When it comes to planning, whether you’re a beginner or a planner addict like myself, you’ve more & likely heard of Erin Condren. While the Happy Planner (Me & My Big Ideas) is just about everywhere as well, the Erin Condren Life Planner is still at the top. For those that are not interested in the $50+ planner, but want to try out Erin Condren products, you may be interested in her notebooks.
In this post I’ll be sharing how I’ve maximized the use of a notebook for business, but show tricks to how you can adapt it to everyday use. You can check out my entire Planning for 2017 series here.
As always be sure to click the highlighted links throughout this post for related posts and links to purchase items/similar styles featured.
What is Erin Condren?
Erin Condren began making note cards for friends, as birthday gifts, new baby announcements and hostess gifts. Since then, it has evolved from just note cards and stickers to LifePlanners™ stylized organizers, TakeNote™ notebooks and so much more, all shipped from our two state-of-the-art printing facilities in Los Angeles and Austin. Erin Condren has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Today show, Rachael Ray, and more.
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I’ve always loved the design of the Erin Condren, vertical layout, but the price point never worked for my budget. I still wanted to give the products a try so I placed an order for some stickers and a Take Note Notebook. Great thing is that when you place your first order you can usually take $10 off.
In creating my Planning for 2017 series, I thought I could showcase the more affordable options of the Erin Condren and how you can still get the Erin Condren flare, just not commit to a $50+ planner. Let’s talk notebooks.
- 7″ x 9″ – $25
- 8.5″ x 11″ – $30
Cover / Binding / Interior
- Interchangeable | designs include: quotes, nature, floral, photo, etc. (*some covers an additional $5)
- *Permanent | luxe letterpress, luxe metallic quote (*additional $5)
- Personalize with your name / initials
- Signature coil binding | platinum, *black, *silver, *gold (*additional $10)
- Interior – Colorful
Yes you can still get all the deals that other people have in swapping out their covers; lots of Etsy options as well. You also may have read or watched YouTube horror story videos on receiving the coil tarnished. Contact customer service immediately. They seem to fix the problem with no problem.
- Classic – College Ruled Lines
- Productivity – College Ruled Lines + Functional Task List
- Open Layout – Dot Grid
- One event sticker sheet
Maximize/Customize the notebook (DIY)
The productivity notebook is a great option if you’re an on the go person and just need to compile lists. You can turn it into a recipe book and have the ingredients on once side and the recipe on the lined pages. Also if you do not want to commit to something dated, it’s a great option.
For those that need a calendar, it’s super easy to print one out or if you want something more sturdy, Dollar Tree (or any dollar store) has pretty decent calendars that you can take a part and tape into the planner. If all else fails, cut down the calendars that you get for free at the beginning of the new year.
When I was using the planner for business, it was to track my monthly blog posts. I took a Dollar Tree perforated calendar and tape it on horizontally to the page. I was then able to life the paper and jot down on the lined pages
The notebook then became a brain dump for everything I had going on and sometimes we need that. I have cleaning lists in there which I reference when I’m doing a deep clean. I also have notes from webinars that I have watched. Of course I have wishlists of things I want to buy. I would also include DIYs that I wanted to work on and try out.
The real challenge comes in buying the notebook and actually using it. At times we get scared to use/try something new. We’re overthinking what we want to use it for since it’s “so pretty.” Think of it as a brain dump. Use it! Don’t let it collect dust just because it’s “cute” or “pretty.” Oh yeah! Don’t rip out a page JUST because you didn’t like your handwriting (I’m guilty of that). MOVE ON!
Check out the current options that Erin Condren offers below:
- 48 contiguous states $7.95 (8-12 business days) +
- Alaska, Hawaii – $14.95 (8-12 business days), $19.95 (5-8 business days)
- FREE SHIPPING for packages delivered to Army post offices (AFO, APO, AE)
- International – $19.95 (8-12 business days), $39.95 (5-8 business days)
Bank Or Tank?
While I still can’t justify or see myself paying $50+ for an Erin Condren Life planner, I do love my Erin Condren notebook so this product gets a BANK! The format has changed since I purchased mine last year, but it’s amazing quality. The coil is spot on which is essential with a notebook. Nothing is worse than a cheap coil that bends out of shape. Some people might not see the point in a sturdy coil, but if you’re using your notebook for long-term use, it’s matters. The covers are also great since the 7″ x 9″notebook is the same size as the Erin Condren Life Planner. You can still get your fix of taking advantage of the BOGO cover sales that roll around if you;;re not committed to buying the planner.
It’s also great the layout options that you can choose from. I could really care less about the coil. It’s just a notebook and I’m not paying an extra $10 for a different colored coil. These options were not available when I purchased, but I love the productivity (college ruled lines + functional task list) option.
The price is a bit steep for some, $25-$35+ for a notebook (not including any add-ons/custom features). You can easily get one for $1, but again, think long-term with this product. There’s plenty of customization that you can do and if you ever decide to bite the bullet and buy the planner, you not only know what to expect, but you can reuse your covers. Not a complete waste!