Plan is a four-letter word

With the onset of a new year comes lots of chatter across social media about planners. Have you gotten a new one? What kind do you use? Looseleaf, spiral, or bound? Dated or undated? Editable or not? Once again, we all have different ways of doing things. Isn’t it fun to see how differently our brains work?

imageTypically, I consider the word “plan” to be a four-letter word. I have a love-hate relationship with it. I like the planning part, but I am not very good at putting plans into action. By nature, I prefer to just do what I think needs done next. Yes, needs, like that new quilt needs to be started, those cookies need to be baked. Not needs like the floor needs to be mopped. But, real life has a way of shifting all those needs.

For years I could pretty much keep everything in my head. These days, I am lucky to remember why I walked into the next room. I have to write things down. I have tried to switch to a digital system, making lists and setting reminders in my phone. That works great if I use it to remind me that I have an eye doctor appointment for tomorrow, but not so great for nudging me that I need to be thinking about getting the dog a groomer appointment. Is it just me? Anyway, I do need to write things out. (Besides, if you write them down, you get the pleasure of crossing them off when they’re done!)

I am a definite planner geek and have tried nearly all of them over the years. But this past spring I was in my local yarn store (Stitch Space Yarn Shop, if you’re interested, and yes, you should be–it is fabulous) and one of the women there had hers out. Never one to shy away from something bright and shiny, I asked her about it. She handed it over and I fell in love on the spot.

Enter the Erin Condren Life Planner. In case you don’t already have a new planner, and you’re a write-it-down kind of person, I can heartily recommend this one.

I ordered mine in midsummer. I was able to pick one up that was dated from September 2015 to December 2016 which seemed just about perfect to me. I didn’t have to buy one and start using it, then have to change to another in just a couple of months.

I spent quite a bit of time on the website picking out exactly what I wanted. There are so many different options and lots of fun add-ons. Be prepared that all those little add-ons can add up pretty quickly (to a planner cost that is not small in itself), but you definitely won’t need them all. The basic set is plenty. The basic book is great with a hard, laminated cover and big, smooth spiral binding. You can pick how you want your days oriented: horizontal, vertical, or hourly, you get to pick what you like.

I’ve been using my Life Planner since I ordered it, during what turned out to be a very busy time in my life. And you know what? I was able to stay on top of everything. Okay, maybe a few things slipped but that was not the fault of the book!

I’ll share a few photos of my own planner below. If you’re interested in buying one, email me for a referral code that’ll save you some cash! (Full disclosure: If you use the referral code and buy something, I will also benefit. But seriously, who doesn’t want to save a few dollars?)

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I do know that we are already into the first week of the year. “But Lori,” you might be thinking, “isn’t it too late to order one? What about the days I’ll miss out on?” I get this, really I do. You don’t want to start using your planner in the middle of a month, right? Here’s my solution: Paper clip those initial pages together and forget about them. Use them as scrap paper if you need to. A few days out of 365 really don’t matter. Really. Trust me on this.

So, what do you think? Are you interested in giving this planner a try? Do you even need a planner? What works best for you? Leave me a note in the comments. I’d love to hear how you keep up with life!