Tuesday, July 9, 2013

life planning

So, I admitted a few weeks ago that I bought one of those pricey Erin Condren planners. Not pricey as in not worth it, but pricey because I am a Target/coupon/always looking for a deal kind of person. I saw the planners floating around the blog world back in my lurking days, and actually got a gift card to erincondren.com last fall for my birthday. I hoped more gift cards would follow, but they didn't and by the time the new year rolled around, I figured I would just hold on to the card until the latest and greatest planners came out. So here we are. 

(Note that this content isn't sponsored in any way - I bought this with 100% my own money).

I keep a planner on my desk at work where I write my daily to-do's and cross them off. Planning events requires keeping a good calendar, and as convenient as my iPhone is, nothing compares to seeing the days mapped out on paper. Just seeing the number on my phone screen in bold didn't show me if I was planning a reception or just had a dentist appointment. My hope in investing in my ECLP was that this planner would be used at work and at home, for keeping up with workouts, when I splurge on eating a cupcake or something else unhealthy (perhaps if I see that I had a cupcake on Monday, I will forgo the ice cream on Friday?), when my pets get their meds and vet visits, the lawn guy, etc. I want it to keep my life better organized!

So I decided to buy the planner but then I had to pick which one. Lately, decision-making has been something I dread so it was t-o-u-g-h. I wanted to be a little unique, but not weird. I loved the cornflower blue and was torn between fleur feliz and paisley. I ended up choosing fleur feliz but then I saw a cornflower blue paisley planner on their Pinterest page and I had buyer's remorse! Oh well. The grass is always greener. I fell in love with the loopy cursive on some of the planners and I wanted that on mine. I didn't realize that the cursive font used on fleur feliz wasn't the same font that I loved, so even though I requested all cursive, it wasn't what I had in my head. This isn't their fault; it's totally mine! If you are creating a planner, make sure you double and triple check that you are clear in what you want and look at their Pinterest for inspiration!

 It has grown on me.

I ordered, and two weeks later, it arrived! Everything you've read in the blog world about the cute packaging is still true. I received lots of extra gift labels with my order. Someone needs to have a birthday so I can put them to use! I chose the 18 month option for $5 more. The planner is pretty thick, but I think a lot of that is due to paper quality. If you've never heard of these planners before, I'll give you the rundown- the front and back cover are heavy and laminated. The coil is metal with a plastic coating. The divider tabs are also laminated and the pages containing the dividers are reinforced. The planner comes with a snap-in ruler/pageholder, a folder pocket in the back, and a zippered pouch to keep small things that might accummulate - I put the gift labels and "Let's Get Together" cards that came with the planner in there as well as some of my business cards since I never seem to have them with me. 

There were a bunch of gift labels in the green envelope, a $10 off coupon in the catalog, and another $10 off code on the large card.

Let's talk about the insides... the planner is full-color and has lots of uplifting and inspirational quotes. Each month is color-coded, which I appreciate because that is how my brain works. The monthly spread is a full page, which I love. The weekly spread gives equal time to each day and has a side area for notes on goals for the week. Each day is divided between morning, afternoon, and evening. I know that it's a planner and that is probably a lot of people's preference, but it's not my favorite. Since I am writing to-do's in there, when I do them isn't necessarily as important as actually getting things done. However, I do really like the extra space at the bottom - that is what I have been using for non-work notes. I have no reason to plan my weekends in a planner, so I do kind of prefer a planner style that makes the weekends share a space rather than getting equal page space with the weekdays. I'm sure women with children or really busy social calendars like this extra space, though.

Top: EC planner with two page spread, which I like. Bottom: single page spread. Not ideal for my big handwriting.

Top: EC planner weekly spread and cute placeholding ruler. Bottom: old planner with wider spaces to write and my cute cupcake post-it as a placeholder.

The planner also comes with a few pages of stickers in the back that say "vacation!" "game day!' "spa" "birthday" and other things as well as blank stickers for your own events. These are a great size for both the monthly and weekly spreads and something that I thought I would use a lot, but so far I haven't taken the time. There are also lots of blank note pages in the back, which I really like. I have written down a note while in the car (not driving) and I want to use it to log gifts that I purchase well in advance of occasions and other little reminders that are hard to keep up with.

Bauer approves. You can see one of the blank stickers on the monthly calendar here.

The planner started on July 1, so I have only used it for one full work week. I can say that I don't think I will really open it on the weekends. The space is really small for my to-do's and honestly, I worry about keeping it pretty more than I probably should. I've said many times that summer is slow for me, work-wise, so this may not be a good indication of how much use my planner will get during the semesters. Time will tell. Because of that, I do kind of want to address the planner again in a few months to see if it was worth the money. It is a great quality product, but I'm just not sure the layout is ideal for me. I'll keep using it for sure, though!

(And now my husband is cringing over the fact that I bought it.)

Any questions? Any more insight I can give? Plenty of people are in love with these things so if you are considering buying one, definitely do your research. I'm happy to help however I can!


  1. i'm obsessed with planners. I worry too much on keeping them pretty! Can't wait to hear more about your product review.

  2. Loved this review! I'm going to start doing my research on one of these too. Any good Pinterest finds you recommend checking out?

    If you want to use up a birthday sticker, you can mark Feb. 22nd... that's my birthday, LOL!

    Please do a follow up review too! :D

  3. I've always just wondered if they were worth the extra money... I mean there is a significant price difference...

  4. I love paper but I've never found the perfect planner. I'll have to see whats the what on this.
    And I would get cornflower blue just for the Fight Club reference. :)

  5. I'm going to do a review when I've worked it through for over a month. I'm still acclimating!

  6. is it wrong to get a high off of putting things in my planner. because i am pretty sure i do.

  7. I need to follow your advice to start using a planner too! Your new one is awesome!

  8. You know I might have a love affair with my planner lol j/k but seriously if I lost that thing my world would fall apart!

  9. I really like the blue and the design on the front! :) I am so cheap, especially right now, while only one of us is working, so I only have a basic planner I bought at Target.
    This might be sooo rude...but how much did it cost you?!

  10. Yeah, I really need to give in to EC lol. This planner looks fantastic. Maybe I'll put it on my Christmas list this year :) I'm stopping over from Ashley's blog!

    Meg @ www.myborrowedheaven.blogspot.com


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