At the beginning of this year, my focus is to find a goal planner to help me achieve my 2017 goals. I like planners that are systematic and functional, and I prefer the layout to be simple and non-distracting. I came across two planners that caught my attention: MiGoals 2017 A5 hardcover Diary in mint and undated compact Passion Planner with Paradise Blue cover.
I have heard so many good things about both of these planner brands. It seems like each brand has their own cult of followers. I’ve had friends telling me that Passion Planner is the planner that actually works for them, and MiGoals is the go-to brand for planners and notebooks in Australia.
I purchased MiGoals 2017 A5 Diary from Notemaker for AU$32.81 including discounted shipping (I’m a loyalty member) and Passion Planner directly from their online store during a 50% off SALE for US$26.99 including shipping. It took almost one month for my Passion Planner to arrive.
The MiGoals cover colour is a beautiful light mint colour with cross grain texture. The cover is plain with small 2017 printed in gold foil and Goals Diary 2017 on the side. For a hard cover book, the diary is very lightweight. A minor detail that I noticed when opening and closing the cover is that it opens and closes very smoothly, almost like as if it’s been controlled. It is a very exclusive looking planner, and it’s very well made.
The Passion Planner comes in a slightly darker mint with embossed artwork on the cover. The artwork is lovely! The cover material is soft and has a leather-like texture. Even though it has more or less the same thickness as MiGoals, but it feels heavier. I realised that Passion Planner inside paper is thicker than MiGoals. It also comes with an elastic band to keep the book closed. I think this is necessary for Passion Planner, because the cover isn’t protective enough and the paper might be bent inside handbags. The Passion Planner that I bought is undated, because I can’t possibly use both planners at the same time.
If I saw both planners at the same time in a shop, without looking at the inside, I would definitely pick MiGoals as it certainly has better quality and craftsmanship. I also prefer MiGoals for its hardcover and lightweight.
Passion Planner: 3.5/5
Passion Planner comes with 6 pages of walkthrough about how to use the planner, and they are very detailed. There are even instructions in the weekly planning pages to help you benefit for the planner more.
MiGoals only comes with a short paragraph from the founder on how he thinks the diary will help us, and two page spread of symbols and short descriptions about how their goal setting process works.
To be honest, there’s nothing new about MiGoals’ goal setting process, it has always been done that way by a lot of other planners. With this section, I think Passion Planner is a way more systematic planner, and I appreciate that they give us a thorough explanation on how to benefit from their planner.
Passion Planner: 5/5
Design & Materials
As I’ve said before, the paper used in Passion Planner feels thicker than MiGoals. But the fact is they are both 100gsm. Passion Planner’s paper material is bright white and smooth. I did a marker and pen test on one of their pages with Tombow brush pen, Kaweco Sport Fountain pen, Copic marker and Kikki K felt tip pen, the only one that bleed through is the Copic Marker. Writing on Passion Planner paper feels smooth and effortless. The bright white paper also makes coloured pen and marker more vibrant.
The same pen & marker testing is done on MiGoals’ paper, and the result is the same. Although, I seem to be able to see through the writing on the other side more than when it was done in the Passion Planner.
It says inside Passion Planner that they are printed on 100% Recycled paper. I’m not sure if the same goes with MiGoals.
Both planners use good quality paper, and they feel amazing to write on. It all depends on your preference in terms of whiteness and whether you are more inclined to recycled paper. I personally prefer bright white paper, but I’m going to give both planners 5 out of 5.
Passion Planner 5/5
How a planner is designed is subjective. Also, the design I’m talking about here is the visual aspect of the planner, and not how the planning system works (we’ll talk about that later). Passion Planner to me looks quite messy, and I really dislike the fonts they are using. The printing colour looks a lot like copy machine black and white colour, which I would understand if the planner is cheaper. However, the non-discounted price of Passion Planner is US$30, which is more expensive than MiGoals, I would expect a better printing.
Visually, I think MiGoals is the clear winner. It wouldn’t be my number one priority when looking at planners, but it certainly is one of the things I’m looking at.
Passion Planner: 2/5
Goal Planning System
When you buy a goal planner, you would want a system that actually works. With MiGoals, it’s easy for me to organise my thoughts. First I answer a set of questions to find my purpose, then I rate my life, dream about what I want my life to be like in 5 years time, and then set my goals. MiGoals is a pretty straight-forward goal setting planner, although it’s not that original. I have seen a few other planners with the same system. The 5 years section is a bit confusing because the prompts are not that clear. However, I’m loving the life-rating section and the simple goal setting pages.
The passion planner purpose questions are very short. They are not even on a page of questions, it’s just a small section called ‘A Fresh Start’ at the bottom of a page where they put their instructions. At first glance I actually thought it was just a sample layout and I will be able to find a bigger one on another page. I am actually liking the shorter questions, but I hope that it becomes a whole page instead. From there you are prompted to create a passion Roadmap, which is sort of equivalent to MiGoals’ 5 years questions. But with the Passion Roadmap, you get to plan your 3 months, one year, 3 years and lifetime goals. For each other the goal that you’ve written down, you will then create a game changer roadmap. This is where you’ll create a mind map for the game changer’s timeline, what how and why, and the action steps.
I really like Passion Planner’s system because it feels more like a life map that I can follow. I find that with questions and answers purpose-finding, we tend to put it away as soon as we’re done writing them and never go back to read them through again. But I really hope that Passion Planner’s creators would make real full pages for these road maps instead of just small sections.
Passion Planner: 4/5
Passion Planner monthly spreads comes in simple grid design with blank boxes as I’ve purchased the undated version. On the left side, there are sections for This Month’s Focus: Personal and Work, People to See, Places to Go, and Not To Do List. The bottom left section you have spaces to list your personal and work projects of the month, with Top Priority Projects and Regular ones. On the right side there’s a blank space for your game changer mind map of the month.
I’m not a big fan of MiGoals’ monthly spread, as I prefer the grid style calendar because it’s what I am used to seeing. I find it easier to look at the dates and days instead of the line-by-line calendar in MiGoals. There is a section on the left side for Goal of the month and things to do.
I feel that goal setting stops at the goal pages with MiGoals, whereas with Passion Planner there is a continuity to look back at your Passion Roadmap and create a more focused mind map for the month. Another thing that I find strange with MiGoals’ monthly spread, is that they grouped all the monthly spread pages even though it is a dated planner. My undated Passion Planner is the same, but they don’t do that with their undated planner.
Passion Planner: 5/5
Passion Planner comes with vertical layout weekly spreads, whereas MiGoals comes with horizontal layout weekly spreads. Both layout are great, depending on what you are used to. If you are used to EC vertical layout, Happy Planner and Get To Work Book, you will love Passion Planner. But if you have been using Kikki K or most planners with horizontal layout, you might find Passion Planner’s vertical layout a bit too small for you to write on.
On the left hand side of Passion Planner’s weekly spread, you’ll find: This Week’s Focus, Good Things that Happened, a quote and prompts, Personal To Do list and Work To Do list divided into Top priority, regular priority and errands. On the right hand side there’s a blank space of infinite possibility.
With MiGoals weekly spread, the top horizontal section is where you can write your focus, weekly goal and habits. I am liking the habit section because we can tick each day that we’ve done the habit. MiGoals’ weekly spread, just like any other pages in their diary, is more simple.
I’m a fan of vertical layouts, so I would give an extra mark for Passion Planner because of that.
Passion Planner: 4/5
Passion Planner comes with monthly reflections that includes an end of the month checklist, and tons of of blank and grid pages at the back for notes and sketches.
MiGoals comes with monthly reflection questions, monthly budgeting pages, and one pages for notes.
I prefer MiGoals’ monthly reflection questions because they are shorter and more straight forwards. In my opinion, there is no need for overly detailed questions at the end of each month.
Their budgeting pages, as it turns out, doesn’t have much use for me. I ended up setting my own budgeting bullet journal.
I love having a lot of note pages in my planner, so I find that Passion Planner has better extra features for me. I can even use their blank and grid pages for my budgeting layouts next time.
I like MiGoals’ double page marker as opposed to Passion Planner’s, because I like being able to mark monthly and weekly pages at the same time. Also, the quality of ribbon used in Passion Planner is quite cheap and it’s an unappealing neon yellow colour.
Passion Planner: 4/5
The end results for this planner face off is 26 points for MiGoals and 32.5 for Passion Planner. Passion Planner is certainly my long-term winner, as I find their planner more functional. When it comes to design and materials, there is no question that MiGoals diary looks way more appealing and professional. But at the end of the day, I want a planner that works.
Another thing to think about is where each company is located. MiGoals is from Australia, and there are a lot of Australian shops, both online and physical, who stocks their diaries. Therefore it’s cheaper for me because I don’t have to pay hefty shipping cost, and it’s also faster for me to get it.
I have searched and looked online, none of the shops here are stocking Passion Planner, so I would have to order it from their U.S online store. The shipping cost is expensive (US$12), and it takes almost a month for me to get it (and their tracking number doesn’t really work once the item has left the U.S). I would think twice before buying another Passion Planner.
Lastly, let me put it this way. If you want a planner with more functions, go with Passion Planner. If you just want to plan your days or to simplify your planning system, MiGoals will be more suitable for you.
Let me know what you think about these planners in the comments!