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Follow Up: Full Focus Planner, 3 Months Later

I’ve now used the Full Focus Planner for 3 months, so it’s good to review something that is, itself, about reviewing things. I praised it when I first began exploring the system (although, looking back, most of my praise was really for the concept of an analog notebook versus digital). Will I order one for the next quarter?

The answer is no, despite my respect for the FFP. There’s a lot to like: a handsome cover, inviting pages, the idea of a Big 3 for your day (your big 3 goals to accomplish, that should be important and not merely urgent), a guided weekly review, a template for an ideal week, goal-setting that includes rewards and analysis. I do find myself drawn to a written planner, after years of being all digital.

But there’s several drawbacks to the FFP that make it, ultimately, a mixed product. It’s simply too bulky, too heavy to tote around in a bag or in-hand. I think about 20% thinner would be about right. Worse, though, is its failure to stay open, which is sort of the point of this kind of planner – it is supposed to stay out, open, and usable throughout the day. Yet mine would always slowly shut itself closed (kind of ironic, isn’t it?). There is a recommended book spine breaking-in system that Michael Hyatt walks you through, and I followed that precisely, but it still totally failed unless I weighted the book down somehow. Worse, there is an official facebook discussion group for the FFP, and many others had the same complaint, so it is a somewhat systemic issue. It’s kind of embarrassing, I think, for a former publisher to produce a book that fails in a significant way.

Finally, having done some reading on notebooks and planners, I have come to realize that the FFP draws much inspiration from the Bullet Journal system. Yes, this says a lot of sad things about me, that I’m trying another system, and I am willing to own that. (In my defense, as Taffy Brodesser-Akner writes about dieting, all we can do is struggle since the alternative is worse). But the Bullet Journal system is a more lithe version of Michael Hyatt’s system, and it’s worth exploring.

I will miss some elements of the FFP. Many of its tricks can be replicated (you can create an ideal week and Big 3 within any system, really), but the FFP makes it clearer and easier, and does force you to work through a very intentional review process. Many of its ideas have shaped my thinking. It’s a great system that will doubtless evolve given its early stages, but I found that its frustrations ultimately overwhelmed its innovations.

2017 Favorite Things

Best of American Academy of Religion 2017