Organizing. It’s evaded and haunted me for years. Throw me into a situation that needs restructuring or coordination and I can get a good handle on it. But, my house? Oy veysmere, as my German dad used to say. I always feel like I’m spinning my wheels, but not a whole bunch gets done. I keep up fairly well on the laundry and cooking, but planning the menu and making a shopping list?
I have made a few strides since moving in 2008; when you leave 2/3 of your possessions behind, it makes things a bit easier.
For years I have been on the hunt for the “perfect” date book/planner/binder system/whatever you want to call it. I can (and have!) spend hours looking at websites (Daytimers used to be my faves to drool over), pinning, saving, downloading freebies, printing, etc. You get the picture. Nothing was ever quite right. If it had the right amount of ABC, it needed more XYZ. The colors were off. Did I need one for school and home? There was no NASCAR schedule included. You know, life’s important stuff.
I seem to have hit it pretty good the past two years. My first step was to buy a plain old composition notebook and glue printed pages in where I needed them. I found the most fun one I could, got a few stickers and off we went. That worked for about 4 months out of 2011. I did a bit better in 2012, but for 2013 I knew I needed more. The boys have different school schedules (part time and full time), I lead Bible study, when do I need to watch MAG, orthodontist, etc. I bought 2 generic planners in Wal*Mart for $7 each and added seasonal stickers where I felt it needed some whimsy. (If you don’t know by now, I am all about the whimsy. If it has bells, whistles, stickers, colored pencils, and a matching lanyard, I’m on it. If I could cook dinner, even better.) Problem with this: I have two that I sync on a monthly basis the old fashioned way…with a pen.
My friend Adrienne talked about these fabulous Erin Condren planners on an online women’s forum I participate in. She likes it so much, she is an affiliate (Adrienne’s link). So, being the obsessive compulsive person I am, I winged right over to the website. Sticker shock set in and I quickly closed the page. End of story. Or, so I thought. Like any good addiction, I kept going back and looking at these planners. Imagining one with my name on the cover. Looking at all the neat accessories (YES! the planner has accessories!). Customized stickers.
Adrienne posted a great review of the planner. She is a sensible gal, who does not fritter away her husband’s hard earned wages needlessly, and a busy mom of soon-to-be seven with a schedule that knocks me for a loop. I have her permission to share. I’m going to share a few snippets that turned my thinking around. If you’d like to read her full review, email me with “Planner Review” in the subject line.
The solid coil binding and *thick* laminated cover stands up to my using it and taking it places. If you can leave yours on the counter in the kitchen all the time and/or you are always home, you probably don’t need to invest the money. I have to be able to take my planner out to use and stow it away from little hands hands that like to play with mommy’s stuff. It’s been in my backpack all week (albeit carefully in and out) and it still looks perfect. Score.
This is the first thing that caught my attention. I WILL be lugging this around with me. I need it, well, all the time. I need it to be portable and durable.
I love the weekly lay out. It was a bit smaller than I was expecting, but as I’m using it I’m finding it sufficient for my needs
I love that she used the words “sufficient for my needs.” I think that is my problem with all of these organizational tools. We keep searching for some idealized perfection when, in reality, the product is more than likely “sufficient.”
I like the birthdays/anniversaries section to keep track of family birthdays and such. I never seem to keep track of those even when they are on Google calendar. The 18 month view is great for seeing what’s coming up or counting out weeks without having to turn a bunch of months later in the planner. I’m surprised at how roomy the monthly view is in spite of not being a 8.5×11 page.
Oh, how we love our technology! I can Google calendar things all day long, sync it to my phone, whatever…I STILL NEED IT ON PAPER! The size sounds perfect (or, sufficient).
There are 60 stickers for birthdays, 6 for games, 6 for days off, 8 for hair appointments, two for dentist appointments, three for sales, 6 for doctor appointments, 6 for concerts, 6 for mani/pedi, 6 for party, and 12 for vacation. There are also 120 blank stickers in a variety of colors.
Regarding cost… honestly it’s comparable to what I’d pay for filler at the office supply store and not use or enjoy as much. I’ve spent countless hours trying to make my own and I can’t say it’s any better, nor have I found the perfect planner. I’ve probably spent more than this planner in the past year or two making stuff, trying stuff, etc. I like the way this is laid out and it works for me.
That’s what really got me thinking. I have spent countless hours, not to mention money, between buying things that I did not enjoy, thus I did not use, or printing reams of papers that ended up as math scratch paper. If I am going to spend money, I want to enjoy what I purchased. Simple as that. I told you Adrienne is a sensible gal.
A few other worthy mentions: you can upload pictures for the covers or stickers. You can add a sheet or five of customized stickers (in my shopping cart). Bring on the bling and grab some pens/markers and bands to keep everything tucked neatly inside. (Yes, in my cart as well.) I did email them to ask about a custom cover design. May as well go for the gold, right? Oh, and if you like gold, Erin has a Gold Edition line. Just sayin’.
The more I talk about this planner, the more excited I get to press the purchase button. I’m waiting to hear back from them on my cover, and for the tax season to hit our bank account. You know how it is. Don’t forget, if you’d like to read Adrienne’s complete review, zip me an email (vintagechyck AT gmail DOT com) with “Planner Review” in the subject line.