For a while now, I’ve been lusting over the (very much talked about) Erin Condren Life Planner. I was hesitant at first, because the planner is $50.00. YES, $50.00. For a planner. But then, I heard so many great things about this product… and well, my 26TH birthday is coming up. So yes, I finally broke down and purchased my very own Erin Condren Life Planner.
Because I’m located in Ottawa, Canada; I had to pay a ridiculous amount for shipping– $39.95! That stung a little, and I actually took a few days to rethink my decision. Later, the Erin Condren team left me a comment, explaining their high shipping costs:“Regarding the shipping options, we did switch to a less expensive freight company for our International customers for a short time to help reduce shipping costs, but we were told that they will not be able to provide tracking information with the flat rate ($19.95) International offering. This was not disclosed to us initially and we had many many problems during our busy holiday season with customers not receiving their packages or receiving them extremely late… it was a headache for all concerned and not the sort of unreliable service that we are used to providing. So we switched back to our more expensive, yet reliable service. The huge organizations are able to negotiate much better shipping rates with the carriers based on their volume…. our little boutique firm is just not doing that type of volume yet, so we are unable to get those rates…. we wish we could… the minute we do we’ll be passing along those savings to our customers.”
I wish their explanation made me feel a little bit better about spending so much on shipping, but… it didn’t. I’m wondering if the EC team cut down on the decorative box (see below) and other little expenses, that international shipping would decrease a little in price? I mean, every penny counts.
Anyway, after placing my order on January 5TH, it took a few days for my invoice to print at the EC office (January 9TH) and then it went to production on January 10TH. It was finally shipped to me on January 16TH, via FedEX. It only took two business days to arrive, which was impressive (I didn’t want to wait too long, since production took a while). Unfortunately, FedEX was unable to get to my apartment (because the main doors are key-card activated) and did not bother leaving a slip for me (which was a little annoying). After a quick call to FedEX, I ended up going to the FedEX holding place myself (which was a pretty horrible adventure in itself! Ha).
After two weeks of being in production and shipped across a few states, I finally received my beloved Life Planner. And yes, I’m in love!
Erin Condren Life Planner Review: A Canadian Perspective!
Shipping Cost: $39.95
Total Cost: $92.45
Production and Delivery Time: 14 days
First, I would like to say that I am really happy with the design I picked and the lamination. But, I do want to point out that the Planner’s cover does not extend to the full length of the planner itself (as you can see above). This may annoy some people, but I’m okay with it.
This year, the EC team decided to use a metal coil instead of plastic (which is what they used in the previous year). I like this idea! It seems a little more sturdy. See below:
From reading other reviews, I should note another recent change in the Life Planner. In the previous year, the monthly tabs were just made out of paper. Because of this, the tabs began to rip off. This year, the EC team laminated each tab; which was a really good idea!
As soon as you open the Life Planner, you will see a spot for your personal information under “This is My Life.” I wasn’t quite sure what type of marker to use at first (I didn’t want it to smudge!), but ended up going with a Sharpie permanent marker.
One little thing I enjoy about the Life Planner, is the quotes! You’ll notice that a few pages of the planner is dedicated to a few inspiring quotes. Take a look–
Along with my Life Planner, the EC team sent me a few sticker labels with my name on them (Thanks!!). I ended up sticking a “key” label in the very front of my planner. I colour coordinate everything, so this came in handy:
In typical planner fashion, there is a few pages dedicated to “Birthdays and Anniversaries” and a monthly spread. In previous planners, I never really used this section a whole lot, and probably won’t in the Life Planner either. Also, if you click and enlarge the picture below, you will notice that the monthly spread covers 2012 and 2013. I ordered my planner in January of this year… so wouldn’t it make more sense to have a spread of 2013 and 2014?
After the monthly spread, you’ll find two pages dedicated to your start month (mine, of course, is January 2013). I love all of bright colours they used on the months! And I’m really liking the “goals” and “to do” section on the right hand side.
Here is another monthly view. I just wanted to show you the different colours ;)
Like I said before, the Life Planner is full of inspiring quotes! Each monthly spread contains a quote on the top. For instance, here are the quotes for January and February:
Following each month, you’ll find your weekly spread which is divided up into “Morning,” “Day,” and “Night.” I actually like how it’s divided… and there’s a lot of room! Like the monthly spread, you will find a “goals” and “to do” section on the side.
Just to give you a super close-up, I ended up scanning this week’s spread:
One thing I noticed, however, is that not every week has a “goals” and “to do” list! This is a tad bit annoying. I’m sad that next week doesn’t have either list :/
In the back of your planner, you’ll find a section of lined and blank note paper. This is a fabulous idea (and I’ve used several pages thus far), but there are no tabs to indicate that this is a note section. To fix this problem, I just used a pink and yellow flag (if you look closely, you’ll notice it below).
The Life Planner also comes with a “Make Everyday a Happyday” ruler/bookmark. You can the ruler out and place it in different areas of your planner. So far, I’ve been constantly using this ruler… I like the idea!
In the back of the Life Planner, you will also find four sheets of stickers. As you can see, I’ve used a nice few so far. The stickers have various things written on them like: Birthday!, Play!, Hair Appt. @ _____, Doc Appt. @ _____, Dentist Appt. @ ______, No Work!, No School!, Mani/Pedi, Girls Night!, Sale!, Vegas!, Camping!, Vacation!, Wedding!, Bridal Shower!, Baby Shower!, Massage!, Babysit!, Vote!, Party!, Game!, Pay Day!, as well as a full sheet of blank stickers. While the stickers are a great idea, I know that there’s a few of them that I’ll never use (I.E, Vegas!).
In the very back of the Life Planner, you’ll find a “Keep it Together” folder where you can store all of your important documents, receipts, etc! I really like this idea! As you can see, I like to store a copy of my work schedule in there ;)
After the “Keep it Together” folder, you’ll find a two year spread of 2013 and 2014 (which is funny, since the yearly spread in the front covers 2012 and 2013) and a plastic zip-block bag.
Overall, I give the Life Planner 3.5 stars out of 5! While I am really impressed with the design, lamination, colours, and quotes… I am less impressed with 1) the shipping cost, 2) the “goals” and “to do” missing from a few pages, 3) the discrepancies in the yearly spread, and 3) the sticker section (there are just too many stickers that are not applicable to me!). Will I purchase the life planner again? Yes, probably! This time, however, I’ll put the EC Life Planner on my Christmas wishlist ;)
Do you use the Erin Condren Life Planner? What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it?
If you do not own an Erin Condren Life Planner, would you ever consider buying one? If not, why?