Update: My Erin Condren Life Planner

Aug 18

A couple months ago I shared my new planner, the Life Planner from Erin Condren.

It’s important for me to be transparent and share what is / isn’t working – no matter the system. As a reader of blogs myself, I appreciate the genuine honesty – especially when desperately looking to solve an issue. And I want to deliver that same honesty, feedback and follow-up to you!

When I wrote about the planner, I hadn’t started using it yet (I shared it the first week of June but the planner dates began the last week of June – I purchased the 18 month spread). And I’ve not yet been using it during a school year. My business and the kids had a super busy summer, so the planner was definitely put to use and well tested. But with the school year approaching, with dates and sport activity calendars flowing in, I’m running out of room. My gut tells me this planner is going to be just for me…which is fine! That’s why I purchased it. But in my heart I was hoping it would be the solution to contain everything. Who knows, maybe in a few weeks it will get ironed out and this planner will end up encompassing everything. But knowing me and how much I love the space to write out everything going on with the kids week to week, I have a feeling I’ll keep it separate.

So here’s my current feedback.

The size of the planner is perfect for my workbag or purse. It’s held up well too considering how much it gets knocked around, pulled in and out of my bag, and opened / closed repeatedly throughout the day.


There has been zero page tears. I’ve written in the planner with both pencil and pen – there’s no bleed-through on the pages if I use a pen. And covering errors with my correction tape is easy enough.


I’m glad I went with the hourly layout so I can add client appointments or block out chunks of time for blog projects. Having that outline creates nice visual organization and doesn’t look cluttered.

My New Erin Condren Life Planner!

On the other hand, while I like the sidebar panel for weekly notes or to do’s, it’s not big enough…for me, at least. Guess I have a lot to do. Ha! I found myself writing notes in the sidebar and then adding more within each day. It was getting messy. At first I was using post-it notes to remedy this…planner-with-post-it-notes

But a few weeks ago I discovered these awesome adhesive notes from Russell & Hazel



It outlines 15 to-do items or notes and they are longer than a traditional post-it, have a pretty color and are easy to add / move around on the weekly spreads. I even started using these for client projects. For example, a few moms e-mailed me a laundry list of projects to start after the kids are back in school. I titled a sheet for each client and filled in the note section with the projects we have in the works. These would be great for you if you have school assignments – you could label the note with your child’s name and then bullet what they need to do and when. Ideas are endless with these! I love them and of course, you could just use standard post-it notes instead. But I love that these are lined and bulleted…and pretty!

My neighbor stopped by to see my planner because she too is getting ready for back to school and extracurricular activities (By the way, she has 4 children and is my personal hero! Hi Blake, if you’re reading! xoxo). When she was here checking it out we thought the full month calendar view at the beginning of each month would be the perfect spot for meal planning, which we are both hoping to improve on…

My New Erin Condren Life Planner!

Since I operate week to week and love details, I hadn’t even touched these spreads. So I think it would be the perfect calendar for meal planning!

I love the stickers and cute add-on’s. They’ve been a fun addition and I actually have been using them. At first I thought it would be a waste of time, but they have really highlighted important events coming up.

My New Erin Condren Life Planner!

My New Erin Condren Life Planner!

The plastic bookmark hasn’t held up very well. Each week when I move it to the next, it gets a little more run down. A few connector notches have snapped off too, which is a bummer…My New Erin Condren Planner

The planner has several pretty sections you can use for goal planning, project tracking or budgeting / bill pay. I’ve been mainly using these sections to track blog projects…

My New Erin Condren Life Planner!

The back pocket is nice, but it’s small…

My New Erin Condren Life Planner!

I was used to a binder-sized planner that could hold a full sheet of paper. I now have to fold papers in half to fit and the planner doesn’t have built-in cover pockets, so you’re limited on space to keep things. I’ve somehow been making it work but, again, school hasn’t started yet. We’ll see!

As far as what I’m probably going to use to track my kids weekly schedule, I have something amazing in the works. Something I’ll be giving away to all of you for free. I’m adding the finishing touches today and will return tomorrow with info on how you can download it.

Hope this update was helpful – especially if you’ve seen this planner and considered purchasing. Feel free to ask if you have additional questions – Happy to help!

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  1. Beth says:

    Thank you! I just started working again and have three children with school and sports activities. I have used other planners, but they never seem to have enough space. I haven’t found a planner that meets all of my needs. It was great to read this as I am looking for a new planner.

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Beth!

      So glad my post was helpful! I can not find the perfect planner – there is something that doesn’t work every time I find one. If you search my blog, I’ve even created planners for myself using random planner sheets, etc…and even that doesn’t work 100% of the time. The universe is telling me to develop a planner that actually works for parents so I’m seriously considering taking it on.

      Let me know what you end up with! I’d love to hear!!


  2. Lee says:

    As always, I ADORE and appreciate how honest, yet positive, you are. Thank you for the review and, in advance, for whatever delightful something is coming out tomorrow….I’m excited!

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