Planner Review Planners

assorted tidbits + planner review

June 4, 2013

first, a laundry list of updates:

1) evening routine — i am in a GROOVE right now.  basically, the nightly routine goes:

  • ~6:15p: dinner for annabel [tonight: spiced pork tenderloin, braised leeks, tomatoes, and bulgur wheat.  please let her stay this unpicky!!!!]
  • play, bath, read, sing, bed — she is down by 7p.
  • cook while drinking wine and listening to a podcast [tonight:  a rather painful segment on jillian michaels “endocrinology”.  i love her, but that’s in quotes for a reason.]
  • write post while waiting for josh to come home.  [currently, dinner is simmering and he just texted that he may be home in 30.  i can live with that, although 30 minutes tends to really mean 60+.]

i decided to take the plunge with fresh20 and am really enjoying the menus so far!  full review to follow once i’ve done more than a weeks’ worth.

the adult version

2) we [okay, i] ended up choosing a peg perego carseat.  portable but sturdy.  loved by its owners.  so far, a seems to be dealing with the transition well 🙂

3) it looks like josh and i will be headed on a little getaway — to montreal in august for osheaga!  
i had mentioned my mild disappointment at not being able to swing an island trip right now . . . and josh and i spent weeks wondering what we could do for a mini-vacation before we start our real jobs [and real lives] in miami.  we were browsing last night and came upon osheaga — a 3-day music festival in montreal — and decided we had to do it!  yes, we’re totally going to be the oldest ones there.  no, we totally don’t care!  
vampire weekend, head and the heart, alt-J, beck, phoenix, beach house!  miss a. will enjoy some quality time with her [newly local] g-parents and josh and i will go back in time a decade or so.  i really can’t wait.
planner review:  the erin condren 2012-2013 edition
let me preface this by saying i am NOT a planner novice.  although most of you probably know that about me already.  i really love paper planners and rely on my system a great deal to do . . .well, pretty much everything.  
i’ve used a number of exacompta/quo vadis planners and really love the brand.  i also have flirted with some exotic korean volumes, available only through eBay.  but last year, i took the plunge and tried out my first erin condren.  and while i was a bit skeptical at first, it ended up being the most functional and fun-to-use system i’ve had to date.  and i’m totally getting another one for next year [the new edition goes on sale tomorrow.]
a brief planner tour:

fully customizeable, i chose the ‘instagram’ design and put a cute family photo on the front.  while it probably isn’t the world’s most professional thing, it gives me joy every time i pull it out.  so, i’ll probably do something similar this year.

it has held up well through the past ~9 months of use.  and [trust me on this] i’m not a very careful person when it comes to protecting my belongings.  so that’s saying a lot.

birthday list
i didn’t really use this section.  but in retrospect, i’m thinking: wouldn’t this have made a great brief running log?  just mileage, speed, and any quick notes?  or race planning calendar, perhaps?

or maybe i will use it for bdays, but actually look at it regularly.  a decision to make for next year.

weekly layout
the weekly layout is one of my favorite things about these planners.  each day is divided into morning/day/night — however, you can use these sections however you see fit.  i ended up using the top section for scheduled events [ie: conference @ 2 pm], the middle section for lists, and the bottom for planning dinners and workouts.

sometimes i attach an extra list sheet if a day is particularly busy.  i keep this handy throughout the day and refer to it all the time.
monthly pages
wonderful 2-page spreads for planning call schedules [ugh] and vacations [yay!].  i also love the monthly goals/to-do sections — definitely helps me with prioritizing.

blank pages
the back is filled with plenty of paper for lists.  i keep track of things ranging from lab to-dos [although you can see there are still many more things to be done . . .]

to music i want to look into buying:

in the back are cute little stickers to mark various events.  i’m super excited that this years’ stickers are going to be customizable!  maybe i’ll use more of them . . . although a ‘call’ sticker would be pretty lame.

there is also an ample back pocket which has held up well and a zippered pouch filled with a few gift labels, which i used for various things throughout the year.  
i absolutely loved using this planner and am looking forward to designing my 2013-2014 edition.  however, if there is a downside it is that this planner is quite substantial.  i actually don’t mind carrying it around, but it’s not a ‘slip in your clutch’ kind of book.  secondly, the design is very colorful and feminine.  i enjoy this, but i can imagine that this is not everyone’s style.  
hope that was helpful for someone out there contemplating an EC purchase!  anyone else getting one for next year?
[just a quick note to clarify this is NOT in any way a compensated review.  EC does not know i exist.  i just really like my planner!]


  • Reply Meredith March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Ahhh! I am super jealous of your Osheaga trip! I am in a similar big life change situation – finishing residency, moving across the country for my first real job (!), and taking my medicine boards on August 6th. I was considering planning a trip to SF for me and my BF to go to Outside Lands the weekend after my boards are over. It has a similar epic line up. And I am similarly in the 30+ age group 🙂

    Recently saw Phoenix at Jazz Fest and they were amazing live.

  • Reply Monica March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Sounds like you are in a good groove, glad to hear (read) it. Just thinking about the planner stickers – call stickers might be lame, but since being on call isn’t your favorite, maybe if the sticker was colorful or fun, when you looked at it it could bring a little smile to your face, then it might counteract some of the ugh part in your mind. I have found that just adding a little positive can do wonders for my attitude for certain tasks. Just a thought. (Sorry for the incredibly long run on sentence, my thoughts seem to run together when I am in a hurry). Time to take a walk.

    Good luck with your move.

  • Reply thethinksicanthink March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Hmm – Ill have to look into Erin Condren. I’m on my 2nd one I ordered from South Korea (Iconic: un jour du reve) that you blogged about a long time ago. I love it!

  • Reply Tricia March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I have the peg perego and love it. Quite a pricey car seat but worth the money I think. Let me know if you think the button is hard to push that releases the bottom strap. Maybe I just have weak fingers??

  • Reply running4cupcakes March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I have been drooling over those planners lately too – I love my paper planner! I wish I could give Luke a plate at dinner – he is loving throwing stuff on the floor so I think it would just make a big mess. . . sigh – someday!!

  • Reply @janieliz19 March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    …and I’m giving in and getting an Erin Condren planner today!! 🙂 I’m getting a little bored of my Quo Vadis one, so it’s time to mix it up. So excited! I just don’t know how to pick which photo…

  • Reply Mary C March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Sold! You had me in Quo Vadis for years, then I suffered through last year on a Moleskine…an ill-advised, baby-was-crying, rushed purchase. I’m ready for something more fun! 🙂 I’d love to hear more about how you like your meal planning guide – I’ve still not found the groove with the work/life balance + traveling husband…just always feeling behind, and things I used to love like making lists and planning are now a tough chore as nothing seems to get done. I really appreciate your "organizational inspiration"! 🙂

    Best to you and J (and Ms A) during the move!

  • Reply Angie March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I bought an EC planner for my classroom this year and I love it! It is expensive but so nice and sturdy considering other nes I’ve had in the past. Also, I love that its not the typical "teacher" colors and more fun. Next school I defneitly want to customize it more with a picture of my sweet baby boy!

  • Reply Kivah Canyon March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I just bought an EC planner for the first time. Your sense of efficiency and appreciation for minimalism have convinced me that if it works for you, it might just be the answer for me, too. Always thought it was too humongous, but it now strikes me that all my attempts to minimize my planning system may have contributed to my problems rather than solved them.

  • Reply Anne March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I live in Montreal. Let me know if you have questions or you need a list of bar/cafe/museum.

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