ECLP – First Impressions

Well I finally took advantage of a 15% off (they are now on offer for 30% off) coupon and purchased my very first Erin Condren Life Planner.  I decided to purchase the horizontal colourful planner as well as an address book and some accessories.  These are my first impressions!

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The bright yellow box arrived just as I was leaving for the day – gutted I had to wait all day to open it up!  Inside was the signature enjoy! sticker and some complementary “Welcome” stickers which are included in your first order which I think was a nice touch.  The contents where safely inside the box and covered in bubble wrap!  Since this was coming all the way to New Zealand – a good idea.

The Planner

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I  decided to purchase the horizontal colourful planner with a personalised cover.  I love the quote “Believe You Can and You Will” – something I need to remember.
The coil seems to be solid and does not seem to move too much when opening.
The cover is solid and I don’t think will bend under constant use.
The planner comes with a snap in ruler – however this is very solid and the coil clips bent the first time I placed it into the planner, so am not too impressed with this and will see how long it lasts.
The paper quality is great and I love the colours.  I was in two minds over the colourful or neutral palettes but decided to get the colourful and I wasn’t sure if I would end up decorating too much with stickers etc.
I like that the monthly tabs are laminated as these will end up getting a lot of use.  The monthly view provides a lot of space on each date with a space for monthly goals.  The only comment on the monthly view is that it starts on a Sunday and I would definitely prefer it to start on a Monday (the same as the weekly view), but this seems to be a constant with any planners that come out of the US so it must be a thing that they are more used to.  Of course it also has the US holidays so I will pop New Zealand holidays in myself.
The weekly view is great, the horizontal view is something that I am used to with previous planners (Filofax, Kikki-K & The Simplified Planner).  On each day there is a large lined section and then a smaller section – at this stage I am undecided how I am going to utilise these with to-dos and appointments, at the bottom there is also a notes section.  The only thing missing is a to-do or list section for the week which the vertical planner does have.
All in all I’m impressed with the quality of this planner and think it will work well!  I’m determined to attempt to use this planner for the whole year (but I’ve already changed once and it’s only just February so we will see how we go!

Planner Freebies

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Included with the planner where a number of “free” accessories.  One being the perpetual calendar.  A great addition which can be used for birthday, anniversaries or any other reassuring celebrations.  I have also seen it used as a gratitude journal.
Also included is a welcome pouch which includes a coil clip, sample stickers, compliment cards and a voucher for you and a friend.  All in all nice little extras that are included.

Accessories

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I purchased a number of accessories (considering the International Shipping price it seemed a good idea to take advantage of one cost).
Bands:   The bands are fabric and fit around the planner nicely.  As I tend to keep loose papers in my planner this was a no brainer.
Pen Loop:  The pen loop has adhesive which you place yourself where you feel appropriate for your use.  I placed mine on the back cover page.  The loop itself is elastic and made of the same fabric as the bands.  It is designed to fit most pens and I have found that to be true (am still undecided as to the right pen for me and the planner).
Wet Erase Markers: These markers are for use on the inside of the front and back covers and on the optional snap in dashboards that I also purchased.  They write nicely, although I did find that fresh out of the packet there was a little leakage from transit.  I wiped them down with a paper towel and did a bit of a scribble and they now seem to be fine.  My only comment would be that I wish they were a finer nib (like the Sharpie Pen) as I find especially on the budget tracker the nib is too thick.
Dashboards:  I purchased three dashboards – meal planner, productivity tracker and to-dos.  These snap nicely into the planner and are a little more flexible than the ruler and as yet do not have any damage from being taken in and out of the planner.  In terms of using with the wet erase markers, as stated previously I find the nib on the market too thick for the use on the productivity tracker and to-do list (they work great on the meal planner as long as you are not too specific.
Monthly Budget Tracker: As with the dashboards this snaps in and has columns for each month where you can enter and track your spending.  Again the wet erase markers, I feel are too thick for this as there is not much room for entering amounts – if they were a find nib they would work perfectly.
Designer Sticker Book – Classic Collection 2: The stickers in this pack are of great quality.  The colours are stunning and the stickers are repositionable.  My only comment is this pack is obviously made for the vertical planner (I couldn’t seem to see one for the horizontal planner) and don’t fit exactly – that being said if you wanted to they are easy to trim.  The book fits easily into the pouch at the back of the planner.

Address Book

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It was time to update my address book (yes, I still use one) so I decided to see what the Erin Condren one was like.  Like the Life Planner the quality of the paper is outstanding.  You can personalise the front as you can with the planner.
In the front of the address book there is a perpetual calendar for birthdays, anniversaries etc…  The address book itself has a section for each letter (no sharing).
Each entry has space for name, address, phone number, email and birthday.  There is plenty of space – however I would have loved an extra line for a mobile (cell) phone number and an extra line for notes (e.g. kids names etc).  This would have resulted in probably less entries in each section but I would have taken that for the extra lines.

Additional Comments

I also ordered an extra ruler however this was missing from my order.  I contacted Erin Condren regarding this and they are sending it through (as a replacement for the split one that came with my planner).  Fantastic customer service.

All in all I am very impressed with the Erin Condren Products.  They are well made and cover a multitude of uses.  I am looking forward to using this planner and letting it help me to Simplify my life!

Follow this link to discover the world of Erin Condren.

Have a wonderful week.

Helen
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Planning for 2017

2017 has come by so quickly.  Looking back at 2016 there were so many changes in our lives.  My husband changed jobs and we welcomed a new baby into our family.

Planning is something that does not seem to come naturally for me – I can’t remember anything unless I write it down – so a planner is vital.  As a Stay at Home Mum I seem to have so many things to plan – a corporate secretary has nothing on a Stay at Home Mum (trust me I’ve been that too!).

To help with my household planning and organisation I use two types of planners, both of which I source from from Kikki-K.

Family Calendar

On our fridge I have our Family Calendar.  There are six columns for each member of the family, so everyone gets a column (including our newborn).

I find this super helpful and I can see if Steve is going to be home for dinner, working late etc.. I also put on here play dates, appointments etc for either of the boys (& me).

I use one of the extra columns for events that involve the whole family, such as vacations, guests etc and the other extra column I use when meal planning.  The main meal gets put in here so everyone knows what we are having for dinner – it also reminds me what to get out of the freezer!

There is also a separate column for birthdays.  Which is great for reminding me to get gifts or cards to be sent.

http://www.kikki-k.com/2017-family-calendar-small

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My Planner

My second planner is also from Kikki-K and is the Large Weekly planner.  I have tried several types of planners from a Filofax type planners to a simple bound diary.  The one I have now seems to be working best for me at the moment.

This year (2016) I used the Simplified Planner from Emily Ley which I loved.  This year however she had the weekly planner book bound instead of spiral bound added to that the shipping cost from the US I decided to find something closer to home – along came this great planner from Kikki-K.

This is what I use for my personal planner – everything goes in here!  If it doesn’t go in here it doesn’t get remembered!  The particular one I have (18 month version – 2016/2017) I got on sale and is no longer available, but they have something similar.

It has many features which I love:

  • Spiral ring bound
  • Yearly, monthly and weekly view.
  • Notes section
  • On each weekly page there is the following: water intake, list section, priorities and focus.

The monthly view I use to track our spending, each bill or transaction goes on here and I can see at a glance what is coming up and if we are going a little over at any point.

The weekly view is what I use the majority of the time.  It’s where pretty much everything gets written.  I really like the list, priorities and focus sections on the page.  I can pick something to focus on each week and what my priorities will be.  The list can be a life saver, being a SAHM things don’t necessarily always need to be done on a specific day but need to be done that week so the list is my running to dos for that week.

There is also a notes section at the back – this is where I keep various lists including go-to meals and a list of various things around the house that take batteries – what size and how many!

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This system has been working for the last couple of months so I’m sticking with it going into 2017.  As with any planner system what works for me may not work for you so find something that does.  The key is to use it!  Keep it out and in view – mine lives on the kitchen bench.

Happy Planning and keep safe!

Helen
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