Monday, October 3, 2016

Erin Condren Life Planner 2017 Review and Etsy Sticker Haul and Plan With Me!

Today I have a quick review of the new 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner, as well as a planner sticker haul and plan with me including four weekly spreads (to include Halloween and Thanksgiving weeks), and the October monthly spread! These are limited white space spreads. The stickers used here were hauled from my favorite two Etsy Erin Condren Planner sticker sellers: the Glam Planner and Cricket Paper Co.

For anyone who is not familiar with the Erin Condren Life Planners, they are an extremely comprehensive planning system that is both functional and beautiful. Working full time, in college full time, doing volunteer work, and maintaining my website and blog require heavy duty time management - and the Erin Condren planner has been a life saver! I started with the 2016 edition, which I will compare with this year's version. These high quality planners are beautiful in their own right, but if you really want to glam it up you can use planning stickers! I really enjoy setting up my sticker arrangements, and they really help me stay organized! It is so fun and relaxing to tap into my creativity, and setting up my planner spreads is always a great pleasure. And I have to admit, decorating my planner has become mildly addictive...

I'll start with the planner review. Erin Condren Life Planners are available with pages for 2017 only as well as with the remainder of 2016 for an extra $5. They have both vertical and horizontal page setups, and they come in either neutral shades or colorful shades. They come with a plastic pouch (for stickers, pens, or whatever else you'd like to store), that is not attached to the planner, as well as a pocket folder for storing notes that is attached. A plastic ruler that doubles as a bookmark is also attached and removable. There are inspiring quotes throughout. The paper is thick, high quality stock. These planners are highly customizable - you choose from a wide assortment of colors and designs (which are interchangeable if you would like to own more than one cover and swap them out), neutral or colorful pages and tabs, and the spiral binder which comes in platinum, gold, rose-gold, and black.  You also personalize the cover with your name (or whatever other two-word text you would like to use). I have selected the neutral planner and rose-gold binder.

I had a tough decision whether to get the colorful planner or the neutral one. My first thought was to definitely pick up the colorful one, but a video from Elle of the Glam Planner convinced me that the neutral planner was the best choice for a harmonious layout if you plan on using  a lot of stickers. With the neutral layout, you can use whatever stickers you want without worrying about any of the colors clashing. She also mentioned that she preferred the cursive text of the neutral planner and I completely agree - it is more creative and whimsical in my opinion than the font style used in the colorful planner. But the colorful planner is absolutely gorgeous and I am sure many of you who decide to pick one up will choose that one! One thing I would note is that if you want to use stickers in your planner I have found a greater selection available for the vertical planners, so that is something that you may want to keep in mind.

Neutral Planner, Monthly Spread, No Stickers
October Monthly Spread With Stickers From The Glam Planner
Dry Erase Travel Planning and Packing Tool

In most ways, I like the planner even better than last year's. I feel the design is even more visually appealing. Unfortunately, my favorite cover was not brought back from last year, and while last year's plastic pouch was attached to the planner, inconveniently in this year's version the pouch is loose, creating a risk that it will fall out of the planner. But in most regards, what worked hasn't changed, like the convenient folder and high quality paper, which is a good thing. One available optional add-on that I particularly love is the dry erase travel planning and packing checklist. As someone who loves to travel and always forgets something (maybe you can relate!), this will come in very handy! This can be attached to or removed from the planner easily.

I am completely hooked on this planner! As much of a morning person as I am not (!), I really look forward to delving into my planner each morning and getting things done. I am so much more efficient and organized since I started doing this, and I'm sleeping better as well because I don't go to bed the night before thinking about what I need to do the next day (it's already in the planner!), or worrying I'm going to forget something!

Another great thing I've found about using the planner is the way it coaches me to stay on top of my personal goals, as well as my tasks and assignments. I made a resolution this year to get serious about skin care, and now that I am planning and tracking my skin care routine I am actually sticking to it! Whether your goals include drinking more water, getting more exercise, staying on top of household chores, or anything else, this planner will help keep you accountable.

The first place I hauled for stickers was the Glam Planner on Etsy. This sticker shop is the Rolls Royce of planner stickers in my opinion - the stickers are higher-end both quality wise and price-wise than a lot of other Etsy shops carry. I find the monthly spreads the best value - both because I use the monthly spread all month (and can enjoy the stickers for longer), and because they cost less than most of the other sets on the storefront. The "weekly" sets are a splurge, and I try to resist using them until a special occasion or holiday, because they make these events even more special. Of course, you can also do a spread with more white space and get more weeks out of them. These kits are stunning, and an absolute joy to use! I purchased the October monthly spread, "Queen Bee," and the weekly set, "Black Swan," pictured here applied to my planner, as well as "Elephant Wishes," a vibrantly-colored Indian themed set shown in the photo at the top of this post. 
"Black Swan" Weekly Set From The Glam Planner - Applied To My Birthday Week!

The second shop I have stickers from is Cricket Paper Co. on Etsy. This shop strikes a good balance between price and quality, their stickers have a high functionality, you can choose to buy only the individual papers you need or the complete set (which is great because everyone likes to do their spreads their own way!), and they have great holiday sets! They also feature "$2 Tuesdays" when a selection of sheets in a variety of designs are available for $2 each. I have the Halloween and Thanksgiving spreads to show today, as well as the "Pumpkin Spice" spread I am using this week. These are economical enough to brighten up the more mundane weeks as well as jazzing up those special holiday weeks! Finally, I picked up a few "a la carte" sheets from the fall collection.

Halloween Spread from Cricket Paper Co.

Thanksgiving Spread from Cricket Paper Co.

"Pumpkin Spice" Spread From Cricket Paper Co.

If you are a first time sticker shopper you will notice that on many Etsy shops you can choose between "glossy" and "matte" stickers. Glossy stickers are shiny and beautiful, but it is difficult to re-position them, and doing so can damage the planner paper. Matte stickers, on the other hand, especially if you get sheets specified as "re-position-able matte," are quite easy to pull back off the page and move. This is an important consideration if you either don't have the steadiest of hands or are a perfectionist who will be bothered if any of the stickers don't go on completely straight! I'm guilty on both counts! The matte stickers in both of these shops are re-position-able. 

These stickers really breathe life into my naked planner, and when I view the pages each morning I feel motivated and inspired! My planner definitely makes the daily grind a lot more palatable!

Have a beautiful day!

No comments:

Post a Comment