While some people have moved well into the digital age when it comes to their calendars, I am one of those people who will forever prefer a paper planner. It all started back in sixth grade, when I was handed my first ever planner by my homeroom teacher. In an effort to get kids to be more responsible with their assignments, my school (district?) made them mandatory for all students. It was love at first sight.
Alas, now there are about a million different planners you can choose from, which makes things a little bit trickier. It took me years to find my perfect planner, and I hope these reviews will help you find yours.
2018 Erin Condren Life Planner
I have confession to make. In all my years of using a paper planner, I never actually got through a full year of using the same one… until I found the Erin Condren Life Planner. Maybe it was just the time in my life – working outside the home mom with a side hustle who likes to keep some semblance of a social life – but the layout was just right for me. Here is a breakdown of some of the best features of the 2018 Life Planner.
- Dated January 2018 to December 2018
- 7″ x 9″ (also available in hardbound in 5″ x 8″ and 8″ x 10″)
- 110lb Cover, protected by heavy duty laminate
- Mohawk 80lb text weight (118 gsm)
This planner does add a little weight to any load, but depending on how much you have going on, keeping it all together is totally worth it. I usually opt for the neutral design and a vertical layout. I enjoy personalizing my planner with stickers and different colored pens, but there is a colorful design available for those who want to keep it simple otherwise, as well as two other layout options so you’re guaranteed to find one that works for you.
The book starts and ends with an annual calendar (above) – with the current year up front and next year in the back. Then, for each month, there is a simple monthly layout (below left) followed by the weekly layouts (below right) where each day is divided into three sections. Honestly, this is the feature that sold me. As a working-outside-the-home mom with a side hustle, the sections make it so much easier to keep the life organized.
In addition to the basic calendar features, this planner comes with all sorts of interesting bonuses. “Don’t call it a dream. Call it a Plan.” That’s the slogan above the goal-setting spread. There are also several pages for note-taking: four lined, four dot-grid, and four… coloring pages? I’ll admit I was a little confused by this update to the 2018 planner, but I know there are people out there who love to get their color on, so I’ll leave it at that.
One change I am really excited about? The four sheets of stickers! There were stickers before, but half as many and several of them were pre-printed. Now there are many more and they’re completely customizable. In addition, the planner features a “keep it together” folder and a zippered pouch for storage.
To me, a new year with a clean, new planner means endless possibilities. Whatever works for you, USE IT! There is no reason 2018 can’t be your best year yet.