High Performance Planner (Our 2019 Review)
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"We either live with intention or exist by default." - Kristin Armstrong
Kristin Armstrong, a three-time road bicycling Olympic gold medalist, achieved her success in life by living with a strong sense of intention.
Do you share this mindset with her? Are you living with intention? Did you design where you are today, or are you there by default?
The difference between these two can be tricky. It is easy to get into a routine that has been laid out for you and assume that doing so was always your intention. You probably intended on getting an education, earning a degree, and landing a decent job. But was this your own unique plan for your life, or did you follow societal expectations?
While it is perfectly fine to take this route, you have to be the one to decide if it is best for you.
When you live with intention, you are living a purposeful life with passion. You are actually living your why.
So what tools do you need to make sure that you avoid merely existing?
You may have already heard of the High Performance Planner, and you might be wondering if this planning tool could be effective for you. After all, with a broad range of planners, calendars, apps, and software currently on the market, you need to be sure that your time-management and productivity tool can really function according to your needs.
For some people, being able to cross off every item on their to-do list makes them feel as if they have had a productive and successful day. Meanwhile, others only feel accomplished once they’ve done daily activities that are meant to make them productive and more self-aware.
The High Performance Planner, created by Brendon Buchard, hit the market in 2018. Buchard spent 20 years studying the habits of some of the highest performers in their industries before creating this tool to help others achieve success as well.
So what exactly is the High Performance Planner? And how is it different from the other planners out there? More importantly, is this planner right for you?
Hopefully, this review can help you decide whether using this planner will help increase your overall performance and help you live with intention, track what matters to you, and boost your mindset.
Let’s take a look at what the High Performance Planner is all about.
What Is the High Performance Planner?
The High Performance Planner is a two-in-one system, functioning as a planner and a journal. This science-backed tool is meant to help you organize your daily, weekly, and monthly schedules; prioritize your projects; and build self-awareness. It is a comprehensive tool that aims to keep users focused and motivated. It offers a lot of opportunities for you to track your habits and do some self-reflection and assessments to evaluate your progress. This planner helps you account for your entire life's progress, not only your daily to-do list.
Buchard created this planner based upon his 2017 book, High-Performance Habits – How Extraordinary People Become That Way. Some of the tools offered in this planner were created based on his findings in the world’s largest study of some of the highest performers in business, sports, entertainment, and more. Following this research, Buchard worked with a team of experts for three years to test and perfect the content of the planner.
This planner is designed to help you “win the day.” Buchard believes that if you win the day, you’ll win the week, and then the month, and so on. When you live with intent, every action you take, regardless of how minor or routine it is, is an action that has a purpose behind it.
Every action has value because it presents you with an opportunity to be mindful of your surroundings and circumstances as you go through your days, weeks, months, etc. An intentionally lived life is one that reminds you that you are the only person who can propel your life forward through your actions.
Who Is It For?
The High Performance Planner is ideal for adults who are looking for ways to mindfully go about their day and focus their attention on their goals. It is for those who want to get the most out of their time by taking the extra step past merely creating a vague schedule, and spend time focusing on the necessary tasks it will take for them to feel successful. It is for people who realize the benefit of having SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-sensitive), and who need a tool to help them keep track of their progress.
The High Performance Planner is a great product for those who like the idea of journaling, but aren't quite sure how to begin—or who are opposed to having several different books for journaling and planning. It also works best for people who like to record their thoughts, appointments, plans, and schedules by actually writing them down, rather than keying everything into an app. This planner will support your efforts if you have ambitious goals that you want to accomplish.
This may not be the right option for you if you don't want to combine your path of personal development with your daily schedule. It may also not suit your needs if you don't have a sense of enthusiasm for journaling, as there is plenty of space in this planner for that purpose.
The features of this planner are unlike your standard planner or journal. It does not include motivational quotes or stale success sayings on the pages. Instead, it gives you a powerful and practical planner where every area of every page is purposefully used to help you enhance your mindset, create a specific plan for accomplishing all of your goals, keep track of the things that matter, and genuinely learn about yourself.
The journal's layout is designed for you to write in it twice a day. Each daily spread is composed of several features, including the following:
Morning mindset prompts -These are laid out for you to answer as soon as you wake up. Some examples include: One thing I can get excited about today is...; Someone who needs me to be on my A-game today is...; A situation that might trip me up today could be...; and A way that my best self would deal with that is...
These questions are meant to not only help prompt your positive attitude and mindset, but also promote self-care. They will help you start the day off on the right foot and equip you with the perspective you need to successfully tackle your day.
Each day also includes a “Today’s message to self” prompt. This is meant to motivate you, inspire you, and remind you that you are in control of your day, and that you know what is best for yourself. Users have found it to be empowering to take this time in the morning to reconnect with their thoughts and desires.
Top three goals and priorities - This is meant to give you a sense of purpose as you go through your day. Setting your daily goals and outlining how you plan to reach them is essential in almost all of your life's endeavors.
In order to meet your goals, you must prioritize your tasks and establish your action plan. Your goals should be specific and have a purpose. If your motivation or purpose is unclear, you might not do everything you can to ensure you accomplish a goal.
When you are aiming to accomplish several goals at one time, it is important to prioritize your tasks and nail down which goals are more important than others, and why this is true. This will help you maintain your focus on meeting your most important goals first.
Setting your priorities will also prevent you from becoming overwhelmed if you have a lot on your plate because it will allow you to do one thing at a time and always know what is coming next.
30-minute time slots for planning your daily schedule - While you probably have your general month's schedule recorded in a standard or vague planner, the High Performance Planner encourages you to take a closer look to clarify your upcoming day. You're given the space in the middle of each two-page spread (which represents one day) to write out your day’s specific timeline to ensure efficiency and productivity.
Evening journal – This is included for you to fill out at the end of the day to help you process how your day panned out. Some of the evening journal prompts include: A moment that I really appreciated today was... and A situation that I handled well today was...
The evening journal section also gives you some space to record your daily habits so you can assess your performance for the day. Ending your day with six prompts and six scorecards will help you review the habits that you practiced that day and develop habits that are possibly more effective to gain long-term success.
Scorecard for major areas of your life - The scorecards allow you to rate your performance on an interval scale in 10 major facets of your life, including your health, family, friends, mission, learning, finances, spirit, mental and emotional energy, love, and experiences. As you continue to fill these out, you can measure your progress to see what is working and which areas of your life need some more attention.
You will also be able to recognize if there is a correlation between an action you are taking and a change in one of your scores—whether that be for better or for worse. Knowing the impacts of your actions on your life will help you reshape your habits to put you on a path to greater success.
High Performance Habits Assessment – This weekly review feature is designed to help you see your performance on habits that help you achieve long-term success. The High Performance Planner has you rate yourself at the end of every week on specific habits that directly impact your potential for success. If you need some help with strategies to improve your score on this assessment, tips can be found in Buchard's corresponding book.
Whole Life Assessment – This helps you keep track of the primary areas of your life (work, family, personal, etc.), and ensures that everything is in balance. There is one of these assessments offered every month in addition to the daily and weekly performance assessments to track your ongoing performance. These additional journaling exercises help you reflect on your current life and consider your long-term goals (one and three years out), and help you re-align your tasks as needed.
The journal’s physical features include:
- Thick paper that prevents bleed-through, regardless of the kind of pen you use
- Thick, hardcover journal, giving it a high-quality, luxurious feel
- 192 8.4"x11.5" pages to accommodate 60 days’ worth of journal entries
- 14 pages of graph paper in the back for extra notes and planner entries
- A choice of six colors (each color is intended for two months and can be purchased as a multi-color pack to span the entire year, including red, orange, blue, green, yellow, and black)
You are getting a lot of bang for your buck with this planner, even if it sounds pricey up front. You would be hard-pressed to find another planner that is not only this size, but also this high in quality for these prices:
Some people who have purchased this planner choose to only use it from Monday-Friday, allowing one planner to last for more than the intended 60 days.
Specifically, this planner can help you by:
- Increasing your productivity by helping you effectively delegate your time to help you reach your goals
- Having a system for prioritizing projects and plans by offering empowering prompts in a holistic way to help you start and finish your day with intention, taking all of the areas of your life into consideration
- Setting relevant goals and completing the necessary tasks to achieve them
- Developing new habits to help you accomplish the most important things by the end of the day
- Adopting new mindsets geared for success
- Creating self-awareness through thought-provoking questions that require self-reflection, and by making you aware of how you're spending the bulk of your time
- Building character and realizing that life is not only about reaching goals, but about creating a fulfilling life every day while remaining focused on your goals
- Keep in mind that this is a bigger and heavier planner than others, so the High Performance Planner is not ideal for those who prefer apps or smaller notebooks for time management, organizing, and planning their schedules.
- Each day leaves space for 6:00 am to 7:30 pm, which does not line up with everyone's daily schedule.
Why I Recommend the High Performance Planner
I hope that this review will help you decide if the High Performance Planner can benefit you.
There are many productivity and planning tools out there. However, what most of them lack is the science-backed features found in the High Performance Planner that help you develop successful habits and improve your character. It’s far more affordable to work on your habits with the help of this planner than it is to attend several professional and personal development workshops.
This planner engages you in a way that forces you to reflect on your day, notice and learn from your mistakes, and grow as a person. Through self-reflection, you can improve faster. As you have likely noticed, the High Performance Planner is not just intended to help you plan your day—it is created to help you perform at your best.
Why not try the High Performance Planner today and see the difference for yourself?