Erin Condren Life Planner {Review}

First, let me start this off with how I was introduced to Erin Condren and her amazing Life Planners.  About a week before Christmas last year, a friend posted on my Facebook page about Erin Condren.  She {Thanks, Allyson!} knew my LOVE of stationary, organization and planning.  I drooled over the Erin Condren website and knew I had to order a planner.

A few days later, my best, Sarah was over helping me prepare for our Christmas Eve party and to exchange gifts.  I opened my gift and it was a freaking Erin Condren Life Planner.  I practically cried.  I’m serious.  That just proved that she is really by best friend.  I mean, she read my mind!  This girl ordered the planner a month or so before I knew Erin Condren even existed.  Should I be mad that she didn’t share the Erin Condren amazingness with me?  She probably gave me one of the top 5 Christmas gifts of my life.  I mean that thing was right up there with my Notre Dame Starter Jacket.

I knew I had to reorder a Life Planner for 2013.  I didn’t want to risk missing out on the new year without my planner so I ordered mine in early November.  It arrived last week.  I may or may not have thought about tackling my mail man when he delivered it.  I held back since we went to high school together and well, we don’t need those rumors starting.

Isn’t it amazing?

I chose the Viva Espana Granada Groove this year for my Life Planner.  These colors seem to be the colors of my life lately.  Since I keep my Life Planner on the counter I wanted to make sure it matched.  The cover is again heavily laminated.  It can easily be put in and out of a bag, wiped clean and take a beating over the year.

I immediately noticed the laminated tabs and the metal spiral.  The tabs aren’t too heavy, but just right enough to avoid any tearing and bending.  I especially love tabs in a planner.  Turning right to a month makes things easy to keep organized.  Last year’s Life Planner was bound with a plastic spiral.  I didn’t notice any issues until the last few months with the spiral coming undone.  The metal will definitely hold better.

In the front of the Life Planner is an at a glance of the entire year as well as a quick listing of birthdays and anniversaries.  Both are great for future planning and a quick look at your year ahead.

This year’s Life Planner has been updated to include a two page monthly calendar.  I use this to plan blog posts and keep a list of ideas for upcoming posts.  I like to have the larger blocks to make notes along with the post.  Again, each month includes an inspirational quote.  One thing I miss about last year’s planner is the heavier weight card stock that was used for the month page.  It was a nice separation between months and held up to frequent page turning.

The weekly pages are set up the same as last year with blocks for morning, day and night.  Between my work schedule, errands, paying bills, blog posts and orders I like being able to split my day up.  This helps make to do lists not so intimidating.  An update to last year’s planner, the weeks do not get cut up with a new month.  I was always loosing part of my week not being able to see everyday.

Can I get an AMEN! for the laminated bookmark?  Since I am always flipping through my Life Planner, having the bookmark to easily turn to my week makes life so much easier.  It also doubles as a ruler, which I am always needing.

My organizational brain of course finds it necessary to color code everything.  I write typical to do’s in pencil, but important things are written in a specific color.  Red for appointments, pink for birthdays, blue for my work schedule, purple for bills, etc.  Last year I of course used Sharpies.  After living with the planner for a few months I hated seeing the Sharpies bleeding through the pages.  This year I decided to use Paper Mate Flair Pens.  All the colors of Sharpies without the bleeding.  Now, I know Erin Condren created her own line of pens this year.  I thought about ordering some, but decided I preferred the thickness of a marker like pen.  I’m still thinking about purchasing the pens for everyday life though.

I’m a list maker and a planner for sure.  The added lined and blank pages in the back of the Life Planner are a great place to keep plans for a party, major household to do’s and sketch out plans for projects.  Last year’s planner included 12 blank pages.  This year there are 18 lined and 10 blank.  Plenty of space for list making!

Included in the back of the Life Planner are pages for important numbers and addresses.  While I don’t typically use these in a planner, they are nice to have.  Last year I used the number page when I needed to quickly jot down a number from a voicemail or for the guy who cut down our trees.  I have a feeling I will do the same this year.  The address page is an addition.  I plan to keep a note of address changes and additions to our Christmas card list here.  It will be easy to turn to next year to keep our ongoing list update.

Every time I see stickers, the little girl in me comes out.  Then the adult part of me takes over and I’m afraid to use them.  What if I stick them down and make a mistake and can’t get them back up?  I don’t want to use up all the good ones!  Truth is, I never even used the label stickers that were included with my 2012 Erin Condren Life Planner.  I was afraid to!  Thankfully, this year, included with my purchase was a nice little surprise, more personalized labels!  Now I won’t be afraid to use them all up.

One of the best parts of the Erin Condren Life Planners are the sticker pages.  As you can see, I risked it and have already been using my stickers for birthdays and appointments.  They are great to make sure the day stands out among the week.  The blank sticker page is perfect to keep note of any specific, important dates.

Anchoring the Life Planner is the Keep it Together folder and the zipper pouch.  I love having the folder to keep important receipts and papers together.  Last year’s planner had a double sided folder, which I preferred.  I was able to keep bills to be paid on one side and important papers on the other.  Changing up my bill organization will just be a small thing to get used to.  The folder is more secure this year to avoid things falling out.

The zipper pouch is the perfect spot for business cards, prescriptions and those personalized labels.  It also becomes home to any other random things I need throughout the year and don’t want to lose.

Still with me?  Forgive me for my love of planners, I’ve been using one since 4th grade.  Every year I tried to find the perfect one and I think I have found it with Erin Condren.  The woman is a genius.  If you haven’t already, you must give her a try.  All her gorgeous planners, stationery, note pads, iphone covers… I could go on and on.  Is it weird to say she’s my hero?

5 thoughts on “Erin Condren Life Planner {Review}

  1. You hold the record for the best reaction to a gift I ever gave someone. 🙂 Still can’t believe you had a post on Facebook the week before I gave you this about wanting one and I never even saw it!!! Blog looks great. Love you to pieces. Xoxo PS I will never be able to top this gift…

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