Planner Review: Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner

If there’s anyone who can truly be considered a productivity expert, Michael Hyatt is your go-to guy. I’ve been following Hyatt online for a few years now and it’s safe to say, he knows what he’s doing. His tips and content have been invaluable and he’s most known for his book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World and his Best Year Ever (goal setting) & Free to Focus (productivity) programs.

This planner combines his approach to daily productivity with a long-term, yearly goals in mind.  One journal covers 3 months at a time and they’re all undated. This is helpful because you don’t have to wait to get started! As soon as you acquire the planner you can begin to use it.

When you first get the planner, I highly recommend going through the videos they made for it and watching through them before you get to it, as he has certain pieces of the planner that don’t make sense or are unrecognizable at first glance.

The quality of this planner is unmatched! You can tell the hardbound cover, ribbons and paper thickness are great for those on the go and those who need to pack it around. Hardbound planners can often have a hard time laying flat making them impossible to write in at times, but not with the Full Focus Planner. At the beginning and end portions of the planner it can be a little unruly and want to close, but through a majority of the book, you should be a-ok!

I think my favorite parts about the layout of this planner are the weekend optimization portions (we don’t really think about planning out our weekends, but it’s still so good to figure out what you’re going to do so you’re proactive about them instead of reactive) and how it reiterates looking at your goals on a daily basis, so you can make your schedule match making progress towards them!

Here’s a short video doing a walkthrough of the planner, so you can see for yourself all its productivity powers in its glory!

This planner is perfect for entrepreneurs, business-focused folks, guys and people who need a straight and narrow approach to their day!

As always:

Why I Didn’t Buy the Pants

A few weeks, ago, I was spending time with my Mom. I told her that I was in desperate need of some new jeans. My mom, being the incredible bargain shopper that she is, hopped up out of her chair and off we were off to the store.

Some of you may know, that I’m not the average height for a woman. I’m 6’0” tall, so finding pants that are long enough can be a bit difficult and unusual. We walked into a store that we were guessing had my inseam size.

I kept telling myself to not be a cheapskate and that I had the budget to buy some good jeans that would last me a while. My mom spotted a young woman in the jeans section, made a beeline for her and told her what I needed (my mom is pretty much just the best). The girl quickly sprang into action, pulling me this pair and that pair and did I like this color? And maybe this style! And ooooh, this has a 32-inch inseam! I walked into the dressing room with my arms FULL of stacked jeans.

I tried them on. Most of them, I knew as soon as I started putting them on, were just not going to fit. Ugh. But I needed pants! I can’t walk around pantless! (I mean I could, it’s just not super ideal). I had 2 pairs that I had narrowed it down to. Did they fit me super well? No, not really. But they did the job, I guess. Were they colors I liked? Nope. Were they comfortable? Nope, definitely was gonna have to suck it in when putting some of them on (WHICH IS THE WORST). Was I happy to pay $50 a piece for them? Not in the slightest – I was grumpy about it actually. Ah, but that poor girl! She had spent all that time and effort gathering all these pants. Surely she would feel so defeated or mad if I didn’t buy a single pair?!

I then remembered my promise I had made to myself a long time ago about spending my hard earned money and a newfound commitment I had made to minimalism (Thanks, Marie Kondo!). Do not buy something unless you really, truly, love it and/or you actually need it. Enough was enough. None of these jeans worked for me. I didn’t really like any of them. I walked out and put them back. It felt so good. Later on that night, I decided to poke around online and found 2 pairs of jeans on sale, with plenty of length, the style I loved and a coupon code! I ended up using only half of my budget.

Friends, I don’t want this to be you when buying a new planner. I’ve been there, done that. And on those days where things fall through the cracks, literally nothing is going right, you’re exhausted and you just want to get your s*** together already, it seems like a planner could really help you.

Don’t buy a planner out of desperation, thinking finally, maybe, perhaps you will actually be put together.

Don’t buy a planner feeling like maybe this will be the system that gets you closer to your goals.

Buy a planner that has style and colors and binding that you actually love and really works for you.

Buy a planner that has systems that revolve close to your lifestyle and values, not vice versa.

Buy a planner with a layout that makes sense for you and your lifestyle.

We need to make our planners and purchases work for us, they shouldn’t make us work to fit them into our lives. I want you to feel not good, but great about whatever planner you decide to purchase. I designed and created a planner index to help you narrow down some options on what kind of planner might suit you best. It’s a constantly changing and updating space.

I can’t tell you which planner to get, but I can help you get started towards getting there.

“You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

– Yoda


Planner Review: Hobonichi Cousin!

What’s up Planner Peeps?!

Today I am SO EXCITED to share with you this incredibly popular planner, The Hobonichi Techo! This planner has sold millions of copies and is the go-to planner for Japan, where it was created.

Fun fact! The creator of this planner, Shigesato Itoi, is also the voice actor of the father in My Neighbor Totoro (my ALL TIME favorite movie) and also created several popular video games such as Earthbound and Mother. What! I know! He’s totally a renaissance man.

The best features of this planner are the versatile layouts as it includes a monthly, weekly AND daily layout for you to use. The Tomoe River paper that is used provides incredible quality and very little bleed through. I even used some stamps and wrote in Sharpie and was very impressed. Most papers don’t stand up to such a test.

Even though it’s hardbound, it lays flat making it much, much easier to write in. A rare bonus for many hardbound planners!

I snagged mine off of eBay at the beginning of the summer, as they were nowhere to be found other than their official site. Shipping from Japan can take a while, but have no fear! I just checked and Amazon now has the 2018 editions in stock, yippee! 

I did a video walkthrough of it all here:

As I mentioned in the video, I ended up getting really overwhelmed with all the possibilities of the different layouts it provided! I ended up gifting it to my husband who uses it for many things such as our budget and to keep track of his writing.

I’d love to hear what you think of this planner! Would it work for you or be too much like it was for me?!

Have a great week, everyone!

4 Ways My Planner Changed My Life

A few years ago, I was in a job I hated, I had dropped out of college, was in thousands of dollars in student loan debt and had no direction in my life.

Yet, I always felt so busy and like I never had time to do or invest in the things I wanted to accomplish and spend time with the people I loved.

That all changed when I picked up my first planner and committed to using it.

You see, I have always been more of a “Type A” personality. I still remember so clearly the first ever planner I got in 5th grade. It had a horribly bright, orange clipart Tiger cover on it, thick paper, with small, silver coiled binding. I treasured that thing. I loved writing in it. I loved seeing what was coming up next. I loved feeling productive and like I was “ahead” of my homework. Since 5th grade, I’ve had multiple planners and desktop organizers, but none had been life changing like my first Erin Condren planner was.

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Erin Condren planners, but I was hooked. You could be organized and make it bright and whimsical too? Sign. Me. Up. I was always drawn to organization, but feared becoming a crazy, stuffy, obsessive type person. I had a limited mindset that I wasn’t creative.These things just aren’t true. Sure, they come more naturally to some personality types. But anyone and everyone can be organized. I truly believe this with all my heart. I think it takes hitting rock bottom to see that it’s time for change, it’s time to make better decisions.

My planner became my happy place. I would look at it often when I was at work, motivated by the cute, small stickers and plans for fun things I had written down that afternoon. It gave me peace, it gave me an exit plan, it gave me hope.

Soon after I began using my planner, I realized a few things:

1. I was a human being. I need white space in my planner.

White space in design is not a good thing, but in our real, actual, very mortal lives, white space is necessary. It’s a very good thing to have in your planner, scattered throughout your weeks. It means you don’t have anything planned. You can be spontaneous. You can rest. You can relax. You’re giving yourself space to be a human.

  1. I was doing a bunch of things I didn’t like, with people I wasn’t fond of, in places I hated.

That’s what happens when we don’t take ownership over our lives and schedules. Truly. You have more control over these decisions than you think.

  1. Time is precious.

It goes by so fast. In my deepest bouts of depression, time seemed to drag on forever and ever. Yet, I would flip the pages in disbelief that I had let another month go by, sitting in the same space I had been when I had began that month. Enough was enough. It was time to change.

  1. Daily habits, when done in the right mindset, add up immensely over time.

Do what you can, when you can.

I hope you enjoy your time here. The planner index is a great place to start for beginners and it’s something I’ll be changing and updating on a weekly basis. Please know that it takes time and discipline before you may feel, “in the groove” with your new paper friend. 🙂 Give it at least a month, daily committing to using it/looking at it before you move on to the next one.