I didn’t really know how to title this blog post because it’s not really about anything particularly interesting or profound. It’s about something that we all are plagued with: managing our time.

By no means am I taking the position of proficiency. I am notorious in my circles of friends for being late to things and getting things done at the last minute. (I would just like to say, for the record, that these things do get done) However, it’s a point with which everyone at some point in their respective experiences can relate with.

I’ve really meant to be writing more.

There have been quite a few times where this blog has crossed my mind, I just never seemed to have the gumption to sit down and wrestle with my thoughts long enough to muster up any coherency. It’s not always easy to know what to think.

But isn’t that just life.

We all have our agendas, our calendars and they own us to some extent. I know my planner is my life boat. Honest to goodness, I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s almost embarrassing how many hours I’ve spent pouring over it and staring at the numbered squares on the page, counting them, adding hours, circling, creating memos, erasing, highlighting… you get it. I’m one of those planner nerds.

It’s honestly a form of therapy for me. I love looking ahead, anticipating what is to come. I love looking back, taking pride in the things that I have completed (or just scraped by). There’s a certain peace that you can derive from having a firm picture of what your day is going to look like, it makes everything seem much more attainable.

Here are some of the planners that I’ve used in years past:

The School Planner

When I first attended “real” school (I was homeschooled till eighth grade), the private school that I attended supplied every student with a planner. It had the basic stuff in it, the months, a weekly layout, as well as the dress code, handbook excerpts, etc.. It was my first introduction to using a planner, I honestly don’t know if I ever would have started if one had not been given to me. I don’t remember it meaning that much to me back then, but it definitely sowed the seed for the philoplanner that I was to become. (yes, I made that word up)

The Generic, Wal-Mart Planner:

this is more or less what it looked like

It’s pretty ugly, folks. Again, just that basic format: monthly and weekly. At this point in the game, I’m in high school and I didn’t think it was cool to have the same planner as everybody else anymore. So, I bought one for real cheap in the school supply section that always explodes right before school starts. This format really worked well for me back then though, don’t get me wrong. When your schedule is the exact same every day (8 set periods of classes), there’s really only assignments to manage, not necessarily time. So, for that time in my life, this planner suited my needs.

image1 (10)
an actual attempt at including assignments and meetings

I actually used this format through my freshman year of college. But, that’s when I really started to run into some time management issues. In college, each day looks so unique from the next. One day I might be booked every moment, the next I may have basically nothing to do. It really just depends. The challenge of using a planner of this layout with this type of lifestyle going on, is there isn’t a real place to sort time commitments. They all kind of just ended up in a big list under each day along with the homework assignments I had due.

Not super helpful.

The Passion Planner

For the past six months, I’ve been trialing a different style of planner. And honestly, it’s changed my life (a little dramatic, but also true!). This planner is designed to enlighten you as to your passions. AKA – where you spend the most time. It has the hour by hour break down of every day as well as the monthly snapshot. The planner is pretty bare-bones. You really have the creative outlet to do with it what you will. It’s encouraged to use colors to help sort out various categories of activities. For example, black pen is work, green is meetings, and pink is fun. That way, when you look back, you can see blocks of color in relation to the others and decide whether you spend the week/day/month wisely.

It can look really clean cut and minimal or extravagant and artsy. In addition to this freedom, there are opportunities throughout the year to reflect on the months that pass and some of the things that happened during them. It’s a really beautiful marriage between a planner and a journal in my opinion. There are also biannual checkpoints that call you to focus on your goals and create some plans to achieve them. Click on the photos below for a closer look.

this is what the page looks like with no personal embellishments

I really appreciate how the passion planner allows each person to totally make it their own while still having a template that saves SO much time from creating that on your own.


Time is something that we never get back, I think it’s worth the time and investment to spend money and energy making sure that you are organizing your time well. You can’t pick up hours on life like you can at work, so make the most of it! Whether it’s a passion planner, on your phone, or a pocket planner, use the tools that are best suited for your life. Seasons bring different challenges and, like my own experience, you might find yourself using aids you never would’ve imagined.

BUT, if I did convince you to try a passion planner, visit their site. AND, if you actually end up buying one, let them know I sent you their way. (they have a sweet referral deal) The email that you will use to reference me is hannahmishael@gmail.com .

Now…. go plan something!



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