how has passion planner helped you?

“I am from Yosemite National Park, currently residing in Red Bluff, CA.  I received a Passion Planner during my service in the Peace Corps (Sept 2013-Nov 2015) in the second year of my two-year service.  I received it right around January 2015 and started using it right away.  I started using it as a way to plan out big events for the year: Agriculture Summits, dates of incoming volunteers, holidays, vacations, etc.  However, it quickly became a way for me to visualize my day-to-day schedule and to put an order to the chaos.  It helped me to be able to put things into perspective.

During my service, I used it mostly retroactively – writing down things as they happened or after the fact.  This was necessary, as day-to-day activities are subject to change at a moment’s notice and most things do not go as planned.  Plans had to be flexible and fluid, penciled in across multiple days and only later after they had occurred or been completed; confirmed in pen.  This allowed the Passion Planner to serve as a journal or diary for me, chronicling things as they happened and keeping a record of events/people encountered/work projects achieved.

The reflection spaces every month gave me the opportunity to set goals and focus on achievements and areas in need of growth.  I have never been good at goal-setting, but the Passion Planner helped me to be more diligent and held me accountable.  The planner helped me to stay focused on goals (both work-related and personal), keeping them at the bottom of the monthly page.  It helped me to break down things monthly, as most of our work does not adhere to the monthly calendar.  I used the back pages of the planner as note space to jot down language notes, phrases, and proverbs as well as to list important people’s names/jobs and to begin blog posts.  (Side note: I also really enjoyed the inspirational quotes and advice every week.  There were many weeks that the quote or advice really hit home or happened to be extremely relevant to events and situations at hand.)

Looking back through the planner now, I can visually see my growth over the span of a year.  I can see my shifts in focus from minor issues to global problems.  I can see my prioritization of individuals and relationships develop, and how that positively affected my work projects and consequently; my happiness.  I have never had a more concise visual depiction of my own emotional growth and character development. 

My Passion Planner will serve as a collection of memories – of places, of names, of language notes – that will forever hold my Peace Corps service immortal.  I only wish that I would have had one the first year of my service as well, in order to compare and contrast between the two starkly different years and to further examine my growth and experiential learning. After arriving home in the U.S. in December, I quickly ordered two more Passion Planners (one for me, one for my mother – school nurse) and have continued to utilize it throughout the job search phase of my life. 

Thank you!

-  Dana R.