I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but it always puts me into organization mode! I love Christmas and all of the merry and bright decor that goes along with it, but when Christmas is over, I always feel the need to reset everything. I like to clean out my cabinets, closets, reorganize kitchen utensils and gadgets. So many projects with so little time to complete them all! And that’s just the things to do at home!
Being a teacher brings it own set of organizational challenges and projects. How many of you gave your classroom a good clean before you left for the break (or will before school starts back)? How many give your students fresh pencils and boxes of crayons for the upcoming new year? How many of you are already planning out the activties for springtime and Read Across America week? Are you making any changes to small groups or centers? There’s just something about the month of December and beginning of January that promotes this feeling of needing to be more organized and re-evaluating your current systems and processes of establishing order in your life and work.
I was contacted by the lovely Samantha from Erin Condren (thank you Sam!) who then sent me some products to help with organizing myself and my life for the upcoming new year. This is the perfect time for list making, planning and setting goals, and prepping for what could be your best year ever! It is true that people who write down goals and make plans are more likely to be successful in reaching those goals. Erin Condren has many amazing products that can help you organize your life in terms of goal setting, planning, and getting things done.
I have reviewed the Erin Condren Teacher Lesson Planner for the past several years. The teacher planners are amazing quality and have lots of customization options available. Many teachers type their plans or submit them electronically so a paper teacher planner is not always something everyone needs. Some people also prefer to keep their personal and professional life separate. Luckily, Erin Condren is so much more than teacher planners.
Erin Condren is probably best known for the Life Planner which is a coiled planner usually available in a 12 month or 18 month setup. There are so many more options now though! One of the most recent additions to the Erin Condren line up is the collection of Softbound LifePlanners. Softbound LifePlanners also come with many options to choose from.
- Are a lay-flat, softbound book with a flexible cover
- Come in two sizes – 8″x 10″ or A5
- Come in three layouts: Vertical, Horizontal, or Hourly
- Come in Colorful or Neutral color schemes
- Are a 12 month 2020 planner
- Feature a scratch-resistant, vegan leather cover
- Are filled with luxurious rich 80# 118 gsm quality paper
- Can be personalized with your name on the cover
The Softbound LifePlanners are perfect for an on the go, professional looking planner. Bright and colorful is not everyone’s thing. These Softbound planners do come in the super cute colorful and neutral kaleidoscope covers, but they also come in super classy solid colors. Not having the coil makes it less likely your planner will snag on something and makes the planner less bulky overall. It’s slim profile really does make it easy to fit into your work bag.
I was sent the Shimmer Turquoise Softbound LifePlanner with a colorful vertical layout. It is an amazing quality. It seriously feels so luxurious especially for the price point. The 8×10 planners run $35 and the A5 size is $30. (At the time of me writing this post, both are currently on sale for $28 and $24!) The kaleidoscope theme is my most favorite one ever! I love the colors so much! The outside of the planner looks very sophisticated and professional while the inside has just the right amount of color and detail to make it so motivating to plan and get things done.
The Softbound LifePlanners feature the same layout as the regular LifePlanners. They are planners with weekly pages as well as the monthly calendar. Here are some photos of the inside pages.
Like the teacher planner, each month features a different color scheme on the weekly pages. Notice how when a week contains dates from two different months, two different colors will be used (in the colorful version).
Every month begins with a sort of dashboard spread you can use for notes, monthly goals, birthdays, and space to plan out your monthly tasks or projects. These pages can really be used in so many ways. I know many people use their calendars on their phones these days, but it really can be so helpful to write something down, to touch it and feel it, and be able to refer back to it and have everything all in one place.
If you’d like to be more organized but you already have a planner or for whatever reason you don’t want one, Erin Condren also has an amazing collection of notebooks. I’ve purchased several of their notebooks over the years, and have never been disappointed. They offer the coiled notebooks that can be used with the snap-on custom covers and softbound notebooks as well. These notebooks are perfect for anything!
- Contain 124 stylish pages
- Are 5″ x 8″ in size
- Have 3 foil color choices for personalization (for only $5 more)
- Have two layout options: classic college ruled lined paper or dot grid paper for flexibility
The notebook I was sent is black with gold foil detail and has the college ruled lined pages. You guys, it looks so classy! I’m not typically a simple, classic black in anything, but this looks so good. If you’re not into big planners or super colorful pages, these softbound notebooks could be perfect for you! This would be an amazing notebook to use for work to keep track of notes, appointments, meetings, projects, etc. or it could be super useful for you at home to keep track of to-do lists, use on the go, and more. The only color present with this layout is the little page flag design in each top corner. The colors change throughout and are not a distracting element.
I wish I had known about bullet journaling (do a Google or YouTube search and fall down the rabbit hole!) when I was still in the classroom because it’s really an amazing concept and perfect for teachers. If I were using the notebook in a classroom situation, I would set up a page or two page spread for each student to keep track of everything about that student in one place – anecdotal records and observations, strengths, struggles, parent contacts, etc. Having all of that information in one place, available at your fingertips is so valuable.
I was also sent a matching black planny pack. Planny Packs are very useful because they can hold so many things – pens, pencils, sticky notes, paper clips, highlighters, stickers, money – literally whatever you want them to! The Planny Pack fits on both the notebook and the planner. The Planny Pack is pretty much the exact size as the notebook. I actually have several planny packs, and they come in handy so often. The fact it slips right around your planner makes sure everything stays together in your bag or on your desk for quick planning. They come in several colors.
The sticky notes come on a pad, and they fit perfectly inside the Softbound Planner as shown below. They also are the perfect height to add to a page in your softbound notebook.
If you aren’t familar with the Dual-Tip Markers, where have you been?! But seriously, they are GREAT pens, and I love them and own them in practically every color! They come in six pack sets in various color tones and schemes or in a ten pack of colorful. There are so many fun color sets so you can choose your favorite color family or just go crazy and get them all! One end is a fine tipped pen (0.6 mm) and the other end is a medium marker tip (1.2mm). The color choices are amazing and the two different tip options are so convenient.
If you have a favorite pen and you want it with you all the time, don’t forget to pick up a pen holder. You can stick it wherever you want so your pen is always close at hand! They come in many different colors.
Regardless if you choose a planner or a notebook, either one will help you plan that next project, lesson, goal or to keep track of your meetings and appointments, your health and wellness, or your never-ending to-do lists and ideas. The Erin Condren line of planners and notebooks are such a great quality and can really be useful tools in setting goals and getting organized in the new year. If you’ve never shopped with Erin Condren before, you can use this link (click here) to save $10 off your first purchase. (You save $10 and I earn $10 in credit when your order ships. I help you; you help me!)
Get yourself a planner or notebook and get yourself organized for 2020! Make it your best year ever!