I have a confession to make. I have a very strong addiction. To planners. Wonderful, heavy, real life paper planners. And today I am excited to share with you the best and only planner I have used for the past five years of my life: the Erin Condren LifePlanner. I do not schedule anything on my phone or any other device. I keep track of doctor appointments, blog posts, meal planning, family budgeting, exercise. All the things go in the planner. And I loooove it. The kind folks at Erin Condren were nice enough to send me the brand spankin’ new 2016-2017 LifePlanner to preview before the big launch on Wednesday, June 1st. This baby is full of new features, color options, layout options and more. So let’s do this thang!
Before I get into the review of the new planner, I wanted to share why I love the idea of a paper planner so much more than planning on my phone. And this photo is why. The stack of planners you see here, dating back to 2011, is the closest I will ever get to keeping a journal. Each planner is full of life. Scrolling back through my old planners is like taking a step back in time. I see important dates and life moments, big and small. I can open up to any page and see all the fun things our family had going on that week. Or the hard things too, things we struggled with and overcame, it’s all there. If one of my babies had a fever, I wrote it down. Or a new tooth. Maybe a new word or something funny my son said. Things I never want to forget. It all goes in my planner. And that’s the wonderful thing about these planners–there’s plenty of space for extra little notes in addition to the important things we need to keep track of in daily life. These have now become cherished possessions of mine. You can’t get that in an iPhone planner. Or at least I can’t. Ok, now that we’ve established why I love those planners so much let’s go ahead and jump into the review of the fancy new 2017 LifePlanner! Here it is:
SO gorgeous, right?! First thing to chat about is the cover. One of the coolest things about the cover is that they are customizable. There are a wide variety of gorgeous covers to choose from and many new ones will be released this year–lots of metallic and watercolor! They’re all completely customizable to what you want–you can even choose to include your name or initials. Plus they’re interchangeable, as in you can purchase multiple covers and change them out as your little heart desires. In years past I have literally spent days and days looking at all the options and being paralyzed by indecision. There’s just so much goodness to choose from! But for the first time ever, Erin Condren is now offering permanent, leather-like covers that are thick and super sturdy. YES. Just yes. The interchangeable covers are still available of course, but I had to go with the new “Luxe Cover” this year and I’m so happy I did.
And can we talk about that gorgeous coil for a hot minute?! If you notice in the photos of my planers from years past, all of the coils are just your standard notebook coil. This rose gold coil on the new Luxe planner is soooo dang purdy. And this year you can actually choose which coil you prefer–there are 4 options–platinum, rose gold, gold, and black. WINNING.
If you’re purchasing your planner now or in the next few months, you have the option to chose the 18 month planner. I always do the 18 month layout. And my #1 reason is because I like it to be heavy and thick. Reason #2 is I can’t stand to wait until December to get a new planner. Now, don’t get me wrong–this planner is not like carrying around a text book, you can see it’s really not that thick, but there is some weight to it and I LOVE THAT. I actually carry this with me everywhere, it’s usually always in my purse. And I don’t mind the weight at all. There’s just something about a thick planner that I adore. But that’s a personal preference!
As I mentioned earlier, there are a ton of options to choose from to make your planner exactly what you want. This year you can now choose between a neutral interior color scheme or one that is more colorful. I cannot resist the beautiful colors, so that’s what I went with. The first few pages are just stunning and full of really amazing quotes and inspiration–which is yet another reason why I love these planners. It’s such a happy little thing!
The first few pages of the planner are full of great tools you can use to plan out your year. I personally really enjoy this particular page. I believe this is the second year Erin Condren has included this prompt and I think it’s a great spot to do a little vision planning and goal setting. Last year I put my top life values, things I wanted to stay committed to throughout the year, and then I also listed a few big goals I had. Obviously you can do whatever you want in this spot.
Following the vision and goal planning pages it jumps right into each month, followed by pages for each individual week. One of my favorite features is the column on the right for monthly goals. I feel like this whole planner really embodies the idea of taking charge of your life, setting goals, knowing what you want and going after it. These little prompts are what make the Erin Condren planner so awesome.
I love the fact that each new month has a pretty internal cover page like this one, full of beautiful words and inspiration.
Next up is the layout option. You can go with either a horizontal or vertical weekly layout. And new this year is the option to have an hourly layout for each day, which is pretty awesome. I personally prefer the horizontal, I feel like I have more room to write with this option, but again–it’s your choice! This is what the horizontal weekly layout looks like:
And the best part about each week is this little notes and “thankful thought” box. I think it’s so important to write down the things we are thankful, big and small. Making that a weekly habit with this prompt is awesomeness. Again, well done Erin Condren.
In addition to the planners, Erin Condren also offers a variety of amazing planning goodies that make life easier. And more fun. Like this cute book of stickers. And those adorable markers. Planner addicts like me know how awesome these are!
This year they also developed this little wet erase board that attaches directly to the coil. I am thinking about writing a few of my BIG goals on this board and moving it from week to week. That way I remember to stay focused on the big picture and don’t get too overwhelmed with the challenges of each day.
Every planner also comes with this folder/pocket to keep track of all the things, as well as a few pages of adorable stickers! And and lots and lots of blank pages for notes.
Overall, the new 2017 LifePlanner is full of more customizable options than ever before. As someone who has purchased an EC planner for 5 years in a row, I can confidently say this planner is their best yet. I am loooooving the new leather-like Luxe cover. And it seems the pages are even a heavier weight than in recent years–which I prefer. (I could be totally wrong, but that’s what it feels like compared to last year’s planner). Plus all of the options to choose from make this even more fun. And I can’t stress enough how much I love having an actual paper planner. I need the satisfaction of crossing things off my to-do list. I want to see on paper what my goals are and what I have coming up each day. It just keeps me organized and on track. I look at my phone all the time as it is, so having a separate place to plan out my life and my family’s life is amazing. My favorite thing to do is sit down in a quiet spot on a Sunday night and fill out each week–maybe writing down fun things that happened the week before or what I want to accomplish in the days ahead. There’s just something so gratifying about that process. I truly believe these planners are worth every penny.
Thanks for stopping by and checking out my review of the new 2017 LifePlanner. Be sure to track me down on Facebook and Instagram. Let know if you have an EC planner in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you think of it. And happy launch day on Wednesday, June 1st!