Sometimes we all need a change and in the spirit of change, I took the plunge and ordered an Erin Condren Life Planner (ECLP) last November. I’ve waited till now to do this post because I thought it may have just been a fad and then I’d end up writing a post about something I’m not actually using. I’ve been pleasantly surprised…I’m 5 months in and the ECLP has held up quite well even through my life changes.

Using a bound book is difficult for me. I had been using a Filofax for 15 years up until 2 years ago when I switched to a Hobonichi Cousin (A5) because my life became desk bound. Seeing how I managed, I decided to give the coiled planner a go… a cousin of the bound book.

Before I show you how I use it, let me tell you what works and doesn’t work for me. (this is my personal opinion)

What I like about the ECLP

  • The Paper: It’s this really nice thick paper but not heavy. It holds up well to water-based markers, gel pens and even fountain pens. No feathering and very little see through.
  • The Weight: It’s a big, fat book. It’s got the whole year in weekly view, tabbed monthly pages, a few additional note pages, and the cover I got is leather-cardboard. Yet it’s lighter than many of the Personal Filofaxes I’ve carried.
  • The Splash of Color & Quotes: I like the color scheme and the quotes. I don’t have the time to color or put stickers so this is really nice for me without being over the top.
  • So many sections:I like how the sections are divided up and there are so many sections that it can really keep track of everything in your life.
  • Personalize: I got the cover that can only take initials. But I could choose the foil (rose gold) to match the rings. I’ve also ordered a bunch of other notebooks from them and love that I can put my favorite quotes or my full name or now my company’s name.

What I don’t like about the ECLP

  • Size: The bulk… the coiled ECLP’s are bulky. Even though they are about the size of an A5 Filofax Cover, they big coil and the paper make it fat. Very few of my bags fit the planner, cannot travel with it and ended up using a satellite planner on the go. But, I’m powering through.
  • Cannot take out older sections: I’m carrying around weekly pages from December. I would keep the monthly pages but if I try to take the weekly pages out, I’ll have tear them out and I like keeping my old pages in tact.
  • Not enough notes pages: Ok, I know this contradictory. On the one hand, I’m complaining about the bulk and then I want more notes pages. There are twelve notes pages every month and 4 pages at the back. This is hardly enough if you want this to be the only book you carry around. I have found a hack for this. Please see below.
  • Too many sections: Also contradictory, but it took me a while to get used to all the sections and finding out my way of using them all. It irritated me in the beginning, not being able to find a purpose for every section.

Pictures of how I’m using my Erin Condren are below. Even though there are days, I don’t use the planner efficiently, I am powering through and it’s working for the most part.

The Monthly Spread (with Tabs):
Used for long term planning, monthly goals, bills and events

ECLP- MO2P.jpg

The Weekly Spreads:
Used for appointments, daily planning, tracking habits, to-do’s and anything else

ECLP-Weekly.jpg

The Monthly Note Page with a Quote: Used mainly for brain dumps, tracking projects etc.
ECLP-Monthly Notes.jpg

How I added pages: Bought an EC Notebook and snipped between the holes. It’s not perfect but works
ECLP Extra Pages

Back pocket (made of card stock): Used for loose papers and a few A5 pages

ECLP-Pocket

So, there you have it… I hope you find this post useful. The ECLP can be a great functional planner, if you work at a desk or don’t mind carrying it around.

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