Revenge of the Analog: Passion Planner Review

Aug 18, 2015

Did anyone read this New Yorker article on the revenge and resurgence of analog tools? I remain Switzerland in the paper vs. digital debate, though I will still go on record to say that printing your digital tools is a good workaround to meet in the middle.

As a neutral party in the world of productivity tools for educators and leaders, The Together Group is always on the lookout for good commercial planners. We’re fans of building your own via a Flexy-Friend, an Arc, a Levenger, a binder, or a digital platform. There are also many useful pre-built tools for the purely paper-based: We’ve reviewed Erin Condren, the UncalendarMoleskines, and the make-your-own.

And now I’ve got another good one. . . The Passion Planner.

I recently bumped into two leaders in highly digital organizations who both love their Passion Planners.  So naturally, I grabbed a few photos for you.

Andrea, a teacher recruiter in Houston, holds up her 8.5” x 11” Passion Planner

Aerin, a school leader in Atlanta, shows us the smaller version of her own Passion Planner

Intrigued? Me too!

Here’s a peek inside:

This view from Andrea’s Passion Planner has all the components of a good Weekly Worksheet: a place to name priorities, daily views of the calendar with hourly increments, a spot to list “loose” tasks and room to take notes. Boom. I like it.

But what if your organization or school uses digital calendars? Well, if you are truly committed to the Passion Planner, you’d have to take all your digital invites and transfer them over here. Or else you run the risk of baby gremlin calendars multiplying and running around everywhere!

Let’s zoom in:


There is also a monthly view:

Aerin keeps a high-level overview of her big events here. Sounds to me like the makings of a great Comprehensive Calendar!

I also noticed these reflection pages in both Aerin and Andrea’s planners. They were mostly, but not exclusively, blank. I really love the intent behind questions like, “What were the three biggest lessons you learned last month?” and “How are you different between this past month and the month before it?” I think these reflections could really stick so long as you blocked out time to complete them!

Overall, the Passion Planner meets my criteria for a great commercial planner, though without a coil binding it may be challenging to open it in a hallway with children chasing after you.

If you are looking for a planner for this coming school year, and you like to plan backwards from goals, act and then reflect, the Passion Planner is a good choice.