Amanda Dorough | The Beautiful Journey


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My Quest for the Perfect Planner

My quest to find the perfect planner has been long on hard fought. If only it were as easy as picking up the first cute planner that sticks out to me and then successfully using it to manage all of life’s craziness.  For years I’ve tried and for years I’ve lost.

Thus far in my quest I have learned that:

– Filofax style planners don’t work for me
– Daily layout planners (ie. The Day Designer or Purposeful Planner) don’t work for me
– Planner with busy designs on the pages don’t work for me

Through trial and error, over the last 5 or so years I’ve learned the above facts.  I’ve always had good intentions but somehow, after a week or two of use, the planner would fall to the wayside.  Instead of collecting plans they collected dust.

And then came this school year.  Between the Paramedic Program, clinicals, work and volunteering for the fire department I can barely focus on the important things let alone try to keep my schedule straight.  A planner that worked became an absolute necessity and so my quest continued.

I started the year with the Purposeful Planner.  It had a lot of elements I liked, but as I mentioned above the layout just wasn’t right for me and to be honest it is quite large.  Most days it felt like I was carrying an extra text book, so I ruled it out quickly.  Next I attempted using the planner my college provided for free.  It wasn’t cute or anything but I thought hey, you can’t beat free so I might as well give it a chance right?  It wasn’t horrible, but the pages were filled with quotes and inspirational pictures which overtime began to overwhelm me, so I knew I needed to start looking for something different.

I took to the internet attempting to discover my perfect planner from other people’s reviews.  For a while I seriously considered getting the weekly edition of Emily Leys Simplified Planner, but after really looking through the page styles and focusing on the design, while it was visually appealing, I just knew it wouldn’t work for me in the long run, and $70 is a lot to shell out for something that isn’t going to work.

I tell you, the hunt was getting discouraging, and that’s when I found it, my perfect planner, the Erin Condren Life Planner.  I knew from first glance that it was a great product, but before I took the plunge and bought it I wanted to be sure of its greatness.  Over the next few days I spent a lot of time pouring over blogs and video reviews from people that had gotten Life Planners.  With the craziness of the semester weighing on me I couldn’t wait to long, so after a week I threw caution to the wind and ordered a Life Planner, and from the day it arrived I’ve loved it.  The page sizes are perfect, the spaces for each day are perfect, it’s just perfect for me and I can’t tell you how relieved I feel that my long hunt is finally over.

Erin Condren Life Planner

I do want to mention that the Life Planner comes in two versions, a vertical layout and a horizontal layout.  While most bloggers I’ve seen have the vertical layout and swear by it I went with the horizontal layout because I knew it would meet my needs (and my likes) better.  Obviously this preference isn’t the same for everyone and if you want to see examples of the vertical version I definitely recommend checking out her website.

Now what is it that I exactly like about this planner?  Well let’s see…

I like that the covers are interchangeable and able to be personalized.

I like that there is a pouch in the back of the planner to keep stickers and other miscellany in.

I like that there are pockets to keep loose papers and small notebooks in (I keep my May Designs budget book in it).

Erin Condren Life Planner

I like that I have tons of space to record all my to-dos and plans for each day.

I like that there is a big notes section at the end of each week.

Erin Condren Life Planner

I like that there is a place to list goals for every month, and that the monthly view calendar is super spacious.

I like that each month is color coded.

I like that there are full note pages at the end of each month and even more at the back of the planner (in lined, graph and blank paper)

I like that there are pages of blank labels at the end of the planner so I can personalize them for my own needs

I like that it’s so easy to clip accessories to the planner (ie coil clips and the snap in dashboard)

My last like isn’t part of the planner itself, but I like that they slip a couple little extra goodies into the box, just because 🙂

Erin Condren Life Planner

I also recommend getting elastic bands for the planner. They’re definitely an “extra” and not necessarily needed, but I like that they keep my planner bundled together.  It also keeps the pages from getting bent when I shove it into my backpack, and the OCD person in me hates bent pages!

Erin Condren Life Planner

In the end I am so happy I found this planner and I know I will be using it for years to come.  Unlike many of my other posts this one wasn’t a result of product testing, this was just something that I found that I really liked and wanted to share with others.  I personally think anyone can benefit from using it but I also realize that just like in my case, different personalities require different planners, but if you’re looking at the Life Planner and like me thinking “that’s perfect!” I would say get it!  It’s definitely worth the money!

The good news is I also have a way to help you save a little money if you wanted to get one.  By following my link you will get $10 off your purchase.  I didn’t have one of these handy dandy offers when I bought mine so I would encourage you to take advantage of it!

*Get $10 off by clicking here*

(you will need to create an account right off the bat to take advantage of it just FYI)

Hope you all have a great day and happy planning!

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