High Performance Planner 2019 Review
Author: Claire Newton

With the rise in popularity of techniques like the bullet journal method, we are more open than ever to how we can use planning tools to better structure our day and to sharpen our self-awareness.

What’s more, we know that tracking our daily habits can give us insight into when we perform our best and what we need to bring into our environment to do that.

But we are all wildly different when it comes to ‘being productive.

Some of us get fired up by ticking off daily habits and smashing monthly goals.

For others, these large concepts seem daunting and we need a more step-by-step approach and reminders to avoid procrastination setting in. This is why I was SUPER excited to try out Brendon Buchard’s High Performance Planner with my clients and for myself. Brendon is a big name and needs no introduction but in a nutshell here’s more about him and his promise;

“Character is built by trying to be kind, not famous.”

So are you ready for some ‘secrets to an energized, engaged, and fulfilling life from #1 New York Times bestselling author Brendon Burchard?

The High Performance Planner as seen on Amazon

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 + ❤️

I give this planner a 5/5 star rating. I have both the black and the yellow planner. It comes in 6 colours but black is by far the least expensive option which I find a little odd.

The cover is classic and professional looking and a very high quality and durable finish.

I am able to use my favorite fine line coloured pens on the pages and there’s no bleed through which is huge for me as I really like lots of colour in my planning and don’t like writing in biro pen.

The design is excellent. You can really tell how many drafts and designs Brendon has worked through and his three-year study with psychologists in evident in the questions asked.

Each day you are asked to:

  • Set you morning mindset,
  • Plan your top 3 goals,
  • And prioritise by listing tasks that absolutely must be done today .

You are also asked about human connection and any snags that might trip you up. Making time to answer these questions each day (and for me it is at 6 a.m. as the planner suggests) really frames your mind for the day ahead.

The High Performance Planner contains a brief intro from its creator Brendon Buchard at the start and begins with a mildly daunting ‘Whole Life Assessment’ and a ‘High Performance Habits Assessment’.

After a month of filling in the daily pages you get to look at your goals, major projects and events and answer some more questions on how you are going to succeed. I would have liked this calendar view at the beginning too.

The planner runs for two months and you are encouraged to buy a pack for a whole year which is way more expensive than any other diary or planner on the market. I love how much space there is to write each day but I would prefer the planner to last three months because that’s a financial year ‘quarter’ and I work my own reviews in every 3 months, four times per year.

A Little Introduction to The High Performance Planner

Brendon Buchard created ‘The High Performance Planner’ to help anyone create their own set of ‘high performance habits’ and stick to them.

His book High Performance Habits is insightful and promises you will:

  • Stay more focussed;
  • Prioritise like a pro;
  • Increase productivity;
  • Measure what matters;
  • Build more effective habit;
  • Accelerate your personal growth.

My Experience With the The High Performance Planer

I’ve been using the planner for 21 days now. I use it on working days (usually Mon – Fri) and not on weekends.

And here’s the scoop guys – the planner has completely changed my life!

Here’s why:

  • It’s enabled me to asses and reflect on my energy, clarity, and productivity each day. (Along with using an app called Clue to track my cycle).
  • It’s enabled to plan my day in 30 minute slots which has brought me huge clarity on how to structure my day to ensure I meet all the goals I’ve set for the week. It actually really helped me to see I was sometimes a little unrealistic about managing multiple projects in a working day.
  • It’s enabled me to tune into my weak spots and really push myself to have courage in these areas. The journal prompts you to do one bold thing each day and of course you feel motivated to do it because you’ve written it down!

Brendon has a ton of productivity tools online – I particularly enjoyed this video and sent it to some of my clients… with Brendon’s quote;

“If your mind can’t see the project through completion, your heart will ask to pause.”

How I use the High Performance Planner

(colours, check-ins, and origami folds.)

As a creative, I need to be excited about using a tool for work. The planner is clear and spacious in its layout and feels like a quality product so it’s a great start.

Here are 6 ways I use the planner;

  • I added an envelope to the front cover to keep some inspiring materials I can pull out to help me focus on the Morning Mindset each day.
  • I started a list of the types of ‘Messages to Myself’ I really like, to help frame my day. Things like “Create the Things you wish Existed” or sometimes more simple intents like “Don’t worry, be happy”.
  • I take my ‘Top 3 goals’ from a bigger list of goals I’m working on in another notebook. This might change when I reach the ‘month at a glance’ page which frustratingly is after my first 30 days of filling the journal in.
  • My ‘tasks that absolutely must be done’ are always things I have to get done for work that day… never shopping lists or life admin – again I keep these separate so as not to clutter the journal. It’s important to me to keep it focused on my work and creative projects.
  • I fill in the evening journal just before my son’s bedtime, usually as part of a ritual of lighting the fire to help me remember to do it and so it feels like the close of my working day. I then put my i-phone away too.
  • Origami style folds help me keep my place in the planner and see how far I’ve come in my High Performance journey towards success!

I can honestly say, I’ve made more bold choices and managed my days and energy better since using the planner. I have just ordered a copy of the accompanying book to better understand the framework too. I even gifted a copy to my son’s class teacher as an end of term present!

What I disliked about this planner:

My only criticism of the planner layout is its ‘brush stroke’ approach doesn’t honor seasons which in the UK is a big deal as for most of us we stay up later/work later in summer.

That said, you can hack it easily and make it work for you if you don’t want to start your working day at 6 a.m. and run it through until 7 p.m. My day sometimes doesn’t finish until 8 p.m.

Personally, I don’t feel like using the planner 7 days a week even though that’s advised, I only do 5.

Apparent Flaws

Note: This planner is different from a general planner. It is more of a journal which prompts you to lots of soul searching with the ultimate goal of becoming much more productive. It is based on Burchard’s High Performance Habits, the book, which is why it contains just two one-month calendars and the calendar is located either half-through the month or at the end of the month.

Another apparent downside is that the planner covers just 14 productive hours in a day. But in reality, the planner leaves room for two unscheduled hours for you to unwind and keep your sanity in check. Everything about this planner is well-thought-out with the clear intentionality of helping you get more effective at work. It sure helped me achieve that. You’ll see that every time you feel dread about sticking to the initial plan, you’re not tired or bored – you have just lost focus.

You might also like: Best Daily Planner Reviewed in Top 7 Countdown


All in all, I feel like everyone who wants to understand their own productivity and get better at life should give Brendon’s tool-kit a go online.

He has a tonne of free resources from podcasts, to quizzes and lots of articles too. If you connect with his teachings then don’t hesitate and get your copy of the planner!

It will give you a deep dive into self-awareness and push you as well as any real life coach and for a fraction of the price!


  • A Full Year’s worth of planners (x6 planners on Amazon);
Author: Claire

Based in Northumberland in the UK, Claire Newton is director of Creatively Conscious a company which aims to empower people to think in creatively using fresh and dynamic techniques to get the most from their work and life.

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