How I Use My Erin Condren Life Planner

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I’ve mentioned in the past my obsession with notebooks, and my inability to NOT pick one up virtually every time I’m in a store that offers them. (Target, I’m looking at you.)

Well, I’m pretty bad when it comes to planners, too.

I love buying them, but I rarely made it through a whole year with one…until now.

I don’t even remember how I found my way to Erin Condren and her delightful planners. Undoubtedly, knowing me, there was a lot of research involved. And it paid off. Over the years, I’ve tried all kinds of planners — from the free one we got in homeroom in middle school to a traditional Day Runner to a hipper Ban.do to the very practical Mom Agenda. I tried calendar years and school years, vertical layouts and horizontal one, pocket sized and full page sized…

For some reason, none of them stuck. They all had their merits, but usually about mid-year my usage would dwindle. Let me put that in perspective: I’ve been using some form of planner (I even tried a Palm Pilot!) since 1991, and 2016 is the first year that I foresee making it through a whole year with the same one. I call that a win!

So, what makes the Erin Condren Life Planner “the one”?

It’s SUPER customizable!

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When placing your order for the planner, you are walked through a series of steps to make sure that the final product is the very best option for you.

You begin by selecting your coil and cover. There are a ton of cover options, and new ones are added all the time. Plus, they’re interchangeable. So, you can buy several covers and change them seasonally or just as your mood changes. As of this year, there are also a few permanent options, but those do up the price a little.  In addition to the covers, you can also choose from platinum, rose gold, gold, & black coils — all making for very different looks.

Outside AND Inside

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Once the outside is taken care of, you move inside. And there are just as many options there. First, you choose from three possible layouts. I go with the vertical design because I love how each day is split into three sections. That makes it easy for me to keep work, home, and outside projects organized separately but in one place.

I use the top section to keep track of work thing – meetings, reminders, deadlines, etc. The bottom section is where I write down everything related to home and my family. That includes birthdays/anniversaries, any stuff related to Miles and his school, and things like bill due dates. In the middle, I keep track of all my side projects, including blog deadlines and the #ShowsOverBros schedule.

My love also extends to my 10-pack of Le Pens, which I use to keep all my notes in order (natch). When you have a home, a husband, a kid, a dog, a job, a blog, and who knows what else, things can get confusing! It helps me to see things neatly and beautifully.

You also choose between neutral and colorful pages, and a 12 or 18-month book. In case you’re wondering, I went with neutral pages for 12 months.

The Goldilocks Zone

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And by that I mean that it’s not too big and not too small. It’s just right! At 6″ x 9″, it fits in the average mom bag (read: large) without being too overwhelming. After trying planners as small as Moleskine’s Pocket Planner (3.5″ x 5.5″) and as large as the At-a-Glance Action Planner (8.5″ x 10.875″), I’ve definitely settled into this size.

Another planner pet peeve of mine is when weekly layouts provide smaller spaces for Saturday and Sunday. Having worked at a church for almost eight years and sung in church longer than that, I can say that Sundays are busy – sometimes even busy that the weekdays! The ECLP provides the same amount of space for all the days, along with a sidebar for random notes and a box for “Thankful Thoughts.”

Do you use a planner? Or have you jumped on the technology bandwagon, doing everything on your phone? Or are you amazing and somehow keep track of everything in your head? I’d love to hear about your tips for keeping on top of things!

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One thought on “How I Use My Erin Condren Life Planner

  1. justmemelanie says:

    Hi there
    I must admit that I am jealous! I am bullet journaling, but think the idea you have is PERFECT!Just sorry it isn’t available in SA……as is many thing that you mention in your blogs and is the things I miss about the USA…..not just you and your friendship! Love the Life planner! enjoy it in 2017!!! Miss you tons!

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