At the beginning of the year, I fell in love with the Erin Condren planner. I quickly plopped down the $50 and anxiously awaited the cute package to arrive at my door. It was love at first sight! I don’t even feel guilty about spending that much money on a planner because at that time when Baby Sister was 5 months old, I needed something super cute that would motivate me to get my days back on track, especially since the late winter/early spring was a very busy time for me due to kids sports and PTO responsibilities. I have no actual problems with the EC planner itself (the monthly and weekly sections) because the flow of the calendar worked really well for me. I know a couple of people who took more advantage of the scrapbook-type accessories, and theirs are super cute, but I never felt the need to do all of that.
However, there are a couple of things I didn’t like about the EC experience:
- I had to pay $11 shipping and it still took 10 days to arrive. I think this is because a lot of the EC planners can be personalized, but mine was not. Consider me spoiled by Amazon but I hated waiting that long! #firstworldproblems
- The pouch that held the (very cute) pens was located in the back of the planner. It made a lump that I didn’t like when I was trying to write. (The horror.) The pouch was also plastic and I’m not sure it would have held up all year.
- The hard plastic bookmark that came with it to mark which week you were on was very difficult to move in and out. Again, I’m not sure it would have lasted all year. I finally ditched it for a cute paper clip.
Anyway, these are all very basic problems to have, but I was very hesitant to spend that much money on an EC again in 2016. I also thought it would solve all my problems by having all my papers in one place, but I still found myself writing in my planner, then on my menu plan, then in my budget notebook…you get the idea. So I set my sights to Pinterest to see what I could find. Here’s what I did:
First, I found this beauty at Target in the school supply section for 70% off. It sparkles, y’all. MY NEW PLANNER SPARKLES! (See my cute paper clip waving out from the top?)
Then I divided it into sections using some dividers that I already had: Calendar/to-do list, home management, finances, address book. I also had this heavy duty pencil pouch from another binder, and I put it in front. I do like the Erin Condren pens, although friends tell me Sam’s Club carries colorful erasable pens. I may have to check that out.
The front page is the weekly to do list. I like having the whole week on a page because I can easily move a task to another day, if needed, and I’m not wasting paper every day for just that day’s to-do list. I also like how this one is limited to six things because I have a tendency to just make one huge list at the beginning of the week, and then I wind up not finishing it all until the following weekend. Oops!
Next up, is the month at a glance. LOOK AT THOSE BIG SPACES TO WRITE IN! I’m in love. (This is a huge plus for the EC planner, by the way. Nice big squares to write in.)Helpful for nights like Thursdays when we have one million things going on.
In the next section I have a monthly meal plan sheet. Like how it’s empty so far? 😛 The nights highlighted are game or practice nights, and the highlight lets me know we need to eat something easy, like a frozen pizza, or run through the drive-thru. My eventual goal is to have the whole month planned out so I can do one big shopping trip, but I’m not there yet. We go to the grocery store bi-weekly at the moment.
In the last editable section is the monthly financial assessment. When we were paying off debt, I was SUPER encouraged by how much we were able to pay off each month and it was always a little game to see if we could squeeze a little more the following month. We have a couple of specific things we’d like to set money aside for in the next 12 months, most notably a new to us van, and I think this will be a helpful tool.
So, that’s it! That’s my planner in a nutshell.
How about you? Do you find that a daily planner makes your life easier?