How I stay Organized with my Erin Condren Life Planner
There are a gazillion planners out there that you could use. Here’s why I’m sticking with the Erin Condren Life Planner.
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I’ve been using a daily planner since I was an undergraduate in college. That was, gasp, 18 years ago. Dang time flies! I still remember the first planner I really used. It was a Hello Kitty planner and it was ridiculous! The outside was covered in blue acrylic fur and it had a big stuffed Hello Kitty head on the flap that snapped the planner closed. (I’ve always been a bit of an eccentric and it was the 90’s after all.) I used the s*&% out of that planner.
The next year I upgraded from my Hello Kitty monstrosity to a palm pilot. (I told you this was *ahem* a while ago.) I loved using the palm pilot to keep all of my classwork, assignments, and meetings scheduled and organized but there was something missing. I realized I missed writing things down by hand.
Related Post: How to Use Time Blocking and Why You’ll Love It
Since that realization I have used a paper planner to keep my life organized. I used the Action Day planner for three or four years and I really liked the set up. I also used a home-made planner I put together with Avery pages for a while.
This past year I took the plunge and purchased an Erin Condren planner. I saw so many people posting about theirs on social media that I just had to try one. They looked so pretty and I loved the layout and personalization options they offered.
I have now been using my Erin Condren Life Planner for almost a full year and I have decided I am going to buy another one for 2017. I’m excited to choose one of the new designs they’ve created for next year but also a little overwhelmed; they have so many choices!
I thought it would be helpful to show you how I use my planner, show you some of the features that this particular planner has, and explain why I’m going to buy another one for next year.
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My Erin Condren Life Planner
I love the graphic elements of this planner. 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. My 2016 planner has a blue cover with sea life images. I’m not necessarily a “sea life” kind of gal, I just like the design and the colors of this one. I also love how I was able to have my name printed on the cover.
They have three types of layouts for each day that you can choose from: horizontal, a morning-afternoon-night layout, or an hourly layout. I chose the hourly layout, which was a new option for the 2016 version.
I chose the hourly layout because I like to set time limits for certain tasks. If I don’t set a time limit I will inevitably lose track of time and spend waaay too many hours on a particular task. Also, it’s the kind of layout I have always used with past planners so I’m already used to this type of format.
This planner comes with pre-made dividers. The first divider gives you a full layout of the current year and a few months into the next year. I don’t write in this part but I do find myself turning to it often when I’m planning things a few months in advance.
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.
The back of the planner comes equipped with plenty of note pages. 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.
For example, in the picture below you can see that I wrote down my blogging goals on one page and on the other I have a chart of monthly tasks that I want to keep track of. (As you can see I’m not “killing it” on my monthly tasks.)
The last pages include a two-sided folder that I can keep loose papers and notes inside and a pouch where I can store extra stickers, pens, and paperclips.
I try not to put too much stuff in the pouch because it can make the planner not close well if too full. Just something to keep in mind.
The Erin Condren Life Planner is spiral bound in metal, which I LOVE! One of the main reasons I tried out the Erin Condren was because I was so tired of the three-ring binder snaps on my old planner loosening up so much that pages would fall out or they would catch on the snap part and rip the page. Don’t know if that makes sense but if you use three-ring binders a lot hopefully you get what I’m saying.
Personalizing Your Erin Condren Life Planner
I love decorating my planner days with stickers and washi tape. There is something really relaxing about spending a half hour or so choosing a theme for the week and decorating the free space with cute stickers.
When I purchased my planner I also bought a “bundle” that came with an extra-large pouch to store more accessories in. It came with extra stickers and other goodies. They have a lot of different stickers and sticky notes for sale on the Erin Condren website.
Most of the planner stickers I use I downloaded from blogs or purchased 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.
HERE is a huge bundle of stickers available on Amazon for super cheap.
I normally fill out my planner on Sunday night before I go to bed. I usually have a pretty good idea of what my week will look like by then.
I use Staedtler colored pens to write in my planner. I love the fine tip and they never bleed through the pages. I’m working on color coding my planner but so far I keep forgetting what color goes to what thing. It’s still a work in progress.
Overall I’ve been really impressed with the Erin Condren planner. I love the little details that make this planner feel special and unique. There are also a ton of motivational quotes scattered throughout the pages. I’m impressed with the overall quality of the planner and will be using the Life Planner next year too – I’m just having a hard time deciding what design I want on the cover!
I know that there are a ton of other planners out there that are cheaper but for now I feel like I’ve found the one for me.
Anybody have suggestions on how they decide what cover/color/design to get? There are soooo many! LOL
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