deep and there are lots of people posting inspiration and planner set up videos. Maybe I’m not so strange after all.

The planners are pretty easy to customize, even though they have a lot of pre-printed sections. I’ve seen some Instagram videos where people have used washi tape to cover headings they weren’t using or needing and to replace it with headings that suited them better. Some of these planners have been turned into complete works of art. It’s pretty impressive.

The Passion Planner comes in two sizes. The compact is 5.5 inches wide and 8 inches tall. I have the full size planner (8.5 inches wide x 11 inches tall) and at first, I was worried that it might be  little too big, as I’ve never had a planner this size before. It’s a little too big to fit in my purse, but it fits in my work bag or my tote bags, no sweat.

The planner has a soft cover. I’m a huge fan of that. I’m not as big a fan of my particular cover design. The design of my cover is plain. You do have some options when it comes to cover design, but they are limited. I have an all-black cover. My plan is to customize it to brighten it up a bit. I have an all black covered moleskin notebook right now, and I’ve doodled on that. I plan to do the same with my planner.

My Passion Planner

As far as layout goes, there is month-at-a-glance pages, as well as weekly spreads (my preferred planner layout!). The week layouts have a full seven days, which I appreciate. I’m not a fan when weekends have less space than Monday-Fridays. The days are broken down into half hour increments, starting at 6am and going until 10:30pm. These pages include room for To Do lists, both personal and work ones, inspirational quotes, places to spell out your focus for the week or day, and there’s room for reflections.

There is one intimidating part of the planner for me: It has a huge emphasis on goal setting. Every six months, the planner has a section for brainstorming and mind-mapping your goals for the next 3 months, one year, three years and lifetime. Goal setting stresses me out. I want to achieve all the things and figure this is the quickest way to fuck them all up. Writing them down means I’m committing to them. Because just getting out of bed and living in this world is hard enough, without the pressures of achieving your wildest dreams.  Haha, lololol, kill me.

That being said, I want to use my planner the way it was intended. So I’m going to give it a try. I like that there is space in the planner to revise your goals to tweak them, change them or update them as you go on. Maybe this won’t be an intimidating as it seems. We’ll see.

I’ve only had my planner for a few weeks, so I’m not sure how it will be using it long-term. But so far, it’s probably among my top 3 favourite planners, ever.

Do you use a paper planner? Which one is your favourite? What features do you look for in a planner?

Tell me all about it in the comments below.


Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored. I just love paper planners and have been really happy with my experience with this planner, so I wanted to share it for anyone who loves paper planners like I do. For the rundown on how I manage sponsored posts, you can visit my about page


  • “Because just getting out of bed and living in this world is hard enough, without the pressures of achieving your wildest dreams. Haha, lololol, kill me.”

    Passion Planners are great! I follow quite a few people who use them on Instagram. I’m a bullet journal planner, but I find we all have a lot in common because (1) analog planning has helped us so much, and (2) we’re all paper/office supply/notebook obsessed.

    I used to make my own planning pages in college; I’d spend a few hours in Word every few weeks, print out the pages, and then attach them to a clipboard. So very gym teacher-esque. Haha. I’m so glad I found a system that’s open to change but also has a guide to help when I don’t have the time or motivation to be creative.

    And thank goodness for the community I’ve found online. Some of the more artful layouts can be intimidating of course, but I say as long as I’m getting shite done, then who cares?

    Wow, I didn’t mean for this comment to be its own blog post, lol. I’m glad you found a system that works!

    • I’m really loving my Passion Planner so far!

      I have a college-provided planner when I was in school, and I actually used it. Many of my classmates did not. Haha. But that’s a good idea of making your own pages. I was seriously starting to consider this before I found the Passion Planner.

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Danielle Todd

    I use an electronic calendar because it’s easier for my family and friends to add events and keep track of mine. For my personal works things I still use my old trusty notebook. This one looks really cool though and I will be looking into it.

    • That’s a good point about electronic calendars. I can’t share my paper planner the same way.

  • I’ve tried to use paper planners a few times, but I find that for me they become just another thing to lug around. I walk or ride my bike as my main methods of transportation, so the less weight I have to carry the better – haha. Still, I definitely appreciate a good planner when I see one and I’m a tiny bit envious of yours right now!

    • Yeah, an electronic calendar is way easier to carry around! I do carry around a lot of gear sometimes and if I’m walking places it usually means I leave my planner behind! But if you were to go paper, this one is definitely a thing of beauty! haha

  • My past two planners were ban.do planners, and I loved them. However, I started a mini-binder early in the year, and I kind of loved having all my important stuff in one place. It was my attempt at bullet journaling, but with the freedom to reorganize it whenever and however I pleased. So I recently picked up a second mini-binder and designed up my own planner pages for the semester. If I get halfway through my semester and it turns out my spreads aren’t working? I can just make new ones. And now all my internship and thesis logs have their own sections as well.

    • I’ve been reading about bullet journaling for a long time now, but found blank pages intimidating to have to setup layouts all the time. People have done some really creative stuff! I wish I’d been using a planner when I wrote my thesis. It would’ve helped keep me sane! haha

  • San

    Oh, I love my paper planner… can’t live without it (although I do use an electronic calendar for certain things — like Google calendar that we share at work — and because there is one thing a paper planner can’t (yet?) do: send you reminders LOL).

    I haven’t heard of the Passion Planner before (I am using an Inkwell Planner), but it looks like a solid planner!

    • I’m really loving the Passion Planner. I’d looked at Inkwell planners when I was shopping around for one! M and I use a Google calendar for appointments we both need to be aware of, but I still add them to my planner anyway. I do wish the tech was there that I could have my paper planner remind me of things by lighting up or dinging or something! haha

      • San

        Wouldn’t that be just awesome? 🙂