Erin Condren Life Planner; a review

I live a crazy- busy life and have a mind like a sieve, which means I am also a list writer and prolific planner and diary user.  I have tried out a pretty broad range of diaries and planners, but was never able to find one that really worked for me, until I bought an Erin Condren Life Planner.  I’ve talked about them a few times (this thing seriously saves my sanity!) and have had a few questions about what I use, so I thought I’d do a quick review and tell you a bit about why I love mine so darn much.
I am pretty picky when it comes to diaries and planners, and have a list of ‘wants’ that the Life Planner ticks pretty comprehensively.  My criteria are;  month tabs (to easily find the month you are booking something in for), a good monthly breakdown with space to write lots in, a weekly breakdown, have space to write notes, a pocket for scripts/ receipts, must fit in my hand bag, nice to look at.

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What they say

“The one and only LifePlanner™ is the ultimate tool in stylish organization for your busy life! Set your goals for the year, make note of monthly events and organize your weekly schedule just how you want! Customize and personalize your LifePlanner™ for a truly unique planner that’s as unique as you!”

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The positives

I’ve got to say, the Erin Condren Life Planner really ticks all the boxes.   It has a monthly breakdown, with squares that are big enough to record almost everything you need, plus a ‘week to a page’ spread, that lets me record more ‘daily’ things, like appointment details, to do lists etc.

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The rectangular stickers come with the planner, and are perfect for scheduling different things- I try to use a specific colour for each thing i.e. blue for school, yellow for personal etc

The Life Planner is highly customisable, with options for your weekly layouts to suit a range of options (some people use the hourly option, others have a column per family member, some people have sections under each day as ‘morning, noon & night’ and others do the same as I do, using each section for different things- my weekly layout is used for reminders, then a daily schedule, then a to do section- which works really well for me!

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I use the vertical layout option and customise with stickers I have ordered from Etsy

What really drew me to the Life Planner was actually how pretty it is (I know that’s silly!).  It has a variety of covers to choose from, and you can actually change them out, swapping between old covers, seasonal covers, or what ever takes your fancy!  The covers come in a huge range of options, I love the photo choices, and get a lot of complements on the covers I have, but there is also a massive choice range, from floral, pop art, water colour to funky shapes, graphics or pictures- there is something for everyone! On top of the gorgeous cover, the pages are filled with quotes and colours (you can also choose between a few colour scheme options).  I find my mood lifts when I open my planner, the colours and quotes really lift me up.

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Motivational quote anyone!? A plus is once your year is done, if you are so inclined, tear out the quote pages and put them in a frame and use them for pretty office decor

Another plus is I find it a really great mindful time, to sit quietly and plan my week.  I take the time on a Sunday night or Monday morning to write in my weekly schedule, transferring the details from my monthly page to my weekly spread.  This gives me a chance to really plan my week and get my head around what needs to happen on each day, I’ve found that can be really lacking if I only have a weekly ‘spread’ to use.

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Another bonus is that the Life Planner comes with stickers! These are a great bonus item,  as they make it that much easier to clearly and neatly plan your week or month, including ‘dentist, doctor, game, birthday’ etc.  I often order extras, because they really do make planning so much prettier and neater!  The planner also comes with a few other bonus items these vary each year but have included, a ruler/ page marker, calling cards, a sample name label, sample dot stickers and motivational cards that are so cute!

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Another plus is their great customer service- when I did have problem with my planner, it was as simple as emailing them with a picture of the issue and they fixed the problem super fast- I was really impressed with how they handled the issue, and when you are ordering online, it’s pretty important ton know that is something goes wrong the company can help- Erin Condren certainly did that for me!

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The negatives

The cost of the planner plus shipping to Australia is very high.  I last payed about $50 total per planner I ordered (often I get a second one as a present) because I order as part of a large group. I would highly recommend getting a group of friends together to order together, you will save on shipping, and there are discounts for ordering multiple diaries. The basic cost of Life Planner is $55 with additional costs for metallic covers, coils and shipping (that’s a big one!), which makes it a big purchase for me, but I do budget for it, and have decided it’s worth the money for how much I use mine.

Another thing that can get annoying is that the paper can be quite thin, so you have to be careful what pen you use so it doesn’t bleed through BUT I noticed they mentioned a thicker paper being used this year, so I’d say this issue will not be such a big one in the future (yay!)

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If you look closely you can see through to the next page on the right- I’m glad they’ve fixed this issue with better quality paper

For the nit picky people (I am one for sure), the fact the month layout starts on a Sunday but the weekly layout starts on a Monday can be annoying.  This can cause issues when, if like me you sit and write in your week ahead, and don’t check that you are writing something on the correct day.  If they could pick a day to start both the month and week off (my vote is Monday), then that would make things a little bit easier!

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  Another issue is size, my Life Planner is bigger than my iPad.  While it absolutely fits in my handbag, it may cause an issue for minimalist people.  Once I’ve loaded it up with all of my many things (receipts, tickets, invitations etc) it can be a noticeable weight but it is a Life Planner- and as the name suggests it’s for organising your whole (and possibly your family’s) life, therefore it’s got to be big enough to fit everything in!

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My planner is always in my handbag

Last of all, it can be annoying that the dates written on the pages are actually American, while it’s not a huge problem it could throw up an issue if you don’t know the US celebrates Fathers Day on a different time to Australia!

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So there you have it, I’ve had a few of these now and I haven’t stopped adoring them!  I really do rave about my Life Planner, and should maybe think about charging a commission on sales, I’ve managed to convince enough people to buy one too, but its for good reason. If you are anything like me and love to have things organised, know when something is on, and need one place for everything- then this is really a great option for you, I believe the positives far outweigh the negatives of this planner, and I know they have a heap of other options, so you are highly likely to find something you love on the Erin Condren site, which you can find here.

Do you have any questions about the Life Planner? Please feel free to ask! If you are thinking of buying one I’ve added a few extra pictures of layout etc for you to have a look at!

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Prominent tabs mean it’s easy to find the correct month!

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