Any Erin Condren fans here? I've given away a few of these planners (another giveaway is coming up soon!). I did a review with my lame phone camera of Plum Paper vs. Erin Condren last year, and it's been a very popular post. Since I have a “real” camera now, I decided to review the new EC planners – one horizontal, and one vertical, for anyone who is on the fence about which planner to buy. We'll go over my opinions on the pros and cons of each type of planner in this post, and you'll want to stay tuned, because in a few weeks , I'll give away one of these planners! If you like one of these Erin Condren planners, you can use my referral link to get $10 off.
A quick overview – I have found that good planner is absolutely necessary for me to eat healthy, to keep a clean(ish) house, to keep track of appointments, and to homeschool my kids. When I've tried to do without a planner, I'm a disorganized mess. A planner has become one of my homeschool purchases along with our homeschool curriculum. I had tried many homeschool and teacher planners, but I really love the blank slate in the Erin Condren that allows me to plan lessons, keep track of meetings for work, AND track what I eat and plan our meals. It's an amazing organizational tool.
Let's get started! The planners pictured are ready to ship, which meant that they did not come with the customized cover. When you order these planners, you get a coupon code to order your special cover at a later date (and the available covers are amazingly beautiful). But I do not recommend buying a ready to ship planner, because I learned that they are not actually ready to ship. Mine went through the printing process and took just as long, if not longer, to arrive than a beautiful customized planner. So unless you're buying a gift for someone, I'd go with choosing a personalized cover instead.
These pictures are all different sizes, and for good reason: Some of them I wanted you to see more detail, so I made them bigger. 🙂 I know it messes up the uniformity and aesthetics of my page, but planner shopping is important business so I hope you'll let it go.
Pictured above is what I got when I opened my package. My very long-awaited package (sometimes Erin Condren planners take awhile to arrive) was so pretty that I opened it on my front porch. The butterfly graphics are covering my special code to order my customizable cover for these ready-to-ship-planners. These items are NOT automatically included in your order. I bought a bunch of extras, including the Classic stickers, do-it-all dots, old markers, new markers, and one horizontal planner and one vertical planner.
On the far left are “Do it all Dots”. Here's a picture of the opened package:
Next up is the “Classic Sticker Book.” I opened it up and pulled out the pages so that you can see what's included when you purchase this in addition to your planner:
Below is the two sets of markers available now from ErinCondren.com. The top set is new, and comes in a hard plastic case. I love the case, and the colors, but I miss the purple available with the older set (pictured below).
I did a writing comparison of the old and new markers for your viewing pleasure:
Now for the good stuff! Here are the 2015/2016 Erin Condren planners – the new horizontal layout is on the left, and the more traditional layout is on the right. These are 18-month planners, and they look identical until you open them up:
Below is the inside of the planners. While you can see that the covers for the ready-to-ship planners are the same, the first pages are very different – the horizontal planner has a triangle design, and the vertical has a pretty flower design. They both have a sturdy vellum sheet over the cover page, which is hard to take a picture of, but it definitely adds something to the planner.
Here is the first pages of the planners – as you can see, the horizontal has a triangle design, and the vertical has more text over graph paper.
So I LOVE these new planning pages (below)! This is new to Erin Condren planners. There are twelve boxes, perfect for monthly planning, with “If I can believe it, I can achieve it, If I can dream it, I can become it”. The fonts are the same, but on the horizontal planner the text is black and on the vertical planner the text is more colorful. This also gives you a peek into the new color schemes for EC planners this year: the horizontal colors are beautiful! The vertical planner is over a fish scale-type background and in brighter jewel tones. I'm planning to use this page for monthly organization/cleaning tasks, master goals for homeschool, and weight loss goals. They are pretty roomy so I think I can fit it all in.
Next up is a picture of the yearly spread, followed by a closer shot:
I still really, really love the font and colors on the horizontal planner. The font is cute on the vertical, but not my favorite.
Below is the monthly spreads for Horizontal vs. Vertical. I think this is where you really start to see some differences. The horizontal planner has a muted color scheme and a beautiful cursive font. The vertical has a lowercase font with more design. Both have a box for notes on the far right side. Despite the fact that the pages look like they are different colors in this picture (why in the world is that?), they are all crisp and white.
Here is a closer view of one side of the monthly spread:
Now when you turn the page, you'll see this weekly spread, and where the new Erin Condren's get crazy. The left is the new horizontal layout, and the right is the more familiar vertical layout:
I am still so totally torn on which planner is the best. The horizontal has the prettiest font and colors, but the vertical planner is what I'm most used to. I love the list-making capabilities of the vertical layout. Both have space for notes and a “Thankful Thought.” The horizontal has a box at the right of each day for to-do lists, menus…the possibilities are endless. I REALLY like the lines in the horizontal boxes. But then I feel like there are so many horizontal planners out there…*sigh*. This is hard! Maybe I just need two planners. But I promised to give one away, so don't worry, I won't be keeping both. One of the great things about the new vertical planners (pictured right) is that the boxes used to be labeled, and now they are blank. So you can break your day into Morning, Day, and Night, or Before Work, After Work, and At Home…there are literally tons of ways to do this. For me, it would be most beneficial to use “Morning, Day, and Night” during the week, and then split the weekend boxes into jobs to be done, social activities, etc.
So that's pretty much the most important info about the new planners…except for the new note pages at the end of every month! I'm thrilled about this, because my Plum Paper planner had a note page at the end of each month, and I really missed the separation when I got an EC. Here's what they look like:
The colors are beautiful on both, but as I mentioned before, the vertical planner has more jewel-tones and the horizontal is more pastel.
Below is the notes section at the end (which is pretty much my favorite). Lined pages:
And new for this year…graph paper! Think of all of the interior designing I probably won't do with this. 🙂
And finally, blank paper…I have to say that the vertical is much, much prettier than the horizontal on these blank pages, in my opinion. The horizontal pages all have a similar triangle design a the top, while the vertical pages have butterflies. I like that the vertical changes it up a little.
The note pages are followed by the next year's calendar…and then finally, the “Keep it Together” folder with a zip pouch full of goodies. 🙂 Mine came with a coil clip, compliment cards, a do-it-all dots sample, and a card explaining what everything is for. You'll want to check the EC website to see what's included with your purchase. I like the Keep it Together folder on the vertical planner better than the horizontal.
Hmmm…decisions, decisions. I don't know which to keep, and which to give away! Please don't forget to check in here – I'll be giving away one of these awesome Erin Condren life planners soon!
Which one do you like the best? Please let me know in the comments!