The Planner

Since I’ve spent two weeks talking about my planner and stickers and all that nonsense, I thought I’d actually share it and how I have it set up.

And before I go any further, I must admit: yes, it is an Erin Condren planner.  I am one of those bloggers who has succumbed to both the Whitney English and the Erin Condren at one time or another.  Considering I’ve never gone digital, it’s not a surprise that I’ve tried or at least thought about trying every paper planning method out there.

(this would NOT be my choice of quote but designing my own cover adds processing time and I was too impatient.)
Because this isn’t my first Erin Condren planner, I thought I’d give a quick pro/con list. 
Pros:  1) It serves all the purposes I have in a planner – agenda, meal planner, to-do list organizer, ideas jotter-downer – so I’m not carrying multiple notebooks at any given time. 2) I have a full 18 months (or 12) at my fingertips. 3) It’s not so heavy that I can’t have it with me at all times.
Cons: 1) It’s cutesy (but I’m a 7 year old girl covering mine with stickers so that isn’t the BIGGEST thing in the world to me).  2) It’s weekly spread is divided into narrow days which are further divided into morning, day, and evening which isn’t my favorite break down.  3) It’s expensive & shipping is expensive. 4) Carrying a EC planner can feel almost cultish at times – there are whole etsy shops devoted to EC products.  (And I’m guilty of buying some of them)
Okay, so here’s my breakdown:

After the cover I have my daily page which helps me stay on task and make sure I get the household things done that I want to get done.  On the back of that sheet is my weekly cleaning schedule/checklist.  I need to do some editing on that because I’m noticing my weeks aren’t breaking down quite how I have them on this sheet, but for now I’m making it work.  (To make these, I purchased a template on etsy and adjusted them in Adobe Elements.  I printed it out and laminated it so I could check things off with a dry erase marker.  They are attached to the spiral with sticky do-dads that you can order from Erin Condren.  In my old planner I used this tutorial so I didn’t have to buy anything but it was super fiddly.)

Because I always have my planner with me and was using up the notes section for grocery lists/meal planning, I purchased the menu planner add-on from EC.  As you can see the front is the weekly meal plan and the back is a shopping list.  I just write things down using a fine tip sharpie and it wipes off with a wipe.

Once you get past those first main sheets you have your monthly and weekly spread.  You can see good examples of those on the EC website or just by googling it. I haven’t finished filling my info in so there really isn’t much to look at.  You also have a few EC sticker sheets for doctor appointments and what not.

The next series of sheets are ones I made using the “Notes” section in the back of the planner.

I made a quick and dirty “spreadsheet” for those monthly jobs that I want to accomplish but always seem to forget about on one page and my goals for 2015 on another.

Yes, it’s February and I’m already thinking Christmas.  I like to have all of my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving so I can enjoy the holidays without fighting the crazy crowds and I also enjoy making gifts for family.  That means I need to reference what I’ve already purchased (and where I stashed it) and what I need to purchase.  The next page is something new I’m trying – a handy meal list so when I try a new recipe that everyone likes, I can write it down (and where I found it) so we can have it again.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had one-off good dinners but forget where I found the recipe.
One of our goals this year is to really get a good idea of what we spend our money on each year.  I tend not to be very good at tracking the incidentals and random expenses so this page is to help me with that for next year’s budgeting.  And because my planner wouldn’t be complete without a list of house projects I’d like to tackle, I added that as well.

In the back, I laminated and sticky do-dadded (very technical term) my reading challenge list so that I always knew where it was (I lose things) and also so I could have it for handy reference when I was at the library or bookstore. Behind that is a folder (with the included perpetual calendar insert for birthdays/special dates).

Finally, we have the other side of the folder with more EC stickers and a zipping plastic pouch with my stickers so they aren’t floating around everywhere.

Are you still a paper planner user?  Or have you made the switch to digital?  What do you like best about your system?  Tell me.  I could talk planners all day.

**This planner was purchased fully out of my own pocket and links are NOT affiliate links.  I just wanted to share my opinion and set up.**

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  • I am not a planner user in any form. I use my work calendar to track all my appointments. I have a list app on my phone that I use for groceries. I write weekly meals on a chalkboard in the kitchen. Every morning I ask my kids: "Where do you need to be today and when?" It's not a perfect system. Sometimes I am surprised by things. Sometimes things get dropped. But I have never seemed to be able to use a planner effectively.

    Yours, however, is adorable. I want to be the kind of person who would have and keep and use such a planner. Alas, I am not. 🙂