It’s my opinion that professional marketers need to be highly organized and focused on the job at hand. Their intention is to grow ticket sales, social media engagement, and audience size on social media platforms.
Also, the arts marketer needs to be intentional about work-life balance. We can get too involved in our work and not involved enough in our friends, family, and loved ones’ life. It’s important then to have a tool to support both work and life goals. In this post, I’ll review Michael Hyatt‘s Full Focus Planner.
Before I get right to the review, I want to provide a disclaimer that I’m not a perfect user of the planner, but over the last quarter (Quarter 3), I’ve gotten significantly better at being focused and doing the things that matter. It’s helped me achieve some pretty important goals in my life this year (2019) and I hope that 2020 will be a tremendous year for me too.
The Full Focus Planner is different because I think that where other planning systems are focused on just tasks or organization, this planner is goal oriented. So, if you’re looking for a system to set and achieve goals in your business and life, this is a planner to consider.
Full Focus Planner Features
The Full Focus Planner is feature dense, with lots of different aspects. Every planner has:
- Annual Goal Sheet – this is where you list your top ten goals for your year
- Goal Detail – this is where you write down your goal, reasons for achieving it, basic steps to start achieving the goal, and then your reward for achieving the goal.
- Monthly Calendars – you have the option of using a monthly calendar view for major events, deadlines, etc. (there are three for each month in the quarter)
- Rolling Quarters – rolling quarters is a way to show major deadlines, for the year. Think of this as a high level view of your year
- Daily Ritual Pages – documenting your daily rituals (morning ritual, workday startup, workday shutdown, and evening rituals) is a way to make sure you do the same things every day. Think of this as documenting your routines.
- Ideal Week – using this section you can document what a perfect week would be like if you were to focus on the things that mattered to you.
- Daily Pages – Every day follows the same format: Daily big three, checking off rituals, other tasks, events that day, and notes and other notes
- Weekly Preview – the weekly preview is designed to assess how the week went, how you’d like to recharge, and what to look forward to in the next week.
- Quarterly Preview – the quarterly preview is much like the weekly preview, but with a focus toward the next three months. Here you review things like a life plan, annual goals, monthly calendars, your ideal week, and daily rituals. Over the past quarter, you might find that these things need to be adjusted to better suit you.
The Full Focus Planner is a paper planner. Yes, we’re taking planners back to the Franklin-Covey days. There are some reasons for it, mainly the fact that using a book style planner helps with senses and retention that you wouldn’t get if you were to use a digital planner or tool. You remember much more when you have to write things down on paper.
That being said, all planners are hard bound books with sewn in binding with a pocket on the back cover (like a Moleskine). The cover is surprisingly durable and yet looks professional and maybe even elegant. The planner has an elastic strap, also like Moleskine notebooks to ensure that the book stays shut. Every planner has two ribbon bookmarks, one blue and one bright orange. The blue is to bookmark the annual goal sheet and the orange is to bookmark the day you’re on.
Overall, I think the build quality is great. It’s withstood it’s time in my briefcase, car, my messenger bag, etc.
Pros for the Planner
There are many pros for this planner to encourage you to use it. As an arts marketer maybe it’s time to think about the goals that you have personally and professionally to grow. This planner will provide you a highly systematized method to achieving your goals. I think what sets this a part from other planners and what will set you a part in the arts marketing world is that you’ll get more done in less time by choosing to stay focused on the goals you have in hand. You won’t have to guess and feel disorganized about what you need to do. The planner is analog so it’s always going to be updated, in sync, and charged for you to use it. It’s flexible enough though that you can make it your own. Don’t use some of the features if you don’t want to.
I think the system that Hyatt sets up as a result of his own work is enough for anyone to see major gains in their work and life, so this system is a great one to use.
Cons of the planner
I have to be honest here and say that there aren’t many negative things about the planner that I would be able to write about. It’s a solid planner, with a solid system in place to do what it says it does, to bring your full focus and attention to your life’s work.
That being said, I think that because the planner is so feature rich and dense that some new users would need a lot of courage to get started with it. Yes, Hyatt does have an extensive set of tutorial videos to watch so you can onboard yourself to your new purchase.
When I first bought it, I was overwhelmed to the point that I was afraid to use it. It sat shrink wrapped on my desk for months, secretly telling me to get crackin’, but I didn’t. Maybe that’s not a negative, but more revealing about me.
Also, because Hyatt’s planner is the result of his constant desire to develop better systems and be more productive on his way to build a Fortune 5000 company, (he is a high level CEO of a company with over 30 team members) this planner may be a better fit for people in an executive leadership role, as opposed to just a team member of a organization. I feel like that my life and work tends to use the planner at the most 75%.
A Short Case Study
I will conclude with a short case study on how using the Full Focus Planner has helped me achieve one big goal for the year.
This year, I want to get in shape and lose weight. This is because I’m not getting any younger, and I’d like to enter a new decade of life in better shape than I spent most of my former decade. So, I used the planner to set a S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goal of completing 60-90 days of a weight loss transformation and then set a habit goal of going to the gym three days a week. Using the goal detail page I outlined the next steps to accomplish that goal, namely:
- Research coaches and trainers in my area
- Contact them
- Sign up and start
The planner kept these tasks in front of me so I could keep taking action on the goal. In two or three weeks, I had found a trainer, signed up with his program, and got started on my weight loss. The long and the short of it is that on July 8th, 2019 I weighed in at 215lbs. Today, as a result of following my trainer’s plan and sticking to my goal, I’m now weighing in at 174lbs. I’ve lost a remarkable 41 pounds thus far and making real progress toward my goal.
I couldn’t have done it without the planner, or rather, the system and keeping the goal at the top of my mind and working on it every day.
Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner is a great tool to use to be more productive and focused at work and at home. With lots of features to see your goals achieved, it’s a great planner to use throughout the year.
Now it’s your turn! What do you use to stay organized? What planner are you using? What is most helpful to you in keeping productive? Let us know in the comments below!