And just like that the first three weeks of the new year are already over! I seriously can’t believe it! Although, for us, Weeks 1, 2, & 3 were spent recovering from a wicked stomach bug, strep, and scarlet fever; so that could be why it was kind of a blur…my memory must be trying to just block it out. 😂
Anywho, Week 4, I see you! And this week has been dedicated to preparing & planning for 2019! If you’ve followed me on Instagram for awhile, then you already know I’m a planner. And a list maker. And an all around control freak (but that’s neither here nor there). Well, my Holy Grail of planning & staying on track is my Erin Condren Life Planner.
Y’all. I don’t know how I ever survived without it. Seriously. I write everything in this dang thing! Erin & team thought of it ALL when they created this bad boy (or girl). Not only do you get to totally customize it, but it has the yearly view, monthly views, weekly (of course), pages for notes, stickers included, a forever calendar in the back (that even comes out), pockets to hold things…I mean, when I first opened it, y’all, I started looking for the kitchen sink!! It has everything but!
And when I say you can customize it, I mean COMPLETELY customize it. You can choose your covers (and then personalize further with your name or fave quote, etc.), you can choose your coil color, your layout, your interior (colorful or neutral), and you can even add your own personal photos to them!!
Let me show y’all what I mean! Here’s an example of how I customized one of their fun Vintage Floral planners. It’s so easy!!
Just in case you’re like me & have a super hard time making decisions when you have so many options in front of you…I’ve narrowed down my absolute FAVORITE cover designs for you! I even customized them so you can see the color options I’d choose! (See below)
And don’t forget, the covers are interchangeable, so even if you change your mind down the road, you can always just pick up another set of covers & swap them out! No need to buy a whole new planner! And the covers are SUPER affordable! I have several that I change out seasonally, just for fun! Plus I can recycle & use them from year to year!
Click HERE to customize your own cover!
As far as the inside of the planner, I went with the “Horizontal” Layout and “Colorful” Color Theme (as opposed to neutral, which is basically black & white). I like to decorate my planner with stickers, as I’m sure you’ve seen, so I just felt like the horizontal layout allowed more room for that. And even though y’all know I LOVE my neutrals, for my planner, I wanted something colorful, cheerful, and inspiring. So the colorful theme was the obvious choice for me.
As an added bonus, each Monthly tab has a fun & inspirational quote that puts a smile on my face every time I come across them. Sometimes it serves as that added little push I need on those tough days. 🙌🏼
At this point you may be thinking, so what? “I’m not all that into customizing my own planner.” Or maybe you’re thinking that the ability to customize your planner doesn’t justify the cost difference over one you can just pick up at Target. Well, let me show you why it DOES!! I mean look at everything that’s included!!
I mean, did you see all that?!? I told y’all they thought of everything!!! I was blown away at how smart this planner is. I really couldn’t think of anything else I was missing. To me, the layout alone is worth it, but with all the extra bonus stuff you get, it definitely justifies the investment for the year (or 18 months if you get the extended option)!! I know my Life Planner has made a HUGE difference for me, our lifestyle, and my ability to stay on track!
As far as accessories go, I only have a few of MUST HAVES: the pens, the stickers, the bookmark/divider, and the pen holder. I’ll be sure to link all that below for y’all!
There are SO MANY sticker books to choose from so I linked my absolute FAVES below!! I also linked the pen holder, dividers/elastic book marks, and the pens I use! The pens I love because even though they look like markers when you use them, they DO NOT bleed through the pages and allow for super precise writing! I’m anal, I know, lol. Honestly it’s probably the quality of the paper they use in the planner that prevents the marker pens from bleeding through. Love that it’s thick enough to prevent that!
Just for fun, here are a few seasonal shots I took of my planner so you can see how I like to decorate it for different holidays/times of year.
Now for those of you who already have a planner that you love (or maybe you JUST clicked above & ordered one 😉) I wanted to share some tips that are incredibly helpful for me when planning my weeks/months, and just overall staying on track with life (cuz Lord knows it can get CRAY!)
Tips for staying organized with your planner:
- WRITE IT DOWN IN YOUR PLANNER! This seems like one of those DUH! things but I promise, it’s NOT. WRITE. EVERYTHING. DOWN!!! And do it immediately, not later. If it takes 30 seconds or less, it’s WELL WORTH IT!! Anytime you schedule something or make plans, make sure you write it down!!!! No matter how small or insignificant, write it down! With as fast as our minds and bodies are racing these days, it’s important to give ourselves a little help! The planner is your help! Take advantage!! Write it down!
- If you have kids & they get sent home with a monthly calendar, or a flyer for an upcoming event, instead of hanging it from the fridge or pinning it up somewhere, ADD IT TO YOUR PLANNER!! This one is huge for me. Every month, I sit down with my kids’ calendars and write everything down! Then as events come up throughout the month I add those into my planner as well. This does two things: allows me to have everything in once place, and also allows me to throw the paper away and not have so much clutter. WIN WIN!!
- Store important loose papers in the folders of your planner!! (You can also just take pictures & create albums or subfolders in your phone, but for those who prefer the paper, use the folders the planner provides!) This is for those items you don’t want to actually write in your planner (the school lunch menu/schedule, for example) Bam! Super easy to access anywhere, keeps you informed when you need to be, and again, reduces clutter!
- SCHEDULE TIME TO PLAN!! This is another big one for me. Every Sunday I take 30 minutes out of my day to sit down and update my planner for the week. It’s relaxing and fun for me! I get my pens and stickers out and go to town!! Sitting down and taking the time to prepare for my week not only gets my mind right, but it helps me to see everything from a bird’s eye view and make sure I’ve got everything prepared for the week. Whether that’s laundry, grocery shopping, soccer, dance, school plays, etc. It just let’s me see the big picture (plus I can then figure out when to squeeze in “me” time—equally important!).
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I also want to say in advance, THANK YOU SO SO MUCH for any and all affiliate links that you may use throughout this post. I appreciate MORE THAN YOU know when you support the brands that help to support this little blog & our little fam!!
Well that’s all I got guys. I’d love to know in the comments below what y’all do to help you stay on track in this busy life! I’m always looking for more tips and tricks to get & remain organized!! Happy Planning Friends!!
Talk soon buddies!