by Louise

June 15, 2017

Why the erin condren planner is not working for me, and how I plan on making my own planner.

Why the erin condren planner is not working for me, and how I plan on making my own planner.

I took me a long time, but I have finally admitted to myself that the Erin Condren planner simply does not work for me.

So I have decided to switch. I want to update my old self-made planner with new dates and start planning with that again.

When I got my first Erin Condren planner, last October (2016) I was sooo excited. I wanted to design pretty planner spreads and teach everybody how to do it as well. To be honest, I still want to teach you how to make your own stickers more than anything, but just not with an Erin Condren planner as my focus point.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the Erin Condren planner, it just doesn’t fit my planning style and every week I would look at my planner and just not be inspired to write out my plans because I couldn’t live up to the expectations I had for the planner. And so, every week my planner, would also remind me of how much of a failure I felt like.

I mean, let’s look at the evidence so you can see what I am talking about. Here are some of the spreads from my Erin Condren planner:

Yes, I did cross some of the text out – because they are private plans, and since I don’t normally show my plans to the online world, I write down stuff that are for my eyes only 🙂

Why my erin condren planner isn't working for me why I no longer will buy an erin condren planner

Now that you have seen this, I hope you can see the real struggle I have been trying to cope with. Frankly, I think it is embarrassing and I sit back and think why I should ever think of my planner as embarrassing.

What I love and what I don’t love about the Erin Condren

I thought that it might be helpful for you if you are in a place where you are trying to figure out if the EC is the right planner for you, so here are my reflections on the planner.

Things I love!

The vertical planning layout: I love this style of planning. And the physical space the EC has for writing is perfect for me. I like to divide my day into sections as well so this way of planning is right for me.

The whole one week on a page is great as well. I don’t need anymore space to write my plans than the planner is offering me.

The Design: I love the design in the neutral planner. So clean and easy to make your own. That is a huge plus.

The community: The best part of the EC planner is the connected planner community that comes with it. Like the inspiration, the many etsy shops with stickers, the people cheering each other on. It is just such a positive environment and I absolutely love it!

Things in the EC that doesn’t work for me:

The weekend: This might sound silly, but I simply don’t like the weekend in the planner 🙂 I use my planner everyday and I am most comfortable when I “plan-as-I-go”, which means that I sit down and plan my day every morning. I don’t like to memory plan and I use the planner for my businesses as a way to keep track of my never ending to-do lists.

So my weekend would end up looking empty all the time, because I don’t work on my businesses on the weekends. This would give me an empty looking spread and mess with the design I had going.

Now, whether or not this applies to you depends on how you would like to use your planner. If you, like me, use your planner for work tasks you might run into the same issue.

The Spiral: The fact that the planner is spiral bound is an obstacle for me all the time. Especially om Wednesdays, where I can’t write on the page, because the spiral is in the way. I have found that I prefer to be able to take the pages out and plan that way.

Going back to what has worked for me in the past

Then the other day I looked in my planner from 2016. My first planner when I introduced to the planner community. And once again I felt inspired to print stickers and design some new ones.

I saw how I had experimented in that planner and treated it like a planner should be treated. I realized that I have my Erin Condren on a pedestal and I simply cannot drag it down from there – no matter how hard I try I still end up disappointed with my spreads, which is why I have come to the conclusion that I need to make my own once again.

Like looks at these!! But really I can see how much fun I had planning and designing my week and I want to get back to that.

How to make your own plannerMaking my own plannerWhy I am switching back to making my own planner

With this in mind I have begun to look into how I should design my new planner. I might do it in a similar style to my planner of 2016 (A5) or I might have to try the personal sized planner sheets.

Anyway I think it was healthy for me to admit to myself that I can’t plan in the Erin Condren Life Planner and that I don’t have to 🙂


About the author

Louise is a graphic designer, a creative planner and a business owner. In her spare time, she likes to make all sorts of crafts and draw digitally. She likes to travel the world and spend time with family. She lives a wonderful life in the country of Denmark with her husband and their one-year-old little girl.

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  1. I understand this so well!
    I came to exactly the same conclusion earlier this week, but from a different start point.
    I am planning on paper for the last 27 years. I tried every system available in Europe that was pocket/personal/up to A5 size – from Filofax to Midori Travelers Notebook to Moleskine, Leuchtturm and Bullet Journal. My rule is one planner per year, so that I don’t look for the next shiny thing all the time.
    With time it became clear that my jam is A6, bookbound with paper good enough to take watercolor and a weekly overview. My handwriting is tiny, so A6 offers more than plenty of space for me.
    This year I am planning in a hobonichi weeks. It is wallet-size (9.5 x 18.7 cm) and quite expensive to order from Austria. I like it, but the format isn’t doing it for me.
    I was thinking about next year’s planner and decided to go back to A6 (because it’s my favorite size and I have collected a few covers over the last years) but I haven’t found any planner that met my requirements. So I bought a Nuuna Notebook yesterday and am going to draw my weeks with my beloved Copic Multiliners. Problem solved.

    Thanks so much for your great blog. I discovered it recently and I love it!!! The EC measurements are so helpful for designing stickers. You saved me a lot of work.

    1. Susanne, You just made my day!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write this comment! Seriously, it is amazing.

      Yeah, “Shiny-new-thing”-syndrome. I also tend to suffer from that! Last year, when I did my planner shopping I bought 5+ planners. Half of the stuff I bought, I haven’t even touched since I bought it. I like your rule – One I really need to work on as well.

      I have been so frustrated with the knowledge of the EC not working for me, because it seems like so many people find planner bliss, first time around with it, which is why I find it really inspiring to hear about your quest to find the right planner for you.

      I am sure you have a good idea of how you are going to design your weeks in your new planner, with all of the experimentation you have done through the years! I still have a lot of experimentation ahead for my planner, and I am sure I won’t get it right this time, but hopefully I will end up with my perfect planner at some point, just like you did! 🙂

  2. I*m actually in the process of designing my own planner as well. Getting the ECLP shipped to Europe is just not worth it, and I work at a printers and boss said I could print it for free, and I get to pick what paper I want. I’ll be using the measurements you have provided, thank you, but make changes to fit me and my planner style. I*m excited. I’ll be using the disk system to bind it.

    1. How great! I just love designing mine – the whole process of getting to customize it to your needs is the best part.
      I am so happy to hear, that you can use these measurements for your planner. I do the same thing. I like being able to buy printables and know that they will fit if they are made for the Erin Condren 🙂 – so many pretty ones to choose from!

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