Passion Planner review

Over the past few months, I’ve taken my daily planning systems and to-do lists and consolidated them all into a single Moleskine notebook plus a small weekly calendar (which is technically a planner, but I don’t think of it as such as I only put appointments and deadlines in it).

I really love the Moleskine, but I wish I didn’t have to write out the times each week.  I explored washi tapes and stickers and stamps, but nothing seemed right.  And there are a ton of planners that have the times already listed out.

So I read a whole bunch of planner reviews on the internets and looked at a whole lot of different blank spreads and decided that the Passion Planner (not affiliate), weekly, Monday Start, was the best match for my current planning setup.  I wanted something that had the times laid out, but also had space for my to-do list post-it and my projects post-it and just space around for other things.  And I wanted a little space for deadlines above the hourly set.  I was also looking forward to having monthly calendars in the same planner as the weekly calendars instead of (alas, I will likely still be printing out google calendars and stapling them together :( )

There’s a bunch of passion concept map stuff that I will generally be ignoring.  I love the major weekly project goals, but otherwise I don’t have much use for reflection, at least not the monthly reflection the book has space for.

Weekly spread

Weekly spread with identifying information craftily obscured by two of DH’s fountain pens.

Things I like:

The weekly spread is great– exactly what I wanted.

The paper is REALLY nice.  The mokeskine has a thick creamy paper that is prone to feathering, so I love using my small tipped Clenas on it.  But the PP has a smooth bright white paper that LOVES a fountain pen.  There was something sensual about borrowing DH’s fountain pen with his fancy sparkly J Herbin ink and moving over regular appointments for the first time.  I *almost* want to get my own fountain pen, but… like a swimming pool, I’d rather have someone else own it and do the maintenance on it so I’ll likely borrow DH’s from time to time and otherwise use gel pens.

It has an elastic strap to keep it closed just like the Moleskine.

There’s free pages at the back that I will be able to use to take notes at meetings.

Monthly calendar

The month of August (anonymized with DH’s vanishing point fountain pen).

Things I don’t like:

I didn’t realize it was soft cover instead of hard cover.  It looks nice and it’s probably lighter with the soft cover, but I just prefer the Moleskine hardback.  This reason by itself is not enough for me to seek out other planners.

Instead of having all of the monthly calendars together at the beginning of the planner, as I assumed they would, instead each month starts with the monthly calendar for that month followed by the weekly planner pages.  I don’t plan by the month so this is not helpful for me– I need to see what’s happening a few weeks in the future at any point in time or else I get surprised by deadlines or mess up homework assignments for the students.  I do plan by the week, so the weekly spreads work.  But I also plan by the semester, not the month, so having those months separated by 4 weeks of weekly spreads is just irritating and I probably just won’t use them.  Another possibility is that I will print out their monthly spreads from their webpage and paste them in over the used weekly spreads once I’ve finished with August.  Or I might get small tabs that make it easy to flip to month spreads. We will see.  This problem won’t stop me from using the planner the entire year, but next year when summer rolls around I will be looking to see if there’s another planner out there that better suits my needs.  Maybe I’ll pick something less pretty that has rings so I can move pages.  (Or maybe I’ll try the Jibun Techo though I suspect it doesn’t have enough space for me.)

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this works for me once school starts!

I already asked you all about your preferred planning systems so… um… I have no questions?  But feel free to comment anyway!  Or tell me about your preferred planning systems if you didn’t last time.  It’s all good!

20 Responses to “Passion Planner review”

  1. tawnyaazar Says:

    Welcome to the Passion Plan community! If you get the undated passion planner all the month spreads are together in the front of the book (and I just started using month tabs which are awesome). I also don’t fill out all the reflection questions after each month, but instead tape a piece of paper in (or cover their questions) to jot down what I actually did each month in a list form and what’s coming up in the next month. Quicker, easier, and yet still reflective. Hope the PP works for you.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I did get some very nice month tabs from jetpens since writing this post and they’re helpful. I think if I go back to an undated planner I will just go back to using my Moleskine notebook like before– I sort of feel like I either want complete flexibility to make things the way I want or I want everything just the way I want it already.

      I have post-it note lists over the daily to-do stuff and I’m using the good things that happened box as an index (brown means meeting, pink means break etc.)

  2. CBS Says:

    I have the Leuchtturm monthly planner / notebook, which has yearly and monthly calendars and then loads of paper at the back. i keep my actual meetings in my outlook calendar but like to be able to have an overview of the month.

  3. Xin Says:

    I’ve been using a dot grid Leuchtturm notebook (with the standard paper, not the new 120 gsm paper) for a bullet journal/planner. I write in my planner layouts by hand. The original Leuchtturm paper is not that great for fountain pens though, has a lot of ghosting and a little bleed-through even with western fine nibs. (It used to be a little better a few years ago, I think, based off an older Leuchtturm notebook I had.)

    I have the slimmer Decimo version that’s very similar to the Vanishing Point, but I don’t really like the location of the clip very much. (The Pilot converter for ink refills is also not great, ack.) The Pilot nibs are great, though.

  4. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I love looking at planners! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the monthly and weekly separated before, is there a planner that does that? I really like this binder style one that my friend found for the ability to customize but I don’t like the idea of having to run into the binder rings. I wish there was the ability to have the binder functionality in a more spiral style so I don’t have to adjust to running into the side when I’m on the left side of the page. Or the other side, for my lefty friends.

    Right now I’m just using an old freebie notebook and writing in the dates to keep my weekly and daily to do lists, while I figure out what kind of planner I would like to change to. I keep separate books for my work and home stuff but I suspect that just like everything else in my life, I’m going to end up merging them soon.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I think many undated planners do (like the Kahootie my kids use). I will have to find out in terms of dated planners. There are so many planners out there that surely someone has one that is closer to what I want.

      On Jetpens the Kokuyo Canvas I think has some customizable planner inserts for their soft ring notebooks which are a lot like spirals but have binder functionality.

  5. attackinghacking Says:

    Pilot makes a disposable fountain pen that is actually quite nice. The choice of colors is limited but they write smoothly and they don’t leak. There’s no maintenance, and the nibs are surprisingly good. I miss my refillable fountain pens, but I won’t go back.

  6. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    I probably *should* start using a planner again, being as the spouse and I managed to forget to take the oldest kid to his birthday-present fancy play and had to buy a second set of tickets (it’s a donation to the arts, right?). But somehow deciding on/using a planner seems even more overwhelming right now.

  7. Debbie M Says:

    I don’t suppose there’s any way to yank out all the monthly bits and reattach them together.

    Otherwise, yay!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Sadly there’s a weekly plan on the other side of the right page of each. I can print extras from the website and paste them over august once I’m done with it but more likely I’ll just print out a bunch from google and staple them together separately

  8. middle_class Says:

    More than half year in, I am still using my elephant paper planner. I usually give up on paper by now, but it helps me to have paper to glance at and not only digital calendars/planners. I think the main reason I’m sticking to it this time is due to gel pens! I am not crossing out things all the time or getting annoyed at my messy writing.


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