Every work-at-home professional needs a great organization system. Many of us are juggling busy family and work lives. You may have kids or aging parents with activities and appointments. You are likely holding down a few online gigs with schedules or deadlines. If you don’t have a good system in place, things can get out of hand. Fast!
For many years, I have been using Erin Condren LifePlanners. Not only are these planners absolutely beautiful, but they are also designed to keep track of everything so you don’t need to keep separate planners for work and life. And who would want to? Having to cross-reference planners every day is not a good system!
As with everything in life, there is always room for improvement. And that goes for the LifePlanner as well. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it did!
- More work-at-home organization tips: Budget-friendly home office upgrades
The 2020/2021 LifePlanner
Today, April 29, 2020 is the official launch day for the latest LifePlanner. In addition to the many designs already available, the latest LifePlanner also comes in Layers, Layers Metallic and Flower Power. They sent over a Layers LifePlanner for my review.
I love the gorgeous colors. And, as always, there are plenty of matching accessories available. What you see above is what comes in the special LifePlanner Bundle available right now.
One thing I really love about the LifePlanner is the ability to make it your own. Your layout can be vertical, horizontal or hourly. This time, I got the hourly layout. It’s great for those of you who need or want a more strict work-at-home schedule.
The New LifePlanner Binder
Erin Condren also recently released a LifePlanner Binder that offers even more flexibility and the opportunity to make the planner your own.
The new Binder includes:
- 80# Mohawk Paper
- 18-Month Calendar (for a limited time)
- Monthly Notes, Weekly Spreads and (New!) Productivity Pages
- Additional Lined, Dot Grid & Coloring Pages
- Removable Sticker Sheets and Keep It Together Folder
All of the existing snap-in accessories will work with the new LifePlanner Binder as well.
They were kind enough to send one over for my review!
The first thing I noticed upon opening the box is that this baby is big! Undoubtedly, this has a lot to do with the fact that if you order now you get an 18-month LifePlanner. This one will help get you organized from July 2019 through 2020. That’s a great deal for the price!
Next, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful design. Erin Condren just released a new Kaleidoscope design and the LifePlanner Binder features it. You can order in this beautiful bright kaleidoscope or a more muted blue-gray design. There are also three solid colors available. And there are so many new accessories available to match as well!
After you unpack everything, you can start customizing your binder set up. One thing I have never liked about the traditional LifePlanner is that all of the pages for notes were stuck in the back. As a result, I never used them. Same with the pocket folders. I usually work from the week we’re in and don’t flip back and forth much. With the new binder, I can move them up to the current month and use them for bullet journaling and list taking throughout the year. When it’s time to flip over to a new week or month, I can snap them out and back in where I want them. I really love that.
Now, if you have never ordered a LifePlanner before you may not know that you have several other customization options beyond the color. You can also choose your weekly layout; vertical, horizontal or hourly.
If you have been around here for a while, you may already know that I’m not one for rigid schedules. I tend to go with the flow and simply work from a list of tasks I need to do today. Therefore, I skipped the hourly layout. I always opt for the vertical spread when available.
And I love how they added a little monthly calendar in the corner of every weekly layout! I had ordered mini month stickers so I could do this myself. Much to my surprise, it was done for me!
One thing we can all appreciate is the monthly overview. You can jot down upcoming birthdays. Set a few goals for the month. There are even a few places for lists or notes.
As always, you are going to get some lovely stickers to help you make special days standout. There are usually some other little goodies included as well. I love getting a few message cards and gift tags. I use these throughout the year to make someone’s day a little more special. (Erin Condren also has some beautiful notecards for birthdays, get well messages and more.)
And, as always, I grabbed a few other things as well. I didn’t have the purple pen selection yet, so I snagged that along with these beautiful sticky notes. They clip into the planner so you’ll always have them on hand when needed.
And, the new LifePlanner Binder isn’t the only new thing Erin Condren has to offer. There are also charms, folios, storage boxes, planner totes and more.
I am in love with the new LifePlanner Binder. It will most certainly be replacing the traditional LifePlanner for me going forward.
And, remember, there’s no need to wait until December to order. If you order now, you will get an 18-month planner that runs from July 2019 through 2020. It will be hard waiting until July to put this beauty into play, but mine’s ready!
Check Out These Other Erin Condren Reviews
The Focused Planner
When I saw Erin Condren was coming out with a new simplified planner for 2019, I was excited to learn more. Erin Condren was kind enough to send over the new Focused Planner and Focused Notebook for my review.
This new planner features a minimalist design. No fancy stickers. No bright colors. No extras. Just you, your goals and your planner. Something I appreciate.
In the front of the planner, you will find a list of holidays and a place to write down important dates for the upcoming year. As you head into the calendar, you will see a two-page spread for each month.
Turn the page to get into what makes this planner different. You will get five two-page weekly spreads for each month. The first page of each spread includes five boxes with space for lists and checklists. I saw a few people on YouTube complaining that there weren’t enough “days” in each spread. But rather than thinking of these five boxes as days, I immediately thought of them as projects.
What’s the project? What tasks need to be completed for each?
The second page is simply a lined page for Notes.
The Focused Planner comes in two sizes (5×8 or 7×9). It also features:
- Options to Personalize and Add Photos Inside the Book
- Stylish Design Elements & Inspirational Quotes
- Stylish Black Coils and Sophisticated Luxe Touches
- Built-in Notches for Easy Section Flipping
The Focused Notebook
I go through several notebooks every year. I keep running lists for everything. One notebook might be designated to YouTube video ideas. When I’m hitting the conference circuit, I usually have a notebook just for writing down those project ideas.
Again, I don’t use a lot of frills. Pen. Paper. List.
My husband is the same. He’s an owner-operator. He keeps a notebook with every load he hauls; the load number, where it went, when it delivered, how much it paid, etc.
The new Focused Notebook would work perfectly for either of our planning/tracking systems. It includes 58 lined, 30 dot grid and 30 blank pages.
This collection also includes a new black leather folio for storing your planner and accessories. It’s available in black and charcoal.
I love that this folio includes a few card slots, accessory pockets and a pen loop. And the leather is a big step up from previous folios I have purchased from Erin Condren. Throw in your planner, a notebook and your smartphone and you’re ready to roll. And the zipper is heavy duty!
(As you can see, I’m a huge Erin Condren fan. I get tons of compliments on those business cards. And that’s a PetitePlanner in there, too.)
I really like this collection. Its sleek design and focus on the task at hand are a really good fit for this household. Just tell me what to do.
I love this design for myself. The simple black and white color scheme of this collection would make it a perfect gift for the men in your life as well!
Top Tips for Organizing Your Digital Files
I love using paper-based planners to keep on top of my schedule, but I still have to manage quite a few digital documents. Google Drive is a wonderful tool for that — if you create a smart filing system. Here’s how I use Google Drive to stay organized.
I use bookmark managers to keep my web browsing organized, too. Here are 10 of the best bookmark mangers I’ve found.
Are you an Erin Condren fan? Tell me about your favorite product in the comments.