Thursday, June 23, 2016

Erin Condren 2017 Lifeplanner Review + Coupon

Guys, guess what's here?

OMG, it's my 2017 life planner. Before we go any further, I want to state for the record that I purchase my own products from Erin Condren. I'm not paid or given freebies to promote the brand, but I do love it, and if you decide to order any products based on my review, I'd much appreciate the $10 referral credit, which I'll get if you use my personal link to purchase from Erin Condren. You'll also get $10 off your order, so it's a win/win! 

In my book, it's never too early to start planning, so even though 2016 is only halfway through, I still wanted to get my 2017 planner, so I could start writing important dates down. I also had some referral credit (thanks guys!) and I was able to get some fun accessories too. 

My haul included: a set of six colored pens, a set of twelve coil clips (used to snap things like paper or photos into the planner), a set of three mini bookmarks (used to help you keep your place on multiple planner pages), the new sticker-book (I truly LOVE it), and a pack of celebrate customized labels, which we use for gifts (namely, for sticking on bottles of wine or booze: our bday/housewarming/congrats gift of choice). 

Here's a sample page from the sticker book. Images and colors really do the trick for me when it comes to staying organized. I decorate my planner, and I have a visual of my week that I seem to remember whether or not I'm actually looking at the planner. These days, I take about 30 minutes on Sunday evening to plan out the week ahead. Brendan has even started asking me to write down some of his must remember appointments. 

I also ordered a package of on the go travel checklists. It just makes packing so much less stressful. 

Okay, without further adieu, here is my 2017 Lifeplanner: 

This year, making a planner was more fun than ever because you can customize several options: 
The cover: choose cover and personalization options. Most covers are removable (you can switch them out with other covers), but they now have some permanent options too. 
The coil color: new customizable option lets you pick platinum (standard) or gold, rose gold, or black (for +$10)
The inside color theme: Colorful or neutral 
The layout: Vertical, horizontal, or hourly. 
As always, you can order just 2017 or pay $5 extra for the rest of 2016 plus 2017. 
My picks: Ikat cover (removable) with personalization (after two years of photo covers, I'm digging the simplicity of this one), rose gold coil, colorful inside, vertical layout, 2017 only (I like a thinner planner). 

The colors have changed some, but the tab system is still in place. 

The biggest difference is that the pouch is no longer automatically added to the planner, but EC does provide you with a six inch coil clip, so you can easily put it in yourself. The stickers and compliment cards shown are this year's other freebies. I haven't decided if I'll clip mine in or not: I do like having the option, since my new planner is noticeably lighter than my 2016 one. 

Another difference is the dry erase board on the front and back inner covers. I have some dry erase dividers from EC, and I've used them to write down accommodations for students. It's the kind of info I need to refer to constantly during the semester, but once the term is over, I can erase it. The velum page is still covering the front page, which will prevent dry erase board smudging. 

2016/2017 calendar: 

Goal setting pages. I've personally enjoyed using these for monthly goals. Though I've learned I have to care about goals in order to meet them. I talk more about that here

Each month still begins with a lined page and quote page. I've really loved this a lot more than I thought I would. I've been using the lined page for month specific notes on topics I know I will never look at again once the month is over (think "what did I assign for extra credit recently?" or "what do I need to tell my class today?" 

My month at a glance is a huge help to me. I write all upcoming plans in the monthly view and transfer them to the weekly view each Sunday evening. If plans are made during the week, they only make it into weekly view. I also track my weight weekly and keep track of all of our bills on the sidebar, checking off when each was paid and noting how much it was. Using this system, I have never been late on a bill. 

The weekly views are as great as ever. Here's how I use mine: 
Thankful thought in the top lefthand corner (a great way to start the week), weekly to-do list down the left side of the page, and hydration counter in bottom left hand corner (I check off how many glasses of water I drink each day), meal plans or what I ate that day along the bottom if I care to track that week. Top rectangles: morning plans, middle: noon-5:00PM, bottom: after 5:00PM. The colors this year are a little more sophisticated/professional. I like it! 

The notes section still has lined, graph, and blank paper. Here's a few things I've used my note section for: I have a big list of extension numbers for everyone at work I call on a regular basis, I track semester long assignments for my students, meeting notes and scratch paper (obviously), slide numbers for my powerpoint games (I play Jeopardy with my students: they love and hate it), attendance, gift ideas, and professional development tracker. This year's notes section includes six lined, four graph, and four blank pages. Trust me, you can do all I do and more with that amount. 

This is one of my favorite additions of the year. A 2018 calendar with lines to write upcoming dates on. 

The stickers are still included. There are the common appointment stickers for things like hair appointments, doctors appointments, voting, etc. followed by a page of blank stickers, and then birthday stickers (cut in a cute shape) and a page of blank stickers in that same shape. I'm a fan of this year's color scheme. 

The folder has changed a bit. The front pocket is regular and the back pocket is shorter. I liked last year's folder better because it was laminated and there was space between the two sides to store things. However, I could easily cut out my old folder and add it using a coil clip. 

I don't always use my perpetual calendar (since I still have the one from my first planner), but I like that it has an important passwords/address page. I'll probably coil clip those in (and I don't recommend writing your real usernames and passwords on anything that could be lost, but you could always write hints that you would know and no one else would). Here's the dry erase board on the back cover (use permanent marker on these/use rubbing alcohol to clean them. Make sure it's dry before you close your planner).

Overall, I love my planner, and I'm thrilled with the difference that EC products have made in my life. 

Happy planning everyone! 

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