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How I Use My Desire Map Day Planner

Desire Map

I was gifted the Desire Map Day Planner in September 2014 and was so surprised when the package arrived at the tiny house. I loved using the 2014 planner and was going to buy the new model, so I felt extra grateful for the gift.

For the uninitiated, the Desire Map Day Planner was created by Danielle LaPorte. Here’s Danielle’s description of the planner:

“I’m going to say something a bit audacious and salesy-sounding. Here goes: The Evergreen Desire Map Day Planner could totally uplift your life. Because being mindful, reflective, honest, optimistic, on time, and at least a bit organized — is a daily deal. The inspired and “together” life you dream of has got to have practical applications. This is it. A Day Planner that incorporates your soul and your to-do list; your core desired feelings and your goals; your gratitude and your plans for change.

This is the Evergreen version of The Desire Map Day Planner. Big open space for you to start setting up your daily intentions based on your truest desires. You fill in the dates, so you can start using this planner any time of the year, for 12 months of Desire!”

We are only a few weeks into 2015, and I wholeheartedly love the Desire Map Day Planner! It helps me take small action steps each day in every area of my life.

Below is a brief overview of how I use my planner.

After making coffee, I open my planner and read through the previous days to see what I accomplished and what I still need to do. Then, I do the following:

  • At the top of the page, I write down the three most important tasks that I need to accomplish.
  • As I fill out my daily page, I think about my overarching intentions and how I can infuse a greater sense of gratitude into my daily life. For instance, one of my yearly intentions is to take better care of my body and mind. I was sick throughout the holidays and into the new year, so in the Body & Wellness section I wrote down simple reminders like “take your medicine,” “sleep as much as you need,” along with positive affirmations like “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t help others.”


I don’t overthink what I’m going to write about in the planner. Instead, I focus on finding my flow, having fun, and letting go of perfection.

I use the monthly spread as a general map for the month. For example, I’m working on a journaling class, and I want to have my first draft done by the end of the month. Looking at the month ahead keeps me focused and motivated to complete my tasks.

The week-end reflection is helpful because I review the past week and get a better sense of what I accomplished. Last week, I felt like I hadn’t done much because I was still feeling ill. However, I accomplished more than I realized, which surprised me because I was focused on self-care rather than working. Thankfully, I’m starting to get my energy back!

There is also space in the planner for monthly reflections and a mid-year reflection. Reflective prompts are fantastic opportunities to renew my intentions and to make sure I’m on the right path.

An unexpected bonus.

A few weeks ago, I was telling Logan about the planner and how I use it everyday. He thought the planner sounded helpful and was going to buy one, but it’s out of stock and won’t be available until February. In the meantime, Logan has been writing his daily intentions in his Midori.

After our conversation about the planner, Logan and I decided to share our daily intentions each morning. Sharing this information gives us a better sense of what is going on in our professional lives. Plus, our morning talks have led to interesting conversations about our careers, family, and where we see ourselves in the next five years.

Do you use a daily planner? I’d love to hear how you plan your days in the comments section.

Be well,

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Linda long January 18, 2015, 7:41 pm

    Hi Tammy,
    I hope you are enjoying your winter house. I use the personal size Planner Pad and it fits my needs exactly. I love that it allows me to funnel my categories of intentions into my to do list along with adequate space for appts. It fits into my purse very conveniently.
    Cheers, Linda

  • Annie January 19, 2015, 10:25 am

    I currently don’t use a daily planner, but I started carrying a Moleskine notebook for work. When I became the manager of my department I realized that I needed a place to make notes for myself and keep better track of what was said in meetings. I divided it into sections for general notes, tasks to be completed, meetings, and staff notes. As for other reminders I have to schedule, I utilize the calendar in gmail and set it to remind me at least a business day or so ahead so I can prepare if necessary. Both tools have taken a load off my mind so I don’t worry about forgetting things. It has also lead me to the thought that I should try journaling at home to help me reflect on what I have accomplished and what I need to work on for my life outside of work. I love the idea of a planner that can be started on any day. I wonder how many other people like me put off using such a tool because they didn’t start on January 1st?…I know it seems silly, but it did put me off somehow, as if I had already failed. Choosing a non-dated notebook helped me realize that any day is a good day to start.

  • kelly summers January 19, 2015, 10:40 am

    Man, I was so confused for a second. The version that you have (and that I have) is not the Evergreen version. I assume that the Evergreen is something they printed after the first one sold out so that people could use it even if they got it later in the year? Super confused when the description you posted mentioned filling in the dates, but obviously the dates are already in our calenders.
    Anyway, I’m glad you posted about how you use yours! I was a little bummed at first with the layout being so different from last years planner, but now I’m starting to get the hang of it and can see how it’s beneficial for everyday reflection.

    • Tammy Strobel January 19, 2015, 12:23 pm

      Hey Kelly,

      Sorry you were confused. I was confused by your comment, though. I though the planners were the same, but you are right. I looked at the photos on Danielle’s site and it looks like the Evergreen model is slightly different. They must have adjusted the layout for folks who started using the planner later in the year. What a nice touch. 🙂

      I loved the 2014 model, however I’m digging the 2015 version. I enjoy having more writing room, especially in the daily pages section. It’s such a great tool to reflect on my everyday life.

      Thanks for reading. Wishing you a happy new year!


  • Mel January 19, 2015, 10:55 am

    Hi Tammy,

    I found the Desire Planner through you (thanks!) and I absolutely love it. I find it hard to fill in each section on a daily base, not all of them seem to be as relevant on a daily base. Do you ever leave blanks, or do you always fill in each section?
    I usually fill in my planner at the morning table with a cup of coffee. At night, before I go to bed, I check of what I did and redirect what I didn’t do to the next day. In the ‘notes’ section, I write a sentence that reflects something that has happened that day. Something I want to remind myself of, every time I reread my old entries.
    I also wrote a letter to my future self. A friend of mine has been doing this for years and says it’s amazing. So on January 1st I wrote myself a long letter, which I then put it in an envelope, and glued at the back of my planner, on December 31st. The last day of the year, I will open up the letter, and read what I had to say to/about myself a year earlier.
    Next to all this, I’m doing the http://100happydays.com/ challenge on Instagram, which makes me realise just how lucky I really am.
    I hope the combination of all these projects will keep me on track during this year to reach my goals!

    • Tammy Strobel January 19, 2015, 12:36 pm

      Hey Mel,

      I’m happy you are enjoying the planner. Thank you for sharing 100 Happy Days and the letter writing idea. Pure awesome!

      I’ve been filling out the entire daily pages section with to-dos, reminders, quotes, gratitude lists, and more. Using the planner has been fun and free-flowing. I’m loving it! 🙂


  • Sandra Pawula January 19, 2015, 11:30 am

    I love this glimpse into your use of the Desire Map Daily Planner. Yes, I do use a daily planner although it’s in a weekly format and I go through a process that’s similar to yours. I have my keywords for the year on every page. Then I write down my three “most important things” for each day. I also have my monthly plan that I keep in mind as well as my 16 Zen Work Habits!

    This is making a huge difference in my life in terms of keeping me on tracking and helping me to avoid distractions.

  • Meredith January 19, 2015, 12:02 pm

    This post inspired me to start my own daily planner. 🙂 Instead of buying a notebook, I looked online and found weekplan.net, an online planner. I’m really enjoying it so far! It lets me create daily tasks and weekly goals; gives me space to write a mission statement and list of values to keep me focused on my long-term goals; and offers a journal section where I can enter my weekly meal plans. Thank you for the inspiration, Tammy!

  • Lexie January 19, 2015, 3:57 pm

    I have been struggling with how to format my intentions, affirmations and thoughts for this year. its a pivotal year for me and I needed the right planner. Scheduling and writing goals are important to me. Emily Ley planners, are to outrageously expensive and childish, the Erin Condron I ordered is cheaply made and does not satisfy my soul. Then I opened my email today and there it is! I am going to order one as soon as I can afford it and start right away. Thank you for your heartfelt sharing of how you use your planner to be a better version of you! I am excited to get started finally with the right planner. Cheers to you. I hope the planner version they are selling in February is the same? Do you know?

    • Tammy Strobel January 19, 2015, 5:22 pm

      Hi Lexie,

      I’m happy the article was helpful. I love my planner. 🙂 They layout is the same. However, the Evergreen version doesn’t have dates at the top of the daily pages. I actually think that’s handy; especially if you get the planner later in the year. Check out the photos on Danielle’s site. I hope that helps.

      Happy New Year!

  • Cody Doll January 20, 2015, 9:09 pm

    ONe day I will buy this. It sounds perfect for what I am looking for.

  • Fawn January 21, 2015, 5:38 pm

    No. I do not use a planner. I have had the Book Of Lists rule my life for too long. My current New Year’s Resolution is to not need a Planner or Book of Lists at all, but to wake up each day and let it unfold. I am still keeping a grocery list…but maybe next year…..

  • Claire January 22, 2015, 2:34 am

    Oh Tammy I completely agree! I love my planner. I’m always thinking I will keep a daily journal, but life sometimes gets in the way of a full journal writing practice. My Desire Map planner keeps me focused & grounded & gives me a lovely opportunity to reflect, remember & be grateful at the end of each day.
    A lovely post, Namaste

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