If you try hard to stay productive day after day but struggle to get ahead or even feel like you’re falling behind, this Full Focus Planner review will show you the one tool that can turn around your productivity so you can finally make progress and accomplish your biggest goals.
When I’m around town working, people are always asking about the planner they see me using. So what is the Full Focus Planner, and can it actually help you get the focus you need to feel productive and accomplish your goals? This full review will show you the good, the bad, and answer questions you didn’t even think to ask about Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner.
First off a disclaimer: I am an affiliate for the Full Focus Planner because I’ve been using it since it was in beta in Q3 2017 and absolutely love it. This does not affect what I share below. It does mean that if you purchase the Full Focus Planner through my affiliate link I earn a commission. It’s not enough for me to buy my next planner, but it adds up to help me keep the lights on.
What Is The Full Focus Planner?
Let’s get this out of the way first…The Full Focus Planner is a physical planner. In this age where everything is digital, you may be wondering why anyone would want a physical planner.
Have you ever impatiently waited for an email? I’m guessing it’s pretty rare. But what about physical mail? You can’t wait for your package to come. Or you’re thrilled when you get a hand-written thank you card.
It turns out that humans are physical beings living in a physical world. And you know what…that means we like physical things to interact with. In this digital era, sometimes it’s nice to use pen and paper.
Most standard paper planners are designed to be a placeholder for your calendar and to-do list. The Full Focus Planner, on the other hand, doesn’t just keep track of what you need to do. It helps you define what you need to do so you can tackle the most high-leverage tasks to make massive progress on your biggest goals. And you do all this while focusing on what matters most.
The biggest lesson Michael Hyatt taught me is something he calls “The Double Win,” meaning that you can “Win At Work And Succeed At Life.” You don’t have to sacrifice your family on the altar of work, or vice versa.
This planner gives you not only the space to plan effectively but takes you step-by-step through the process of planning and focusing on what’s truly most important.
Some reviews out there say that the Full Focus Planner is, “one part planner, one part life coach,” and they’re right. Each part of the planner is designed to help you identify your big goals, break them into actionable steps, and create the habits necessary to win every day.
What’s Great About The Full Focus Planner?
#1 – It is a paper planner.
One of the greatest things about using paper and pen is that you have defined boundaries. There are only so many lines on the page. Only so many tasks you can add.
Even the daily calendar is designed to help you visualize your day in half-hour increments. It gives you a high-level view of your day but is specific enough that you can create the focus you need. The daily calendar helps me identify different open blocks of time where I can batch my tasks and use my time most efficiently.
#2 – It has an incredible team behind it.
There’s a reason Michael Hyatt & Co. quickly grew to be on the INC 5000. Not only do they create stellar products, but the team is amazing. They are dedicated to helping busy business leaders get clear on their vision, become more productive, and capitalize on margin or rest. The entire team is dedicated to this mission and you can see it in everything they create.
In addition, they have industry-leading customer service. As someone who used to work on their customer service team, I can confidently say there are few other companies that put the customer first as well as Michael Hyatt & Co.
#3 – The quality of craftsmanship makes you want to use it.
Michael Hyatt was formerly the CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing. So when it comes to publishing a top-notch product made with the best materials, you can say he knows what he’s doing.
Unlike other planners that you have to put something heavy on each corner to hold it open, even the standard binding planner lay’s flat on my desk to keep my tasks and schedule front and center. This one detail keeps me focused better since I have the urge to just get things done.
I personally prefer the Linen Full Focus Planner (formerly the Classic line) because I’m a little more Spartan in what I enjoy. But there are a number of different finishes and bindings to choose from. More on that later.
#4 – It’s designed to train you to be more productive.
So many planners are there to just hold your calendar and tasks.
The Full Focus Planner is designed with an entire productivity system behind it. It’s the exact system Michael teaches in his Best Year Ever and Free to Focus courses.
You can learn Michael’s most productive systems for a fraction of the cost all while making progress on your goals and staying ahead every day.
What’s Not So Great About This Planner?
#1 – It is a paper planner.
The Full Focus Planner’s biggest advantage is also its biggest disadvantage.
Unlike all my digital tools, it doesn’t sync to the cloud. If I forget it somewhere, I’m out of luck.
Because there is only so much space on a page, I’m careful about my note-taking. This could be good since it forces me to focus on what’s important, but there’s something about an endless document that gives me the confidence I won’t miss anything.
#2 – Some sections don’t get used by everyone.
One of the biggest complaints in the Full Focus Planner community group is that people feel bad for not using every section of the planner.
There are quarters where I only use the Rolling Quarters pages once…the day I set up the planner and never again.
Some quarters I’ve used the Index, others, I forgot it was there.
It is not necessarily a bad thing to skip sections, but it leads some people to feel pressure to fill in every page. When you buy the Full Focus Planner, just remember that it’s your planner and you can use it in the way that works best for you.
#3 – If you’re not careful, you can skip the best parts of it.
Several times per year I catch myself just going through the motions with this planner. I’ll half-heartedly add my Big 3 tasks. Then I’ll skim through the Weekly Preview just to feel accomplished. I’ll create my ideal week, then never look at it for the rest of the quarter.
In reality, I’m short-changing myself. When things become too routine, I forget just how powerful the pages and prompts in the planner can be.
I feel (and actually am) 10x more accomplished when I use the planner pages and sections because the questions guide me to the outcome I truly desire. So, don’t skip the best parts. Trust the system.
#4 – The Pocket Edition
Maybe it’s just me, but I hated the Pocket edition.
I thought I would love the smaller size and compact features. As a guy who’s not wandering around town with a purse, I saw the Pocket edition as a way to have the best of the planner in a package I could carry in my…pocket.
Wow, I was wrong. I used the Pocket edition exclusively for almost two weeks. I quit and transferred all my notes and tasks back to the Classic version.
The daily calendar feature is nearly missing, the task area doubles as the note area. I take too many notes and have too many tasks for the Pocket edition to work in my day-to-day experience.
Who Is The Planner For (And NOT For)?
The Full Focus Planner isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. I have several friends who refuse to use paper planners and others who prefer to use different planners. We still all get along.
Who is the Full Focus Planner for?
If you’re looking to get control of your schedule or feel good at the end of the day with what you’ve checked off your list, then the Full Focus Planner is for you. This includes anyone who:
- Works from home
- Works in a busy office
- Needs to know exactly what action to take next
- Get’s distracted easily and needs a way to stay on task
- Wants to add more margin in their life to relax and recharge
- Is a perfectionist and wants to get over it
- Procrastinators who want to get things done
Who is the Full Focus Planner NOT for?
If you think your system is perfect already and you accomplish all your goals, then this planner might not be for you. That includes anyone who is:
- Happy with the systems they use and don’t think they can improve
- Unwilling to try something new
- Not willing to pay for a new planner every quarter
- Doesn’t have goals and doesn’t want to
What’s Included With The Full Focus Planner?
When it was first released, the Full Focus Planner was like the Model T. It came in everyone’s favorite color as long as it was black. Now the planner comes in a number of sizes, colors, and configurations.
- Sizes: Standard (6″ x 9″) v. Pocket (4-1/2″ x 7″)
- Textures: Linen v. Leather
- Binding: Standard v. Coil
There are a number of sections inside the Full Focus Planner designed to coach you to better productivity and habits.
- Annual Goals page
- Goal Details pages to not only write your goals but identify your motivations and next steps
- Monthly Calendar pages for this quarter
- Rolling Quarters pages for the next year
- Daily Rituals pages for both home and work
- Ideal Week template
- Daily pages to focus on your top priorities
- Weekly Preview pages to help you track your progress and plan for the next week
- Quarterly Review
- Notes Pages
- Daily quotes
- and more…
What’s the Risk in Trying Out The Full Focus Planner?
I’ll be straightforward with you…if you don’t like the planner, you’ll be out a few dollars. As I shared earlier, that’s what happened when I ordered the Pocket edition.
To lower your risk, I always recommend buying a single planner first, so you can find the size and color you like. Then you can confidently switch to an annual subscription to save a few dollars.
If something is wrong with your planner, Michael Hyatt & Co. has an incredible customer service team that will make it right (I know personally because I worked for them and had an issue once). Their customer support is fast and always professional.
What are you waiting for?