I’m an organized person… in my mind. Unfortunately, life gets busy and that organization doesn’t always transfer from my head into real life. In my head, I never forget an appointment, dinner is ready early, and I know exactly what we need to do each day. In real life, I remember an appointment 15 minutes before I need to leave (or when Emma asks if I remember it), I forget to take things out of the freezer in time to make dinner, and I remember things that need done when I’m trying to fall asleep at night.
I’ve always been a bit of a calendar geek, forever in search of the world’s perfect calendar/planner. Each time I bought a different one, I was SURE that THIS was the ONE. And each time, I found some fatal flaw in it. Been there, done that?
I’m happy to report that I’ve found my true calendar love. I’ve used it for a while, so I’ve figured out that it truly does work for me. Let me introduce you to the Erin Condren Weekly Life Planner.
:: My Initial Reaction ::
Being the frugal gal that I am, the price tag threw me. In fact, I’d looked at these planners before and closed the window when I saw the price. They want HOW MUCH for a planner!? Don’t they know that it’s only good for one year?
Then I won one at a Twitter party. This one. And it rocked my organization world.
Once I had a chance to use the planner, I realized that I would be willing to pay for one next year (and the next year and the next year….). It’s that good. Fortunately, they included the rest of this year and all of next year. I was thinking I would end up buying planners at weird intervals each year, but they took care of that by just including the few extra months. Plus, when I look back on how much I’ve spent searching for a decent calendar/planner, I’ll end up saving money in the long run.
:: What’s Included ::
The weekly life planners are 7″ x 9″ spiral-bound with a heavy-duty laminated cover. There are so many fun cover designs to choose from. Most of them include a photo, but the photo is totally optional.
Inside you’ll find a section for special dates, a month-at-a-glance page for each month, a two-page spread for each week (more on that later), a notes section (with uber-cute note page designs), a section for contacts, a ruler/bookmark to mark the current week, labels for special calendar days, and a little folder and zipper pouch to hold loose items. There are also inspirational quotes sprinkled throughout the planner, on the calendar pages and on the divider pages. I loved that they included a set of gift tags and appointment cards just for fun!
:: The Weekly Pages ::
The weekly pages are the real reason that I’m in love with the planner. Take a peek.
Each day has three boxes all to itself. At first I thought that would be overkill. But the more I thought about it, my day is broken up into those three segments. In the morning, I usually do homeschooling with Emma. In the afternoon (‘day’ on the planner), I’m in the office blogging and doing design work. After Emma goes to bed (‘night’ on the planner), there’s usually something that I need to accomplish before calling it a day.
I’ve been putting these boxes to good use lately, scheduling the things that need to be done. While we keep a running to-do list for our business, the items aren’t marked with dates. Last weekend, I scheduled business tasks for myself to complete each afternoon. And you know what? I got more done. It was less overwhelming than trying to digest the entire to-do list and choose tasks each afternoon. I had concrete goals for each day, something I desperately needed.
The two-page spread for each week also has spaces for notes down the left side and across the bottom. I’m going to start using the bottom space for each day’s menu plan. Like our business to-do list, I have a weekly menu plan. But I need to think through which meals would work best on which days. By using the two-page weekly calendar, I get the big picture of our activities, work schedule, field trips, dance lessons, etc. and see which nights have the potential to create a crunch time situation for dinner. Now I can schedule quick meals, leftovers, or Crock Pot meals on those days.
:: The Details ::
I think the real beauty of this planner is in the details. There cute little accent swirls, squiggles, and flowers on the pages. The designs on the notes pages make me smile. The quotes are inspiring. Of course without the function, the design wouldn’t matter. But paired with the functionality of the planner, the design is truly the icing on the cake.
:: Savings ::
I just checked to see if there were any promos that could save you a little cash on the Erin Condren planners. You can get free shipping on orders of $49 or more (through 10/1/13) when you use the promo code FS49 at checkout. Click here to see all the designs or to get yours. And let me know if you have any questions about the planner. I’d be happy to share my experience with you!