What is the Full Focus Planner [Full Review & Setup Secrets]
Do you feel that you’re currently “fully focusing” on your goals as an entrepreneur?
In my never-ending search for The Perfect Planner for my life and career as an entrepreneur – I think I found it!
So I decided to test out the Full Focus Planner, and do a review on it for all those other planner-lovers (that’s you!)
If you’re anything like me, you’re always testing out new planners, trying new productivity methods, or keeping one ear on the productivity gurus to see what they recommend.
One of those gurus that I follow is Michael Hyatt. I’m a big fan of his Free to Focus book, so when my old planner was finished, I jumped on the opportunity to review his new planner, the Full Focus Planner!
They just revamped it recently, and I am SO excited to tell you all about it!
If you’re the type who likes some color and design on your planners, but hates drawing and stickering and spending more time decorating than doing, this planner might be PERFECT for you.
If you’re the person who has notebooks everywhere because you like writing notes and ideas down but can’t seem to find the planner that has a big enough notes section – it really is the perfect planner for you.
But even if neither of those things are what you want or need, this planner still has a wide range of features that are unique unto itself. You would be hard pressed to find these features in another planner.
Check it out in my Full Focus Planner review!
We’re going to dive into:
- Planner specs
- Build quality
- Pros of the planner
- Cons of the planner
- The method of the Full Focus Planner
- How to use the planner in your everyday life
- Whether you should or shouldn’t buy the Full Focus Planner
- My personal thoughts and pros/cons of this unique planner
- And how to set up your planner if you decided to purchase the Full Focus planner
Let’s dive in deeper and see what makes this particular planner so special.
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Full Focus Planner Details
If you’re picky about your planners, one of the first things you’ll consider is the size of your planner.
Some people like a good ol’ 8.5x11 planner. Others like the tiny moleskin notebooks.
But you? You want it to be big enough to write full notes on, but small enough to fit in your bag and take it places.
You also want it to be high quality, with a lay-flat feature, so it’s not constantly closing on you during the day.
That’s the description of this planner!
Let’s check out the planner specs:
6 ¼ “ x 9 ¼ “
Thick and creamy high-quality paper that allow Frixion erasable pens erasing without ripping
LENGTH OF PLANNER
90 days, undated
Created by Michaels daughter, Megan Hyatt Miller. This collection comes in Olive, Eggplant, French Blue or Poppy, with designs inside the interiors that are classy and elegant.
Comes in black European bonded leather
Comes in Oatmeal or Navy
Additional Planner Features:
- Two ribbons for keeping multiple pages bookmarked
- An elastic snap band that keeps your planner tightly closed
- A pocket in the back of the planner that allows you to place cards, papers, I even read someone who put in a Tile to track it in case of loss.
- Comes with a sleeve that you can put on it after you’re done with it. This sleeve has a label that lets you notate what quarter and what year, so you can collect and save them neatly on a bookshelf
- Gives very helpful video instructions on how to set up each page when you purchase
- A Facebook group to help you plan!
Michael also has some great ideas on his Instagram about how to use this pocket, and how he attaches a pen and hides little mini reading glasses on the inside!
How does this planner help you stay focused and align directly with your goals?
It replaces any other organizer you’re using by aligning itself with your digital calendar
It’s small enough to go everywhere! Tuck it into your bag or purse for convenience
It helps you prioritize your daily life to align directly with those goals
Encourages time off and rest and rejuvenation – after all, that’s what planning should be helping us do, right?
It has its own goal setting, tracking, and review system so you always see your big picture
On that paper there is beautiful typography and a clean design eliminates overwhelm on the pages.
There are two ribbons within each planner to hold the place of multiple spots within.
On the Bold colored planners, you get slightly colored print and a sexy interior design on the front and back of the planners.
Engraved golden lettering outlines the front cover and spine of all the planners.
Overall, this is one of the highest quality planners you will run into on the market today.
It’s definitely no Day Designer!
Pros of the Full Focus Planner
- It’s a flexible system
- Large writing spaces
- Includes a habit tracker, goal tracker, monthly calendar, weekly reviews, daily pages, notes, and lots more!
- My favorite feature is the notes on the daily pages. This is what I was looking for in my planner. It’s hard to find a planner that allows you to write such large amounts of notes, especially on the daily pages. A tiny square isn’t going to do it for me.
- Allows you to create flexible daily work and personal systems combined
- Your quarters and months are all attached to your weeks and days. In other words, you can break down your goals directly – which is a total game changer!
- Although it’s a ‘system’ that you’ll have to get used to, you don’t have to imagine or come up with how to fit it into your day. Instead, it walks you through everything cohesively step by step.
- It has a “Daily 3 priorities” method that many successful people recommend
- You can place your “Daily 3 priorities” and to do list right next to your scheduled day
- Includes videos that you can use to set it up for the first time
If you enjoy doing 12 week sprints a la the 12 Week Year book, this is perfect!
Cons of the Full Focus Planner
- This system might not work for everyone
- You may not fill out all of the pages
- You have to purchase it quarterly
- The price point can be a bit high for some planning peeps
- You can’t make it do everything (which, in my opinion, is okay – no one system can do EVERYTHING by itself)
- You have to fill in the dates yourself, but this also allows you to purchase a planner at any point and use it when you’re ready instead of wasting it if you don’t use it that quarter
Going deeper into the Full Focus Planner review…
What type of productivity method is this planner?
This is for the goal-setter who wants to directly relate their goals to their days.
“I’ve personally used and tested dozens of planners. None of them met my expectations or standards.
As a result, my team and I have been working for months on a planner that combines my proven goal-setting process with my daily productivity system. It’s the missing link that ties your daily tasks to your yearly goals so you’re constantly making progress.
This approach is how I work, day by day, week by week, and quarter by quarter. My new Full Focus Planner connects the dots and lets anyone put this approach to work for them. It’s like an insurance plan for achieving your goals.
Honestly, I designed this planner for myself. It’s the one I want to use. “ – SOURCE
If you’ve been in the personal development or productivity space for any amount of time, you know that we’re taught by the gurus in those fields to set goals. Then, we’re taught to break them down into actionable steps, right?
Where do we combine the two?
How do we set those lofty goals and then break them down to itty bitty minute tasks?
If you’ve been looking for something like this, this is for you.
Goal Detail Pages
The goal detail pages are one of my favorite features of the planner.
It’s built for both habit goals and achievement goals, and outlines the SMART method without being blatantly obvious.
Write down your key motivations, your very next steps, and what your reward will be, and you’ll be that much closer to getting started.
For me, I find writing down your very next steps in your goals to be one of the key reasons why I actually take that next step. This could be the method that works for you!
Monthly Calendar View
What planner doesn’t have a monthly overview page? To break down your goals into your daily life, your monthly view is what you need to look at to pinpoint deadlines, appointments, and the outlook of your month.
Daily Ritual Pages
You know that habits are important.
You know that routines are important.
Did you know that you should have a morning ritual, a workday startup ritual, a workday shutdown ritual, and an evening ritual?
This planners got it!
In fact, it can be the key method for you to get into that zone of work in the mornings, or the mental signal to shut down for the day.
It’s so important to have routines that signal our brains that it’s time to switch tasks.
You don’t want to be stuck thinking about work at 8 pm when you should be with your family.
Build these rituals into your daily life and see your productivity skyrocket.
Daily Planning Pages
My favorite part!
You’ve got your three top priorities.
You’ve got your daily schedule and your task list.
And finally, you’ve got the NOTES section!
There’s ALWAYS notes I need to take, write down ideas or thoughts, and they get lost in notebooks.
This is one of the main reasons why I bought this planner, was because I have an entire page that I can write notes on.
There’s also so many Easter eggs in these daily pages. For example, if you have extra tasks you know you need to do, simply put them in the notes section, and in the weekly review you will go through and schedule them where they need to go.
There’s also quotes of inspiration on every single daily page!
Not only that, but there’s a little key at the bottom of each page that’s reminiscent of the bullet journal for your tasks.
You even have a little section up top that tells you how many weeks are remaining in the quarter! Weeks go by so fast, so it really puts time into perspective so you can remember what your priorities are.
I know I’ve touted a few features as being my favorite so far, but if I were to choose one of the features that changed my daily habits and productivity permanently – I think it would be the weekly review.
I’ve never heard of or thought of a weekly review, yet I’m surprised by how effective it is.
Walking you through strategically, the planner has you cover your week in a way that values your time from last week, and looks forward to the future with you:
- Asks for your biggest wins to keep you motivated
- Asks you to review your Big 3 from the week before
- Challenges you to consider what did and didn’t work
- Helps you consider what you want to keep, improve, start or stop doing in real time (rather than an annual goal, you can change things about your life that you don’t like when it happens)
- Has you perform a list sweep where you sweep through the previous week to notate additional tasks, notes, etc
Then, you start looking forward to the new week:
- Asks you to consider what the upcoming week has going on in both your personal and professional life
- Then you map it out for each day, so you can visually see what your days will look like, and to prevent overload on one particular day
- Has you choose your Weekly Big 3
- And an entire half a page is dedicated to self-care. This is IMPORTANT!
Let’s just say, I’ve identified more things in my life that had been preventing me from success with this weekly review than any ‘annual review’ I’ve ever done.
Your day to day is where those hidden gems are.
Not looking at the entire year in one glance where you can’t remember what you even did that year.
At the end of each quarter, you get to review how things are going in terms of your goals, accomplishments, and how far you got.
You can even go back through the weekly reviews to help fill in the blanks and catch things that you wouldn’t have been able to if you didn’t go through them.
Maybe you had a few bad habits you caught in your weekly reviews.
If you didn’t get a chance to change it throughout the weeks, maybe you can outline this in your quarterly preview to break that habit.
You may not have realized it was a problem if you didn’t use the system.
Are you starting to see step by step how this planner changes the game in terms of relating your goals to your everyday life?
Some people just don’t like the Full Focus Planner for various reasons.
One of those complaints is that it’s too bulky to tote around. I disagree with this, simply because I’m the person who carries the largest planner possible (due to my addiction to taking notes as we discussed).
Another drawback people mention is that it doesn’t stay open. The solution to this is that Michael Hyatts team recently revised the planner to be a Lay Flat binding. Also, in his training videos he shows how you can get the planner to stay open by ‘breaking it in’. I currently have mine sitting on my desk fully open with no drifting pages.
One con I have ran across is that this planner is for those who work the typical Monday-Friday schedule. Saturday and Sunday daily pages are the exact same, but the weekly review is after Sunday. I don’t mind this, I do work on Saturdays or Sundays, and sometimes I do my review on Sundays, other times I do it on Fridays. I don’t mind either way, but this might bother you.
My personal thoughts & review of the Full Focus Planner
What I love about the planner
My favorite features:
- Weekly review
- Large notes page for every single day
- Goal pages include a habit tracker
- Daily pages show how many weeks are left in the quarter
- Bullet journal-esque format in your task list
- It includes your daily big 3
- Allows me to see the accomplishments I’m making along the way. We don’t reward ourselves or see our progress typically, so this is a great feature to remind yourself that you’re doing well!
- Comes with a sleeve that you can put on it after you’re done with it. This sleeve has a label that lets you notate what quarter and what year, so you can collect and save them neatly on a bookshelf
- The videos were very helpful!
- Having the daily hours within the planner allow me to time block which is a huge part of my productivity routine
What I don’t like about the planner
- I don’t use the evening rituals, but I do enjoy the workday shutdown ritual. I keep my planner in my home office, so I don’t want to go check off the box that says I did an evening ritual
- I wish it was a full year planner, or even 6 months. This would of course make it huge, but I don’t like having to purchase a new one every quarter (yes, you can also choose an annual subscription so it’s automatically sent to you)
- It is more expensive for a quarterly planner, but it does come with an entire system, versus a simple day planner
Setting it up for the first time
How to set up your Full Focus Planner for the first time as a new user
Alright! So you’ve decided to get the Full Focus Planner, and you’re ready to set up your new planner! What do you do first?
Starting with the first page of the planner, follow their tutorial. They have made it as easy as possible to set up your new planner.
Grab the next few quarters, too
You don’t want to get to the end of the quarter and realize you don’t have your second quarter. I realized quickly that not having it there made me stumble in my plans for the next quarter. I couldn’t write out my plans ahead of time and waiting for it in the mail is AGONY.
Go ahead and invest in your new system with the annual subscription. Show yourself that you’re serious about this.
Watch the videos
The first thing you should do is watch the videos. They have a few terms within the planner that sound confusing until you watch the instructional videos, so I highly recommend that next.
Break in the spine
In the videos they show you how to stretch out your new planner from stiff and boring to stretchy and flexible! Do some yoga with your planner and that should help 😉
Write out the days
Since it’s an undated planner which allows for flexibility of use, you should start with putting your days in the planner. Double check these every few days as you write them in pen!
Consider your goals
Before you go and write on all of the goal pages, consider what goals you want to focus on. I recommend starting with 3 goals per quarter at first. You can always add more later.
Let it breathe
Step back for a while and come back to these internal pages later. Start with your first week and after that, head back to fill in the rest of the pages, such as the daily rituals, ideal week, and rolling quarters.
Keep it in your sights
Make it a habit to take it with you wherever you go. Remember, this is a personal and professional planner. It’s meant to be taken places.
Taking it with you will also remind you to use it. Don’t give up if you find yourself not using it! Keep trying.
Don’t try to make it do everything
Now, this planner doesn’t have everything.
No system has everything in it. It’s really hard to get any productivity system to do everything. Even with a normal daily planner you can’t outline or plan out large projects, due dates, etc.
It’s not meant for that.
It’s meant to be a goal setting planner that combines your high-reaching goals to your daily life.
Skip the pages that don’t apply to you
I didn’t fill out the ideal week, because I work at home, and I am not super busy with specific activities. My day changes frequently each week, therefore, I skipped it. It’s okay to skip pages if there’s something that doesn’t apply to you.
Give it a realistic effort before giving up on it. It’s going to take time to get used to and will likely take you around a month or so to get used to working in it.
Don’t give up if you find yourself not using it!
Keep going back to it.
It will become a part of your normal every day soon.
There’s always an adjustment period with a new system. Hang in there!
Should you buy Michael Hyatts Full Focus Planner?
This planner is for you if…
- You want very detailed pages for your days
- You want to connect your goals to your daily life
- You need to FOCUS on your tasks without overwhelm
- You want a less feminine planner
- You need something to apply to work and personal life
- You need a planner and a notebook together in one system
- You want to plan out 90 day sprints a la 12 Week Year!
Skip this planner if…
- You need to put in very detailed information about projects (I use Clickup with my planner together)
- You only want a daily schedule
- You want spaces to customize your pages differently every single day
- You want something very basic for handling appointments only
- You want a less expensive yearly planner
The final verdict of the Full Focus Planner
When I consider what my planning and productivity systems were like before this planner, I can see the difference it’s made in my life.
I’ve been searching for something that allowed me to write out my big business goals and walk me through how I can attach them to my daily life for years.
I’ve also been looking for a planner that has enough space.
I don’t like froofroo planners with numerous stickers and flowers.
I struggled with finding an all-in-one system that was sleek, clean, beautiful, and inspiring to look at with the “big three” that the productivity gurus talk about.
It’s not 100% perfect, because everyone and their lives are different.
But I can tell you that the planner has made a big impact on how I view my own progress in my business. This high quality, compact planner that’s so much more than just a planner has really blown me away, and that’s being 100% honest.
So – should you buy the Full Focus planner?
Yes yes yes yes yes.
The only way you’ll know for sure if it’s going to work for you, is to try it.
As Michael says,
“You don’t have to let your most important goals get lost in the whirlwind of daily life. And you don’t have to hustle day in and day out without making progress toward the goals that will make a difference in your life and in the lives of those you love…
Most of what we hear about productivity is just doing more at a faster rate. I’m not interested in that. And I assume you’re not either. We want to plan our lives to accomplish what matters most while sustaining margin for the relationships and self-care that make it all worthwhile in the first place.” – SOURCE
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