Saturday, March 28, 2015

Erin Condren Planner

Erin Condren ROCKS!

I have been searching for the perfect planner my whole life. Really? Really. I'm not a digital, keep-it-on-the-computer kinda gal. I want something to hold in my hands. Then I started making my own journals, but that didn't really translate into Planner Land. So I thought, "I'll just design my own labyrinth planner for next year." And as I was googling planner companies to print it, I found Erin Condren. Lemme just say, my search has ended. And I don't have to DIY one. Oh happy day!

There is so much to love about this planner; the choices of covers, the customization, the colours, the sturdy tabs, the layout. She has a ready made planner that I ordered on a Tuesday and received on that Thursday. And here's the awesomely festive package:

Ooooh, stickers and extras!

Here's the planner:
The ruler on the left is removable to keep
your place in the planner. Very convenient!

And the very festive back:

There are so many choices of covers and you can customize them, so it takes a bit of time between ordering and getting your planner. I wanted my planner right away since it was already March. However, it came with a coupon to get a free cover to customize. That arrived about 10 days later:

I put my full name on the cover. I'm never going to find Halimah on a souvenir coffee mug or key chain. It's really cool to see it in print!

Here's the thing about the covers: they're removable. So you can rip off one and put another one on. So, so cool! They're very sturdy, too. 

There are all sorts of accessories you can get to go along with your planner. I didn't go wild, but I did get the pen holder. I like Papermate mechanical pencils, and this holds it perfectly. Totally worth $2.50!

Full, 2-page month:
No stupid lines in the months! Each month has its own
colour. Love the positive quotes for each month, too.
 Each week:

What do I love about the days/weeks pages? Let me count the ways:
1. No skimping on Saturday and Sunday. Each day gets a full day.
2. No lines. And no pre-written times of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with no space before or after. Which brings me to:
3. Equal time given to morning, daytime and evening. Easy enough to customize, but so convenient.
4. The monthly tabs are STURDY. No chance of ripping. Also, love the different colours for each month.

On to the rest of the planner! Notes tab at the end of the calendar has lined note pages:

And blank:

2016 and 2017 calendar:

Stickers! Birthday, doctor's appointment, etc.
You also have the option of customizing your own. 
And then pretty blank stickers, too. Which I've been using:

Another page of blank stickers. They are repositionable, too.

Double-sided pocket folder!

And this little gem comes with the planner:
Perpetual calendar: Keep birthdays, anniversaries, special dates in this little book
& just transfer into your next planner next year. As they say on Pinterest, GENIUS!
Also has a page for important numbers and an address page.
 This was an extra that I ordered:
It is screaming for a yellow smiley face. [Sherlock reference].
It has a whole childcare category that I just switched to pets.

So cheerful & festive!
 At the very back, there's a clear, resealable pouch that I'm keeping stamps, stickers, & address labels in. 

I was keeping coloured pens in here, but they made the planner a bit lumpy & bulky.

Now, for some people, it's on the pricey side for a planner; $50. However, I googled a coupon, so I got $10 off. Now that I've bought one, I can offer a $10 coupon as well. All you have to do is sign up and you'll get an email with a coupon. (FYI, this is an affiliate link). S&H is $9.95 so it come to $50. Still, that's less than a dollar a week for the year. Also, they come out with the new 2016 in July, so if you wait til then, you'll get the rest of 2015 with that. I am counting down the days until I can get my 2016 to use as a separate work planner. If I were teaching, I would totally get the teacher planner they have; so awesome. They also have spiral notebooks that they've just revamped and customizable note pads. So much FUN!

A Coupla Tweaks
Being Labyrinth Gal, I wanted a labyrinth on here. They have a place on all the covers to upload a picture, and I may do that for next year. I decided to do something other than my usual, beloved Cretan/Classical labyrinth, so I chose a different design. I thought I'd put a photo or something in the center: 
printed out the labyrinth & put it under a transparency
sheet. I traced over with gold dimensional paint. 
 Waiting for it to dry:

Here it is:
Totally underwhelming & too busy.
 Back to glow-in-the-dark with my favourite labyrinth:
Still too busy.
 With scrapbook paper:
It works . . . but THIS IS BROWN! [Devil Wears Prada reference].
 Time to get crafty:
With the help of Claudine Hellmuth paints.
I used gel medium to glue the labyrinth onto the paper. Then I used double-sided tape to secure it onto the cover:

A couple other tweaks with the planner. I wish that there were a blank page in between months. I do monthly goals and I also divide my year up into quarters for goal-setting. [I have to thank the awesome Belinda Rosenblum for teaching me to do that. "When are you going to do that by, Hali?" It's not a goal until you schedule it.] 

So what I did was scan and print the last page of each quarter, in this case, Q2, end of June: 

And then I inserted the page. [I put packing tape along the edge of the spiral side of the page.Then  I used a 1/8th hole punch to make the holes for the spiral, going along the spiral holes on the scanned copy. I then used scissors to cut to the holes to slip the page in.] Here it is:
Now I have a blank page to list goals. I'll probably gesso the page
on the right so I can paint over top it or I'll cover it up with a collage.
I used sticky tabs at the top of the pages to mark the quarters.
It's cool that it's spiral so that I can add pages. You can also get coil clips from the Erin Condren website that just stick on to whatever you want to add. 

The only other tweak I would do is to get a black and white version for art journalers, so that I could colour it myself. I also think that a B&W option would appeal to guys. I was on the phone with John Morgan this week and he said, "Guess what I'm doing." I said, "What?" And he said, "Ordering an Erin Condren planner." I was all excited. "Really?!" He said, "Yeah. Not for me. It's too girly. It's a gift." Hahahaha

OK, so I was inspired to organize all my Erin Condren accoutrements into a new pencil bag which was labeled "make up bag:"

It's got 3 zippered sections:
Not pictured are my coloured pencils in the left-hand compartment.
Middle compartment has glue stick, scissors, sticky tabs, etc.
Coloured pens on the right, which don't bleed thru the page.
So that's my bloggy review of Erin Condren. My sister said that her approach to planners was to buy whatever was on sale at Marshall's or TJ Maxx in December. I tried not to show my horror. I'm not very good at that, tho. She told me I need to "shut up about the planner and the beagle." Hahahaha  I guess you're either a planner person or not! 

Again, you can click HERE to sign up for a $10 off coupon.  :-) 

And here's the beagle:
Because he's so CUTE!

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