Hey guys! So as a lot of you know, I recently became the proud new owner of my very own Erin Condren Life Planner. I shared an in depth look at the planner itself when I first got it, but I thought it’d be nice to also share with you all how I’ve actually been using the planner.
I was a little indecisive about how I wanted to use this planner when I first got it, mostly because I had been pretty happy with the system I had going on with all my planners. However, there were a few things I did want to tweak about my personal planner, so I decided to move some of it into my Life Planner. Specifically the monthly and weekly planning sections.
I am still absolutely over the moon in love with my planner cover. I know these planner covers are removable and replaceable, but I honestly can’t ever see wanting to change this beauty. I just love it! I also have a couple cute charms attached around the coil rings at the top from Kawaii Studios. I’m normally not a huge Kawaii person, but I guess I like it in small doses because I think those little charms are just the cutest!
Ok, so inside the planner. Each month has a full two page monthly layout. I use this monthly insert just like I use most other months at a glance, to give myself an overview of the upcoming month. I like keeping monthly calendars pretty clean and simple, so the big, important events can truly stand out, and don’t risk being overlooked.
The first things I always include in my month at a glance are all my bills and their due dates. I also keep a financial planner, but I like having a reminder in the planner I use and look at every day. You can never have to many reminders to pay your bills!
Next I like to block off any multi-day events using some washi tape or Studio L2E’s border stamps. I mostly use this method to record when I’ll be gone of vacation, if Melissa will be out of town, or if we’ll be puppy-sitting my parents dog. It can really be used for anything you need to plan that spans a couple of days.
Next I’ll make sure to decorate any upcoming birthdays or holidays in that month. Even though the Erin Condren monthly calendars have many holidays already indicated, I like to make them stand out a little more, and make the day a little more festive!
Finally, I’ve been using the notes column on the far right of the calendar to plan out a few key tasks I want to accomplish in that month. These tasks can be anything from habits I want to work on, to errands I need to schedule in, to larger projects that I’m hoping to tackle.
Basically this list includes anything I can think of at the beginning of the month that I want to get done, but that doesn’t necessarily belong on a weekly or daily planning page yet. As I go through the month, I’ll occasionally refer back to my monthly list of to-dos to make sure I’m on track and getting them checked off.
I have also been using my Erin Condren to do my weekly personal planning, and I am in love! It took me a little bit to really get going with this planner, but since I’ve started to find my groove, I have been having so much fun developing my new system! There is just so much room to plan and track tons of different things, it’s like a planner girls’ dream!!
I use the top ‘morning’ section of my planner as a running weekly to do list. Using Studio L2E list stamps, I make a little checklist in each day’s box. When I’m doing my Sunday planning, I will roughly map out the tasks I need to get done that week on the day I hope to complete each task.
These to-do lists are not strict daily to-do lists, sometimes I work ahead, and sometimes I’ll have to catch up on a bunch of tasks on the weekend. I don’t give myself too hard of a time about this, which is why I consider this section more of a weekly task list rather than daily task lists.
The middle box is day specific, and is where I actually plan out my day’s plans and activities. I put any plans, appointments, reminders, or special events in this box. Anything recorded in the monthly view for the current week gets transferred into the corresponding day on the weekly page. I’ll also add it in I’m expecting any happy mail, or any plans Melissa and I have.
I haven’t gotten a whole lot of use out of the list column on the left of the weekly planner. Although I am trying out a new system using this area to track reoccurring weekly tasks and chores, and I’m pretty optimistic about this. This is the first week I’m trying it out though, so it’s still very much in the ‘test’ phase. I’ll keep you guys posted on how this section comes along!
The bottom box tracks the same things for each day. These things are dinners, TV shows, water intake, vitamins, and Melissa’s work/class schedules. It’s fairly simple and repetitive, but I like having the reminds and trackers this area provides for each day.
Finally, at the very bottom of the page is where I track a few more repeating daily tasks. I track the same things each week in this area, and by using 7 circle checkboxes, I am able to check off the days that I successfully complete a task. This lets me quickly see how many times and on which days I’ve completed a certain task that week.
Some of these tasks are chores (like emptying the dishwasher and walking Dakota), while others are routines I’m trying to get into (regular journaling and yoga). I really like having these trackers at the bottom of each weekly page so I can easily see my ‘completion rate’ for each week.
And that pretty much finishes up how I’ve been using my Erin Condren Life Planner! I am so smitten with my new system, and I hope you picked up a few tips or tricks to start using in your own life planner. I’m also always looking for ways to improve my system though, so leave me your favorite Life Planner tip or idea in the comments below!
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