Monday, October 29, 2012

erin condren planner review

as promised . . . here it is!
[note:  in case anyone was wondering, i bought this planner myself and the company does not know i exist.  okay, just wanted to clarify.]


iPhone shown for scale

i loved my tiny custom bound for anything planner, but as i wrote previously -- after just 3 months of use, it was stressing me out a little.  the reason was simple:  i needed more space!  staring at the tiny pages crammed full of checkboxes made me hyperventilate a little bit.  i felt that if i could s-p-r-e-a-d my thoughts and to-dos out, life would get just a little bit easier.  

as it turns out:
it didn't, really.  but it does LOOK more manageable, and that's almost as good!  and one month into the erin condren planner that i ordered on a slightly manic impulse, i am happy to report that i really do love it. 

a brief walk-through:

the cover is shown above.  i personalized it with a family photo, and while i realize i probably could have gone more stylish/professional, i have no regrets.  seeing it make me smile every time i whip this book out [which is often].

 birthday/anniversay section.  i don't really use this section all that much, and i'd rather have the space for other lists!  but it isn't a huge number of pages.

 yearly calendar.  a 2-page spread, which is useful for planning purposes.

 the weekly pages.  i love, love, LOVE this layout:


it's hard to see in this photo, but each day is a column divided into three section for morning / day / night.  i adore the 3 boxes, but i don't quite use them as labeled.  instead, the top is for 'scheduled' events [ie, 3 pm -- conference], the middle is for daily to-do items [to check off] and the bottom is for meal and workout planning.

it's just enough space for my needs and things don't look so cluttered.  there is also a weekly to-do / goals section which is a great place to put things that aren't specific to one day.

of note, the paper is decent.  it's not ultra-super-smooth, but it has a nice weight to it.  i haven't had issues with pens bleeding through at all.

 the monthly pages.  i really like that these are spread on two pages, so that there is plenty of room.  i use these for planning out big events -- trips, weekends away, and of course for coordinating our call schedules.


i also really like the suggestion to create some monthly goals.

 tabs + dividing pages.  there are some colorful quotes dividing the major sections.  a little cheesy, but it doesn't bother me.  and the tabs on the right [colorful, laminated, labeled for each month] make me unspeakably happy.


 blank notes pages.  ~10 lined and ~10 blank [with cute designs in the margins].  adequate list space is an essential part of any planner in my opinion.

 custom notepads.  these cost extra but i just couldn't resist customized matching notepads.  they are a bit pricey for what they are, but it's a cool idea.


 folder + extras.  there's a handy paper folder in the back to stash tickets, shopping lists, and the like. i wish it was a bit sturdier, but it has held up just fine so far.  


stickers.  not shown, but there are some colorful stickers to use.  some are pre-labeled [date night, wedding, etc] and others are blank.  it's a cute idea and fine, i admit it -- the repressed 10-year old inside of me enjoys decorating the 'special' days.

✩ vinyl pouch.  this is a nice feature, though i haven't really used it.  tucked inside were some custom labels, sent for free.


sooo . . . that's it!
let me know if you have questions.  i would definitely recommend this IF you want a pretty sizable planner and if bright/feminine patterns are your thing.  it's not the most elegant, but it's definitely fun to use -- and i find it extremely functional.  

and speaking of functional
i need to work on making some goals.  i've been in this sort of lax mode [re: work, running, life in general] and i am starting to feel ready to -- well, for lack of a better term -- kick my butt into gear.  no matter what laura vanderkam there are definitely not enough hours in the day to do everything i truly want to do.  but i want to make sure that i am using the hours i do have in the best way possible.

more on that later!

 * * * * * * 

of course, i'd love to know:

do you have your 2013 planner picked out yet?

any goals for the rest of 2012?