They say necessity is the mother of invention. For Angelia “Angel” Trinidad, it was more like a dire need. When she graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in art, she didn’t know what to do. She felt lost and directionless—and she knew she wasn’t the only one.
“Analysis paralysis,” she says. “That was the feeling that spiraled me into a strange, post-grad depression and the problem that I wanted to help people overcome.”
So she created Passion Planner, an all-in-one weekly appointment calendar, journal, goal-setting guide, to-do list and gratitude log integrated in one planner.
“I decided to make a tool that helped people clearly define their personal goals and dreams and put them at the forefront of their attention, and a planner was perfect for this,” she says.
To raise funds for the project—and to turn a sketch in her notebook into an actual sellable product—Trinidad launched a Kickstarter campaign.
“In just 23 days, more than 1,000 people from over 40 countries contributed $48,030 to turn my dream into a reality,” she writes about the campaign for Passion Planner 2014. It quickly became the No. 2 best-rated planner on Amazon.com. And the second campaign for the 2015 edition? It raised more than $650,000 from nearly 24,000 backers.
“I think this planner is needed because a lot of planners in the market help you keep track of the things you need to get done, but none of them ask you why you are doing those things,” she says.
Trinidad admires the time-management advice Tim Ferris dishes out in The 4-Hour Workweek. He stresses the importance of the 80/20 principle—that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts, so you’ve got to prioritize the highest impact tasks.
Passion Planner does that. It makes you ask yourself, Is what I am going to do today going to get me closer to my goals? It teaches the value of time and how to say no to commitments that aren’t going to benefit you the most.
“Passion Planner asks you what your long-term and short-term goals are and which goal is going to have the most positive impact on your life,” she says, adding that it then breaks down the goals into actionable steps within specific time frames. “Each day has 30-minute increments where you ask yourself, What is going to have the most impact?”
In the future, Trinidad hopes to release limited edition Passion Planners designed by artists, to establish a get-one-give-one program for the planners and to build a strong Passion Planner community full of people with a fresh new lease on time management.
“It’s simple,” she writes. “You ask yourself: Is what I am going to do today going to get me closer to my goals? Yes? Do it. No? Don’t do it.”