the writing life

Review: High Performance Planner

It is a scientific fact that all successful people use some kind of planner. I’m a planner. A lot of people I know are planners. The only way you’ll know if you’re a planner is if you try it. The only way you’ll know your true planning style is to try a lot of different planners.

I’ve tried a lot of different planners. I have my favorites. Sometimes I deviate from my favorites to try something new.

One thing I’ve learned to be true is this: I don’t care how “backed by science” a planner is — if your planning style doesn’t mesh with the way a planner is set up – that planner will not work for you. As a visual planner – I need to see the bigger picture (i.e. a weekly planner spread works better for me than a daily spread). For people who are detail oriented and need to focus – a daily planner may work better. For those who like to journal – they may prefer one of the many planners that offer space for journaling.

The High Performance Planner is a scientifically backed (allegedly) Journal/Diary type planner that gives you a daily spread. Each journal should last 60 days.

At $20 a planner for 2 months, expect to need about 6 planners a year ($120). Not too pricey if you compare it to a customized Plum Planner or you use several premium planners like Passion Planner, Happy Planner, or Erin Condrin every year.

So, let’s look at the planner section by section and I’ll share the pros and cons I personally found.

First, it gives you a few pages of Whole Life and HIgh Performance Habit assessments. This is so you can rate yourself based on Buchard’s book, “High Performance Habits”. The next two pages of the planner is, basically, a journal. It asks you to write about your life vision by asking questions. It asks you to list 1 year and 3 year goals. Then you have the Month ahead at a glance which is basically a page where you can lay out your entire month. Primary things happening each day. Spaces for priority to dos, major projects, events, etc… Then we move into the week ahead 2 page spread that asks you 4 questions for each day so you can journal those, plus a little space for notes. Finally, it heads into the daily pages. Each day gets two pages. There’s a Morning Mindset journaling section, an evening journaling section, Daily Habit scorecard, and, of course, places for notes, and an hourly log from 6am to 7:30pm. Then it just repeats.

My Verdict: This planner is not for me. I could see me using it as a weekly or monthly reflection journal, but it’s far too tedious for me to fill out every day (about 20 minutes a day for me for that week I used it before giving up). Plus, there’s just not enough space to journal unless you write tiny. As a woman of a certain age, hand cramps are an issue with the tiny writing, not to mention my eyesight isn’t what it used to be. The questions the journal asks each day become quickly repetitive. I’ve got shit to do. I don’t have time to write (over and over again) my goals and dreams every day. Probably because my schedule is rather routine, unlike someone who may be doing varied quick projects each day. Also, not being a day person, my day usually starts between 9-12 in the morning/afternoon, and goes until 10-11 at night, so the 6am-7:30pm spacing isn’t optimal for me. Though you could just use some correction tape and change the times I suppose. That said – I know plenty of people for whom this journal may be perfect. The repetition establishes routine and mindset, and some people need that. However, as a list maker, I much prefer something that can be filled out a bit faster. Fill out, check off, done. That’s my method of planning. Plus, the daily spread is too hyper-focused for me. I do need the big picture.

However, if you’re a journaling entrepreneur with big dreams – this may be the right planner for you. At $20 it’s affordable enough to try it out without feeling too guilty if it doesn’t work for you. Plus, if you don’t like it but feel you should use it all the way through since you paid for it, you can move on to something else in two months, unlike other planners where you may be stuck with it for a year.

Steph is an award winning and bestselling author of thrilling steamy and paranormal romances, dark urban fantasy, occult horror-thrillers, cozy mysteries, contemporary romance, sword and sorcery fantasy, and books about the esoteric and Daemonolatry. A Daemonolatress and forever a resident of Smelt Isle, she is happily married and cat-mom to three pampered house cats. Her muse is a demanding sadistic Dom who often keeps her up into the wee hours of the morning. You can contact her at

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