A little (big) Erin Condren review and how I stay organized

I figured I talk enough about my Erin Condren products that I might as well do a little review.

For day to day planning, I’m currently lugging around an 18 month Life Planner. I bought it last July when it looked like I was closing in on a “real” job, and wanted to stay organized. That job fell through, but the planner stuck with me. Each planner has a monthly at a glance calendar, as well as a “dashboard” to use for almost a quick guide for the month.

Monthly view
Dashboard view

I currently use the horizontal layout, which stacks three boxes on top of each other each other with a small lined box at the bottom for each day. My current system is top box is appointments, schedules, things happening that day. Middle box, which sometimes spills into the bottom, is the daily To Do list. Bottom box I use for journaling – notable things that happened that day that I might want to remember (super helpful for my new “Week in Review” posts. Bottom box I’m currently using as an at a glance health check in – weight, sleep, calorie intake, fasting time, etc. This is the main book that keeps me organized. It goes with me everywhere and keeps track of both home and work tasks, appointments, things to remember, bills due, etc. I’m a bit of a sticker girl, although not nearly as much as you’d see if you went on Instagram and searched for Erin Condren planner layouts. I honestly don’t know how you keep track of anything when it seems like every writable space is covered in stickers. To me it seems to miss the point of a planner. I use them to highlight appointments, work schedules, as trackers, etc. I primarily get my stickers from PlannerKate1 on Etsy. I like her asthetic, and I’ve found that she seems to have a sticker for everything.

Weekly view

For full disclosure, I’m switching to the Daily Duo next year. Rather than a weekly view it breaks it further down into a daily view with both an hourly and a to do section for each day. As you can see above, my sections are pretty full. Last week was a pretty light week in terms of appointments, and I never put Mike’s schedule in as I just never got around to it, but I have a number of weeks that look like solid blocks of text from the top of the page to the bottom. So I figured I’d try the new Daily and see how it goes for a year. Once I get into it at the beginning of the year I’ll do another review (although some people have been using them since July so if you’re curious now, go check out Instagram).

In terms of the Petites, they’re smaller, most people use an EC folio which fits four books (I’ve got a nice navy blue “leather” one). There are planner books for each quarter, but as you can see from above I pack a ton of stuff into my Life Planner and probably wouldn’t be well suited to using a petite for a day to day planner. Instead, I’m using four tracker-type books. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m currently rocking the wellness journal, the budget book, the goal setting journal, and the I Am Enough book.

I really like these books as they’re helping me really drill down on areas of my life that I need more organization and accountability.

First up is the budget book. This book really helped me get a budget for us in line. Each month has a dashboard page with everything you know is going in and out – paychecks, bills, grocery, etc. And then after those two pages is a few sheets to keep track of spending. For me, because we have our own separate “fun money” accounts, I use these pages to track my spending out of this account. Even though I balance the major checkbooks every other day or so, this is really helping me see where my money is going. Am I spending my money on things for the house? Should these purchases really come out of one of the other accounts instead? (I took pictures of blank pages as y’all don’t need that much detail about my finances lol).

Budget dashboard
Spending tracking

Next up is goal setting. One of the first things you’re tasked with doing is literally writing down every goal that you have. Doesn’t matter if it’s achievable short term, long term, or even not at all. Just get them all down. Then you pick a few that you want to work on. There’s pages in the book to work on a few goals and you can tackle them one at a time or multiples at once. You then break the goal down into manageable steps with to do lists and check ins.

Goal setting

Third up we’ve got the wellness log. This is the one out of the four that I use every day. Again, at the beginning you set goals. And then there are the log pages to track exercise, food, whatever you find relevant. Writing this all down at the end of the day really helps keep me on point and see where I had good days and bad days.

Wellness log

Lastly is the I Am Enough book. I didn’t take any pictures as it’s hard to get a good “general” page to show you the feel of it. It was developed with the Kindness Campaign, and it’s really designed to work on self esteem and self worth. I’ve only started to use it and follow the prompts, but I can see how something like this could be useful to someone like me who tends to view themselves as a dumpster fire. It’s a lot of self reflection and digging into your thoughts about yourself.

Aside from these four books and the actual planner system, there are gratitude journals, medical treatment logs, agendas, meal planners, almost whatever you could think of. And if there isn’t something exactly what you wanted, you could probably find something that you could make work.

So yeah, there’s my long ass explanation of all of my planning systems and how I keep my life on track. I’ve gotten a few emails from people asking me to do a more thorough post on everything that I use as I’ve referenced all of it extensively over the last year and a half.

Well, that’s it for now. Stay safe, friends.

2 thoughts on “A little (big) Erin Condren review and how I stay organized

  1. Thanks for sharing! I’ve had two Erin Condren planners, one for my wedding planning and one as a teacher planner last year. I loved both of them but I didn’t like how heavy they are! I felt like it added so much weight to my bag!

    Liked by 1 person

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