planner journaling

overview of my 2016-17 Erin Condren life planner

this is my third erin condren life planner and the best yet.  i decided to (gasp!) switch layouts.  i’ve been #teamvertical for a couple years but have always felt somewhat limited by the three spaces each day.  so i decided to switch to the new hourly layout.  it debuted last year, and i totally dismissed it.  but then i recently started looking at it again after people in the planners gone wild Facebook group started posting pictures of how they were using it.  they said to look at it as an unlimited vertical and to ignore the times.  so i’m trying it out!  i’m very excited!  {check out @tattooedteacherplans on instagram for more updates and weekly spread pics!  also, head over to THIS POST for an update on how my new planner is working for me!}

overview of my 2016-17 EC life planner #erincondren #EClifeplanner #erincondrenlifeplanner

i am also trying the new black coil and new neutral theme.  i was so disappointed with the rose gold coil last year.  the first and second planner i had chipped horribly.  the company has said that they have now fixed the problem, but i’m going to go with a different coil anyway.  i’m also going to try the new neutral theme.  i fell in love with it when i started watching the early reviews.  it is black and white throughout with a few touches of color in the monthly and weekly spreads.  it’s gorgeous and i won’t be limited in my choices of when and where to use color.

so this review is very long, but oh so thorough!  i’m so impressed with the changes that were made and the new options.  i’m a loyal customer when the company listens to their buyers.  EC has proven that she does this with this year’s options.  check out the video below to see all of the options.  hope you enjoy!

overview of my 2016-17 EC life planner #erincondren #EClifeplanner #erincondrenlifeplanner

overview of my 2016-17 EC life planner #erincondren #EClifeplanner #erincondrenlifeplanner
i love this design!!
overview of my 2016-17 EC life planner #erincondren #EClifeplanner #erincondrenlifeplanner
i couldn’t resist a map cover. (always a geography teacher…)
overview of my 2016-17 EC life planner #erincondren #EClifeplanner #erincondrenlifeplanner
this charcoal cover turned out so well.
overview of my 2016-17 EC life planner #erincondren #EClifeplanner #erincondrenlifeplanner
this is the VIP cover. i actually kind of like it. the blue circles on the back are metallic.
overview of my 2016-17 EC life planner #erincondren #EClifeplanner #erincondrenlifeplanner
i didn’t know how much i would like this magnetic bookmark, but it really do!
overview of my 2016-17 EC life planner #erincondren #EClifeplanner #erincondrenlifeplanner
can’t wait to try out this travel list.

 •••the good•••

laminated cover – it’s sturdy and thick.  it’s not going anywhere.  if there are any issues with it, the EC company will replace it or give you credits.  there’s also a new luxe option, but it’s permanent and i like the option to change.

size – it measures about 9 1/4″ (high) x 8 1/4″ (wide), which is perfect.  not too big, not too small.

length – you can choose an 18 month or 12 month.  the 18 month is $5 more and worth it for me to create an academic calendar.

NEW cover customization – you can pick your cover and colors, classic or metallic.  they are also removable so you could order another cover (for around $10-15 plus shipping) and put it on your planner whenever you feel the need.  the new covers have a wet erase writing area inside the front and back covers.

NEW heavy spiral coil – it’s super duty and will not bend.  it’s big to accommodate the natural growth and coil clips.  this year, they come in platinum, gold, rose gold, and the new black, which i’m going with!

NEW vellum overlay – this was only available in the special editions last year.  now every planner comes with a pretty vellum overlay at the front.  it matches your theme, colorful or neutral, in the midcentury circles pattern.

NEW ruler and planner bands – the clear ruler doubles as a page marker.  it’s also the perfect tool to cut washi tape.  the design is now even more subtle to see though it better.  the elastic band is extra, but i love it.  it keeps everything together when i’m on the go.  they also come in new, different colors.

laminated tabs – they are durable and are not going anywhere.

NEW theme customization – you can now choose between colorful or neutral.  both are beautiful this year, but i’m going with the neutral.

NEW layout options – EC debuted the new horizontal and hourly options last year, but this is the first year they’re all three available at launch time.  something for everyone!

NEW goal page – the improved goal page has bigger boxes. i’m thinking i’ll use mine for fitness goals.

2 page monthly view – it’s enough room to see everything clearly.  i like the monthly goal and to do list on the right too.

monthly notes page and quote – now there is a notes page and divider before each monthly calendar.  the quote has moved from the monthly view to the divider.

NEW 2 page weekly view – it’s organized so well this year.  EC really listened to their customers and removed some unnecessary things.  it’s much more simple and clean now.  the new fonts are gorgeous!  you can also choose between horizontal, vertical, or hourly.

notes section – who doesn’t need a few notes pages?  there are some lined and some blank pages along with some graph paper.  this year, the designs reflect the new watercolor accents and midcentury circle design.

NEW paper qualitysupposedly, the paper is better this year.  it is more dense but not more thick.  i can’t really tell a difference…

NEW stickers – the stickers now match the planner colors and there are some new cute flags.

NEW pocket and zipper pouch – every planner should have these two things.  the pocket is reinforced to deal with wear and tear better.  one side is also the new shorter pocket with a cute quote on it.  the pocket design corresponds to whether you choose colorful or neutral.  the pouch has the new pattern on it and is now removable.  a long coil clip is included so you can put it anywhere you’d like.

NEW accessories – new this year are the magnetic bookmarks, snap-in sticky notes, wet erase markers, clip in bookmarks, designer sticker book, and dashboards.  i’m going to try the magnetic bookmarks, sticky notes, and sticker book.  they’re too pretty to pass up!  EC really outdid herself on these new accessories.  (but i’m going to my local teacher supply store for cheaper wet erase markers.)  click HERE for the EC blog post on the new accessories.


•••the not-so-good•••

NEW birthday stickers – the new birthday stickers are flags. the problem with them is that the word “birthday” is centered in the middle of the flag. in the past, they were centered but at the bottom.  then you had room to write the person’s name above it.  now they just look weird because you have to squeeze the person’s name on it.

pixilation – when i was watching the review videos on youtube, everyone mentioned this issue.  i couldn’t really see what they were talking about so i dismissed it as them being too picky.  but they were right.  it’s totally noticeable on the monthly pages.  it doesn’t really bother me, but i definitely noticed.

good to go planner – the “ready to ship” planners were put together too quickly or something last year. mistakes were made. i know i’m not the only one. i chose not to get another ready to ship planner at launch time this year because of my experience.  plus, you have to pay for shipping on your “free” personalized cover.  you’re actually paying more in the long run and waiting longer for what you want.  they also changed the name from “ready to ship” to “good to go” to explain that the planner was still assembled at the time of order and not sitting in a pile “ready to ship” like we thought.  that was super confusing last year.

pay extra for name personalization – this used to be included. but now it’s extra. i think it bothers me because it used to be free and now i know the difference.

perpetual calendar – each planner comes with one.  i don’t really get the point of them, so i gift mine to someone each year.

the cost of the planner – it is $50 plus shipping costs for just the basic planner.  i splurged last year for the beautiful 18-month rose gold limited edition because i just couldn’t help myself.  it was $80!!  it ended up being a mistake.  EC has fixed some of the pricing issues by offering more base options this year.   – really, i understand why the planner is expensive.  and it’s totally worth the money to me. this is a high quality product that i’ll be using every day as a planning tool and an artistic outlet. so i want it to be good.  and any problems i’ve had in the past couple of years have been remedied by the company at no cost.

shipping costs –  the shipping rates are outrageous after being spoiled by amazon for years. the base rate (for anything) is $7.95 for  s l o w  USPS shipping.  it goes up from there.  i wish EC could get the cost of shipping down to something cheaper.  the shipping time also starts counting when your order is ready to go.  so you can choose next day shipping, but it could be 5-10 days before it is actually on a truck.  also, the rates are the same no matter what you order.  so your order could be worth $5 and you still have to pay the high shipping rates.  i always go with the $9.95 3-5 day shipping because it is fedex or ups and you get a tracking number.

leave me any questions in the comments and i’ll answer as best i can!

check the erin condren site out HERE if you’re interested and want $10 off your first order. (the $10 off code will be sent in an email after you’ve registered that might go to your spam folder so check there if you don’t get it right away.)

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