|Photo by (C) 2015 P. Lynne Designs|
Planner by (c) 2015 Erin Condren
Warning: affiliate links ahead.
I am a planner. I am not going to deny it. I have used planners all my adult life. I started out with your generic planner, some off brand, and I was not happy. I did not like the space, the hours did cover the times I need, it was just a bad planner. My next planner was the granddaddy of planners, The Day Timer, and if you ever had one, you may or may not agree with me that I experienced the same thing as I did with the generic. That does not mean that I don’t like DT, it was not the planner for me.
Then I got the electronic phase. You know the type, the.smart phone, the computer, and a tablet, all keeping track of my comings and goings, beeping and gawking at me of all the appointments I scheduled. The problem with Electronic Planners ( EPs) is if you are a quiet person, the beeps would unnerve you, plus some are difficult to learn. I still use them, but I have also decided to go back to a paper planner. Why? Because for one, if there are changes, I can easily erase it with a pencil. Not so if you have something electronic. Well you can, but it is not as easy. Second, an electronic device can quit on you. Last month, I was caught in a massive downpour. It killed my smartphone, and because I was on the family plan, I had to ask permission to switch phones, even when I could change this month.
So instead of going back to Day Timers, I decided to try something new. There are several planners out there, that fit the bill of “planners you can decorate”, and at first I did not want to go that route, but it sounded so fun, and since I am a “ Kidult”, an adult who still feels like a kid (you know who you are), why not. I decided to do my research. I came up with three I wanted to try: the Midori system, create my own, and Erin Condren.
First of all, the Midori system, created by a Japanese person is sort like a life mapping system. You have a dashboard, and it mimics the bullet system. You can put a calendar in the system, but the problem I found was how small it was. I can pair down my handwriting, but I thought I can easily put it all in one planner, for all that I have to do. This system is more for the person who makes lists. You can easily make your own with paper, a stapler, and a cover made of leather, vinyl, or faux leather.
That leads to the next system, making my own. I really tried with this back in January. All you need is your computer, a printer, and a binding system, such as a coiling tool, a 3-ring binder, or getting a professional to bind it for you. Yes, it is cheap, and if you are a crafter (which I am), this perfect.
What lead me to the Erin Condren(EC) system?
Like I explained before, I tried making my system, and although I was happy with what I accomplished, it did not fell right, because I was using printables that were created by someone else. I am a believer in giving credit, and one day, I will make something that I proud enough to use and sell in my own shops.
Second of all, before I create my own line, I want to see what makes today’s planners tick, and here is what I love about the EC system:
1. Covers that can be personalized. My current EC planner is dark pink/light pink paisley with a white background. The lettering is says “personal and Business items 2015. Next year’s cover is dark pink/light pink paisley with just my initials.
2. Covers are interchangeable. If I want to, I can change the cover of either one my planners, and take them off, without tearing them. They are laminated, so it is easy to clean
3. Room to write. The original EC planner allowed the user to place events in two places: the monthly or weekly view. I put the event in the monthly event, then a more detail in weekly, such as location and address. This year, EC added a horizontal view, which is how I ordered my new planner. The horizontal is supposed to be more roomier than the current vertical view.
4. A place to write your notes. This was the main problem with the DT planner. If I wanted to write a note to last all year, forget it. Nope, ain't going to happen. I have some pages I can write on in my planner with EC. The planner still does not have a lot of pages to write, if you like lines on the page, but you can always convert the blank pages to note pages, order a matching notebook (additional $35).
5. Accessories galore. Not only you can have they personalize it with pictures (Additional $5), wording, and adding your favorite colors (did I ever mention that I am a pink girl), but you can add to your order stickers ($2-$14), a band to go around the planner ($7), but get a simple hair band to go round ($3 for 3 band at the drug store); clips to attach additional pages, and markers to write with. If you want to go cheap, simply log on Etsy, and there are plenty of artists on the site, who make accessories for the EC planner. Also use washi tape to decorate your note pages and have a theme week.
6. Layout. In addition to the horizontal and vertical views, you can order either the 2015-16 calendar version (15 months) or just the 2016 calendar (12 months).
Well, I love it overall, and I am using it in conjunction with my electronic gadgets. The reason why is with my electronic stuff, I can put it quickly if I do not have the planner with me, write it in later. I already have dates to place in the new when it arrives in a few days.