Happy 2014! I know it’s been just over a week but I will continue wishing everyone a happy new year until the end of January.
Sadly, it was back to work for me on Monday and without sounding ungrateful for two weeks off, I could have used another two weeks. I caught up on a lot of house projects I had been wanting to work on but needed an extended period of time to do. Evenings are not really conducive to deglossing, painting, and antiquing cabinet doors (let’s get on with this project already!). Regardless, my to-do list was a mile long and sometimes I have a hard time visualizing what I need to do and when, and keeping myself on task when the list is huge. And so, Erin Condren entered my life to help fix that.
Frankly, I can’t even remember where I heard about Erin Condren’s Life Planner - possibly Pinterest or just a good ol’ Google search for daily planners. I have always loved planners and having everything laid out in front of me. I make to-do lists for myself all of the time, mostly on random pieces of paper. For scheduling, I use my work Outlook calendar for meetings, but also add personal things to it. I kept feeling like something was missing, though (like my payments that I forgot to send!) and needed one place to keep track of everything – even something for a training log. The Classic Life Planner takes care of all of this. I wanted enough room to spread out and write and that would hold up during transport…and something that was fun and pretty. A lot of the planners I’ve seen are very business-y, break down the days by hour, and aren’t very functional for my needs. The Life Planner is the perfect cross between personal and work and then some.
I love how Erin’s products are able to be customized. I had a hard time choosing a cover and ultimately went with one that has my most favorite Thoreau quote. I also chose to add my name and the year. I will note here that Life Planners are pricey and start at $50. This was a complete splurge for me but I figured that if it kept me from missing a bill payment it was worth it. Depending on add-ons (package of pens, pen holder, elastic band) the price will increase from there.
For the sake of making this post too long and boring, here’s of listing of what I love, like, and could do without (NOTE: I bought this planner on my own, nothing was given to me except for the extreme satisfaction of feeling more organized and together going into 2014):
Laminated cover and monthly tabs – durable
Monthly calendar view with inspiring and introspective quotes.
Daily calendar view broken down into Morning/Day/Night instead of by hour. I use this for things that are due on a certain day (work/personal) and reminders, e.g. “Call so and so on Wednesday night.”
Weekly Goals & Notes area. This is where I’ve been writing all the things I need to do for the week, e.g. projects I’d like to accomplish, bills that need to be paid, quick reminders, etc.
Space under each day for whatever you’d like. This could be used for meal planning, training schedule, or anything else. I’ve been using it to schedule xx amount of time to play the guitar, run, and XT. I have also worked out a weekly cleaning schedule so each chore is listed here, too.
Spiral binding. It is very sturdy and the ends are tucked in so they don’t snag on anything.
Blank “Notes” pages (lines and unlined). These could come in handy but I haven’t written in them yet so I’m not sure.
Double-sided folder pocket. Same as above but most likely handy.
Plastic ziploc pocket. I’ve used it to store some of the additional perks that came with my Life Planner order like personalized sticky name tags, “Lets Get Together” cards, etc. I’d probably use the pocket to minimize the amount of random paper and receipts I throw in my purse regularly.
COULD DO WITHOUT:
Calendar reminder stickers (one sheet) for birthdays, appointments, and other things I don’t necessarily need such as games, mani/pedi, and vacation. I’ve used some of them but the latter are useless to me. Blank stickers (two sheets, various colors) are also included. Again, I used them but found them difficult to write on.
2015 and 2016 calendar at-a-glance on back cover. I guess in a pinch this would be helpful but it’s not too necessary for me.
SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:
The ruler bookmark that’s included is great, but it only has holes 2/3 of the length so it pops off the spiral. I wouldn’t mind seeing this fixed for 2015.
Different stickers. Perhaps if they were translucent or easier to write on I’d like them more. And, eliminate all of the unnecessary ones. Do people really have that many mani/pedis to get?
Just include the elastic band as part of the planner. That would be a nice added feature instead of having to purchase it separately ($6.95).
Despite some features I could live without or that need slight modifications, I am LOVING my planner. When I first received it at the end of December (it took a few weeks to ship) I even went back and wrote things down for earlier in that month (nerd). I am still trying to figure out if I want to color code things according to marker color (I’ve reserved blue for work only) and how I will ultimately use all of the features (do I use it for selected work things? All work things? Just personal?) but so far, it has been keeping me on track. I have used the past month to get more organized which I’ve accomplished and I foresee that this won’t be my first Erin Condren purchase.
Here are some additional pictures to show off its loveliness:
So there you have it. Like I said, I found this on my own and purchased it on my own. I just like to share what I’m loving and what works for me.
Do you use a planner? Paper or electronic? Do you have any Erin Condren products?