Unboxing: Blessed is She 2019-2020 Academic Planner

Every year I tend to buy at least two planners: my Erin Condren for the year, and I’ll experiment with a new brand that I haven’t tried out yet, just to see if the grass might be greener elsewhere. This year, it was a close call between the Cultivate What Matters planner (bright, fun, playful, inspired) and the Blessed Is She (BIS) planner (modern, functional, Catholic-focused). You can see from my post title which one I decided upon.

And then this week, a lovely gold box with Scripture showed up on my porch. Continue reading

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Some Women Go for Gucci, I <3 Erin Condren

With today’s launch of the 2019-2020 life planner by Erin Condren, I thought it would be fun to take a look at my obsession collection of EC accessories for the life planner from over the years. I first heard about Erin Condren back in 2014, when their 2014-2015 “Party Pops” planner cover was launched. I immediately fell head over heels for the fun, bold colors, confetti-full cover, vellum overleaf page, and vertical layout.

In 2015, I got my first life planner and it was okay. It seemed like just another in a latest of phases as I moved from one agenda calendar system to the next (remember my Filofax phase, anyone?). But it wasn’t until the release of the 2015-2016 life planner, with its newest option, rose gold foil, coils, and metallic covers, that I fell hard. That rose gold, hitting at a time when it was just starting to rise in popularity (but had always been a favorite of mine), it was irresistible. There was no going back. I was going to commit to being an Erin Condren woman.

Yes, I can hear your thinking now, “She is seriously crazy. Nobody gets that excited over office supplies.” That’s okay. If you understand my addiction, we’re bound to be friends. If you don’t, well, you can stop reading now if you haven’t already. This post of gushing over paper products is continuing anyway!

The 2017-2018 release with the “Painted Petals” was another favorite. I remember bloggers not being crazy about the design but I quite liked it, and found it charming. Even a few years later, I’m still seeing versions of this pattern in other folks’ collections and thinking to myself, ‘Wow, that’s gorgeous! Why didn’t I think of that?” I think this was the year that I tried the horizontal layout and discovered that it just wasn’t for me. Considering how pricy these are, it was quite the learning experience.

For 2018-2019, I was looking for a cheaper option and found a lookalike at Michaels. To be honest, I can’t even remember the brand now. Compared to EC, the stickers just weren’t as dazzling and I missed the interchangeable covers. I did rescue the cover by carefully cutting slits into each of the coils before removing it, and the rose cover looks quite pretty with my other EC covers:

The knockoff brand was doomed from the start and in late winter 2018, I was already considering another life planner for the 2019 calendar year. I settled onto a hardbound life planner, nearly 1/2 the cost of a coiled version, with the 2018-2019 design of “Woven Wonder”:

It’s been a decent planner overall. The cover has a buttery feel like their hardbound journals that I quite like, and a lay-flat binding which is an absolute must. I also really like how portable the hardbound is, which is far less bulky than the coils when bundled in a bag with other stuff I’m toting around. That said, I do really, really miss the flexibility of the coiled design, the interchangeable covers and the myriad of accessories you can purchase (see samples below):

With the arrival of “Kaleidoscope”, EC’s 2019-2020 pattern, am I considering dropping the hardbound in July and switching to an 18-month coiled option? Maybe. I’ve heard from some of the bloggers that the life planners are going up in price and I’m waiting to see how much and what other changes are anticipated. I do absolutely adore the Kaleidoscope pattern and a number of the accessories are on my wishlist for later this year. Erin Condren, I’m taking down notes!

I’m also super-stoked that EC is looking into branching into planner charms. I found this one on Etsy a number of years ago (see left) and I still adore it. Yes, those are tiny, pastel-colored macaroons. Isn’t it darling? They’re also releasing some Easter-toned pastel bands that I’d love to add to a growing collection:

And that’s basically it, at least, all I could find at the top of a hat. There might be errant “Keep It Together” bands lying around someplace, right alongside wherever my rulers and zippered pouches have gone off to. For you EC enthusiasts, you’ll note that some of those covers aren’t strictly by Erin Condren, and I’m okay with that. There’s such a wealth of artistic talent, on Etsy and elsewhere on the web, that self-expression shouldn’t be limited to one designer’s current craze. Sometimes, you just want marbled pages or a cup of tea.

This is where I turn the conversation over to you, happy reader and fellow enthusiast. What type of planner girl are you — hourly, horizontal, or vertical; coiled, hardbound, petite, or the new binder option? Favorite metallic finishes? Favorite lifestyle planner bloggers that I shouldn’t miss? And what about today’s launch of new products are you most excited about?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Have a great day, and keep reaching higher!

Erin Condren Accessories, Part 2: The Unboxing

THEY’RE HERE!!!

Yes, my first-ever order of EC accessories arrived — earlier than expected which was a great surprise.  That purple mailer may soon grow to be one of my favorite sights in my mailbox.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with the package itself but as I did the unveiling I found a bunch of bonuses I hadn’t ordered, way cool!

EC-bonuses EC gift labels

There were two stickers with inspirational quotes in Erin’s festive colors, a coupon code for $10.00 off my next order, and a sample pack of their gift label collection, personalized with my name.  Plaids and paisleys are my faves. 🙂  Thanks Erin!

EC pen holder

The pen holders are really simple. It’s a peel and stick design with a transparent backing so it doesn’t interfere with your notebook or journal’s design. I stuck mine on the inside back cover my Punctuate (B&N) journal and it’s good and tight on there.

It fits most pens but my Pilot Precise V5 (extra fine) rollerball pens are too thick for the elastic. Your standard ballpoint is thinner and should work just fine. If I hook the lapel clip of my Pilot to the elastic, it hangs there without any problems too.

EC elastic bands-classicThe elastic bands (classic in red, blue and silver) were one of the products that sold me on trying out Erin Condren products.

I love book bands and I’ve seen some of the competition with some lesser quality stuff on the market and these EC elastic bands really stand out.

These fit comfortably on my A5 Filofax (Original) and fit snugly on your standard 8.5 x 11″ spiral-bound notebook. Although it fits on a letter-size Circa notebook (Levenger), the 1/2″ rings have a bit more capacity when overly full than the elastic’s designed for.  It works, but you might not want to keep the band on there long-term and strain the elasticity.

Sliding them off and interchanging them is super easy!

 

EC event stickers

Apologies for the glare.

The stickers (blank and event) all came bundled together and the colors are so vibrant and fun that they’re just plain yummy. My favorite color combination is the sheet with all of the greens, blues and purple (not pictured).  I’m looking forward to trying these out to see if they remove easily and how easy/hard it is to write on the blank labels.

My A5 Filofax Original’s pockets are not compatible with the length of the sticker sheets but they do fit well inside as stand-alone products. You could also cut the sheets down to size to fit inside a top-loading pouch or a zipper sheet. For now, I’m going to leave them as is, tucked inside the back of my Filofax.

Overall, I’m pleased with the accessories and I’m looking forward to seeing how well they hold up to a writer’s daily use/abuse.

Have you purchased EC products in the past? Which ones would you recommend? Which are your favorites?

Like what you see here and want to try Erin Condren products for yourself? Click here for your $10.00 off coupon for your first order.  Let me know what you end up getting too! 🙂

EC-all-06-20-14

Erin Condren Accessories

EC-shipperRecently I received a “$10 off your first order” offer for ErinCondren.com so today I thought I would talk about some of the accessories Erin offers to accompany her Life Planner system, and what I’ve purchased.

First off, I should clarify that I actually use an A5 Filofax Original which I’m still trying to settle into and I’ve blogged a bit about.

Checking out Erin’s website, a lot of her products look to be compatible with what I am using and I love branching out and trying new products.

  • For my first order, I picked up a couple of penholders (img) that I thought would be perfect for attaching to my journal (Punctuate! by Barnes & Noble) and my spiral-bound 2015 planner.

I browsed Office Max this weekend and they do have some comparable buys for the elastic bands for your journal, planner, Life Planner, or Filofax, but honestly, zebra stripes and a shocking pink just don’t do it for me.

  • So I picked up a set of elastic bands in coral, teal and a silver glitter (img) that are adorable!!  I’m guessing on the exact color names here. If you’re more of a golden girl, they’ve got a trio of gold bands that are simply luxe.

One of my favorite features of the website is the customization that’s offered from the covers of the Life Planner system, to blank stickers you can add with your own photos, appointments, play dates or whatever takes your fancy!

  • I ordered a set of the 120 blank stickers (img) to try out and I’m curious if ballpoint, rollerball or pencil will show up/not smudge on these.
  • I’ve also ordered a set of the customizable event stickers with personalization (img) for various writing assignments, appointments, local events, and time with friends.

The catalog image has different colors from the preview page so I’m guessing that what’s on the preview are the current colors in stock.  I hope that it does rotate from year to year because if these fit my planner, I will be buying a LOT more. I didn’t want to copy pics from the website but I’ll post again when my order arrives and share pics of my new accessories and how they’re working out with my planner system. 🙂

It’s birthday season so I may also spring for a Life Planner soon (a girl can never have too many planners…) A big thank you to Organized Jen who blogged about Erin Condren’s Life Planner and introduced me to her products.

Jen is hosting a giveaway that you can enter for one of the latest planners – but you’d better hurry because it’s ending soon!

Get $10 off your first order with Erin Condren (and I will too!). Let me know what you think of her products. Being organized is always stylish!