Recently, I got a new planner. An Erin Condren planner.
It sure is colorful and pretty, isn’t it?
I had another personal planner before, which I also started using for work back in March. However, I’ve found that for me, using the same planner for work as a therapist and for my personal life felt like I was bringing work home. And I’m pretty particular about separating work life from personal life.
I’d been interested in the EC planner for a while now, as I’d been reading a lot of rave reviews about it in the blogosphere, so I decided to look into it for myself before biting the bullet and buying one (the price is pretty hefty!).
So far, I’m loving it!
Here are some of the features of the planner, other than the pretty, personalized cover.
I love the inspirational quotes that found are throughout the planner and the labeled tabs separating each month and section.
There is a section to view 2013-2014 at a glance. I have no idea why most of the pictures are in a purplish hue.
There is a section for important dates, birthdays, and anniversaries. You can see that I’ve been very on top of this section so far.
It comes with a few pages of colorful stickers to label events in your planner, both already labeled and blank.
There’s a sturdy, plastic ziplock pouch to hold pencils, pens, loose items, etc. in the back, which is absolutely GENIUS.
There is a notes section with 20 lined and unlined pages, lined for the more structured, unlined for the free-spirited, which sure is lucky for me as I can be both!
There’s a nifty little pocketed folder in the back to hold loose papers and letters.
And now for the good stuff, the monthly and weekly views!
As you can see, there’s the basic monthly calendar view, along with an inspirational quote and a monthly notes section, where you can put your monthly to-do list. Apparently, I didn’t use September’s, but October’s is almost full!
So recently, I joined a Facebook group called Planner Addicts, started by Toni from A Bowl Full of Lemons, thinking I could hang since I was pretty into my planner and had a pretty good system going for me.
Goodness gracious, these ladies put my pen and paper “planning” to shame!!! Some have actual TOOLBOXES full of colored pens, markers, stickers, highlighters, washi tape, and Post-Its JUST for their planners!
Anyways, I’ve picked up a few tricks by lurking in the group. One of these tricks is using washi tape to mark off multi-day events and trips, just like you’d see in Google calendar. You can see this in the previous picture.
I’ve also discovered Staedtler pens through the group. Love these pens!
And now for the view I use the most, the weekly view, and how I have adapted it to fit my needs!
As you can see, for each weekly view, there is an area to write in a weekly to-do list/goals/notes, as well as a daily to-do lists/goals/notes section along the bottom. The bottom notes section is particularly handy and adaptable to whatever you want to plan for or keep track of. A lot of people use it for meal planning, tracking workouts, and you can see that I’m using it to track my sad water consumption. The possibilities are endless!
The planner also comes with a handy bookmark!
You might also notice that each day is separated into “morning,” “day,” and “night” sections. Since my entire mornings and days are spent at work, I use the “morning” box for my daily general and home to-do list items, the “day” box for blog-related and social media items, and the “night” box for actual daily events and activities. I know a lot of self-employed women use one of the boxes for work organization and planning. As you can see, the first two boxes are pretty empty during the work week.
What I love is that I can easily adapt the planner to fit my needs in whatever season of life I’m in, for example, when little RJ’s and Alice’s are running around, or when I’m not spending 12 hours a day on my way to/at work and doing more on campus, or when I have time for actual hobbies, or when I actually have the mental capacity to maintain my blog better.
That’s it for how I use my EC planner for now! I am completely loving it, and recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a good planner to manage and organize the many responsibilities and domains of life.
Thanks for reading! And if you have any planner life-hacks of your own, share them please! I’d love to hear about them. :)