Proof that I’m not a kid anymore: For my 27th birthday this November my big ticket item on my wish list was this Erin Condren Life Planner. Knowing that come January I will be a wife, and thus the social secretary and manager of the household (and also knowing how badly I want to get organized), I thought that this beauty would really help motivate me to start 2014 off right.
Many people know about Erin Condren products (I was late to that party..) and how wonderfully and personally they are made. When you get the box in the mail there is no mistaking where it’s from with it’s bright and beautiful exterior. When I went to the office to get my package, I wanted to throw a party when this was the box they handed me.
The little quote on it is an excellent reminder as well. I discovered quotes like this all over the planner.
When I opened the box I saw a brightly wrapped present with the signature “Enjoy!” sticker on it. Bright colored things excite me.
The first thing I pulled out was not the planner but a little envelope with yet another beautiful sticker on it.
As a little added bonus, they printed up some fun gift stickers, many of them personalized saying “Just a little something from Brianna” and in a bunch of different patterns. What a lovely little extra.
Now, onto my beauty of a planner
Disclaimer: A life planner from Erin Condren is a tiny financial investment ($50 for a regular design, $75 for the gold edition before any add ons), but if you use this to its full potential it will more than pay for itself in time management and organization.
Meet my life planner. I got the gold edition since it was my first one, my birthday present (thanks Aunt Nor!), and my motivator. My soon to be last name is on the front in smaller text under my first name, but I blurred it out. Right off the bat it is a wonderful thing to look at. A personalized cover, beautiful gold foiling and gold binding and the smooth touch just makes me so happy. It also came with a gold “keep it together” band that goes around the whole thing to keep it closed, I just forgot to put it on there for the picture.
The first page is a page of gold foiled dots that lays nicely over the title page, emphasizing the “Gold Edition” part of my planner.
Every section of the planner has its own tab. My planner actually started in November of 2013 so I could start using it right away. You have the option of January-December or the extended version (for a $5 extra charge). There’s a tab for special dates (which has a numbered list of each month for a quick glance at birthdays, anniversaries, etc.), tabs for every month, Notes (a section containing both lined and plain, but decorated pages) and contacts. The tabs are multi-colored and make the planner sections very simple to navigate between, which is especially nice when going through it first thing to fill in dates for the entire year.
Next up (but not pictured) you see a 2 page monthly breakdown of 2013 and 2014. Interspersed throughout many pages (on month at a glance pages, dividers of sections, etc) there are inspirational quotes.
When you turn to a month tab the first thing you will see is your month at a glance. This is a great place for birthday and travel reminders. There’s also a sidebar on each month at a glade page where you can write down notes for yourself.
After each month and a glance is your dated weekly breakdown. I love this part so much for so many reasons. If the month changes mid-week, the color scheme will change to coordinate with the next month, which is a great emphasis on detail. The week starts on Monday instead of Sunday, and I love that because I consider Monday to be the start of the week with the new work week, and my weekend is all grouped together at the end of the week (imagine that..). The way the days are divided up is great as well. Many planners I have seen in the past actually have hours of the day listed out for you to fill in, which I’ve always hated. Erin Condren has my day laid out in 3 sections: Morning, Day, and Night. This allows me to use the planner in a myriad of ways. I like using stickers (more on that in a moment) to signify an actual planned event, and then I will write in to-do lists for the day to give my day some structure. With my wedding being under a month away, this helps me keep track of the little things that need to get done. Every week also has a “Weekly goals and notes” sidebar where I have made checklists for things that should happen that week but not on any particular day. Under each individual day is a few lines for an exercise or meal plan, random thoughts, quotes or inspiration or whatever else my little heart desires. Every month had a different color scheme and every day has an ombre effect as you move from morning to night. It’s all in the details with this baby.
You also get a little ruler/bookmark that is removable and clips right into the binding in evert page, making it easy to find your current day. On one side of the bookmark it has a gold foil chevron pattern (gold edition) and on the other it says” A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
Once you get past all of the planning part of the planner there are some more pleasant surprises to be found. Remember those stickers I was telling you about? Here they are! There are two pages of printed stickers that automatically come with the planner, and are located right in the binding of it like a page. The first page is all birthday stickers, and the one in the picture as a compilation of common things you would have planned: day off, mani/pedi, doctor’s appointment, hair appointment, game, party, concert, etc. There are also two pages of blank stickers that you can use and fill in how ever you want. As an add on I got two additional pages of blank stickers as well as my own personalized and printed word stickers. Some of mine said things like “date night,” “studio week” (for the music school), “Erik Travels” and “Erik Returns.” It is such a nice touch to get some of your own personal things printed professionally.
Along with the personalized word stickers (on the right) I also had the option of adding on my own photo stickers. These ended up super cute! I took pictures of my immediate family (both biological and soon to be in-laws) and made stickers of individuals to put on their birthdays and of married couples to put on their anniversaries. As you can see I used a few of Erin Condren’s stock photos for a few holiday stickers and even a hockey one, as I’m sure we will end up at a hockey game at least once in the next year.
What’s great about all of these stickers is there is no rule that says they all have to be used this year. If I end up with leftovers I can always use them in my new planner the following year. I’m hoping this organized planner business becomes a regular thing 🙂
But wait, there’s more. There is a contact page where you can write down important numbers and addresses, there’s a clear zip pouch to keep a few things in (I keep my few leftover photo stickers and a few sheets of colored masking tape I got online in there) and this nifty two sided keep it together folder. This is where I found my sticker extras, and it’s great for carrying around any important papers. Finally, on the back cover you will see calendars for both 2015 and 2016…for those who really like to plan ahead.
And that’s it for my beautiful organizational tool.
Bottom line: I am totally and completely in love with my Erin Condren Life Planner. It is beautiful, colorful, personalized and makes me happy. I actually want to use it on a daily basis and I look for excuses to do so. I carry it with me in my purse. It makes me feel all grown up and important. 🙂 With all of my add-ons and shipping the total cost was $100. Honestly, if you’re going to use the planner to its full potential, I know it will end up being worth more than that. If you’re ready to invest in your life planning, this is the place for you.
If you are interested in Erin Condren products, check out her website here. There are so many other things to be discovered there, all personalized just for you. I am so glad I finally discovered this company.