Passion Planner vs. Bullet Journal

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Have you ever heard of a passion planner? What about a bullet journal? Sometimes the two of these get confused. They are similar, but not the same. People use both to track goals and measure their progress as they try to achieve new things with regards to their careers, relationships, fitness, and other aspects of life.

If you hear someone talking about a passion planner or a bullet journal, it helps to know the difference between them. Chances are, you’re here reading this because you’re looking for a way to hold yourself more accountable, to set goals and milestones that help you get where you want to go.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking either a passion planner or a bullet journal is a rigid thing. In reality, you can adapt both to fit your needs. The type of planner or journal you end up using is simply a matter of personal preference. Use whatever helps you the most. Use both if you want to!

Here’s a breakdown of the differences between a passion planner and a bullet journal as well as some pros and cons of each.

Two pictures showing different ways to plan an activity

What Is a Passion Planner?

There are several different brands and styles of passion planners available for purchase. It’s essentially a book with blank spaces where you can list things you’re interested in, want to explore, and want to accomplish.

Typically, the passion planner is laid out in a sort of calendar form, where you can track things weekly or by month.

Most of the time, achieving large or complex goals requires small steps and increments of progress. It’s not going to happen all at once.

There are sometimes spaces under the calendar slots for note-taking or a sort of journaling space where you can write your motivations for certain things, how you feel as you move forward on your path, or any other musings you find valuable.

Passion Planner Pros

Passion planners are sort of like a traditional planner with added space for a bit of creativity. You are probably not going to get into any sort of writing or creative flow state like you would writing free form in a journal or a notebook.

Planner makers try to strike a balance between organization and creativity, and some pull it off quite well. Most planners aren’t focused so much on design, as they’re intended for people who like to plan and make things somewhat regimented.

A planner notebook with sticky notes and pen on it

With a passion planner, you can plan things on a daily basis and keep track of progress long-term. There are spaces where you can write your goals like getting a Ph.D., but also the daily, weekly, and monthly slots where you can map out what you need to do to get there.

You don’t have to make things look perfect, and the premade pages do a lot of the thinking for you. All you have to do is fill in the blanks. It’s sort of like a goal-setting cheat sheet.

This can come in very handy for people who have a hard time knowing where to start. With a passion planner, all you have to do is open it up and follow the prompts.

Passion Planner Cons

One complaint about passion planners is that some of them don’t make room for a lot of passion. There isn’t a ton of space for things like brainstorming or writing down your aspirations.

You can also quickly become wrapped up in using it as a normal planner, writing down reminders to go to the grocery store and pick up the dry cleaning, so much so that you tend to lose sight of your long-term plans.

A woman writing on her journal while holding the phone

What Is a Bullet Journal?

Bullet journals are more for making lists of things you’d like to do. They’re fantastic for dreamers and people who are full of creative ideas.

You’re not going to get as much of a structured calendar feature in a bullet journal, but these are fantastic for those meditative sessions out on the patio where you think about where you want to go.

Business owners love to use bullet journals because they never let ideas slip through the cracks. Things become more than fleeting thoughts when you write them down in a journal.

Bullet Journal Pros

If you’re someone who is constantly thinking of new things or have a job where you need to come up with lists of articles you need to write, products you want to try, or people you need to get in touch with, then a bullet journal is for you.

With plenty of writing space, you aren’t limited in how far you can take an idea, or how detailed you can map out a goal. You can go as deep as you want, and the journal facilitates that.

People use bullet journals for larger goals that don’t necessarily have a set timeline. It’s more about what you want to become or what you want to do rather than when. There is some limited functionality when it comes to dates, but sometimes you will have to fill in timelines or important dates yourself.

A woman doing her bullet journal for her activities

Bullet Journal Cons

The main drawback of bullet journals is the lack of good calendar space. You may be able to find some bullet journals with monthly or weekly spaces, but those are the exception. Most of them are creativity-heavy, so scheduling when you’ll finish something isn’t the priority.

You can go deeper into ideas and explore options, but you’re not going to be able to map it out by day or month like you can with a planner.

Conclusion

Ultimately, whether you choose a bullet journal or a passion planner depends on your personality and what you’re looking for. Some people use both, and switch between the two depending on what mood they are in.

If you’re in a brainstorming session, you grab the bullet journal, but if you’re planning out how you want to grow your business, then a passion planner may be better. Find what works for you and adjust as you go.

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