I’m a big planner and a huge lover of to-do lists, so the Erin Condren life planner (affiliate link) is perfect for me. If you’re on Instagram, you’ve probably seen shots of them around (especially if you follow me!). The only downside is that they are not cheap. So if you’re on the fence of buying it or are just curious of what makes them so awesome, I’m opening my planner for you to show you how I use mine.
You may or may not know that I used the Erin Condren teacher planner while teaching (affiliate)! Here is my review of it after a month or so and here is the review after the year was over. This post contains affiliate links, and other than the ones above, they will not be identified.
Looking at My Erin Condren Life Planner
About the Planner
About the Brand: Erin Condren creates personalized stationary, planners, notecards, and more. There are planners for pretty much everything (life, wedding, teaching, etc.), and it’s all customizable! You choose the pattern and can add your name to it.
The Planner: The planners are 7″x9″, and you choose the weekly layout. It can be horizontal, vertical, or hourly, depending on your preference.
Personalization: You choose many elements of your planner: the weekly layout, as I just mentioned; the cover pattern and name on it (the monogram on mine is a sticker from Etsy, by the way); whether the inside is color or neutral; and adding any of the many accessories to further personalize yours. The stickers you see in many people’s planners – and will see in mine – are another element of that, but I’ll address that shortly. They are not one of the elements of the planner itself that you choose when ordering yours.
My Use: I put important events in here – like big assignments due, if I or one of my family is traveling, medical appointments – and I use the sidebar next to it to keep track of my monthly goals and to-dos. The goals are mostly blog related because I keep my personal goals and to-dos in the weekly section (which I’ll show shortly).
Other Uses: You might put your monthly goals and to-dos in the sidebar, use stickers to demonstrate important events like birthdays or appointments, or just cover it all up with stickers.
My Use: In the Erin Condren vertical life planner, each week is divided in to 3 boxes, which is one of the reasons why I got it in the first place. I use 1 box for the day’s to-do list, which is a combination of blog, school, and personal items. Depending on the day and what’s going on, I use 1 or 2 boxes for the day’s activities. For example, I work on on Tuesdays, so I really don’t need 2 boxes for that. However, this semester, Wednesdays are my busy day with 2 classes, blog work, and maybe medical appointments. In that case, I need 2 boxes to cover everything in that day.
Of course, the weekly page has more to it than the daily boxes. I use the sidebar for the weekly to-do list and keeping track of things I need to do every day, which depends on the week. Sometimes, it’s how many words I wrote each week; other times, it’s whether I took all my pills every day (I take pills 4 times a day, so it’s easy to miss something). The weekly page also has space underneath the daily boxes, which I generally leave blank ahead of time. This is because my to-do lists are in the last box of the day, and sometimes they run over the size of the box. I also use that space for brainstorming for something – like the title for a paper or notes for my writing – and any random notes or reminders I need to make.
Other Uses: The weekly layout is customizable to help you use it however best works for you. You might use 1 section for the morning, 1 for afternoon, and 1 for evening, or 1 for morning, 1 for afternoon, and 1 for to-do list. You might make a list of things to buy in one box, or you might use it to doodle. If you’re a blogger, 1 box could be for blogging tasks, 1 for personal to-dos, and 1 for daily appointments. Basically, it’s so easy to use it however works for you, even if you don’t buy any extra stickers.
My Use: I use stickers partially to make my planner pretty and partially to keep it organized. My handwriting isn’t good by any means, and pretty pens can only go so far. So I use stickers mostly for functional purposes, meaning I use headers, to-do lists, noting assignments, etc. I also use some because they make it pretty because I’m really a sucker for pretty things that don’t cost much. I use some pretty stickers to cover space on days that I have long events – like days that I work since that’s generally the only event on the list – or days I don’t have much going on, and I use others for notes, my own headers, or single to-do items that don’t need a full list or 4 or 5.
Other Uses: There are stickers for EVERY possible situation. Some people cover their pages in stickers (which is something I don’t really understand, but whatever floats your boat), and some people just like adding them when possible. Explore Instagram to see what this can look like – using hashtags #planner, #planneraddict, #plannerstickers, etc. – and the various sticker shops on Etsy and you’ll be able to find many, many types! (Scroll down to see my favorite Etsy shops.)
My favorite sticker shops (for my use): SaucyStickersCo (where the work, pattern block, and other headers are from) | Planner Kate (the source of the heart to-do list stickers) | CreatingandCo (that’s where the swearing stickers are from). I have many more stickers, but I wanted to photograph a page that didn’t have a lot of personal information that I don’t want to be on the Internet.
There are official Erin Condren stickers, and they’re nice, but they are more expensive than those available on Etsy. I did order some stickers when I ordered my planner because EC hadn’t brought out their wide variety of stickers available, but they’re sticky notes and not full stickers.
My Use: At the end of the planner, there are several lined and graphed pages for whatever you may need. I use them for the list of my doctors and their phone numbers, keeping track of the data that led to figuring out what’s the best time for me to post on social media, etc. I haven’t done it yet, but I’ll probably also use it for some writing.
Other Uses: I mean, you can do whatever with these. Write if you’re a writer, take notes if you’re in a meeting and missing paper, graph success of something, etc. You have many opportunities, and they can be used however you need them to be.