Giving the Erin Condren Planner a second chance

I had some major issues with my EC planner when I ordered it last year and in the end, the product left me quite underwhelmed, I promised myself “never again”. I spent a few months using the planner to make myself feel like I was getting my money’s worth and eventually gave up and switched back to my Filofax.

I gave it another try this year since, well… I just never learn. Anyway, I chose the leased personalized version I could pick: no initials on the cover, regular run-of- the-mill cover design, no foiling, etc. The only thing I decided to make different was to choose the horizontal layout instead of the vertical WO2P style. I was pressured to have to categorize tasks with the vertical layout from my old EC planner since all of my tasks won’t fit in one box (oh the details I can’t let be). I felt I would have a more unified feel with just one big encompassing box for each day of the week and a side box for little things. I received the planner in the middle of July and just in time for the start of school (you can order here).

I’m still trying out a system for how to make my planner look and feel fun and functional at the same time. I thought about using the planner goodies I had been getting from Studio Calico’s monthly planner kit to jazz up my pages and task.

I also experimented with using my whiteboard marker pens vs Souffle pens on the laminated dashboards and decided to go with the Souffle pens. The colors are brighter and when dry, they don’t smudge when I touch them with sweaty fingers (an issue with the whiteboard markers). The only beef is that the Souffle gel pens take a bit to dry but not too long to make it unbearable.

I also wanted to develop a system where I won’t have to carry a big pouch full of pens and planner supplies around. I’ve trimmed my things down to some degree. I figured I could do my stamping and washi tapes at home since I do them ahead of time anyway so I won’t have to bring washi or stamps with me. I pared my pens down to this multi pen from Pilot (Dr. Grip 4+1) and some choice Frixion pens.

I’m planning on trying out the dry gel pen from Zebra so I’m ordering one from Jetpens (tread carefully in this website, pen addicts. It’s a dangerous place). If it works better than the Souffle pen on my dashboards then I might use those instead and pass on my Souffle pens to a certain thirteen year-old who I’m sure will put them to good use.

The plan is to pick a system for a few weeks, see if they work, and revise if needed. I’ve developed a system for my study schedule for the rest of this term so I’m sticking it through and see if things will need improvement. The to-do boxes and such may or may not have to go. The weekly box may also need a bit of tweaking. Ultimately, I want to be able to prioritize work and school (of course), assign some home chores, add some selfish personal care stuff, schedule a blog post or two every month, go hiking, and slowly keep working on my website development. Hopefully, this EC planner won’t let me down this time around.