I’ve always been digital-minded in terms of calendars, lists, and goals. I’ve never considered a paper planner — paper planners, after all, were for freshman year and only during times when boredom crept in and I spent half the period doodling in the corners of the pages. Despite being very detailed-oriented, I’ve just never quite grown accustomed to keeping lists collectively in one physical place (they’re always scattered all over my desk). After some research, I decided to purchase an Erin Condren Life Planner.
While my ordering experience from ErinCondren.com was like pulling teeth and I experienced some of the most delayed, unorganized (ironic!) customer service that I’ve ever experienced in my life (read: disconnected phone lines, week-long response times that didn’t make any logical sense when they finally did respond, and throwing one of my orders into “waiting” status without contacting me to let me know what they needed, thus delaying my ship date by a week — and not apologizing at any point for this), the planner was definitely exciting to have in my hands and the colorful, inspirational quotes were motivating. However, after a month of using it, I came to realize that it was a little too colorful for me and felt like it lacked structure. My weekly spreads felt like a beautiful mess. I found my writing to be drifting up and down within the boxes and, ultimately, ended up selling the inside of my planner to a girl on Facebook. I’ve since purchased a Plum Paper Designs planner and am eagerly looking forward to receiving it. I believe will suit me well. Plus, you can customize the layout of your weekly spreads — very helpful. Finally and refreshingly, their customer service is already leaps and bounds better than ErinCondren.com. I received a response to my (several) questions in just over 24 hours despite how busy they clearly are.
In terms of planner supplies, I also discovered that it’s often times more economical to get what you want by shopping online for handmade planner products. A few of my favorites are:
- Karolina’s Krafts: adorable custom stickers and shapes, great customer service
- Krissyanne Designs: custom labels and stickers, absolutely willing to help you create whatever you’d like
- Bluebirds and Blessing: planner bands (although I ended up not using mine, they’re great in many colors/designs)
For generic supplies, Amazon seems to be the best possible solution in terms of price — and added plus is that office stores, such as Staples and Office Depot, will price-match Amazon.com as long as the item clearly states that it is sold by Amazon.com on its order page. A few items I’ve purchased:
- Pilot Frixion Erasable Highlighters – Pastel Colors
- Weather Stickers
- Avery Removable Color Coding Dots
- Xyron Sticker Maker (tip: buy this at a crafts store such as JoAnn’s or Michaels with a store coupon)
I can’t personally recommend ErinCondren.com merely because of my experience with the ordering process (both times that I ordered — once for myself and once as a gift for my mother), but I definitely encourage you to make your own decision and do your research before purchasing your planner. Take a look at any company’s Facebook page for unbiased reviews of their planners and customer service before choosing an option, as well. Figure out what would work best for you and definitely wait on buying supplies (it’s tempting) before you have your planner in-hand — because you will certainly go overboard unless you have wonderful self-restraint.
Oh, and remember: planners aren’t just for 15-year-olds obsessed with Lisa Frank stickers as I thought they were. They’re a step towards taking the reigns of your day-to-day activities and making sense of them and outlining your priorities. :)