Yesterday, when I returned home from Orlando, I was most excited to see Brendan and the girls, but I was second most excited about THIS package:
What was inside, you ask? Oh, just the LIFE PLANNER that I designed two and half weeks ago and have been fantasizing about ever since. What is a life planner, you ask? It's a customizable paper planner. It is on the expensive side for a paper product (I paid $55 for 15 months), and it is certainly bulkier than an ipad or iPhone, but, for me, I can already tell it is going to be far more effective than any computer/iPhone/or ipad ever could be in helping me organize everything.
Let me start by saying, I am a paper person: always have been, always will be. My current system of organization involves a wall calendar in my kitchen and one in my office. Even with the option of google docs or calendars, I am never going to find efficiency in the tech world. My brain just doesn't work that way. I need to see it on paper. Colors and checklists are also a big help, as is having space to actually write. My current organization system is failing me. There is more going on than I can fit in a box, and I can't take a wall calendar with me. Plus, with a wall calendar, it is hard to flip forward and back in time. I need to be able to track my professional development and plan for conferences and weddings that are a year ahead. All of this was motivation to buy a life planner, even though, at first, I was hesitant to spend that kind of money a paper planner. I'm glad I did though. I don't think Office Depot sells anything that I would like remotely as much, and as Brendan points out, my planner has already given me $55 worth of joy! For me, I have to like the product to stick with it consistently, and I know I will get tons of use from my EC planner.
So here's a look at my planner:
The front and back covers are laminated and 100% customizable. There are may designs to choose from. I decided to make a collage. If you can't decide, the covers are actually removable (you can take them on and off, but it takes effort, so they aren't going to just fall off). Extra covers retail for $10.95, which is more than I, personally, would spend on one, but I've seen several free promotions for them lately.
Then, you get a page with the year at a glance. This goes from July 2014-December 2015. Erin Condren debuts 18 month life planners every July.
Each week has a view like this, giving you space in every day to write your plans for morning, noon, and night, and giving you the all important checklist space.
I couldn't wait to attack my first week. Taking some time on Sunday to really think about the upcoming week has already made a huge difference in how organized I feel. I LOVE the three parts to the day set up. I use morning for anything before noon, afternoon for anything from noon-5pm, and night for anything after 5pm. I use the side for a checklist, which has grown to disturbing proportions since this photo.
Another thing I love is that each month has a laminated tab:
Those bands were an accessory add on for $6.95; they hold the planner together and bookmark pages. Honestly, another selling point for me was that they double as headbands/hair ties. This is coming from someone who forgets a ponytail holder for the gym 10% of the time and is really annoyed by it.
After all the tabs for each month (my planner is running October 2014--December 2015, so I have 15 months), there is a notes section.
I love that both lined and blank pages are included. I will definitely be taking meeting notes in here, and I even envision using this is as a space to write down attendance next semester. I'm so tired of taking notes in random notebooks and on random scraps of paper...there are about 31 sheets for notes, and I know I will use them all and be happy to have everything in one spot.
|The designs are so cute!|
Then comes four pages of different colored stickers. The first two pages have things written on the stickers like "birthday," "hair appt.," "dr. appt.," etc. The last two pages are blank. There are a total of 240 stickers. When you make your planner, you can add more customized typed stickers or blank stickers. The stickers can also be moved around in case appointments change, but that also means you can "recycle" them.
Next comes the pocket folder, which is great to hold invitations with directions, or things like that in, and the "Forget me Not" booklet.
Inside the booklet, you can write birthdays and anniversaries, and the nice thing is, you only have to write it all down once, instead of transferring them from planner to planner each year.
Up next is a plastic pocket that can hold things like pens, business cards, etc. Inside, there were 25 labels (gift labels, "this book belongs to" labels, and some labels customized with my name). I also had 2 "let's get together" cards in mine, which are basically like blank business cards that you can fill your information in on.
Overall, I'm very happy with my EC life planner, and I plan to purchase one again in January 2016 when mine runs out. That said, here are some factors to consider:
- I wish I could order 18 months at any time, versus only being able to order an 18 month version in July.
- Price: Even with my $10 discount, the planner, elastics, and shipping came out to nearly $60. This is a lot for a planner. I think each person has to individually assess whether or not it would be "worth it."
- Wait time/Shipping: I ordered my planner on October 14th and picked the cheapest shipping option ($7.95). My planner shipped on October 23rd and arrived on October 30th. All in all, the process takes over two weeks, unless you pay for faster shipping. For someone desperately needing to get organized (me!), the wait time is the worst part.
- A final thing to consider is the size of this planner. It is 7x9 and pretty heavy and bulky. It isn't something that you could easily fit in a purse. I usually use both a purse and tote bag, so, for me, the larger size isn't a problem.
Happy life planning!
P.S.-My life planning is crazy. I returned from Orlando yesterday afternoon, and on Thursday, Brendan and I leave for a wedding in Boston. I'm excited and exhausted. Wish me luck this week!