This full Erin Condren planner review for 2018 - 2019 explores the best planners for moms and how to organize your crazy busy family life. Don't miss our video review of the all new Erin Condren planner at the end!
Save $10 on your first Erin Condren purchase here. (affiliate link)
Friends, I have purchased an Erin Condren life planner every single year since 2011. That's 8 planners to date and I do not hesitate to snag a new one each year. I adore this product so much, I wanted to update this old post from my archive. I first wrote about my love of the Erin Condren planner for moms 5 years ago. I love my new 2018 - 2019 planner so much, I thought it was time to brush this review off and update it with some fresh information.
In the last year I switched from a January - December planner to a July - June planner so that it would mimic the girls' school calendar. I LOVE being able to add in the entire school year's worth of info into one planner and not having to do a data transfer mid-way through the year when January comes along.
The new planners for July 2018 - June 2019 are now available and they are amazing. Don't miss the peek inside in the video at the bottom of this post! And don't forget, you can save $10 by using my referral link here.
If you have any questions about the Erin Condren planner that I haven't answered, be sure to let me know!
Why do I love Erin Condren planners so much??
For 8 whole years I have been tracking our daily family schedule on what I truly believe is the best day planner available for moms. I was first introduced to the Erin Condren planners just as I was finishing up a photography workshop on natural light at the end of 2011. I had a bunch of fresh pretty photos of the girls I loved and when I discovered that one of the Erin Condren designs features a big fat photo on the cover of the planner I was immediately intrigued.
After using my Erin Condren planner day in and out for eight years, I can honestly say the photo on the front is merely icing on the cake. It's what's in between the covers that really counts! I came for the design, I stay for the practicality.
Background on why I am qualified to review the Erin Condren planner:
1. I used to be a project manager in my before-kids career. Organization Is MY THING. (Though you'd never know it by looking at my desk.)
2. I am trained in the Franklin-Covey method and a die-hard office supply addict. I was lucky enough to be sent to an entire workshop on how to use the Franklin Covey system at my first real job out of college. (Thanks American Girl!) Yes, it sounds crazy that there is a day-long workshop out there on how to use a planner, but I can honestly say that was a groundwork building day that has positively affected the rest of my organizational career.
3. I have tried every phone app possible trying to take my planning digital. Some came close but none fully hit the mark. I'm a paper girl at heart. There is just something amazing about that hand-brain connection -- I remember things better if I've written it down. I also love being able to scan the pages of my notebook as needed.
And checkmarks. Oh gosh the satisfaction of physically crossing something off your list, am I right??
Why is the Erin Condren planner the best planner for moms?
There are a few key features that make Erin Condren stand out heads above the competition:
1. The Goals and Notes column: There are several page layout designs to choose from when you customize your Erin Condren planner but my all-time favorite is the weekly spread with the notes column.
See that long column running down the left side of the planner page? EEEK! This is a list maker's DREAM. For all those to-do's you want to accomplish in the week but don't have a time-specific need to accomplish them, there is a neat and clean space right there!! I love that it keeps my individual days blocks free of to-do list clutter.
There is a similar column on the monthly view tabs which is simply perfect for those longer term to-dos! At the end of each month, I look at that column for the next month and immediately schedule those to-do's to the appropriate week where I think I can manage them.
2. The day is broken into parts not hours: I love to choose the layout that is not time specific. As a mom, I don't have appointments and meetings filling each half hour of the day to record. I love that the page is simply broken into three open spaces.
I mentally divide the blocks into morning, afternoon, and evening but you could divide them into:
- Life roles: mom, self, work, friend, volunteer
- Categories: appointments, to do list, meal plan
- Projects: school, home, work
I love the big chunks of visual white space that let moms choose the way to organize their day the best way for their families.
3. The daily record lines: Along the bottom of the weekly layout there are additional uncategorized lines that let you track things like:
- your meal plan for the day
- fitness goals
- to do list items
- memory of the day
Over the years, I've used that spot to track what we eat (including how often we dine out), my workout plan for run training, and shopping lists for things I needed to jot down quickly.
4. The personalization and color options for the planner cover: As a photographer and a mom I adore having my girls front and center on the cover of my planner. For many years we had a dedicated photo session so I could get a fresh portrait of my kids for my planner cover. For the last few years, I've used my favorite photos from our trips to Disney or the beach.
But, if you're not a photographer or don't want a photo on the cover, Erin Condren has several adorable and fashionable options with or without your name.
The covers are also interchangeable! If you wanted to rotate covers by season or have one with updated photos, you can order just the cover and it snaps right into the coil binding. Check out my video below to see how that works.
5. The sturdiness of the planner paper and cover: These planners are crazy powerhouses, they will hold up to your active family life with no problem. The planner cover is thickly laminated, the planner binding features a thick coil wire that doesn't unravel or hook, the monthly tabs are thickly laminated and hold up fantastically to heavy wear and daily use. You see photos of one of my well used planners at the top of this post and it still looked pristine after 9 months of use.
6. Awesome planner extras: Extra features I love about my Erin Condren planner include: blank lined pages at the back for general note taking; a sturdy pocket folder for holding notes, receipts, cards, etc.; a plastic zip close pouch for odds & ends; several sheets of stickers for things like birthdays, date night, game day, doctor appointments and more; and the overall color theme which changes monthly and gives you a sense of season.
And though I'm a Sharpie lover, nothing but these pens will do when writing in my planner. I love that they are brightly colored but don't bleed through the page to the other side!
The inside of the planner pages are very clean and simple, but if you're a holiday lover like I am you won't want to miss the adorable sticker packs accessory options for glamming up your planner. I flip through my favorite one so you can see all the stickers in my video review below.
But if you're ready to snag a new planner for yourself, you can save $10 by shopping via this affiliate link:
Did you find this post from this pin? You're in the right spot! I've updated my Erin Condren planner review for 2018!