How I Stay Organized with my Erin Condren Life Planner

Confession: I’m obsessed with planners. Ever since late elementary school when my teachers handed out planners that we were required to use, I’ve been hooked. Throughout middle school and high school I used my planner to juggle various homework assignments, quizzes and tests, dance class, dance competitions, work, and hanging out with friends. Now that I’m college, the way that I use my planner looks a bit different. I’m balancing a full course load, tutoring, a job, three organizations, my blog, and still attempting to have somewhat of a social life. My planner acts as a crutch for me to be able to get done everything that needs to be done in a day.

This summer I decided to invest in an Erin Condren planner and I haven’t looked back. I love being able to divide my day into three categories and from there list everything that needs to get done. I also enjoy having a planner that is colorful and more personalized, so I’m willing to spend a little extra money. For the 2015-2016 planner Erin Condren made changes to their design that allow you a lot more freedom in how you utilize there planner, so I thought it would be fun to share with you how I organize my planner.

howistayorganizedwithmyerincondrenGeneral Planning

I have use my planner to organize these general things:

  • Homework assignments
  • Tests and quizzes
  • Organizations
  • Tutoring
  • Blogging
  • Work
  • Social
  • General reminders (such as scheduling an appointment with my advisor, when I sign up for classes, etc.)

I like to use the notes pages at the beginning of each month to make overall goals for the month such as getting an A on my math test that month or how many blog posts I want to get up. I use the notes pages at the end of my planner to write out ideas for blog posts, what I want to include in blog posts, overall goals for my blog, and really, anything that has to do with my site.

Weekly ViewDSC_0165How I label the three boxes each week varies depending on the week. It definitely surprises people who know that I am typically very particular and precise, but I’ve learned in college that sometimes I have to let that go a little bit. The picture of my weekly view below was actually from my craziest week of the semester when I had three midterms on one day (hence why ‘breathe’ was on my to-do list), so this week looked a lot different than my typical weeks because I was focusing only on studying and getting my school work complete for the week.

Typically I have the boxes labeled: School To-do, Blog To-do, and To-do. Under school to-do I write down any assignments I want to complete that day, what I need to study, and if I need to work on a paper for my English class. Under blog to-do I write down social media that I want to post for the day, if I need to edit photos for blog posts, if I need to write or edit a blog post, and if I need to send out e-mails to follow up on sponsored posts. In the to-do section I will write out classes, organization meetings, work, and whatever other appointments I might have that day so that I can check them off as I go and ultimately feel more productive.

If you look at the bottom of the pages there is a small lined section. For this I write down assignment and reading due dates and when I have quizzes or tests. I use a different color for each task and it definitely helps me to stay on top of my work.

Monthly ViewDSC_0167In the monthly view section I mostly outline my work availability and my assignments and tests. While yes, I do have my assignments and tests written in two places, it’s what works best for me. Personally, I go to the monthly view first when planning any events ahead of time so that I can determine if it’s something I can do based off of that day’s work load. For instance, if a friend wanted to go out to dinner and I checked my monthly view and see that I have three tests and a paper due that day, I would obviously say no and ask if there was another date she had in mind.

I will also outline the blog posts that I want to publish for the month. I hadn’t written them in before taking these pictures because I was still in the process of finalizing my editorial calendar, but I write all things blog related in hot pink along the bottom of each day.

I like to use the lined list on the side of the page for monthly to-dos. This month for instance it’s to look into when I sign up for classes, schedule an appointment with my advisor, ask my econ professor about study methods for the final, and to look into two organizations I’m hoping to join next semester.

Why You Should Use a PlannerDSC_0156If you’ve been around my blog for a while, then you are well aware that I always say that I don’t know what I would do without my planner. I honestly don’t understand how people get through any part of life, especially college, without one. I have never had a late assignment ever in my school career and I firmly believe it is because I use a planner to stay on top of things. With the demanding work load of college courses along with a demanding life outside of the class room, it’s crucial to have something to go to so that you can plan your days, know what’s due, and figure out what you need to get done.

Interested in an Erin Condren Life Planner of your own? Click here and receive $10 off your first order.

Do you use a planner? If so, what kind do you use and how do you organize it? If you don’t use a planner, how are you able to stay on top of and remember everything you need to do? I’d love if you left it in a comment below.

The links used in this post are referral links. I was not sponsored by Erin Condren to do this post. This planner was purchased by me with my own money.

  • Heidi Fleming

    This post is SUPER helpful. I usually get the horizontal layout, but accidentally ordered the vertical one in my 2018 planner, and wasn’t loving it, until I saw your post. Now I can manage my work schedule and my school schedule, see all assignments that are due, and keep track. This was just what I needed. I might not even go back to the horizontal layout. I attached a couple of photos for y’all to see.

    Additional recommendation to everyone using ANY planner; Pilot Frixon pens. They erase (heat or friction).

  • Kaylin Ervin

    I just received my 2nd Erin Condren planner last night. I love this one just as much as I did the first one. My first planner was the horizontal layout and my second planner is the vertical layout. I LOVE THIS PLANNER! I genuinely do not think I will ever get another planner beside this one. I love the options and the room I have to write everything down. I love the opportunities I have to decorate it and make it my own.

    What all, if anything, have you done to personalize your planner?

  • I’ve never tried the Happy planner although I’ve heard a lot of great things about it! Thanks for giving me the link to your review, I’m definitely going to check it out!

  • Have you tried the MAMBI Happy Planner? It’s pretty much the same setup but you can add and remove pages. I did a review of it yesterday!

  • There is no such thing as too many questions! I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Yes, I’m still using my EC! I have the one that goes from summer to summer, so I will still be able to use the one in this post through this semester and until mid summer. Yes, I think I will be sticking with Erin Condren in the future, as I plan to buy a new one over the summer when they release the new layout. When I buy my new planner I’m leaning towards getting the horizontal one. I’ve enjoyed having the vertical, but there simply isn’t enough space for me and I think it would be better for me personally to get back into a horizontal planner. Of course, there is still 6 months until the release of the new layout, so things could change.

  • Are you still using this planner? Do you think you will stick with EC in the future? Also, would you try the EC horizontal? Sorry for all the questions haha.

  • I have a Plum Paper Planner to! I LOVE the notes pages as well and also just wanted to try a different set up. I thought it could be fun to have just a to-do list for my days instead of the boxes. I also love the paper, it’s wonderful. I’m been considering doing a comparison video/blog post about the two. I love both brands and am still trying to figure out which one I want to have as my main planner.

  • Nancy Doyle

    This year I switched from ECLP to Plum Paper Planner, mainly because EC decreased the number of notes pages. Looking at PPP, I found I could add a lot of notes pages to the back and that sealed the deal for me. Turns out I like the PPP much better: the paper is smoother to write on and I chose the line columns without headers so I could make up my own headers and space them out differently. Works for me! 🙂

  • Sorry for my late reply! I’ve been finishing up midterms before Thanksgiving Break! I definitely love my ECLP for staying on top of a fairly demanding schedule. I’m so glad that I stumbled upon them on YouTube! Definitely a great find. Thank you!

  • Kristine Adams

    I have an ECLP too! It helps me stay on track for family, church and personal activities. Good luck with your courses!