Hi everyone! I am super psyched to share this post with you guys today, mostly because I am just super psyched that I finally got my hands on an Erin Condren Life Planner of my very own!! It’s actually kind of a funny story around this little planner ending up in my hands.
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If you are an Erin Condren fan, you are most likely aware of the crazy awesome sale they were having, selling their Classic Life Planners for $30 (normally $50!). I had also been hoarding a $10 off my purchase coupon that I received when I bought my Erin Condren lesson planner. So I scored this absolutely GORGEOUS personalized planner for 20 bucks! How crazy is that? And it doesn’t even end there. The very next day I was notified that I had won a second Life Planner in a giveaway by Scribble Prints Co.! What?!
I have always loved Life Planners, but always resisted the temptation to splurge on one, just because it was not in my budget to spend that much on a planner, and I didn’t technically need one. So I just admired them from afar for a few years. And it is just absolutely unbelievable that I am now the lucky owner of two beautiful Life Planners!
I am planning to use the Life Planner I won for product styling for the Merrit Elizabeth shop. Previously I had been using my Erin Condren Lesson Planner for shop photos. While it was fine in a pinch, the Life Planner is so much more suitable for styling my planner stickers.
I was having a bit of a tough time figuring out exactly how I wanted to use the Life Planner I purchased. I went back and forth a bunch between replacing my blog planner or daily planner. I think I have settled on using it as my new basic everyday planner, and will definitely be back with a post on how I’m using it once I settle into a routine!
For now I wanted to take you through a general tour and review of the planner. I hope this sneak into my Life Planner can help those of you who may be on the fence about purchasing one of these for yourself. I always love getting an in depth look at a planner before I pull the trigger and buy. So, let’s get started, shall we?
I went with the Viva Espana Chevron design for my cover, and had it personalized with my name. I am in absolute, over the moon, head over heals in love with it!! The design, the colors, the lettering, everything.
The cover is laminated in a super sturdy and thick plastic, so I am not worried at all about wear and tear over time. The front and back covers are also interchangeable, so I can switch them out for a different design if I ever feel the need, or if things do start to wear over time.
On the inside cover, there is a place to write in your name and contact information in case you ever loose your life planner. You would definitely have to write it in permanent marker, since anything else would just rub right off the plastic. However, I have also heard rumors that Erin Condren has discontinued production of Life Planners with this information box on covers. So if you absolutely need this in your planner, double check before placing your order.
The Life Planner is divided up into a variety of sections with colorful plastic tabs. There is a section for each month of the year, plus a yearly section at the beginning, and a notes section at the end of the planner. These tabs are attached right onto the first page of each section (usually the monthly calendar).
My only complaint regarding the tabs is that the plastic that connects the tab to the page covers some of the monthly/weekly calendars (about a 0.5″x1.5″ area on the edge of the page). Since you can’t write/stamp on plastic for the most part, it pretty much makes that small area unusable.
The first couple pages inside the Life Planner are decorative. There are a lot of fun patterns, and motivational quotes used throughout the entire planner, and I just love the positivity it brings! Who doesn’t love a happy little quote when planning out their week’s to dos and errands?
Next is the yearly divided section, which includes a year at a glance calendar. This is the 2015 version of the Life Planner, so these little monthly calendars go from July 2014 to December 2015. I’m not sure what you would use the previous year’s monthly calendars for, but I guess it could be nice to have as a reference. I think I might use these pages to mark important dates, like holidays and birthdays.
Here’s another decorated page. It takes up the backside of the year at a glance page, before starting the regular monthly sections of the planner. I absolutely love geometric patterns, so this page might be my favorite of the whole planner!
The bulk of the planner is made up of divided monthly sections for the year. When you flip to the current month’s tab, you will open up to a full month on two pages spread. Each month has a different color scheme, which is incorporated into the divider tab, as well as the monthly and weekly inserts.
At the top of the right page of each monthly calendar, is a different quote. And down the right side of the page is a small column for writing notes. I have seen this space used for many things, from monthly goals to to-do lists to gratitude journaling. I think I’ll most likely use it to write down my monthly to-dos, so I don’t forget to pull them into my weekly to-do lists and get them done.
Within each monthly section are week on two page inserts for the whole month. The inserts are again decorated in that month’s color scheme, and split up into a 3-row morning/day/night (MDN) format. A lot of Life Planner planner girls cover up the MDN section headers, and customize them to fit their life and planning routines. The Header Bars in the Merrit Elizabeth shop were actually made to perfectly cover up these section headers!
On the left of each weekly spread is another list column. This can again be used for so many things, but I think I am going to use mine to record each week’s highlights. Just a place to jot down anything noteworthy, memorable or just out of the ordinary. A very simple form of journaling and memory keeping.
Along the bottom of the weekly inserts, each day’s column has it’s own small list column. These lines can be used to record that day’s meals, to-do lists, more journaling, or anything you want. I have been using them to check off my repeating daily tasks, so I don’t have to add them to my to-do list ever single day. I’ll share exactly how I’m doing this in my post about how I’m actually using my Life Planner.
After all your monthly sections, there is a pretty sizable notes section. It is filled with the cutest lined paper you have ever seen. Seriously, look at the colorful little asterisk in the corner:
That little cutie is a different color on each page!
There is also just plain blank paper, with decorative patterns lining the tops. Again there are different patterns on each page, this one just happens to be my favorite :).
The last insert is another year at a glance page. This time, there are mini monthly calendars showing the next two years (2016 and 2017 in my case). This will be useful for bigger plans made way in advance, like vacations or weddings!
After the actual ‘meat’ of the planner, there are still a few goodies packed into the way back! The first thing is four pages chock full of stickers to use in your planners. Two pages include sentiments (one page full of ‘birthday’ and the other with various plans like ‘doc appt.’ and ‘day off), and the other two are just multi-colored blank rectangles.
There is also a handy little folder build into the back of the planner. It is double sided, so you have two pockets to slip stuff into. I really like this, since I’m used to binder and discbound style planners. Hopefully it will ease the struggle of not being able to add in custom inserts while I transition systems! The folder also comes with a tiny little booklet with a perpetual calendar and space for a couple contacts information.
Finally, at the very back of the planner, there is a plastic pencil case. This would be super useful for those of you who carry your planner with you on the go. I’ve found I’m more of a “leave it on the desk” type of planner girl (I never take it out when I bring it with me places). So I think I may just store some of my stickers in here, just to have handy during planning sessions.
The pencil case also comes with a few custom stickers of its own, made to match the planner cover design you chose, which I thought was a really thoughtful extra to include!
Overall I am just super thrilled with my new planner, and have been having so much fun getting acquainted with it. It is definitely an adjustment working around the rings, instead of being able to pull your inserts out with planning or decorating, but I think it will become less of a hassle as I get used to it.
I also love how super versatile these planners can be, and am always amazed at how different planner girls really make these planners their own. Are you a Life Planner planner girl? What’s your favorite way to customize your planner to work for you? I would absolutely love to hear your ideas and suggestions, leave them in the comments below!
If you’ve been wanting a Life Planner of your own, now is the time to get one! 2015 Life Planners are still on sale for just $30 (40% off!!). PLUS if you buy through this link*, you’ll get an extra $10 off your planner, making it only $20! Crazy right?!
*discount applies for first time Erin Condren shoppers only