Plan to Have the Best Semester Yet with Erin Condren


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Happy back-to-school season! I can't believe some of my friends have already started classes this semester. We can all agree that summer always goes by way too fast, but instead of having the end of summer blues, you should get excited for the new adventure the school year and fall will hold! My favorite way to get hyped about a new semester/new school year is buying new school supplies. Almost all of my school work is done on my laptop, so I don't usually buy any actual school supplies. BUT, every year I buy a new planner. Since I started college, I have been using an academic planner that runs from July-June because it seems to make the most sense for me and for most people who plan around the school year (like parents with kids in school or teachers). It's nice to not have to be switching over to a new planner in the middle of the school year. I'm telling you guys, I've tried almost TEN different brands of planners. Most of them got the job done, but one came out on top as the best, and it is GREAT. That one is my Erin Condren LifePlanner. This is sponsored, but I have used their products and purchased them multiple times in the past so I can say without hesitation or bias that this is the best planner ever. My sister can attest to how great Erin Condren planners are too. She's a sophomore in college and has never been able to stick to using a planner in her life until she saw my LifePlanner. She loved how I used it and how helpful it was, so she went out and bought her own. She has used it every single day since. These planners really are life changing!

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Why You Need This Planner → Erin Condren has been a long-time favorite brand of mine. My absolute number one necessity that I think every single person needs to have the most successful semester (or life in general) is a good planner and the right tools for that planner. With some strategic planning to organize your life, you can have the most productive semester yet. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not super great about regularly using my planner during the summer. During the school year though, I use it every single day. I make it a habit to check my planner first thing in the morning before class to see what the day holds, during class to write in any new due dates or things to remember, and again in the evening to make sure I turned in everything I needed to that day. If you're a teacher, or plan on becoming a teacher (major props to you, I could never do it), they also have a ton of tools for lesson planning and a planner tailored for teaching.

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The LifePlanner → I just got a new LifePlanner that started in July. Mine runs for 16 months, which I LOVE. Sometimes planning for just one year is not enough. But, if that's not your thing, you can also choose a 12 month planner. Next up, you get to choose from three different layouts. There's an hourly time blocked layout, a vertical layout, and a horizontal layout. I went for the horizontal layout for reference. After you decide on that, you can choose if you want the theme of the planner to be colorful or neutral. I'm a neutral-loving gal, so of course I did mine in black and white. I am so happy they have this option. It is so cool that Erin Condren offers planners ranging from the neutral palette to fun and funky prints. There is something to fit everyone's taste and style. The most fun part is choosing your cover. I love that you can change out the cover whenever you want, so there's no stress about committing to one cover for 12-16 months. I picked the prettiest marble cover with rose gold lettering. Can we talk about how beautiful it is?! I am obsessed with marble and rose gold, so this was an obvious choice for me. It's the planner of my dreams. The planner of my sister's dreams was an orange Texas cover, and Erin Condren had the perfect one for her too. There's hundreds of options for cover patterns and colors, and you can personalize the writing on it if you want. You can also choose a coil color. I picked silver, but they also have gold, rose gold, and black!

The Tools → Erin Condren also offers the cutest accessories ever and there are so many options. I stocked up on stickers, pens, wet-erase markers, a pen holder, an elastic band, sticky notes, and dashboards for my planner. I also got another cover for when I'm feeling like changing it up! These dashboards are the most amazing invention ever. They are dry erase inserts that you can snap into your planner anywhere you'd like. I think I might end up buying every single one they make.
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I originally thought to myself that I didn't need the Erin Condren pens and that any old pen would do the job. Boy was I wrong. I bought 8 different colored pens and I'm so glad I did. First off, they are dual-tip which is the coolest thing ever. They write soooo smooth and clean and they don't snag on the paper. These pens are what dreams are made of. Plus, they come in so many fun colors that are perfect for color-coding your life! Another Erin Condren writing utensil I'm obsessed with is their markers. My all-time favorite feature of Erin Condren notebooks and planners is that I can use these wet-erase markers on them.
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The covers and dashboards are all laminated, which allows you to use the wet-erase markers on them. We all hate writing something in their planner and then having to cross it off. I love these markers because they give you the flexibility to take a quick note without making it permanent. Then you can go back to it later and write it in the correct spot. Both sides of the front and the back cover of my planner are almost always covered with to-do lists, random things I need to remember, and projects I want to start. It's so cool that they don't smudge when you put them in your bag either. They are WET erase, so to get the marker off, you just have to get it wet. Of course I had to get some stickers to add all over my planner too! I also love the elastic band I got. It helps keep my spot in the planner while looking super cute.

How to Use Your Planner → I have a pretty good system in place for my planner. I did just start using this new one in July, so I am still tweaking things as I go. I will do another post when I've been using it for a few months longer! But for now, I use color-coding and a few different tools. I love how many snap-in dashboards Erin Condren sells. It allows you to totally customize your planner for your specific needs. I got the Bill Tracker, To-Do List, and the Meal Planning inserts. I got two of their wet erase markers to start off, but I definitely need to go back and get more. I fill in the monthly overview for each month with a shortened version of important events, blog posts that are going live, and events. Then I go into the weekly spread and break everything down. My color-coding system is as follows: light purple for blog tasks, dark purple for photography, light pink for school, black for things I need to do that don't fit into a category and events, and grey for places I need to go. I use this color-coding on the monthly overview and the weekly spreads. I like to keep things consistent throughout my planner. On the weekly spreads, I write super important things in big letters with the thicker side of the pen to make sure I don't miss them. I write everything else bullet point style, being sure to include times and important details. As I finish things, I like to cross them off with a black marker to make myself feel accomplished. To make my spreads look cute, I also add in stickers and write things in cute lettering occasionally. I move the dashboards along as I go. I keep them one month ahead of the current month so they are easy to flip through but aren't getting in my way.

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The Erin Condren Store → If you ever find yourself in Austin you NEED to stop by the Erin Condren store at The Domain. It's like heaven. It's such a beautiful space and has every planning tool you could ever need (and even some you don't actually need). I've been living here in Texas for only 3 months and I've been there at least 6 times. The coolest part about the store is that they will print your planner and custom cover right there for you in store while you wait!

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The big takeaway from this is that you need to go get yourself a planner right now. Nobody likes the feeling of being unorganized and overwhelmed. This planner helps you keep everything together, from finances, to home, school and work. You can have everything in one spot. It gives you the flexibility to roll with the changes that life always throws your way. The semester starts soon, so don't wait! The Erin Condren LifePlanner starts at about $55, which might seem like a pretty big upfront investment for some sheets of paper bound together. I can 110% say that it's worth it. If you use your planner every single day for 12 months, that breaks the cost down to $0.15 a day. When you look at it that way, it's totally affordable. I don't know about you, but $55 is worth the feeling that being organized gives me.

This post is sponsored by Erin Condren, but all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my blog! 

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2 comments:

  1. I am putting items in my shopping cart as we speak! How great and when you break it down--totally affordable and worth it! Thanks for the tips!

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  2. Love these planners! They are game changer!

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