Planner Review Planners

erin condren planner review

October 30, 2012
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!
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of course, i’d love to know:
do you have your 2013 planner picked out yet?

any goals for the rest of 2012?