Erin Condren Life Planner (2014 Planner Update)

Now that we’re well into the new year I thought it was time to share my annual planner update with you.  I am splitting this post into two parts, the first of which showcases my Erin Condren Life Planner, which I use as a planning tool for my online work.  I will post the second part next Friday, in which I will share a look at my Filofax.

I have been a Planner Enthusiast for the past fifteen years or so, beginning with a love of my little red Day-Timer back in high school.  I bought my first Filofax when I was working in London for the summer of 2003.  There was a brief period of time in my mid-twenties when I attempted to go without a written calendar, relying solely on the iCal app that comes standard with all iPhones.  It didn’t take long to figure out the reason I felt much less on top of things was due to the lack of a written planner in my life.  Although I think digital calendars are excellent tools and can suit so many people, I believe there are others out there just like me who fare better with a physical planner.  I like to write things out and a planner helps me feel more organized.  I’ve loved my return to keeping a Filofax for the past few years, but decided I needed an additional and separate planner to help me with my new posting schedule I implemented this year.  After hearing such rave reviews about the Erin Condren Life Planner, I decided to take the plunge.

OJ_OLJ_02-14-2014_01One of the many great things about the Erin Condren Life Planner range is that there are so many beautiful options.  I ordered the Classic Life Planner in the beautiful Zen Gems design.  I love how you can customize the planner to truly make it your own.  Since I am using mine as my work planner, I decided to put my online handle (OrganizedJen) and website on the front.  The designers at Erin Condren formatted my choice to suit the cover beautifully!  The planner itself is well constructed with a durable, spill-proof laminated cover and back as well as a really nice spiral binding that allows for smooth page turning.  It is substantial in size, measuring 7.25″ x 9.25″ allowing ample space to write in each calendar cell.

OJ_OLJ_02-14-2014_02 The calendar portion of the planner is set up with month at-a-glance two-page spreads situated between the weekly two-page spreads, which is a new format for me (I’m used to having the monthly views all at the front of the calendar).  The weekly spreads are broken down into three sections, including morning, day, and night, with blank space to fill in each spot.  I use the monthly portion of the calendar to plan out my posts, using my own color-coded labels to help me visualize my schedule.  In the weekly spreads, I break down the actions I need to complete each post on a daily basis, penciling in video editing, blog writing, and photo taking/editing, as well as uploading times and scheduling posts.  In addition to the calendar the planner includes a special dates section, important contact info sheet, twenty pages of beautiful notepaper, a snap-in ruler, colorful labels, a double-sided folder, and a zip-style vinyl pouch.  All in all, it’s a wonderful resource that can be customized to suit a variety of needs and a beautiful one at that!

OJ_OLJ_02-14-2014_03Erin Condren also sells coordinating accessories to compliment your Life Planner.  I was able to pick out all of the accessories I wanted through my personalized planner order online, making for a very streamlined process.  I decided to go all out and picked up just about everything!  The Colorful Markers include six extra-fine fiber point pens, which come in a cute box for easy storage.  The adhesive Pen Holder is a must have to keep your pen of choice right in your planner for easy access.  I choose to write mostly in pencil in my planners, which is what I keep tucked into the pen loop.  The set of three Elastic Bands is handy if you like to keep your planner together.  I bind the pages I am not using with mine.  I also picked up an extra Snap-In Bookmark so I could use the one the planner comes with for my monthly view and the additional one for my weekly view.  I bought a pack of two Notebook Notepads that were designed to coordinate with my planner.  They look just like the cover of my Life Planner.  I also opted for the customizable Event Stickers, although I stopped using them because they are not removable.

Image sources can be found at included products links.

OJ_OLJ_02-14-2014_04Additionally, I use a couple of my own accessories with my Life Planner.  I decided to make my own customizable labels using Avery Removable Multi-Use Labels (5418), which I printed color blocks onto using Photoshop and then formatted with the names of my different posting categories using Avery’s Design & Print online feature.  I like to have the option to move labels around, which is why I prefer these removable labels over the more permanent ones that Erin Condren offers.  The other main accessory I have is a case.  I like to keep my planners protected when I am traveling with them.  I used the Orla Kiely for Target Sweet Pea Weekender as a “Planner Suitcase” when we went to Utah over the holidays.  It fits both my Life Planner and Filofax comfortably, as well as many accessories.  I traveled with just my Life Planner most recently when I went to LA to visit the YouTube Space and film a collab with my friend Kristina (video link below!) and used a great mesh and vinyl pouch from The Container Store.  The Life Planner fits perfectly inside and is protected from possible leaks and spills.

If you’d like to get a closer look at my Life Planner and my accessories and hear more about how I use it and my thoughts on it, I recommend watching my coordinating video:

I also filmed a fun collab with Kristina where we compared our Life Planners and talked about our different uses for them in this video:

I was fortunate to be able to give away ten $100 ErinCondren.com gift cards over the holidays thanks to all of the referral credits I’ve been accumulating (see my referral link below for $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase!) and I am happy to report I have enough to give away another ten!  The ErinCondren.com Giveaway will run until Friday, February 28, 2014 at 6 PM CST.  The giveaway is open internationally (you can find information about Erin Condren international shipping costs here).  All entrants under the age of 18 must have parental permission to enter.  There will be TEN winners!  Each will win a $100 ErinCondren.com gift card.  You can enter the giveaway by following the directions in the Rafflecopter widget posted below (check out this blog post for more information on entering Rafflecopter giveaways).   I’ll announce the ten winners on THIS blog post and contact them directly through email, as always.  Good luck!

*** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***

Congrats to Crystal J., Melissa F., Carol P., Jackie C., Magda, Jan, Selena M., Shawnee S., Melissa, and Natalya on being selected as the winners of my ErinCondren.com Gift Card Giveaway!

The Poll Results for *What type of calendar do you prefer to use?* out of 3111 entries:

Full Size Organizer (2234) 72%
Small & Simple (567) 18%
Electronic (175) 6%
Print At Home (97) 3%
I don’t keep a calendar (38) 1%

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I love my Erin Condren Life Planner, which has been an extremely useful planning tool so far this year in helping me with my posting schedule.  You can receive $10 off your first purchase when you sign up for the Erin Condren website (which means you receive the occasional email on current promotions and new products from them) by clicking here.  Check back next week for an updated look at my Filofax.  Happy Planning! 🙂

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* Post contains affiliate links. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

90 comments

90 thoughts on “Erin Condren Life Planner (2014 Planner Update)”

  1. I love, love, love my Erin Condren Life Planner! It is layed out exactly how my brain works!!!! Love, love, love!!!! <3

    1. Their customer service is AWFUL. No one answers/responds to email and their phone number answers to a recording. Virtually impossible to get a hold of anyone. This was my first order and it will be my last. I will be using Plum Paper Designs on Etsy in the future–1/2 the price of Erin Condren products. Seems like Erin Condren is a hot mess at the moment.

      1. I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. It’s challenging when a small business like EC suddenly gets a lot more popular. I know they are working round the clock to help people. I’m sure as they grow they will iron out these issues.

      2. Hmmm. Kim, did you have a problem with your order? The few Youtube videos that I’ve seen where there have been issues, it seems like it is quickly resolved. You complain that you were trying to reach someone with the company but never said why. I was thinking about getting either the EC or Plum Paper planner but If my suspicions are correct and you are an employee, I think you helped me make my decision. Your complaint was not constructive and came across as a plug for Plum Paper.

        1. I’m not sure this was a plug for Plum Paper. I actually have just ordered one of their planners along with a few other comparable brands to review in the fall and I think I’ll also do a comparison post where I show them all side by side. Seems like there’s lots of interest in that 🙂

  2. Hey Jen, love the review, I have used LP’s for 3 years now and love it! Just so your readers know, you cannot use the $10 referral coupon with the current 40% off that they are offering. Just a heads up!

  3. I am loving my Erin Condren life planner! You are right, it is so pretty I have to use it everyday! I have been watching all of these “planner” community blogs and videos. I’m totally addicted! You have given me so many helpful tips and organizing skills over the past few years,thanks! Keep em’ coming!

  4. I love seeing how people use their life planners, so I can get ideas of how to use my personal planner. Thank you so much for hosting this most awesome giveaway AND for making it open internationally!

  5. Hi. I accidentally put my Twitter name on both the questions, sorry. My Facebook is Tena Tell Belsom, and I already follow you. Not that I ever win anything, but you never know. Thanks.

  6. This looks like a great planner! I started using Orange Circle Studio Do It All Planner since September, and it’s so great… What you say about having a nice thing to write in keeps you motivated is so true. I used to get a planner every year and throw it away empty when the year is over because they were so dull and uninteresting. But with one that is colourful I just reach for it every time I have a deadline or a meeting or whatever and it’s been a LIFE SAVER!

  7. Thanks for the introduction to these planners! I hadn’t heard of them before and really like the look of the planner and accessories! And thanks for the chance to win such a fantastic prize!

  8. I am so glad that I found your website. I ordered my Erin Condren planner and I can’t wait ti get organized. Great video and post. Look forward to watching you filofax video.

  9. Found you YouTube channel via K Werner Design and I really like you videos so I became a subscriber right away. And thank you for a chance to win this wonderful prize!!

  10. I remember you showing us your Project Management book, has it changed since then? Do you find this way works for you, or do you think you’d be better using a Filofax for this, so you can have easier access to the pages and can move things about freely? I have thought about doing something similar, but I worry, what happens if I run out of pages in a particular section, but I can see the ease of using a notebook style.

    1. Honestly I don’t access my PM notebook all that frequently. I use it mainly when I’m working on a big project as a planning tool, which is why I keep it separate from my Filofax. It is the same setup as when I shared last year.

      1. The planner would be great, if Erin Condren actually delivered it, I’ve been waiting for over a month and customer service team don’t reply.

        1. Maybe try contacting customer service again? Also, if you picked the least expensive shipping option, it can take awhile to arrive in my experience. I hope you get your planner soon!

  11. Love all your organizing videos very inspiring. This last year is the first year I’ve used an Erin condren planner, I actually use the teacher lesson planner because I homeschool and LOVE it. I love the stickers that come with the planner but the thought of having removable ones is fantastic. I was wondering if u could give specific instructions on how u color coded them. I have photoshop but I’m not to sure how I would go about doing that. Thank you so much for your help.

    1. I made a new file in Photoshop with the width and height specifications to fit just inside the label sheet dimensions, then selected the entire artboard using the rectangle marquee tool and filled it with color. Printed them out & presto, colored labels! Hope this helps 🙂

    2. Sure would love to know how you use it for homeschooling. I’m thinking about getting one this year, but not sure how to make it work for that.

  12. Thank you so much for such a great post and video! I love the way you clearly go through everything and really love your labels! Such a great idea to make your own! And as you always do, thanks got giving back and hosting a giveaway!

  13. Thanks so much for this review Jen! I found you through Kristina’s blog post and am a new sub of your blog and YouTube channels. I love this planner for cataloging exercise/diet changes I’m making. I loved your suggestions for storage…the clear pocket from CS and the Orla Keily weekender bag. I went to Target this morning to pick one up! lol I look forward to future posts and vids…thanks for the chance to win! 🙂

  14. Just Love these videos, and am looking forward to next weeks post where you show us your Filofax…did I spell that right? I am still drooling over different planners and hope to one day own an A5… Wish, wish, hope, hope…lol. Could you explain why you like the Le Pen, pens…what makes them different? Also I think making your own removable labels was a brilliant idea, I too like removable stickers, cuz I never get them on straight the first tme, and it would really bug me if it was not on straight.

  15. Hi Jen! I’m new to your blogs and YouTube channels and am loving all your great tips and info! I’m just getting started with PL and FF and need all the help I can get, lol!! Love your bubbly personality and enthusiasm, very contagious :). Thanks for the chance ti wun, too! Erin’s planners look so pretty and fun to use!

  16. Hello Jen!
    I believe this is exactly what I need to help me organize my treatments, physical therapy, medications, goals, inspirational sayings and quotes, etc. Thank you for giving me an amazing idea…to help with this new “chapter” in my life. I have been using spiral notebooks to record my days and a small date/appt. book for doctors, surgeries, PT, etc. I am learning how to walk again, so this would be ideal for my steps taken and weekly goals. *Just want to say a special “thank you” for everything you have done for me the past couple of years. I should have known you would help me organize my treatment/therapy too! Haha. You are wonderful! Good luck, everyone!

  17. Hi Jen,
    Just a quick tip. Even though you’ve solved your sticker problem by using Avery, if you put a little post it flag on the back of the EC stickers, you can then move them around. I can’t remember who came up with that trick but it works perfectly. Take care 🙂

  18. I would love to win one of the gift prizes. I’d use it mainly for my work schedule or work related events. By the way, after seeing your YouTube video about Orla Kiely for Target, I bought just about everything they had. I also purchased a third Mini iPad cover in Orla Kiely pattern. I had purchased 2 last year, and the 3rd on sale recently. I just love her patterns. I have her coffee mugs and canisters that I purchased years ago. They’re so pretty.

  19. The Erin Condren planners are beautiful! Thanks so much for such a great giveaway, Jen! I love how you customized the removable Avery labels! Maybe you could do a video tutorial on it on OLJ. 🙂

  20. These planners look beautiful, but which they don’t have time blocks. Which planner do you recommend for someone that has a lot of appointments and needs to keep track of time?

    1. You might like the customizability of a Filofax. If you have a lot going you want to keep track of you might like the daily calendar inserts.

  21. I love the planner. Need it for my appointments, etc. I really like the Orla Keily bags. My daughter bought the pencil case and I fell in love with them, but each time I went to Target, they were out. I hope I have better luck finding them. We’ll see. Thank you for the giveaway. It’s so very kind of you to share with your fans. Very nice of you. You are of a kindred spirit.

  22. Thanks for doing this giveaway Jen! That’s so sweet! I always try to enter any EC giveaways to hopefully get a planner one day. Thanks again for an opportunity in trying to win a planner! 🙂

  23. Watching your videos is so inspiring! I want to organize everything! I currently use my phone calendar, but would love to have that Erin condren one-so pretty!

  24. I’d love to win one to see how it works. looks so fun!
    I have made my own agenda by creating pages in microsoft publisher on a5 paper, printed the pages out and got to a copyshop and have had it spiral binded. I love it!

  25. Jen, I am a 7th grade Language Arts teacher in Libertyville (somewhat near you!). I entered your giveaway in hopes of being able to buy the teacher lesson planner that EC offers. Thanks!!

  26. After many years with a Filofax, I switched and have been using an EC Life Planner since they first came out, and I love it. I also love EC herself, and the customer service is second to none. Just this year, though, I discovered I needed a little more flexibility that I can only get with a ring binder. For me, the Life Planner works great for work and all things related to work. My only problem is that I find the price a little steep for just work use, and the same types of discounts that were available the first year are no longer available due to the popularity of the Life Planner, I presume. I wouldn’t mind the price so much if I were able to use it for everything, but too much just for work. This year I just bought a small cheapy planner at Target to use at work. It does the trick, I guess, but it’s flimsy and already getting a little ragged-looking. I’m going to go to the EC website and check out the specials. For personal use, I love my Filofax; always have, always will. I’m using a personal Malden in aqua, but I would like an A5. Maybe if they come up with something decent in the new collection. I LOVE your A5 Finchley in imperial purple and have stalked sales spots for them, but I’m not willing to pay the “highway robbery” prices people are looking to charge for a used one! I figure, when the time is right, I’ll find the A5 for me.

  27. Hi Jen

    Love your videos on your planners and how you organise them. I have used so many of your tips and really appreciate you sharing. After a similar kind of bag to carry my Filofax etc around as in the UK we haven’t got a Target…very jealous 😉 On the hunt at the mo! Thanks so much for your kind giveaway once again…I love the look of Erin Condren’s planners, am very tempted by the teacher planners as well as the life planners…don’t think anyone would have that at my school and it may make the long hours marking more interesting when I go back after maternity leave lol! Thanks for the chance once again and really appreciate you sharing.

    Arline
    x

  28. Hi Jen , love ur videos . They are so helpful . Could you do a video on how you print your labels ?The labels sheet that are smaller then letter size never print right . I’m sure I’m doing something wrong don’t know what .

  29. Being out of work the last half of 2013 this is out of reach for me right now but I absolutely love her planner. Its colorful and fun. Ill get one one day. Thanks for the chance to win. Someone will be very lucky.

  30. Thanks, Jen for your videos. I just found them after your collaboration with Kristina. Love your reviews. Used to use a planner but now use electronic means. Not sure which I prefer, to be honest. You’ve certainly rekindled my interest in a paper planner! Thanks!

  31. Thanks for this great post! I have an EC planner, and had been frustrated with the labels–loved the colors, but didn’t like that I couldn’t move them! Thanks so much for your tip of making your own!

  32. I have only recently found you :)… I am somewhat an OCD freak when it come to writing in my planner and organizing… I absolutely adore your site(s). Thank you for all your input and reviews… I cant wait to “catch up” on some of your older posts as well. May I ask who the winners are for this planner/giftcard giveaway?

  33. Hy Jen.
    I have been trying to print on labels but unfortunately without any succes. could you please help us, maybe make a tutorial. please
    thanks for the great post

  34. Congratulations to all of the winners! Thank you, Jen, for an awesome chance to win the, Erin Condren Life Planner. I appreciate the discount codes you provided, but unfortunately it is still out of my budget. Haha! What budget? All dollars go to medications and therapy. Since you share, I will share with you. I was/am an athlete. I was bit by a tick on one of my hikes/runs. I developed Lyme Disease, which went undiagnosed for years…so it has turned into a huge nightmare of pain, neurological problems and learning how to walk again. Walking and controlling pain is my biggest uphill climb. I’m glad I was a competitive athlete, because this entire battle pulls that edge- from deep within…even when I think I can’t take a second more. I have found a new me, compassion for others and most of all, kindness. Not that I wasn’t before, but a deeper understanding of humans. You have that understanding. I suppose that’s why I connect with you, even if it’s through YT. Thank you for your support, ideas and sharing the woman/human that you are. You make a difference and I applaud you. Cheers!

    1. Wow, your strength is inspirational. Keep up the good work! Sending wishes for your continued recovery and good health.

      1. Aww…thank you very much, I appreciate your kind words. I look forward to our continued ‘relationship’ through YT, watching your ideas and implementing them into my life. You have an amazing gift, thank you for sharing with us. Cheers!

      1. I would LOVE if you posted about how you made the Avery labels. I have tried and failed numerous times! I have a MacBook Pro, and there is no real template for Mac users on the Avery website that I have found. Do you have an editable PDF file you are willing to share? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

        1. I was hoping to share. I use the Avery Design template myself, but it’s a bit tricky to get the print settings right sometimes. I will try to do this at some point for all who have asked.

  35. Jen, because of you I ordered an EC address book. I LOVE IT! It replaces my old mess of an address book. It’s so nice looking, large, and has a nice layout. I love all the little extras they snuck into my order too. I’ll definitely be purchasing more Erin Condren items for myself and as gifts.

  36. After hearing and seeing the life planner, I’m now waiting for them to start up in June to sell. This seem like the perfect organizer.

  37. Hi Jen!! I absolutely LOVE this review, and I’m determined to buy an Erin Condren planner for this coming academic year. I am sure you saw this, but I immediately thought of your review when I saw that they made the stickers repositionable for this year!

      1. so sorry if i am out of the loop on this but.. My daughter is 23yr old single parent with a 1yr old baby girl.. she is going back to school (online classes ) and has a planner that is frustrating her soo much as the pages keep coming out of the coils.. I am thinking of treating her to one of the planners you use but want to make sure that it is one long coil and not lots of sep ones like she has now.. also.. do you have any coupon codes for them?? they are quite expensive .
        LOVE all your videos on you tube!

        1. The Erin Condren LP has one long coil and a very sturdy one at that. I do not have any coupon codes, but if you join the EC email they send out notifications of promotions all of the time. Generally the LP’s don’t go on sale until early spring, as far as I know.

  38. I just came across your blog in my search for planner comparisons and your review is great, so thanks for that! The thing that I am digging the most about your post though is your use of the Orla Kiely Weekender back! I LOVE that you used it for this purpose! It would never have occurred to me to look at cosmetic bags for use in this way and it is perfect! I’m so inspired that I’m going to get the current Orla Kiely Weekender for my camera batteries/cords, iphone accessories, as well as for my planner and the other little floating things that I always end up carrying with me when I travel. So clever!! Thank you for that amazing idea!

      1. Also, thank you for stating the pens you prefer to EC’s pens. I LOVE a good pen and I was almost about to buy hers considering they were made to go well with her paper. But I’m going to take your recommendation again and check out the Le Pens. I’ve had a hard time finding colorful pens that don’t bleed that aren’t too fine or too thick so hopefully these will do! Where is the best place to buy them? I’m searching Amazon, but most of the ones I see contain more than I want in a package at this point. Thanks! I’m looking forward to following your blogs now that I’ve found them!

  39. HEY! I found this on pinterest!!
    quick question, i got the same labels you did and i can’t seem to line up the words with the stickers! 🙁
    i made them on the avery design and print, but it doesn’t print right!!! help! thanks!!!

  40. My EC Life Planner arrived yesterday and I’m sooo excited to use it. I’m a very disorganized person as of late and im praying EC will get my life back on track! I’m always forgetting appts. I’m hoping this planner will help me get my brain back. Lol! Thanks for the suggestion!

  41. I ordered my EC Life Planner yesterday & I wanted to ask what kind of tools do you use to decorate yours? I don’t mean washi tape, stickers, etc… And where do you buy them?

    1. I’m not really a planner decorator, personally. I use Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens to color code and Avery labels. Both can be purchased at office supply stores like Staples.

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