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A new year means so many things- a fresh start, 365 more days to be achieve your goals, and most importantly, a new planner! I’m a “paper” planner kind of gal. You know, the kind where you actually write down appointments, events, to-do’s, etc on paper. You might be thinking, “why use a paper planner when you can use an iPhone or Outlook calendar?” Keep reading!

Full disclosure: I use both. However, there is something fulfilling to me about filling out a planner at the beginning of the year or writing down a week’s worth of to-do’s that simply can’t be replaced by typing appointments into an iPhone.

My love for planners began in college. It was easily my favorite part of a new semester. (Remember when I mentioned in My Girl Banker Story post that I am obsessed with filling things out?) I couldn’t wait to fill in the birthdays of my friends and family and scheduled school assignments and penciled in sorority functions. I’m the same way now with my professional planner and I don’t go anywhere without it.

Over the years, I have experimented with a variety of planners which had their own pros and cons. A few years ago, I had a lovely Erin Condren planner that was leopard print. While I appreciated the fabulousness of the leopard print, it didn’t exactly look super professional in a board meeting or loan committee and usually brought about a few comments from coworkers. Then one day, my pal Allyson Dyer, owner of The Twiggs Group, introduced me to the Passion Planner and I have been a fan ever since. No offense Erin Condren. I am sad I didn’t know about your planners in college or we would have been best of friends.

I recently received my third Passion Planner and over the years have convinced several of my friends and coworkers to get one of their own as well. (Additional disclosure: I was not commissioned in any way by Passion Planner for this post. This is my opinion and my opinion alone.)

Here are the reasons I’m passionate about my Passion Planner:

  • Yearly Goal Setting: At the front of the planner there is a section where you can outline Your Passion Roadmap for the year and it even expands to your 3, 5 and 10 year plan. Pro Tip: The end of the year can be so hectic with the holidays and finishing up projects. When I fill mine out, I love to set aside some quiet, alone time, grab a glass of wine, my favorite pen(s), and map out my goals for the upcoming year. It also serves as a tool to refer back to throughout the year to see how you are progressing. 
  • Weekly Personal & Work To-Do List: In my pea-sized brain, a project or task isn’t complete without marking it off a list so I love the weekly to-do lists. Plus, because there are separate columns for personal and work to-do’s,  I can keep all of my lists in one place.
  • Monthly Recap: The Passion Planner is laid out with a full monthly calendar, followed by weekly pages that allow you to schedule based on date and time, and ends the month with a recap. The recap asks questions like, What was the most memorable part of this past month? and Name three things you can improve on this upcoming month and ends with From 1-10, how do you feel overall about this past month? What a great way to evaluate how you spent your time and energy and focus on ways to improve! Some people may want to skip this section or see it as one more thing to add to your to-do list. Take it from me, don’t skip this section! Schedule an appointment to fill it out if you have to! This section actually helped me make a career move after reading back through my notes from the previous year! Fill. It. Out.
  • Mid Year Passion Roadmap: Sometimes its good to take a look mid-year at your goals and see how you have progressed. Perhaps you have strayed or taken a different course. The Your Mid-Year Passion Roadmap gives you a chance to redirect your goals and keep yourself focused through the end of the year.
  • Lots of extra note taking space in the back: This space is why I never leave my home or office without my planner. You can customize this space any way you like and it’s great to keep all of your meeting notes, project ideas, etc. handy all in one place.
  • The amazing weekly quotes: The Passion Planner is stocked full of quotes and are placed on each weekly schedule. I like to highlight my favorite ones so I can go back to them when I need motivation.
  • Passion Planner’s Social Media Presence: I love following them on Instagram for ideas on how to spruce up my weekly schedule. They show lots of great photos of other Passion Planner users that have decorated their schedules. Let’s just say my planner won’t likely be making it onto the Passion Planner Instagram account because of it’s creative drawings. But it’s cool to see what others do with theirs.
  • They are philanthropic! For every Passion Planner purchased, they donate one. How nice is that?

Side bar: filling out your planner can be even more fun with good pens, motivational stickers and tape! I get most of my planner accessories at Hobby Lobby. Did I mention how important it is to have good pens? Check these out from Amazon.

Do I have you convinced yet? While you may not get it before 2018, at least get one ordered! They have a variety of colors, sizes and even offer a non-dated version so you can start your new planner anytime during the year. Happy planning and Happy New Year from the Girl Banker!