Erin Condren Spiral Notebook: Unboxing & First Impressions

When the nice folks at Erin Condren reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked if I’d be interested in one of their new personalized spiral notebooks, I said, “yes, please!”  I never turn down an offer to receive one of their gorgeous products, especially when they also offer gifts to my viewers/readers (more on that in a bit).  At first I wasn’t sure what I would use an 8.5″ x 11″ notebook for, as I haven’t used that size in many years, but after watching the target=”_blank”>amazing video showcasing the new product, I knew it would be perfect as a project management notebook to help me brainstorm and plan for my YouTube channels and blog categories.

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I literally squealed with delight when I opened the front door and saw this gorgeous box on my porch.  Even their boxes are pretty!  I love the new design with the cutout.   Let’s take a peek inside, shall we?

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Opening an Erin Condren box is like Christmas and my birthday rolled into one.  Everything is so beautiful and colorful, right down to the tissue paper and sticker seal they use to keep everything together.  I love how they included one of their gorgeous color catalogues with a $15 gift card good towards my next order.  Sweet!  They sure know how to encourage return customers.

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The notebook itself is stunning.  I chose the Zen Gems cover, which is one of my favorite EC designs that I actually had for my last Life Planner.  It’s the same quality I’ve come to know and love with my Life Planner, only bigger!  I added my own touches with some Martha Stewart Sticky Tabs (sadly no longer available) and a Coleto Multi Pen, as well as some of the accessories that were gifted to me along with the notebook.

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What fun accessories came with my order?

Classic & Summer Edition Designer Sticker Sheets – These repositionable sticker sheets are great for personalizing your planner and notebooks!  Inspired by washi, they include twelve designs (two sheets of each) with helpful grids on the back for easy cutting.

Keep It Together Elastic Bands – These large bands are just like the smaller ones I use on my Life Planner, but these fit the 8.5″ x 11″ notebooks.  This is a great way to keep everything secure in your notebook.

✻ Colorful Markers – Gorgeous felt tip pens that won’t bleed through the pages are perfect for color coding your calendar or notes.

Coil Clips – An innovative little doodad that allows you to further customize your planner and notebooks with an adhesive backing so you can attach important cards, notes, and more and snap them right into the coil.  Then, you can move them around between pages and notebooks as you like.  Brilliant!

Pen Holder – Sometime the smallest and simplest things are the most useful.  The pen holder sticks right to the back or your notebook or planner or wherever you stick it so you can always have your favorite pen or pencil at the ready.

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Now, back to the notebook itself.  The interior is designed with the same Erin Condren look in cheery colors and simple, eye-catching designs like the Life Planner.  The spiral notebook, however, is a bit more streamlined with simple lined pages.  The only decorations on the pages themselves are alternating colorful bands at the top of each page and a small flower on the bottom corner.  There are two label sticker sheets included in the back as well as a full size Keep It Together folder to stow loose documents and a vinyl zip pouch.  They’ve even popped in some gift labels.  The front and back covers are interchanegable, just like the updated Life Planner.

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What I love most about this notebook is the customizable dividers, which is a unique and fun concept.  I picked out four dividers to split up my notebook into four main categories.  I chose the Paisley design for the OrganizedJen.com section, Sequins for OrganizedLikeJen, Party Pops for TheBusyBeeBuzz, and Jolly Jester for MyHousewifeLife.  Each divider is punched just like the interchangeable covers so that you can pop it in wherever you’d like and even use it in new notebooks after you’ve filled all of the pages.

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I love how they designed the back of each divider with a space that acts like a dry erase board.  I took Erin’s suggestions from her video and use a Sharpie to write on this area to avoid transferring that you get with a dry erase marker.  To erase, I pop a little rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and it comes right off.  The ink won’t budge until you want it to, which is nice.

If you’d like a closer look, I open the box on camera and go through the notebook and accessories in more detail in my coordinating video:

As I mentioned above, the nice folks over at Erin Condren have very kindly offered to give away $75 ErinCondren.com Gift Cards to FIVE of you to share the notebook love.  That’s right, there will be FIVE winners!  The Erin Condren Spiral Notebook Giveaway will run until Friday, October 3, 2014 at 6 PM CT.  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.  Five people will win a $75 electronic gift card good for use on Spiral Notebook and coordinating accessories only.   You can enter 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 winners on THIS blog and post contact the winners directly through email.  Good luck!

*** GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED ***

Congrats to the winners of the Erin Condren Spiral Notebook Giveaway!

The Poll Results for *If you use a monthly wall calendar, what style do you prefer?* out of 2888 entries:

Spiral style that flips over (1921) 67%
I don’t use a monthly wall calendar (433) 15%
Tear off monthly pages (411) 14%
Something else (123) 4%

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sometimes Rafflecopter experiences technical difficulties.  If you can’t enter for some reason, try again later and it will probably work.

I want to send a BIG *THANK YOU* to the lovely folks at Erin Condren for their generosity in providing these awesome prizes as well as sending me this gorgeous notebook to try.  I can’t wait to put it to work!   You can receive $10 off your first purchase when you sign up for the Erin Condren newsletter (which means you receive the occasional email on current promotions and new products from them) by clicking here.  

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* Erin Condren sent me the notebook and all accessories shown for consideration and is very kindly offering the giveaway prizes.  Post contains referral links. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *

62 comments

62 thoughts on “Erin Condren Spiral Notebook: Unboxing & First Impressions”

  1. I love to use whiteboard wall calendars as my plans tend to change a lot 🙂 it keeps it nice and clean without having to cross things out. I can also use magnets to add things like save the dates, invitations, etc. I like to use different marker colors for different activities such as vet appointments, my stuff, my fiances, when bills are due, etc.

  2. I prefer a nice big white board with large spaces. Very streamlined so I don’t have a design to get in the way of what I need to write.

    Love this notebook! I might have to breakdown and get one.

  3. Thanks for the review on the EC notebooks, Jen! I have been contemplating getting one ever since the release to support my EC Life Planner (which is working out beautifully) and this review has made me want to purchase. Bon voyage! Safe travels!

    -Nicole

  4. I know that the clorox wipes work well to get the sharpie off of the dividers 🙂 Also, are you still using the Arc notebook products? I love Erin Condren stuff, but it’s a bit too expensive for me. I definitely would love the Arc system as it works pretty much like these notebooks except you can move the paper around too.

  5. Such a nice giveaway. I like the notebook. I wish I could use the planners but I am a therapist and I need to have hourly time slots in my planners. I wish they would make a planner for those of us who need it for professional use and include the hourly blocks. The professional planners that have them are sooo boring and colorless.

  6. I prefer a white board for my monthly calendar. I have three small children and a hard working hubs, so running the household requires simplicity. I like being able to erase as things change and also that I can stick things on my board with magnets. It works for us!

  7. The overhead camera worked great ! Thanks for sharing the new notebook by Erin Condren. The calendar I use on the wall are usually ones with pictures of puppies and are full size. Each month has a different dog on it.

  8. I use a DIY whiteboard calendar. It’s great because it doesn’t waste paper – ecological! – and if things change you don’t make a mess trying to erase and rewrite everything. I use different colours for different aspects of my live: university, appointments, social events, etc.

  9. As for wall calendars I would love to see a large wall calendar with all the month on one laminated page. Like the planner covers, only larger and maybe be able to add a picture to customize.

  10. Loved this review. I have been considering the purchase of a notebook from Erin Condren and I love these!!!! These would be completely useful for work. Thank you for sharing!

  11. I love to use the large at a glance wall calendars that come with a dry erase marker. I can see it all in a glance and change information easily on them.

  12. I would LOVE one of those notebooks! (I entered your giveaway!) They are pricey though. However I do LOVE LOVE LOVE my Erin Condren Life Planner! Which I bought, from your link and thanks to your video this year! 😀 It really has helped me SO much get my life in order! Love your blogs and videos!! Thank you for all that you do!

  13. I just bought a whiteboard to go with my calendar for my office to organise university work and teaching placement, but my give year old little man wrote all the names of the people in his family on it like one of those photos you see on pinterest! Its so cute I cant bear to wipe it off!!

  14. Ohhhh why did I watch this? I have the life planner and I did not really want a notebook — UNTIL I saw this video! I didn’t realize that it came with dividers and was a proper A4 sized notebook!! Ohhh dear!! Now I REALLY want one!! These are so cute!

  15. Hi Jen,

    I do use a wall calendar, but it is neither a spiral or tear off. It is one that you flip over though-just a normal calendar. I like it though…it is cute (not as cute as Erin Condren), and my family knows to go there and look at it. My daughters keep their work schedule on there, volleyball practice, etc…

    Anyway-thanks Jen. As always…love your blog and YouTube videos!!

    Kim-Williamsburg, VA

  16. I love to use a dry erase board in my kitchen, I feel like our schedules are always changing you know? So it’s easy to go with the flow more when you have a dry erase 🙂

  17. Jen, you have inspired me in all that you do in your little world of sharing! I ♥ organizing and it was awesome to have found someone who loves doing as well years ago on YouTube. YOU have taught me so much. You always keep it real that is what I like about you! Just saw your checking- in video. Just keep doing what you do best. Take time off when you need it. Hope you are having a blast in Italy! Everyone needs time off. So enjoy and distress!

    XOxo, Stephanie K.

  18. I organize all my blog related things in a little Paperchase hardback notebook, they’re some of my favorites as they remind me so much of the Paper Blanks notebooks but are MUCH more affordable! Keeping a schedule for the blog has really helped me get on top of things and it’s handy to have all my blog related thoughts in one place!

    Love love love the Erin Condren goodies, everything by them is so cute and functional, they have some of the prettiest prints! I also love the way you can personalize the covers and dividers, it’d make my blog feel so much more ‘official’ with it’s name on some stationary haha!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  19. I use a dry erase whiteboard wall calendar. I also use a planner to organize scheduling. Love Erin Condren products and would love an opportunity to use the notebook! hhanks so much!

  20. I also use a whiteboard calendar. Probably because I just really like writing on white boards, lol. I also like that it’s less paper waste. I can refer back to old dates (or schedule future dates) from my paper planner or Google calendar.

  21. I have just ordered my first Erin Condren Life planner and it should be delivered in the next few days. I so cannot wait. I love planners and anything stationary related.

    zoea2812.blogspot.com

  22. I have a HUGE whiteboard-ish calendar on our wall. We can just wipe away any appointments that get moved and wipe the whole thing clean at the end of every month. There’s something satisfying about the end of the month clean off 🙂 Having 3 diffently-abled people in my house we have a huge calendar so it fits every appointment plus I keep a personal Filofax in my purse and my teenage daughter just started keeping her very first planner 🙂

  23. Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us Jen and thank you (and Erin Condren) for the opportunity to win something beautiful for ourselves as well! (Hope you are having a fabulous trip!!!!!!, although I bet you’re probably resting at the moment after a day full of travel) *hugs*

  24. Hi Jen,

    I use a wet erase marker. It doesn’t smudge onto the pages and it is erasable with a moist cloth. By using alcohol you could damage the plastic lamination over time.

    P.S. Thank you for hosting this generous give-away!

  25. Hi Jen! Thank you for sharing about the new EC notebooks. I mostly want to comment about your Organized Like Jen “check-in” Youtube post. As much as I enjoy your videos, I love that you prioritize your family and personal life. In any other occupation it would be normal to take vacation and sick days. I appreciate that you are genuine with your posts and don’t just create material because people request it. Also, I think it would be awesome if you created your own planner line! We would miss you on Youtube, but if that is your heart, go for it! Who better to design a planner than a planner connoisseur? I pray for many blessings on whatever path you choose. -Caitlin

  26. Was looking at Erin Condren web site. I see that they don’t have a business planer. would like to see a business planer. Totally need one for employees , organizing business meetings, city appt, charades for schools, churches, also for new hire, and so on. Also for birthdays special stickers.

  27. I’ve been wanting to try out some of her products this will be great. A double win I get to see her products and so does my daughter who just started high school this year ! She’s going to love the White board for her schedule !
    Thanks Jen for giving us this giveaway! Thank you Erin Condren also for making this possible!!

  28. I homeschool and use a pocket chart with a calendar kit my friend made for her company…love it. We use sticky notes to mark important dates. The kids take turns setting up each month…

  29. Hey Jen, have you seen this website for planners? They have stationary, journals, binders, stickers, desk pads, etc. too! I thought of you because I saw a cup that says “Eat Cake For Breakfast” and I thought that would be perfect for your birthday breakfast. Their items remind me of Erin Condren but the designs look a little more mature. Hope you check it out! 🙂

    http://www.emilyley.com/

  30. I use an Erin Condren Life Planner for everything – my personal schedule, all of my kids’ schedules and activities, keeping up with my husband’s schedule, work, etc. I also use Google calendar so that Hubby and I are always in sync. I do have a monthly wall calendar, which is a re-positionable cling that I keep on the fridge It’s dry erase, so it’s easy to keep up with and erase at the end of the month. I have a separate weekly cling that I post the menu plan for the week, so my kids don’t have to ask 17 times a day what we’re having for dinner! 😉

  31. Hi Jen!
    I just want to start off by saying thank you for sharing such amazing and informative videos and in-depth posts as to different organizational methods and objects that you have purchased/are given. I’m currently 16 years old, and I have been watching all of your videos on your different channels for a little over two years now. You are a delight to watch and you give me something pleasant to look forward to every week. With that being said, you have inspired me to stay organized in school and within my home, so a great thanks is owed to you!
    As I stated earlier, thank you for the posts. I’ve actually never heard of companies like filofax and erin condren until I saw your videos. 🙂
    Please keep us posted!

  32. Buogiorno Jen!
    I was reading 16 year-old, Lindsay’s comment and I also wanted to say Thank you for everything that you post on both your blog and your videos both past and present! I have always discovered and learned something new from watching your videos (even your vlogs!) and reading your blog posts! Both your blog posts and your videos have helped me out so much in keeping me organized both at home, while travelling and at school/college. You have also given me FABULOUS advice on EVERYTHING ranging from beauty products, to organizational projects’ dilemmas, to family parties, fashion advice, and even computers and recipes ideas and I wanted to say Thank you for all of that too! I too, like Lindsay, have never heard of companies like Sigma, Erin Condren, Burt’s Bees, all the myriad of shops on Etsy, the Esty company itself, Vera Bradley, the Eagle-Creek packing organizers and their luggage, and most importantly, The Container Store! Speaking of that, I have now visited TCS in three different cities: Minneapolis, Chicago and Buffalo! Also, since getting an iPhone 2 years ago, without you I would’ve known about apps such as PicFrame, those photo-mark/watercolour apps, and Pinterest! You have also introduced me to some the things that you use on a regular basis such as the Camelbak water-bottles from Target, Jillian Michaels DVDs {I’m absolutely hooked!! ;-)} and the Sally Hansen Insta-Dry nail hardener/top coat and the apricot oil cuticle cream from Dior. Recently, I’ve started my first-year of college and I recently bought a laptop/yoga mat backpack from your original 2-part ‘What’s in my Carry-on?” video from November 2010 (the model looks slightly different than what you have!) from Lululemon to use for class and I absolutely love it and I get compliments all the time. (FYI- they have Lululemon stores across the continental North America!) I was wondering if you’re going to be posting some Thanksgiving videos/blog posts this year? Did you post any videos and/or blog posts on that holiday last year? I’m half-English and half-Canadian so I celebrate two completely different Thanksgiving-related holidays during the year. The first holiday is typically either the 2nd or 3rd weekend of October depending on the year. The second holidays are Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French) in either February, or March depending on the year and the second is the week of Bonfire Night (November 5th). Anywho, thanks for everything and hope you can give some information. I would be most grateful.
    Hope you had a fantastic time in Italy. PS: were you in Lake Como on the same weekend as that celebrity wedding?
    Katherine M.

  33. Hi Jen,
    This comment is more a message to you than it is a reply to this blog post. I feel compelled to tell you how much I have appreciated your YouTube content and how it has touched my life. I don’t often let people know this, and when I do they are surprised- but I do struggle with anxiety. I feel so overwhelmed sometimes that it is paralyzing. When I discovered your videos 3 years ago, they changed my life. I am not sure I can explain how, but you motivated me like I have never been motivated before. Your sweet personality, quirky sense of humour and down to earth style really appeals to me- but most of all I find you to be very honest and I recognize a certain vulnerability in your videos. Maybe I have read you wrong and I am projecting myself? I am not sure. But I am a very private person, and I recognize that for you to be so open with your life, your home and your heart must be difficult- at least it would be for me. I thank you for what you have done for me, your videos haven’t just been entertaining, but it always feels like I am listening to a friend. I can’t deny that I miss your videos- mostly your regular every day vlogs. There was something so helpful to me in seeing your daily routines that helped me to have my own (although different than yours 🙂 ) Your videos helped me transition to the seasons, this is something I have struggled with in the past, but they game me things to look forward to. I started accomplishing the things I was procrastinating and was trying new things. I need to find a way to find this momentum once again I think I might go back and watch your old videos. 🙂 I just saw on Facebook a picture you posted of your Halloween decorations and this reminded me how much I miss your videos in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand you are doing what is right for you. I just wanted to thank you and tell you how much you have helped me through your content. I wish you, Don, Winnie and your families all of the best.
    Sincerely,
    Michelle
    PS you don’t have to post this comment on the blog- I just wanted to send in a way I knew you would read it.

    1. Thanks for sharing this with me Michelle. It is true that it is difficult for me to share my personal life because I am quite sensitive and actually rather private, but the challenge is invigorating and exciting. Plus, it’s a way for me to connect with people that I find difficult to do in person. It brings me much joy to hear about people like you who enjoy what I do and find some inspiration from my content. Everyone goes through waves of difficulty with motivation from time to time, so know that you’re certainly not alone in that regard. I find that sometimes accomplishing something that may seem very minor to others, whether’s it’s straightening up a drawer, working through my bills and filing, or editing a video, can help get the wheels turning and rev up my self-motivation once again. I hope you find your mojo again soon 🙂

  34. Jen,
    I just read Michelle’s lovely and sweet comment and I also watched your check-in video from a month ago and it left me completely confused: Does this mean that you won’t be posting anymore videos on any of your channels for the remainder of the year?! Or was it only for the past 3-4 weeks while you were away both in Utah and overseas?
    Please let me know about this confusion!
    Katherine M.

  35. JEN I need your help! I so want an Erin Condren Planner and accessories and notebook. They look beautiful and just what I want the colors and everything. But I don’t know where to start, I am afraid to make that first purchase and not get what I should and not love the planner as much as I could. Can you help? Where should I begin? The notebook? the Planner? Buy all the accessories or just certain ones. Please Help!

    1. It’s hard to give others advice on planners since they’re such a personal thing….I suggest experimenting with an inexpensive option or making your own makeshift planner setup first and trying it out for a couple of weeks to see what style suits you best before you take the plunge.

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