Sunday, August 2, 2015

How I keep (somewhat) sane...

I'd like to introduce you to one of my bestest friends in the entire world:


This is my Erin Condren Life Planner. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I would be a mess without it. John gave me my first one as a birthday gift last year (because the man gets me, people) and this is technically next year's planner. I went ahead and bought the 18-month, because I wanted the extra space, so it has the end of this year AND next year. July 2015 - December 2016. Brilliant. 

If you have a Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook account, or maybe you read blogs or are involved in online "mommy groups", you've probably heard people obsessing over the Life Planner (or ECLP for those in the know) for a few years now. The planner is about $50 (comparable to printing your own at home or at Staples, but much better quality) and has weekly layouts and monthly calendar pages, a notes section, and a handy little pocket and zipper pouch. Nobody can deny that the ECLP is a functional planner, but the real attraction for most devotees is that Erin Condren is all about style. 


The Life Planner is pretty darn customizable, all things considered. In fact, an entire cottage industry has sprung up with folks designing and creating stickers and planner accessories. For example, this is a set of fun stickers my BFF sent me:


In honor of Harry Potter's birthday, I used them the week of July, 31st. This year's planner leaves the columns untitled so that you can customize them
As you need. I really liked the previous years' "morning, day, night" titles, so that's what my stickers say. I've seen people use them for kids' appointments/scheduling, home tasks, and personal tasks, or etsy stores, blogs, pets, work, any number of things. The neat thing about having them blank is that they can change as the day, week, or month changes. Clever!

The other thing I really like about my ECLP is that the month blocks are big enough that I can really write all the event info in them. 


I purposefully used a month that I haven't written in yet (this is the internet, y'all don't need to know when I'm going to be doing what) but I usually will jot down my appointments with a contact phone number in case I need to call for any reason. I also list my goals along the side column, or what bills need to be paid, or even what projects I'm working on. Again, customization is awesome. 

The Life Planner is chock-full of bright colors, fun graphic elements and inspirational quotes. Before each month, there's a new quote. Here's the quote for August:


I have plans to crop the quotes and put them up in my home office when this year's planner is done. They're fun! 

I love my Erin Condren Life Planner, more than any other planner I've used in the last several years. I'm an office supplies and organizing dork, and always have been, so I have tried many planners... Not a single one of them has worked for me like the ECLP does. I work best with vertical columns since I think of my day in three sections: before lunch, during nap time, and after nap time. Mostly that's because I have a toddler and a preschooler, but when I was in college it was: morning classes, afternoon classes, work/study time. In high school: before school, during school, after school. When I saw the Erin Condren Life Planner was set up that way, I was sold. I know that not everybody works that way, and the Life Planner comes in a horizontal format too for those who prefer that style. 

All in all, the Erin Condren Life Planner is a solid organizational tool. I'm glad I have mine. I recommend them highly! You can find them at erincondren.com along with notebooks, stationery, and all sorts of awesome. 




****Disclaimer type blurb****
Nobody paid me or perked me to create this post. If they had, I would let you know right up front because that kind of stuff is important to me. The fact of the matter is, I just really like this planner. If you want one, and you want to save $10 on your order, you can always use my referral code. I get a thank you from Erin Condren, you get a thank you for making your first purchase, everybody goes home happy. But again, the review? All my own feelings and not influenced by anything. 

http://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/johnparmenter0728


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