Saturday, 28 January 2017

Organization series #1 - My Erin Condren Life Planner

Hi All

A slightly different post today. I love organization, whether that be my life, home, an event, the list could go on. I am an avid list writer and a new notebook brings me all kinds of joy, so today I thought I'd show you my paper planner. Over the next few weeks I thought I would dedicate my Saturday posts to an Organization series. Today it is personal organization.

Since a young age, I have always liked having a diary and various notebooks. My love for stationery is huge! Over the past 10 years or so I have used a range of different diaries and planners to attempt to organize my day to day life. I have used simple academic diaries, Paperchase planners and other branded planners such as Filofax. For me, I still need to write things down on paper, sometimes with coloured pens to make my dull life seem more interesting! I'm not someone who can plan on her phone or via an online calendar. It just doesn't work for me! About five years ago I heard about an American brand called 'Erin Condren' and I fell in love.

Erin Condren is a higher end planner, and it does have to come from America which obviously adds to the cost. Three years ago I was lucky enough to buy one with some birthday money I was given and since then I have invested in one each year. For me, the functionality, the design and the fact you can personalise it makes me keep going back. I use it every day and I definitely get my money's worth. I thought I would give you a little look at it on my blog in my first post in this series.

An Erin Condren Life Planner is a coil bound planner and the basic style costs $55 (around £44 as I write this). It seems a lot for a planner but if you use it a lot like I do, it is definitely worth it. It is about the price of a mid-range Filofax. It is 7" x 9" in size, includes monthly spreads, weekly spreads and note pages. Within the price is also three sticker sheets, a clear ruler that clips in, various calendars, pages to plan your month, as well as a little clear zip pouch with a few little goodies included. Alongside all of that, you also get to personalise it and choose your cover design. There are many covers to choose from, my favourite ones are those you can personalise with pictures. You can include your name or a quote on any of the standard cover designs for free, but the picture ones are a really special way of personalising your own planner for no extra charge!

There are many options you can choose for your Erin Condren Life Planner from the coil cover, to the layout. This year I have opted for the vertical layout, colourful scheme and the standard platinum coil. I do like to use stickers and washi tape to decorate my planner but some weeks it is just plain and simple. Putting aside a little time to decorate my planner each week helps me to relax and keep myself organized in a creative way. This year I have also started to use my planner to keep a memory of my daughter from each day and a picture, although I haven't got around to printing off my pictures yet! That was inspired by one of my favourite YouTubers/Bloggers Jen from Pretty Neat Living. She did it for the first year of her daughter's life and it looked great.

Each month I try to write down birthdays I need to buy for and any other special days such as Valentine's Day, I also like to try and monitor my spending and note anything else of real significance for the month on the lined page provided before each monthly spread. This just helps me keep organised really easily by flicking to each month. I try to keep ahead of myself as much as possible. This is so I can spread the cost and prepare for Christmas! I'm constantly updating it and adding to it throughout the month.

The monthly spread is the one page each month that I want to try and use more. I used to use it a lot in my last job, nothing down meetings, key deadlines etc. Now I don't need to use it as much in my new job I'm a little lost. Any ideas of what I could use it for would be greatly appreciated! Might need to try and find some inspiration on Instagram!

The weekly spread I use a lot. This is where I keep my memories of my daughter (and will eventually put the pictures of her in the bottom boxes!), where I write all of my daily to do lists and where I like to use my stickers and washi tape to make it look attractive. I really enjoy using them and helping them to make time for me, as well as planning lots of nice things with the family. I use the sidebar to write down my goals for the month so that I can track whether I achieve them each week and space to write down why if I don't. Each day I leave space to write a 'to do' list, which is usually all of the chores around the house that need doing! The top box, generally, is my day time so I will note down days out, my 'to do' list or things that are important on that day. The middle box is then usually what I do in the evening. I have a separate academic diary to write down work timings, meetings and the like as that is easier to carry around now that I travel quite a lot. It also means that I can use my planner more for 'homey' things.

There are also note pages at the back which I haven't quite set up yet. I am going to track my savings challenges and organizational challenges that I am going to be working on this year. De-cluttering, budgeting and saving are some of the things I want to work on this year and so thought these pages would be the perfect place for them. I also use the stickers at the back of the planner, the blank ones come in handy a lot, as do the birthday ones. They are repositionable which is great for me as I am a bit of a perfectionist.

There are lots of other accessories that you can buy for the Life Planner, some of which I have purchased and all have been excellent quality. If you want to know anymore details then please let me know in the comments.

I really enjoy using this planner. It has everything you need for it to be functional, is totally my kind of style with the patterns and colours and it makes me enjoy getting myself organized as a Mummy and at least intending to keep it that way!

Hope you enjoyed this post and I'd love to know if you use a paper planner or diary or are you an electronic planner? I'd love to know!

Thanks for popping by.


  1. Looks very good *jealous* he he.. I have a plain boring purple one *so so boring* xx

  2. I'm so obsessed with stationery....anything cute and I'm sold lol x