It came today!!!! MY NEW ERIN CONDREN LIFE PLANNER CAME TODAY! This was my 5th year now of getting one of these little pieces of awesomeness. You can read about my past experiences in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. I usually place my order the day they are launched, but waited a few extra weeks because I wasn’t quite ready to think about back-to-school quite yet. But, Target’s early set-up of their back to school section has gotten to me little by little and I guess I’m almost ready to think about it.
SO, here are my thoughts about this year’s new edition.
- The biggest thing you’ll see on Erin’s site talks about the 3 different layout options for the planner. In the past, they’ve only had the vertical layout for each week. Days across the top, time down the side. While this is always the best layout for how I use my book for work, I totally understand the appeal of having a horizontal option as well. And the year, they added an hourly vertical layout. I almost went with this option, but decided I loved my usual format, so I stuck with the non-hourly vertical option. Here are the layouts:
- Same cute, customizable covers with words and pictures. This is one of my biggest reasons for loving these planners. I get to look at my super cute daughter’s picture each day on my planner! Here are three of my favorite new designs this year. Also starting two years ago, the covers are removeable and interchangeable. So, you could change them seasonally, monthly, or, I suppose, to replace that picture of you and your ex after a bad breakup!:
– Custom “colorways.” In the past, you had to stick with one or two color combinations for your chosen color or pay a $15 design fee to further customize it. I love that the option is available to get a really custom look, but starting last year on many of the covers, you can choose any of their colors to create a unique look for your cover. Just look for this:
Here’s what I ended up with (with a picture of my husband and daughter on the front!) As a side note, this year, the website offers the ability to “preview” the cover before proceeding to customizing the rest of the planner. I love this!
- Different color variations! New this year, you’re able to choose from one of 3 layouts, but also one of 2 color versions – colorful and neutral. There’s a cool slider view to let you see how each looks in the planner. I opted for the colorful version and love it!
– Accessories! If you’re thinking, “You know…I could just buy a cute planner at the store and add a cute picture, and color code everything myself!” Sure! Buy can you get all of this stuff too?? It’s almost completely insane how much extra stuff you can get. This year, I got the pen holder, monthly sticker book, write-on dashboard, and dot stickers. I’m hoping the write-on dashboard will become my new t0-do list rather than the millions of sticky notes I end up with all over my desk! Another thing about accessories – you get 15% off of them once you order 4 or more! Some of the accessories are really cheap (like the dashboard and pen holder), so it’s really easy to get this discount and save yourself a bit!
- One of the first years, they offered an “academic” July-July format. Starting last you, you can get Jan-Dec 2016 or pay $5 more to also get the rest of 2015 included. I understand the manufacturing logistics of not offering any start and end month as an option, but think it’s pretty obvious most people are using a July-July format if you’re LAUNCHING YOUR PRODUCT in June. So it does truthfully really irk me I have to pay $5 and then just rip out July-Dec 2017 when I get the book. Plus, it’s just sad and then the coil looks a little big for the book. Come on, guys!
Cost. I’m listing this as a con because it’s the most common complaint I hear and yes, I do feel a bit of sticker shock each time I order. However, let me justify it to you this way: I work 185 school days and probably spend 10-15 minutes per day using my planner or smiling at my daughter’s picture. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been having a really crummy stressful day and then I brush a few papers off and see her smiling at me from that cute, colorful book. That works out to 32 cents per day. 32 cents. 15 minutes of coffee? $3. 15 minutes of a massage? $15. 15 minutes in a car? $1.50. 32 cents is pretty darn cheap! Do yourself a favor and just get one 🙂 Once it arrives at your door, you won’t look back!
Shipping time. So, the nature of custom items is that they do take longer to manufacture. That being said, the website will always tell you an approximate ship date for your products. This year, mine was 10-15 business days! Therefore, don’t wait until 2 weeks before school starts back up and expect to have it for the first day of school. Just go ahead and order as soon as you can and enjoy filling it out whenever you start to feel the “back to school blues!”
- No more customizable stickers. In the past, one of the things I loved was the ability to put loved one’s faces on pictures and customize the writing on stickers for birthdays, school improvement days, etc. This year, no more! They did introduce a monthly sticker book, which offers color-coordinated stickers for each month, but is AMAZING.
EDIT They do still exist! They just aren’t in the “accessories” section when you’re personalizing your planner. If you want them, you’ll have to click on “sticker sheets” at the bottom of the front page of the website and then you’ll find them. So sad I missed these this year! I don’t want to pay for $8 shipping again to get them 🙁
I love this new book, but I’ll miss seeing my sweet family’s faces on their birthday! I’ve seen a few Etsy sellers that do customized stickers to fit the EC planners, so might go that route for institute days, school holidays, improvement days, or other pre-scheduled events!
To get a coupon to save $10 on the new Life Planner, add your e-mail address here:
Note: Some pictures in this post are from Erin Condren.