Looking through someone else's planner is one of those nerdy and perhaps boring but also kinda fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpses into everyday life that some of us, myself included, love so much.
This is my fourth year using an Erin Condren Life Planner. I really do like it but I was just about to look for something else this year because they are so expensive ($50+) when I remembered I had a $25 off coupon which I used during a 20% sale. So I was glad to get my 2017 ECLP for a more reasonable price.
One of the fun things about an ECLP is the dozens of cover options that you can choose from. This year I went for these colorful hearts.
Pilot Precise V5 pens have been my favorites for approximately 20 years. This year I bought a multi-color pack and I'm trying out a new color-coding system. For the first couple weeks of the year I kept forgetting which color was for which category but I have it figured out now.
This is a pretty big planner. It lives on the corner of my desk. I don't throw it into my purse and take it everywhere with me. If I'm out and about and need to write down an appointment or something else to remember I'll put a note in my phone then transfer it to the planner later.
I use this planner primarily for my personal life. Most appointments, meetings, and reminders for work stay in my work Outlook calendar.
At the start of the planner there is a section for goals. I filled this out but honestly don't refer back to it very often. What I use and love are the monthly and weekly pages. There are tabs for each month which make it easy to flip through quickly.
Each month has a double page like this:
The planner comes with several pages in the back filled with these colorful stickers. There is one full page of "Birthday" stickers, one page with a variety of pre-printed occasions, and two pages of blank stickers. I never come close to using them all up.
On the right side of the monthly calendar is a section for Goals and To-Dos. This is where I write down anything that has to happen at some point during the month.
I note my actual workouts on the monthly calendar once I've done them.
Each week has a double page like this:
These are the past two weeks. In the top left there is a section for the "Thankful Thought." [The week of February 6th, aka "Healthy Kids," I am not even kidding, is the only week this entire year that one or both kids did not had a cold.]
I've been trying to schedule all my blog posts for the month ahead all at once so I'll put those in, and I'll add various appointments that I know about well in advance, but for the most part I fill this out on the Friday before the week starts.
On the far left I make a list of anything that has to happen at some point during the week. I use the sections within each day for a rough morning/daytime/evening plan. Once I've figured out a meal plan, which I also do on Friday, I add in our dinners for the week in the blank lines at the bottom of each day.
You can customize these pages by choosing a neutral palate versus a colorful palate and a vertical versus a horizontal layout of the days.
I've seen a couple other planner posts recently and my planner is pretty blank in comparison to Alexandra and Melissa. For a moment I thought that maybe I'm not getting my money's worth if I don't use up every square inch. But I realized that the blank space in my planner gives me the sense that there is blank space (aka free time and breathing room in between tasks) in my life which helps me to feel less rushed and stressed overall.
Before each month there is a blank page and a pretty cover page for the month with a quote. I use the blank page to write down blog ideas, my current favorite things, and any shopping that I've done or plan to do.
At the back of the planner there are some additional blank pages. I keep some lists here with gift ideas, recipes to try, long-term to-do list items, etc.
There is a new spread this year of the 2018 calendar. I am not quite ready to think about 2018 though! I think I would rather have a year-at-a-glance feature for the current year instead. There is a complete 2017 calendar at the beginning of the planner but it doesn't have the nice lines to note down the big events for each month.
Wow - I bet you can't believe how much I had to say about my planner! Do you use a paper planner? Which one is your favorite? I think the ECLP is pretty similar to a few others like The Happy Planner and Plum but we are are all very loyal to our own!