I admit, and it is probably no surprise to some with similar personalities, I have a slight obsession with office supplies and journals. I have a million ideas buzzing around my head at a given time, and usually no where to write them all down. Let alone the time it would take to make them into a reality. So with all the copious amounts of spare time I don’t have, I try to be as OCD organized as I can. And with three kids, a husband with a wonky work schedule and my own personal life (or me pretending to have one) I need somewhere to write down everyone’s everything’s.

I have spent hours in office supply stores, bookstores and online “googling” planners/organizers. I have the failures of several that never lived up to my expectations left scattered like debris on a battlefield all over my office. Not one seemed to have all the space or areas I needed. They were all to ineffective for my purposes.

Finally, I realized; in all my brainstorming and ideas I had thought of making my own. I’m all about saving a penny, up-cycling and using what I already have. I had a awesome stock of washi tape and knew it would make some cool pages. So I found a hack for a moleskine journal and set off to work. You can see my finished project with directions here. But after a few months of it working pretty good, a friend posted a photo of her new, gorgeously packaged Erin Condren Life Planner. I had to find out more about it and the creator. After doing research and seeing if it would indeed fit my needs, I got my own.

Life Planner

Pros are that no longer do you have to wait until aug/sept to look for a new planner. I always found this was the only time a year you could find new products due to school resuming. When you order they customize it so the months start in that month or whatever month you’d prefer. You can also add in personalized stickers* that are colored coded. You can assign a color to a family member in order to help keep your, and their appointments more organized. They have one zip lock type pocket where I keep a small pair of sewing scissors, a white out pen, and lose business cards. In the extra file pocket I keep my color coded label and any paper receipts. And for $1.50 more you can buy the awesome day keeper. It snaps into your planner for easy access to the current day.

planner zip pocketplanner pocket

Also, included in the life planner are already pre-made color labels. Some feature doctor/dentist appointment reminders, party reminders  field trips and birthdays to mention a few. There are also a page of blank colored labels.

planner stickers

Additionally, I love how there is a monthly view and then each month is broken down into weeks. Months are separated by laminated tabs for easy planning. Days are broken down into columns on each page, with three separate areas: morning, day and night. I typically put anything past 11am in “day” and anything after 4pm in “night”. But of course this planning is all up to you.

monthly view

*Life planner hack – I admit I am a very cost effective person. I love this planner and in order to help afford it, I made a few simple hacks based on some of the amazing ideas she has. For the color coded stickers that you can purchase extra, I used plain white mailing labels. I have three kids with numerous appointments and activities  I would have gone through those color stickers of hers in a week. So instead I took the white mailing labels and my obsessive stash of sharpies and assigned each kid a color. I am able to fit two activities/appt reminders on one label. I cut them length ways and trim a smidgen off the ends to fit perfectly in the say column. You can see my finished product on the weekly view.

Each colored sticker represents one of my spawn.
Each colored sticker represents one of my spawn.

Cons are limited, but with any product they are there. The most visible is the weight and size. This baby is heavy! But that is only because of the heavy weight paper used to keep the pages from tearing. The cover and tabs are laminated for added durability. The size also might limit what purses/bags it is used in. Luckily I have a amazing purse that can accommodation its size. However, with the added weight I often feel my shoulder and hand tingling when I carry my purse and planner due to poor blood circulation. I mentioned about the day keeper (which lets you place it on the current week). This is a great value, but poor planning. It stays in but rarely. It it continuously popping out. I have emailed them regarding the issues and seen where other owners have commented about the same issue. Hopefully with the new planner she added some new and updated products.

Nevertheless, this is a amazing planner with some great features that lends it self to be adaptable to most users.

2 Replies to “My “Bible” – Erin Condren Planners”

  1. Just got mine a few weeks back. Love going back to a paper planner. With a part-time teaching job, a teenager, husband and home to organize and run, I have high hopes for this planner. Thanks for your post and great ideas for using it! Have a great day.

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