Friday, November 11, 2011

Erin Condren Life Planner

There's been lots of buzz around the blogosphere lately about the Erin Condren planner, so I was really excited to review one! Many thanks to the EC team for their very generous discount code, and thanks for supporting your blogging community!

Erin Condren products are colorful, and PERSONALIZED!  There are loads of personalization options. When you click on your cover choice, take a minute to examine your color options. For some cover choices you can specify what colors you want. For some covers you can even upload photos!

I chose the motivational quote cover, personalized with my name and blog, which looks awesome:

I ordered my planner in late September, so my planner begins October 2011 and goes all the way through December 2012. There is a monthly calendar at the beginning of each month, and tabs so you can access each month easily:
Now the thing is, the weeks at the beginning and end of each month are broken up, because the monthly calendar is EXACTLY at the beginning of the month. I've used planners before that have months embedded in the weeks, but those had the monthly calendar before the week when the month starts so that every week remained intact. The EC planners have the month spliced into the middle of the week. Let me show you what I mean.

Below is the end of January and beginning of February. You can see the last couple of days of January (Monday and Tuesday) on the left page. (Click on photos for larger views.) Then on the right page is the February calendar.

Then there is a two-page spread for notes:
Then turn the page again and there is the rest of the week:
Bottom line is, this will either bother you or it won't. I know a lot of people who use this planner who aren't bothered about the week being broken up.

Here's what a normal week looks like. It's an excellent layout with Goals and Tasks in the left column, and the daily columns divided into Morning, Day and Night. 
Every month has a new color scheme, which is very pretty and adds variety:
There is a page to write in your important numbers, and several pages of colorful stickers, some of which are pre-printed and some are blank to write whatever you like.
There is a double-sided pocket in the back to hold bits of paper, tickets etc.:

There's also a plastic zip pouch for smaller items. This comes loaded with goodies! :)
Something that surprised me about this planner was the size. Including the plastic rings and tabs I measure it at more than 8 inches (22 cm) wide and 9 1/4 inches (23.5 cm) tall, and more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.  As a size comparison, it's slightly larger than my A5 Domino Filofax:

But, with a large book comes a large page size so there's plenty of room to write.  The paper is very thick with no show-through. I don't use fountain pens, but my friend @RoriRants who does says the paper performs nicely with fountain pens, no feathering or bleed-through.

To summarize, the Erin Condren planner is a large, colorful planner with loads of personalization options, an excellent weekly format, monthly calendars, tabs, notes pages, pockets, and great paper.

If you look around online you can sometimes find a discount code for this planner, so do a search before you order!

You can find Erin Condren products on their website, and also check them out on Facebook and on Twitter:


  1. Thanks for the review, Laurie! I'd like to add, that even though the Erin Condren life planner is larger than an A5 Filofax, it's also lighter! And even more so for me, because I unwound my EC planner, removed the weekly pages from July to December 2012 and rewound it again. I need it to cover only the school year. Should I decide I need the weekly pages at a later point, I will re-insert them again.
    On the broken weeks: That actually WAS a little bit awkward in the beginning. But also has a great advantage: it makes it clear - no mistakes possible - that this month is going to end in (enter number) days, and if I really want to accomplish my monthly Todo's, I better get going! Nothing is feeding procrastination more, than those sneakily interlapsing weeks and months. Before you know it the first quarter is over - and how did THAT happen?!

    Besides as a main planner, I think the EC life planner would make an excellent logbook. Especially, since it's separated in Morning/Day/Night, and because all days have the exact same space (yay for that!).

  2. Actually, I have to amend what I said. With SOME fountain pens and inks, there is no bleed through or show through. If you use a M nib, or particularly wet ink, you may have problems.

    BUT some fountain pen resistance is better than NO fountain pen resistance!!

    Great review--as always :D

  3. Rori thanks for the clarification!

    Jotje I'm amazed at your patience at unwinding the spiral to remove the pages you don't need!

  4. I actually contacted the EC team (which I have to say hands down the best customer service ever) about the broken weeks because I found them to be very distracting. Their response was that as a smaller company many clients actually requested the break down by month but since they've expanded, so many customers have requested the fluid week format that next years planners will not have the weeks divided up. For me this was the only thing I didn't like about the planner and am excited that it will be remedied for the next batch.

  5. I've been very curious about these, so I was so happy to see that you had reviewed one. How do you think you will use yours? Thanks for the review!

  6. Interesting, Mami! I wonder how they will do that? For me it's vital that one month's pages are followed by The weekly pages of that month. If they would place the 12-16 monthly pages in the front, and all the weekly's in the back, for example, that would be a total deal breaker for me!!!

  7. Jotje the planners I've used before with the months embedded in the weeks have the weeks intact like this, using the Jan-Feb example above: The February monthly calendar would be before the week of Jan 30-Feb 5. That way the months are still embedded, but the weeks can remain intact.

    ILYM to be completely honest I'm not using my EC planner at all. I can't function with the weeks broken up, to put it bluntly. Having to turn several pages to see the rest of my week was a total dealbreaker for me unfortunately.

    Mami China I'm very glad to hear that next year's version will have all the weeks intact. Maybe I'll try again then!

  8. Ok, I hate that! That's what Planner Pad does, and I find it discombobulating. I really prefer the way EC does it, frankly. I think in terms of "months" to plan, not weeks.

    If they do it the other way, I'm with Jotje, total deal breaker--and that sucks because I'm really really really liking this planner.

  9. Wow Rori I'm surprised you like the broken weeks so much that you wouldn't want to use the planner without them. (Mainly because the broken weeks bother me so much I can't imagine anyone actually LIKING them that way!) This planner is the only one I've ever seen with the embedded months breaking the weeks, I wonder if any other planner has this?

  10. Thanks for the usual great review Laurie. This does look like a fun planner but I can't quite believe the price. $50 seems very pricey. You'd need to be certain it's the planner for you.

  11. Sooperpooky I agree, I choked on the price. Sometimes online you can find $20 off or half off codes for this planner.

    Something I didn't include in my review but will say here: My A5 Domino Filofax not only is the same size, but is also the same price. But after the up-front investment you can use the Filofax for many years.

  12. Laurie, I love this planner ... I typically use a collage and altered book approach for my journal-planner, but after reading your review I am off to check out

    P.S. My gratitude to @RoriRants for her link to your site. ♥

  13. I recently blogged about my Erin Condren planner, and I use Le Pen with mine. They are nice, come in a ton of colors, and don't bleed through. Love your blog, by the way!

  14. I agree with you Laurie, I am actually thrown off by the broken up weeks. I am need to have a monthly weekly format where the months are embedded within the calendar and the weeks (not broken up) follow the month. Rori, that's exactly why I love planner pad and have used it for years but the EC is so colorful and pretty and the planner pad is really sterile. I know its $50 dollars without coupon codes (which if you search around they actually offer quite a few) but I justify it like this: with the planner pad I was spending the almost $30 with shipping plus I would do that add ons and then buy paper to decorate it. Or I would spend more than that if I was buying 3-4 planners a year (minimum) trying to find what I liked. So although it's expensive and not reusable unfortunately, if I stay with just the one planner, it's worth the money to me.

  15. @Mami Yeah, I was spending a bunch to personalize my PP also AND then buying more mid year! Hoping this one works for us both!!

    @stargardener ;o)

  16. For those of you looking for a great Erin Condren deal, there's one going on right now that will end in about 2 days on 11/19. It's a $25 for $50 voucher and you can use it on the planners. I believe the only thing you can't use it on is the iPhone case. Anyway, click below to get the deal:

    Happy shopping! The planners are so amazing!

  17. I like the looks of this planner but the price is expensive! I instead bought their notebook with calendar and bought a planner from personal-planner :-)

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