There are many other planners, and some of them are almost as good as the Erin Condren planners, but they aren’t the real thing. Some people prefer FranklinCovey (which is more formal), or other fun ones like Filofax, Plum Paper Planners, or The Happy Planner. You can also find nice planners from a variety of sellers on Etsy or you can even buy one at Walmart and dress it up. I haven’t seen any I like as well as my ECLP, though.
ATTENTION: The link below is my affiliate link. If you purchase a planner through that link, you will receive a $10 discount. And I will receive a $10 credit toward my own next purchase. 😀
Reason #1: It makes me happy.
All the other reasons are really justifications. It makes me smile to see my planner. I’m just an amateur planner, but I enjoy decorating it with stickers and washi tape, making inserts for it, using different colored pens and showing it off, especially to my granddaughters, who love it as much as I do. It’s pretty, and they can find their birthdays and special events in it.
Hard to miss.
Excuse Reason #2: It helps you plan for the long-term and immediate future. (Duh…) In the 2-page monthly spreads, I write birthdays and upcoming events. I indicate paydays, bills due, doctor appointments and other repeating or scheduled items in advance. I can do that a whole year ahead or at any time.
The weekly pages are filled in later. I plan and decorate each week as it approaches, referring to the monthly spread to make sure I am not missing anything. This is the fun part.
Reason #3: It functions like a journal. I frequently record events after the fact, so I remember them: last-minute work schedule changes, expenses incurred, canceled or unexpected events, accidents, illness or deaths, blog articles posted, gifts received or sent – or anything else that I may want to have a record of, for future reference.
Reason #4: It is a convenient place to track progress in goals. I use it to keep records of my social media growth and activity, the amount of writing I do each day, and sewing and informal selling records for GloryQuilts. I have checklist pages that snap into the coil and I move them along when I start each new week.
I also track exercise and weight loss in my planner. I made a very cute laminated insert for weight loss: I cut out a mason jar and put stars into it – one star for each pound I need to lose. As I lose each pound, I “pour” it out of the jar into the heap on the bottom. It’s very rewarding to move each star – except for the ones I have to put back into the jar. Ahem. That doesn’t happen often. I use stickers or notes in the daily boxes to record weigh-ins, runs, workouts, water consumption, and anything else pertaining to fitness. I am planning to start a “savings” jar soon, putting stars into the mason jar as we put money into the savings account.
Reason #5: Meal planning. I can do this on the monthly or weekly spread according to my needs. Some people make inserts for the purpose. From there, I can make my grocery list.
Reason #6: Lists. “To do” lists, especially, but I also have lists of phone numbers, shopping lists, books I have read or want to read for reviewing on the blog, lists of authors I like (for browsing the library website or Amazon), non-critical passwords and prioritized lists of sewing and other business projects.
On the appropriate monthly spreads, I like to jot down Christmas and birthday gift ideas.
One of the main reasons I like having the planner is that it’s “one stop shopping.” One book holds all of the above. There are pocket pages and a zipped pouch in the back, so I could add receipts or scraps of paper if I needed to.
You can get an endless supply of accessories for the planner, including a pen holder and a fancy elastic band to hold it closed when you have stuffed it full of three-dimensional stickers and notes. It comes with a snap in ruler to use as a bookmark. Etsy is a fun place to get accessories, washi tape and stickers.
There are many Facebook groups for people who use Erin Condren or other planners. It’s fun to see what other people are doing. Some people spend more time on their planner than they do living the plans, and you can spend a LOT of money on little things to dress it up. I have been doing it less than a year and am pretty frugal. My spreads aren’t as nice as some, but as I said in Reason #1 –
it makes me happy.
Do you have a planner? What kind?
Do you dress it up?
What do you use it for?