To read my blog at all is to know that I’m pretty obsessed with my planner.
It’s (almost) kind of bad.
I have two that I use regularly; one for work and one for personal stuff. My work one usually has student names and confidential information in it, so putting my personal information in there and possibly carrying it around just isn’t a good idea. Plus, for me, it’s just easier to keep those two worlds separate, I feel like if I tried to cram it all into one, it would feel immensely overwhelming, which is the exact opposite of what I’m going for in my planner. My planner is something that is calming and relaxing for me; it houses everything I need to do, plans for big events and things like that, and it just makes me feel together even when I’m not.
Essentially, I get a new planner twice a year; I get an academic year planner in the summer for work/school and I get a calendar year planner around the holidays for personal use; it’s kind of like Christmas comes twice a year for me.
For the past 4-5 years I have been completely loyal to Erin Condren planners (which I’m sure you also figured out if you’ve been here awhile); they just work the best for me. They hold up for the entire year (which includes me taking them with me often), have room for everything I need to do at any given point, and….are just pretty. That might not be a requirement for some people, but I know if a planner is kind of boring, I’m not as likely to use it to it’s fullest advantage.
So, I wanted to go through my new 2018 Life Planner with you and how I’ll use it to help me get through, what is going to be, a pretty packed year between our wedding and honeymoon, our good friends wedding after ours (yup we have another one), saving for buying a home and just everyday life things that happen no matter what year it is.
For my personal life, I use the Vertical layout Life Planner; it just makes more sense for me in my head because the three boxes sort of break down what I need to do before work/morning, what I need to do later in the day/after work, and then what I need to do in the evening. My work planner is an hourly planner which makes sense since I have appointments throughout the day that I need to remember.
One of my favorite things about Erin Condren planners is the customization. You not only get to choose what sort of layout you want (vertical, horizontal, hourly), you also get to choose the coil color and what kind of cover you want and what you want the cover to say. You can even choose if you want the planner to be colorful or neutral in it’s design.
I chose a gold coil simply because gold is the only color I haven’t had yet and I wanted a change and I went with my normal colorful layout because I like the pops of color when I’m planning out my weeks (neutral just seems so plain to me). I went sort of simple for the cover design this year, mostly because the name was more important to me, as you can see…..
I MIGHT put this cover away until June and just start using it then since all the covers are removable/interchangeable and put my current/maiden name cover on……but….we’ll see. I like how my new name looks. And I had to have a cover with my new name; I just had to. I showed Devon; he just shook his head while smiling a little because he knows he likes it, too.
And, I did do this, too…..
I’m excited! Deal with it.
At the front of the planner there is always this overview page that I sometimes have a hard time using. My normal plan is to use it for one big thing per month; so one task I need to get done or a big project. I think I’m going to use it as a decluttering/destashing guide for this year. I’ve been looking around our house and we just accumulate so much, so I think I’m going to center this around what areas need attention and what needs to be done in which area. We’ll see how it works, but it’s a good place for that.
Right before each month, there is a notes page for that month. Most people, including me, are pretty perplexed on how to use this page. I don’t think I’ve really done anything with it in my work planner but for my personal planner, I think that’s where I’m going to keep track of blog stuff. Things like topics I want to cover that month, some stats, some bigger things I may want to take care of on the back end. I’m always looking for somewhere easy to store things for this place, so that notes page might just work for it.
After the notes page is the monthly layout (and yes the month I photographed is intentional – wedding talk is only going to increase with the arrival of 2018), which I love for long range planning. When I need to schedule appointments or when I need to see when I’m out of school, this is my go to page. It’s also where I plan the weeks from since all of my big/important events are always listed here. These events go in my daily plans first and then I can plan whatever else I need to do that day around it.
Like I said, I like colorful, so the weekly layouts are colorful and I do have the vertical layout for my personal use. It really has worked the best for me (and yes again the week choice is intentional, you don’t have to ask 🙂 )
Once you’re past the actual planner there are notes pages that I always try to make full use of throughout the year. They have lined pages and grid-dot pages. The grid-dot pages I always use for charts for things or if I’m planning out how something is going to be arranged/look. The lined pages, I use for birthday planning, planning trips and any yearly reminders that I need. Behind these notes pages they started putting little coloring pages, which I actually think are ridiculously cute and it just adds to the appeal of seeing planning as a calming experience, which is really what it should be.
Behind the notes pages, there is a calendar for next year, meaning 2019. I admit I don’t use this a ton but I do like that I really long range plan for doctor’s appointments, or trips or things that are happening way in advance so I don’t forget about them.
Then….one of my favorite things…the sticker sheets. I love using stickers in my planner; it makes some things pop out more and it just makes it prettier and more fun to use. And I love that Erin Condren has upped their sticker game to include a lot more variation in their designs. They have four pages full of all sorts of cute stickers that are also really functional.
Finally, they always have a nice size pocket in the back where I usually store invitations, appointment cards, notes, etc; just things I want to keep with my planner so they won’t get lost.
And that is my planner for 2018! It’s going to be an insanely busy year, but hopefully this will help me keep it all together so that I don’t run around like a chicken with my head cut off (too much anyway).
If you’re interested in trying out one of these planners for yourself, you can head over to the Erin Condren website (plus this link will get you an additional $10 off your first order) and fall down the rabbit hole….I’m sorry…I mean build your own life planner; there are so many different styles to choose from now that anyone can find something that fits them and their needs. Plus, they have free shipping on orders over $100 currently….as if you needed another reason to browse around.
You can also search my blog here for more Erin Condren product reviews if you’re interested in some of their other products!
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