Goodbye Desire Map Planning, Hello Unbound


Four years ago, I didn’t anticipate developing a deep connection with a system designed for integrating my deepest desires into my day-to-day. Discovering Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map Planner changed the way I understood time, set goals, and approached my to-do lists.

It was everything that I needed, for a long time. A dear companion. A diary. A soul-filled planning system.

I’m still grappling with the decision that I’ve made to let it go and have had to be honest with myself about outgrowing frameworks, even ones that I love dearly. It’s kind of dramatic, I know, but a real mourning process has been happening for me. Before moving forward to something new, I’ve been taking the time to look back over each year’s planner design, including the way I’ve utilized the elements within and the memories they hold.

What was

Each year, I’ve witnessed the design iterations. The dimensions became larger, typography changed, and even the paper went from matte, to coated, and back to matte. This was evidence of listening to the needs of the users (I was rooting for matte paper and a larger planner. See taped notes and writing in the margins) and those changes impacted my experience. The biggest impact, however, was the content.

I won’t list all of the inside features but I will say that things like identifying my core desired feelings and reading positive declarations every single day became a tool for intentionality.

The planner was evolving, and so was I.

What shifted (and how I knew it was time to change)

My lifework became more complex and if my planner really wasn’t a diary, you’d be viewing more snapshots of my monthly calendar spreads filled from margin to margin on all sides.

This past year especially (even after switching from weekly to daily) I’ve been needing more space for strategizing and ideating - even on the weekends.

Side note: When someone doesn’t have a traditional 9-5 or Monday-Friday work schedule, limited space on the weekends to plan doesn’t consider those who are broadening the definition of a work week. we have important THINGS to do on the weekends, too.

I started writing on the margins, crossing things out, adding more post-it notes to make it work for my new flow needs and even created separate weekly goal templates. It was becoming clear that I needed something that was about visioning and implementing. There were some days when I didn’t utilize the prompts or spreads at all — a sign that I was ready for something else, I just wasn’t sure what that something else was.

For the last several months, I went back and forth in my mind, on whether to make the shift to something new. I had developed an attachment to the Desire Map Planner (it was a healthy attachment) but needed to be honest that although I’ve loved my relationship with this planner system it was no longer working for me. In this case, planners are like ex-partners: Just because there may be things that you miss about them, it doesn’t mean they’re what you currently need in life to help nurture your growth and possibility.

I throw absolutely no shade though. I’ve talked this planner up to so many people and still believe that it’s a beautiful planning system that can facilitate a soulful experience in someone’s day-to-day. It’s just not working for me anymore.

In this case, planners are like ex-partners: Just because there may be things that you miss about them, it doesn’t mean they’re what you currently need in life to help nurture your growth and possibility.

What’s here

Meet my new planning partner, Unbound.


Perfectly described on their website, Unbound is “A yearly planner on a mission to help you manage and organize your precious time. Consider it your personal guide for the year. Your tool to be more mindful and proactive. Your commitment to becoming your happiest, healthiest and most productive self.”

Unbound was saying all of the right things and eventually proving to back up things like, “Unbound helps you align your daily routine with your big dreams.” It does indeed.

After trying it for the month of December with their free download, I made the purchase.

Finally. I found someone offering the space to dream up big goals and get into specifics for projects, thoughts, and tasks all in one place. One of my favorite highlights are the self-reflections at the beginning, middle and end of the year to bring things into perspective. And, it’s beautiful to look at.

I have no doubt that there will be some challenges to move through during this transition. Still, I’ve no regrets and am proud of myself for listening to my needs. This is me taking steps outside of what has been my comfort zone for so many years. It feels good. It feels aligned.

So, here I am. Welcoming this new, thoughtfully guided planning companion into my everyday life. It’s a brilliant design that has arrived at just the right time.

If you’re interested in trying Unbound’s monthly and weekly spreads for January 2019, you can download the free PDF on their website here.