Now that I have shared what I feel is necessary to have in a paper planner and how I use mine, I want to talk more about my planner that I love so dearly. I purchased an Erin Condren Life Planner in the middle of last year. (This is not a sponsored post, I just LOVE my planner). A few years ago, I won a $25 gift certificate to Erin Condren’s site and used it towards a life planner. The following year I used a different planner and was always wishing it was more like my Erin Condren one. So last summer, I bit the bullet and paid for a new one that covered 18 months.
It is on the pricey side (they retail at around $50.00). However, it meets all my criteria for a paper planner.
My planner has a durable, plastic cover. This has come in handy more times than I would like to count. It looks just as great as the day I got it. The spiral binding on the side has been improved from my original planner I had. It used to be plastic but is has been upgraded to a metal one. It is very durable.
There are monthly tabs with a month at a glance layout spread over two pages. Having two pages instead of one is important to me, because I hate having to write super tiny!
Each week starts on Monday, (which you either love or hate, I think!). I love it because my weekend plans often include both Saturday and Sunday and I like seeing them both at a quick glance on the same page.
The spaces are divided up by morning, afternoon and evening. This works well for me being a work at home mom. I don’t usually have too much that is set in stone by time. Planners that are divided up by hours of the day are very limiting to me (probably has a little to do with my OCD/Type A personality). But I do like to write my to-dos down in the general time of the day that I need to get it done. This helps to keep me on track.
There are blank spaces on the side to write down general goals or tasks for the week. And below each day is space to write down your meal plan, track your exercises, or anything extra you want to track on a daily basis. Mine I use for meal planning dinners.
It comes with a laminated ruler/page holder that I use to keep track of which week we are in.
I also added a binder clip, since occasionally the page holder slips out-of-place when I fold over my planner.
The back section of the planner has plenty of pages for notes. Some are lined and some are not. I created tabs at the top to divide off a few pages for my ‘master list’, ‘blog’ and ‘shopping’ using Martha Stewart tabs and my label maker.
On the shopping pages, I stick a few Post-it notes on the page. I label each one with a particular store name (example: grocery, Target, Dollar Tree). As I think of things I need to buy, I write them on the post it. When it is time to shop, I just remove the Post-it and take it into the store with me. As a Post-it gets used up or full, I just replace it with a new one!
There are pocketed folders in the back of the planner. This is great for slipping in birthday cards, mail that needs to go out, and my yearly goal sheets.
The zippered pouch works great for holding small items, such as stamps, my business cards, extra paper clips, etc.
There are also several pages of fun colored stickers in the back. There are two pages of pre-printed stickers and the rest are blank. I use these to highlight important information, in both the month at a glance and weekly views, like birthdays and appointments so I don’t forget.
Are there other planners out there that are less expensive? Sure! But this one meets all my needs, is beautiful, sturdy and just makes me happy!
Before my Erin Condren planner, I usually was spending about $20 to purchase a planner at the beginning of the year. About half way through the year I would get frustrated by it not really working for me and purchase another, cheap planner for around $10 – $20. By the time you add it all up, this one isn’t that much more and I love and use it every day!
Originally I planned on purchasing a printable planner or even creating my own. But the cost involved to have it printed and bound (for an entire year’s worth of pages), plus my time to either create or get it all put together just wasn’t worth it for me. However, some of you may definitely want to pursue that option. I listed a few of my favorite options in yesterday’s post.
Ready to sign up at Erin Condren? Use my referral link to get a coupon code for $10 off!
Do you have a favorite planner? Tell me about it in the comments.