Ok, so I’ve shown you the planners I use, now I want to go into a little more detail about them. Today I will show you more of my Erin Condren and how I make that work.
I get asked a lot about my Erin Condren Life Planner. It’s full of washi and stickers and everyone just loves to see it. Ever since I was little I was always drawn to crafts, stickers, fun, journaling (While I don’t have ALL my journals from childhood, I still remember each on in my heart and I have from age 13 on up) so something like this that is practical and yet still fun is perfect for me.
The biggest challenge I have with it, is being smart about it. It is VERY easy to overspend on stickers and all the do-dads to make it more fun and cute and whatnot but finding that balance between having something you love and using something functionally is a challenge. I have weeks where I am so busy and so much writing that I am actually dizzy by what I see (which is why I added the Fauxdori) but the stickers that are just a simple reminder with the décor stickers help break things up help keep things simple, clean and enjoyable. This is why the Erin Condren planner works so well for me. I actually want to look at it. Erin Condren has made a planner that is so easily adaptable so I thought I’d go into a bit more detail and show you how and why..
First you have the month at a glance I use this to record what would be written on our main calendar—the one I can’t see because it’s hung up by the ceiling. So this is something I can quickly reference, write down appointments and birthday’s, play dates, bills, etc etc etc. I minimally decorate for this. I didn’t utilize this well in last year’s planner, but this year I’ve found a system that works. I love it.
Then we have the week by week broken up into 3 categories, Morning, Day and Night. I actually use this thin washi and cover that up. I break it out into “To-Do”, “Reminders”, and “Personal/School (college stuff)”. How simple is that to repurpose it! On the left-hand side you have this section to write out “weekly goals and such”. I have seen this repurposed for so many things, menus, daily routine check boxes, errands, inspiration, some people just just decorate with washi everywhere. I actually recently got a couple stickers that I use here and they are; “To Buy” and “Errands” and then I can write what needs to be done. I also use my Mason Jar Water intake sticker here. I am trying to be very good about drinking enough water daily. I have these tiny stickers I got at the Dollar Tree that I use OR I’ll just use color coded pens to make little drops to mark how much I have drunk. While this is a rarely empty, I am still trying to get the hang of using this in the best functional way.
Along the bottom you have it broken up with four lines and above that Erin Condren wrote; Meal plans, exercise, daily to-dos” just to give you some inspiration on what to use it for. A LOT of people use this to put their dinner meals on and track their fit-bit steps. I actually use this for my Fly-Lady zone schedule and my Bible in a Year schedule.
In so far as decorating and stickers and washi and whatnot, I am on a facebook group that actually has a poll where everyone puts their idea for the theme for one week. The top 4 or 5 with the most votes are the themes we use. I use those to kind of decorate. It’s fun, you learn to go outside what you would normally do. This week is Pixar week (actually, that was one of my suggestions so it’s fun that it actually ended up that way) I wanted to do Finding Nemo which is my favorite Pixar film.
So, quick tip, the cheapest Nemo stickers I found were $4 and they were bubble kind. A) I am not paying $4 and b) bubble kind make my planner thicker than I like. So I found fishes for only $1 and just played around with that and used other stickers that I got in a RAK (oh, yeah, see note for this) which have cute lil sayings like “Don’t forget” “Note to self- Don’t forget note to self” etc. And I thought this was a great Dory reference. I had some waves and anchor washi that was also RAK’d to me that I use along the bottom. So, despite appearances, I try hard not to over decorate. I need room for this to function too. I wrote in the reminders and appointments I have for the week.
One way I function is writing stuff in post-its before the week has arrived and then when it is the current week I can adjust my stickies and reminders as needed to make this work best for my schedules.
I kind of shot down the idea about writing the weather along the top because it just seemed silly to write weather down. However, I recently read another reason people do it. One mom uses it to know how to dress her children and plan outside, and THAT made sense. So on Sundays I just do the first three days and then on Wednesday I will do Thursday-Sunday.
Another section in the Erin Condren Life Planner is their “Notes” section. This right here is why I LOVE this planner. I used to have spiral notebooks everywhere with scattered and random notes of things I was trying to keep track of and here in the Erin Condren I can have everything in ONE place and it’s easy to keep track of everything and not lose it.
So back in the note section I have, My Bible in a Year list, New Year Goals and then that is broken down into 3 tasks for each month, I have my Birthday list and gift section, My 52 week money challenge section, My Fly Lady Zone master list, My clothing budget and need list- this has the amount each of us has written down with enough space to write down what we need and what we pay for it. I can keep track for our expense and if I am out and about I can see what we need and its really nice. Another page has my babysitting hours for different clients. It helps keep track of what is due, what is credited and how much I have made in a month’s period. If I get checks, I can write down check number information and it is all located in one place. I have a list for books I want to read, review and blog about. I have a financial section to help keep track of our monthly budget. I have a “blog idea” page. (I can check this one off!) I have a page for all the chapter books I am reading to the children. I try to write a start and finish date as well but since there is only one book written down so far for the new year, we’ll see how that goes. I have a list of books I want to read. I have a Christmas list with ideas for my friends and family members. I have a page dedicated to keeping track of the amount we have saved to be able to move. Each month has its own line for the amount saved and then there is a master line for the goal I want to have at the end of the year. I also have a page of phone numbers to remember. And I haven’t even used all the notes section! So much more! I plan on getting another page set up to write down when I have planted what and what our planting goals are for spring and for fall
So, there you have it. My “Brain” all wrapped up into one amazing planner. This thing is so durable. I have thrown it into my diaper bag. Shamefully it has been left everywhere. I have had it fall out and even seen a planner where it landed on the asphalt of a parking lot and got run over and you know what? These things hold up amazingly! That is mom planner for you right there folks! I could go on and on about this planner. I will answer any questions you may have as well.
Right now, Erin Condren has their Life Planners discounted. Using my referral link and signing up for their newsletter will give you a $10 credit. Once you receive that, you should put it directly into your account right away. That way you don’t loose the email or forget to use it at check out. Now, they are discounting this year’s planners by 25% when you use the code listed on their site right below the product links. Please note; I have no idea how long this savings will last and it can change at any given time to Erin Condren’s discretion.
I found this a fabulous deal when I thought about it as less than $1 per week for some sanity and organization and you are going to get a much better deal than that!
Hope that helps for my Erin Condren Life Planner post… stay tuned for another blog post as my series continues.
RAK= Random Act of Kindness. This is another Facebook group for Erin Condren users that randomly send stickers, pens, washi tape, etc. to other members. You request a name and you can send packages out and in a few weeks, you can hope to receive some as well. You can find their page here.