I put out a plea on Facebook 6 weeks ago asking for recommendations to get my life organized. You see, the current method of google calender + to do lists written on random sheets of paper + various sizes of notepads with 18,000,000 pieces of information and details of our family life was no longer cutting it for me. Things were getting lost and forgotten in the shuffle and I was feeling overwhelmed in a big way.
It was time for me to go old school and return to using a *handwritten* planner. I am throwing caution to the wind and NOT relying on technology to get me organized- GASP. It almost feels wrong to type that. HI, my name is Lisa and I am unable to utilize the 7,832 apps available to me to keep my family organized and from me losing my mind. It’s true. I needed to return to the days of Franklin Covey and write everything down.
That Facebook post garnered many recommendations from trusted friends with a myriad of different options to look into. I settled on checking out an Erin Condren Life Planner and here we are today.
Before we get started and I share with you the innards of an ECLP (Erin Condren Life Planner), I have to admit I had NEVER heard of Erin Condren prior to my FB post. N-E-V-E-R. I had no idea this entire world existed around Erin Condren and the business she created to help women get organized and believe me, their is a cult-like following around the ECLP (but please, don’t let that scare you away. I consider these EC groupies as a resource to figure out the best way to make a ECLP work for me).
Erin Condren sends an entire box of goodies when your life planner order and they package it up pretty in a beautiful box and pretty wrapping paper. It felt like Christmas when I saw this box sitting on my front porch.
Of one of the many things Erin Condren is known for, their custom covers ranks high. There are so many cool, beautiful, *just right for you* covers to choose from and even better, you can change out your cover later on if the mood strikes you (that means they are interchangeable). I choose the Classic Life Planner- Collage format for mine but it was so difficult to choose as the Paisley cover and the Inspire cover ranked high on my list.
front and back cover
Let’s take a look INSIDE this baby, shall we?
The first page you open to is a cover page, a great place to put some contact information if you like, or anything else you want for that matter.
Throughout the planner are pages with inspirational quotes. I love it.
There are heavy duty laminated tabs to help you find where you want to be in your planner. It also comes with a clear, snap-in page holder/ruler.
There is a 2015 calender in the front……
And a 2016 calender in the back.
For each month, there is a two page monthly spread.
There are weekly spreads divided into morning, day & night. I am still figuring out how exactly I want to use the morning/day/night sections for each day. I might change it to be to do’s/fitness/kids OR work/to do’s/kids’ activities. There are *goals and to-do* lists for every week and month as well as a *meal/exercise/lists* section for highlighted daily notes & activities. I think I will use the bottom portion for meal planning nightly dinners, although I have seen others use it as a daity gratitude section, which I also love. The beauty of this layout is that I can make it work for whatever fits MY needs.
At the back of the journal, there is a note section which includes lined pages AND designer blank pages for whatever suits your fancy. I am thinking of dedicating a few pages to *Books I Want to Read*, *Ideas for Shrinking Jeans Posts*, *Running Motivation* and *Favorite Dinner Meals*.
In addition to the stuff already mentioned, the life planner comes with bound-in zip lock pocket with 12 gift labels and “let’s get together” cards, 240 colorful stickers to highlight birthdays, special events and reminders……
AND a perpetual calendar booklet for birthdays and anniversaries. The perpetual calender is a great place to keep track of birthdays, anniversaries, and other annual events. It’s removable so you can keep it in your planner but also have the availability to move it to your purse, your laptop case OR next year’s planner -you don’t have to write all those dates over and over from year to year any longer!
Of course, Erin Condren offers you the ability to further customize your planner with additional accessories like stickers, matching notepads, a pen holder, a marker set, coil clips, and more! Here’s a look at what I got this first go-round:
My top 3 favorite things about the ECLP so far:
- The quality. This planner is built to last. The laminated covers are heavy duty, the pages of the planner are sturdy and the beauty and colorfulness throughout appeal to my colorful spirit.
- The variety of options of the weekly two page spreads. I can truly make this planner work for our family and my needs. I need a place to capture to do’s, appoints, school stuff, kids’ activities, menu planning and more.
- The notes section. The extra pages in the back of the planner will replace the notepads and spiral notebooks I grab in a pinch to jot down items from blog post ideas, things to remember, recipes to checkout, running articles to read and more. And I have to add one more favorite thing….
- The accessories. They allow me to really make this my one-stop shop for me. My next Erin Condren order (which I have already placed!) includes the laminated snap-in *to do* list and and the snap-in meal planner (with a grocery list on the opposite side). I am also eyeing the wellness journal and budget book!
The Erin Condren Life Planner retails for $50 which is a little on the pricey side for a planner. However, given all the extra goodies they include plus the $10 welcome coupon they give to new customers when using a referral link from an existing customer, I don’t find the price tag so bad (new customers who sign up through my referral link will receive a $10 discount code via email to use on a future purchase). Plus, can you really put a price on something that is going to help me keep my life and our family organized and also help me get stuff done without losing my mind?
I think not.
We are giving away a $75 gift card to Erin Condren which is pretty freaking fantastic! Enter through the Rafflecopter link below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: Erin Condren provided me with product to review. As always, all opinions are entirely my own.