Now that we’re well into the new year I thought it was time to share my annual planner update with you. I am splitting this post into two parts, the first of which showcases my Erin Condren Life Planner, which I use as a planning tool for my online work. I will post the second part next Friday, in which I will share a look at my Filofax.
I have been a Planner Enthusiast for the past fifteen years or so, beginning with a love of my little red Day-Timer back in high school. I bought my first Filofax when I was working in London for the summer of 2003. There was a brief period of time in my mid-twenties when I attempted to go without a written calendar, relying solely on the iCal app that comes standard with all iPhones. It didn’t take long to figure out the reason I felt much less on top of things was due to the lack of a written planner in my life. Although I think digital calendars are excellent tools and can suit so many people, I believe there are others out there just like me who fare better with a physical planner. I like to write things out and a planner helps me feel more organized. I’ve loved my return to keeping a Filofax for the past few years, but decided I needed an additional and separate planner to help me with my new posting schedule I implemented this year. After hearing such rave reviews about the Erin Condren Life Planner, I decided to take the plunge.
One of the many great things about the Erin Condren Life Planner range is that there are so many beautiful options. I ordered the Classic Life Planner in the beautiful Zen Gems design. I love how you can customize the planner to truly make it your own. Since I am using mine as my work planner, I decided to put my online handle (OrganizedJen) and website on the front. The designers at Erin Condren formatted my choice to suit the cover beautifully! The planner itself is well constructed with a durable, spill-proof laminated cover and back as well as a really nice spiral binding that allows for smooth page turning. It is substantial in size, measuring 7.25″ x 9.25″ allowing ample space to write in each calendar cell.
The calendar portion of the planner is set up with month at-a-glance two-page spreads situated between the weekly two-page spreads, which is a new format for me (I’m used to having the monthly views all at the front of the calendar). The weekly spreads are broken down into three sections, including morning, day, and night, with blank space to fill in each spot. I use the monthly portion of the calendar to plan out my posts, using my own color-coded labels to help me visualize my schedule. In the weekly spreads, I break down the actions I need to complete each post on a daily basis, penciling in video editing, blog writing, and photo taking/editing, as well as uploading times and scheduling posts. In addition to the calendar the planner includes a special dates section, important contact info sheet, twenty pages of beautiful notepaper, a snap-in ruler, colorful labels, a double-sided folder, and a zip-style vinyl pouch. All in all, it’s a wonderful resource that can be customized to suit a variety of needs and a beautiful one at that!
Erin Condren also sells coordinating accessories to compliment your Life Planner. I was able to pick out all of the accessories I wanted through my personalized planner order online, making for a very streamlined process. I decided to go all out and picked up just about everything! The Colorful Markers include six extra-fine fiber point pens, which come in a cute box for easy storage. The adhesive Pen Holder is a must have to keep your pen of choice right in your planner for easy access. I choose to write mostly in pencil in my planners, which is what I keep tucked into the pen loop. The set of three Elastic Bands is handy if you like to keep your planner together. I bind the pages I am not using with mine. I also picked up an extra Snap-In Bookmark so I could use the one the planner comes with for my monthly view and the additional one for my weekly view. I bought a pack of two Notebook Notepads that were designed to coordinate with my planner. They look just like the cover of my Life Planner. I also opted for the customizable Event Stickers, although I stopped using them because they are not removable.
Image sources can be found at included products links.
Additionally, I use a couple of my own accessories with my Life Planner. I decided to make my own customizable labels using Avery Removable Multi-Use Labels (5418), which I printed color blocks onto using Photoshop and then formatted with the names of my different posting categories using Avery’s Design & Print online feature. I like to have the option to move labels around, which is why I prefer these removable labels over the more permanent ones that Erin Condren offers. The other main accessory I have is a case. I like to keep my planners protected when I am traveling with them. I used the Orla Kiely for Target Sweet Pea Weekender as a “Planner Suitcase” when we went to Utah over the holidays. It fits both my Life Planner and Filofax comfortably, as well as many accessories. I traveled with just my Life Planner most recently when I went to LA to visit the YouTube Space and film a collab with my friend Kristina (video link below!) and used a great mesh and vinyl pouch from The Container Store. The Life Planner fits perfectly inside and is protected from possible leaks and spills.
If you’d like to get a closer look at my Life Planner and my accessories and hear more about how I use it and my thoughts on it, I recommend watching my coordinating video:
I also filmed a fun collab with Kristina where we compared our Life Planners and talked about our different uses for them in this video:
I was fortunate to be able to give away ten $100 ErinCondren.com gift cards over the holidays thanks to all of the referral credits I’ve been accumulating (see my referral link below for $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase!) and I am happy to report I have enough to give away another ten! The ErinCondren.com Giveaway will run until Friday, February 28, 2014 at 6 PM CST. The giveaway is open internationally (you can find information about Erin Condren international shipping costs here). All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter. There will be TEN winners! Each will win a $100 ErinCondren.com gift card. You can enter the giveaway by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways). I’ll announce the ten winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always. Good luck!
*** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***
Congrats to Crystal J., Melissa F., Carol P., Jackie C., Magda, Jan, Selena M., Shawnee S., Melissa, and Natalya on being selected as the winners of my ErinCondren.com Gift Card Giveaway!
The Poll Results for *What type of calendar do you prefer to use?* out of 3111 entries:
Full Size Organizer (2234) 72%
Small & Simple (567) 18%
Electronic (175) 6%
Print At Home (97) 3%
I don’t keep a calendar (38) 1%
I love my Erin Condren Life Planner, which has been an extremely useful planning tool so far this year in helping me with my posting schedule. You can receive $10 off your first purchase when you sign up for the Erin Condren website (which means you receive the occasional email on current promotions and new products from them) by clicking here. Check back next week for an updated look at my Filofax. Happy Planning! 🙂
* Post contains affiliate links. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *