Making something tangible to put out into the world—something that is made to be admired or scribbled on, kept or thrown away, that is subject to chance encounters, rips, and tears, and the yellowing effects of time—can feel a bit like magic in the age of the screen. And it’s not just magazines: Angelia Trinidad is a young entrepreneur who bases her passion-project-turned-business on a love of print.
Angelia believes that paper has a unique function as “a safe space” that helps us become intimate with ourselves and our goals. In fact, she started Passion Planner to combat a case of post-college malaise. With blanks for daily and weekly focuses, “Good Things That Happened,” and even doodling (see her free downloads for a closer look), the Passion Planner is meant to nurture long-term aspirations, not just keep those deadline ducks in a row. We spoke to Angelia about how a simple idea turned into a meaningful product.
You describe yourself as someone who likes to live minimally, which is a theme we’ve explored. What does minimalist living mean to you, both practically and in a larger sense?
Angelia Trinidad: I’m glad you mentioned it in terms of practicality as well as in a larger sense, as most people just see minimalism as living with less “stuff.” Minimalist living in a practical sense is choosing to live life with the bare minimum of what I personally feel comfortable with and being aware of what I choose to keep around me. If something doesn’t spark joy in me I get rid of it.
This is how I feel about the relationships I choose to keep in my life as well. I believe that Pareto’s Law or the 80/20 principle which states for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes is actually more like the 99/1 rule wherein life is in a disproportionate ratio. For example, 1% of the people in your life can create 99% of your happiness, inversely 1% can cause 99% of the problems in your life. So it is consciously choosing the most impactful factors/components.
A lot of people might say, why use a paper planner when we have Google calendars and all these apps and digital tools? What is your response to that?
Angelia Trinidad: I think paper gives you a completely different experience than inputting something digitally. Digital means always seem task-y, as paper is something that is more intimate, more involved and just more concrete. Also, it will never lose power, takes no training to use and becomes your own unique memoir that you can cherish for years to come.
How did you go about designing your Passion Planner?
Angelia Trinidad: I tried combining all of the little tips and tricks that I learned about time management, reflection, and goal setting from reading more than 150+ self-help and small business books. I wanted to design something that had enough structure to help people put their floating ideas onto paper but also invited people to be creative and add their own unique personality in their planning.
You managed to raise $658,434 on Kickstarter to fund your project. How did you do it? Any advice for others looking to crowdfund their budding ventures?
Angelia Trinidad: I believe successful projects solve big problems that lots of backers face. The problem that Passion Planner seeks out to solve is that feeling of directionless floating or not knowing where you want to go next. It solves that problem by asking people what they want out of their lives, having them define them and prompting them at checkpoints to see if they are actually following through with their goals and not letting them fall back on the back burner. We also allowed people to download the PDF for free when they shared it, so they could benefit from Passion Planner without having to buy it.
Why do you think there was so much demand for a planner? What is different about your Passion Planner that speaks to people?
Angelia Trinidad: I think there are many factors to why there was such a demand for a planner and why it speaks to people but the top three reasons are: 1) The problem that it seeks to solve, feeling lost, is universal. A tool to really try to tackle such a huge issue is not readily available. My story is a story that people can relate to as well, and it has helped me empathize as an entrepreneur. 2) It was given away for free, no need to purchase. 3) In this digital age, paper is becoming a lost art and actually a lost safe space for people to be honest with themselves about their goals, this planner reclaims that space.