You know you’re a real planner person when you can’t wait to dive into a brand new planner! I love the EC Life Planner and I think it’s the best daily planner you can buy. I wanted to show you what my 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner looks like before I get it ready for use. I’m using this planner as my master planner, meaning that it will be the main planner that I use this year.
If you struggle with organization or productivity, using a paper calendar is an excellent way to get intentional about achieving your goals. Let’s dive in.
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The Best Daily Planner
First off, I’m loving the cover that I chose this year. It’s black with colorful sugar skulls. When you order from the Erin Condren website you have the option to change the background colors on this pattern. So for example, if you wanted a purple background instead of black, you could make that change.
Another cool thing about these covers is that they are interchangeable. You can buy additional covers in different patterns and change them whenever you like. They have so many designs and ways you can personalize the cover and the inside pages. The cover is “clipped” on so that you can change the cover as often as you like.
As you can see, I personalized the cover to say “Elizabeth’s Planner.” You could put anything here, like your full name or it could say something like “Homeschool Planner” or “Work Planner.” Just customize it to say whatever you want.
I chose to spend an extra five dollars and get the black spiral binding instead of the default silver spiral. I wanted this planner to show more of my own personality. I only wear black and I’m a bit of a gothy gal so I wanted this years planner to reflect that. Normally I don’t like paying extra for tiny details like this but I really like how the black spiral looks with this black cover.
The inside cover is laminated and has this handy space for writing notes. You can use dry erase markers like these retractable ones, or these wet erase markers to write in this area. It’s a great place to write down your daily to-do list or a grocery shopping list. (Erin Condren sells their own wet erase markers but I’m not impressed with them.)
The fist paper page is actually a sheet of velum, or semi sheer thick paper. It protects the “title” page from any smeared marker from the inside cover. It’s this kind of detail that make this planner the best daily planner on the market, in my opinion.
This is what the “title” page looks like.
Each month has its own divider with the month name written on the tab. The first page is a full spread of the month. The next pages break the month up into weeks and days.
Since I work with a time blocking schedule I figured that this layout would be the best for me. I’ll let you know how I feel about it after I’ve used it a few months.
I also chose the neutral color palette for the inside as opposed to the colored one. There is still a little bit of color throughout the planner, but the details are mostly black and gray.
The back of the planner comes equipped with note pages. There are a few black sheets, a few lined sheets, and a few graph paper sheets for taking notes. I have seen people complain that there are not enough note pages. I use other methods for taking long notes and use the back of my planner for writing down information that I need to keep handy for reference so the number of note pages works fine for me.
The planner comes with a few pages of stickers. The first page of stickers have things like “Doctors Appt” and “Vote” printed on them. After that page there are two pages of colored stickers that are blank.
Also, as you can see below, there are inspirational quotes scattered throughout the planner. It’s these types of details that make this one of the best daily planners out there.
The last part of the planner is a double-sided, thick card stock folder. It’s great for keeping track of loose notes and papers. Although the folder part is low, it holds a surprising amount of loose sheets of paper.
The inside of the back cover is just like the inside front cover. It’s laminated and has a blank space for writing on with wet or dry erase markers.
And finally the back cover. This is interchangeable just like the front cover so you could have a different cover pattern on the front and the back if you wanted.
Using the Erin Condren Planner
I use Staedtler colored pens to write in my planner. I love the fine tip and they never bleed through the pages. Plus, they have an extremely fine tip that is perfect for writing longer notes.
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Most of the planner stickers I use I download from blogs or buy on Etsy. I just download the file and print them on Avery sticker paper and cut them out with scissors. Pinterest is a great way to find free planner sticker downloads. I made a list of links for free planner printables.
I also have a Pinterest board dedicated to planners where I post a lot of free sticker downloads and other pins about the best daily planners.
I’ll be posting another post all about setting up an Erin Condren planner for the first time soon. In the meantime, check out this post with 9 tips for using the Life Planner.
Do you agree that the Erin Condren is the best daily planner? If not, what are you using right now?
Also, download the free planner checklist in the box below.
Free Planner Worksheet
Tired of leaving important things off your planner? Don't want to use white-out when you mess up? Use this free planner worksheet so that your planner can stay neat and pretty.