How I Organize and Use My Planner

by Lisa on Tuesday: Dec 29, 2015

At the very end of 2014, I decided to take the plunge and order my first Erin Condren Life Planner. I’ve always been a planner/stationery girl at heart, dating back to my elementary school years. I’d been seeing other bloggers review the EC planner for months and slowly became obsessed with it. The price tag kept me from buying it for some time, but after making the purchase, I knew it was worth it. I used this book for the entirety of 2015, every single day without fail. I’ve never been this consistent with my planning in the past, and I love the way it’s transformed my life. I’ve already got my 2016 book ready to go!

Erin Condren books

Here’s a rundown on how I’ve used my planner for the past year:

Yearly Goals

This is the first year I’ve tracked my yearly goals in my planner, but I love how it kept me focused throughout the year and allowed me to flip to them at any given time since I always have my planner handy. The Erin Condren book comes with a generous amount of note paper in the back (in the 2016 version, the note pages are even nicer), and it allowed me to dedicate a whole page to each category of goals.

I separated my goals into 5 categories for 2015:

  • Secure Valuables: For example, compiling all important house and car papers, insuring my engagement ring, etc.
  • House Improvements
  • Fitness
  • Technical Development: For example, reading some software development books and taking a few online courses.
  • Personal Development/Fun

I’ve not yet started writing down my 2016 goals (on my list for this week!), but I will likely have a few different categories this year.

Monthly Planning

During the last few days of any given month, I open up to the next monthly spread and think about what larger goals I want to work on.

For the first half of the year I didn’t do this step, but since I started doing it, I’ve found that I get way more accomplished. If you really want to make progress on your yearly goals, it’s extremely important to break them into smaller chunks that can be attacked on a monthly basis. I also include things in my monthly list that are related to my larger wedding planning tasks (the more detailed information about wedding to-dos are in my wedding planner) and any special events that are coming up.

I actually love the change in the 2016 Erin Condren book where there is a full page of notepaper before each month. I will be taking advantage of this feature for more in depth monthly planning!

Erin Condren Monthly Notes

Weekly Planning

Planning for each individual week is something I look forward to and usually set aside time for on Sundays. Much like with monthly planning, I use the sidebar of each week to set out some larger goals for the week that don’t need to get done on any particular day. Then each day gets detailed to-dos and event reminders. I recently started experimenting with planner stickers, and I love the decorative accent this adds to my weekly spreads. I’ve already acquired quite a haul of them ready for my new book!

Erin Condren Weekly Spread 1

I also plan out my blogging schedule on a weekly basis. I use the monthly spread to track this, although I generally only plan this out a week in advance.

Erin Condren Monthly Spread

Daily Planning

As each day comes and goes, I add to-dos as they come up. This is really when the majority of a day’s activities gets filled out.

I also tend to track random odds and ends for each day including my step count and meal planning.

Erin Condren Weekly Spread 2

Overall I know my planning style is always evolving, and the way I plan today is miles ahead of where I started at the beginning of my 2015 book. I find that writing things down on paper helps keep me more accountable than anything else. I have become planning obsessed this year and can’t wait to see where it takes me in the future.


If you want to get your own Erin Condren planner, you can get $10 off your first purchase if you use my referral link:

This post is not sponsored in any way, but the link above is my own referral link.


Do you use a planner? What kind?

Do you prefer to use paper planners or electronic?

8 Responses to “How I Organize and Use My Planner”

  1. I love this! There are so many gadgets/apps/etc. out there for the same purpose, but for me, nothing beats a tangible planner where you can put pen to paper. I’ve had things like this in the past, and it always felt like my whole life was inside it!

    • Lisa says:

      I agree! I tried to use Google calendar for many years, but it always seemed like too much of a chore to keep up with. I’m a paper girl at heart.

  2. I use a planner from Plum Paper, and I love it! I always like to see how others organize their planners, so thanks for sharing!

    • Lisa says:

      I’ve seen the Plum Paper planners, and they look great! I love how there are so many new options to choose from these days.

  3. Purchased a planner for 2016 and am so excited to start using it! I wasn’t ready to take the plunge on the EC planner, but it does get so many great reviews. I want to see if it’s something that I’ll stick with & if so, 2017 will be an EC planner for me! I loved using a planner in college though, so I’m thinking I’ll love it!

    • Lisa says:

      There’s just something so satisfying and fun about having a paper planner. EC is a great brand too!

  4. That’s a really motivational planner that you have. Love the fun look and colors. I do need to create a calendar of my blog posting. Since I’m an ambassador for the Glass City Marathon now (my first gig!), I need to make sure I get some related posts out once a week. That would help me get organized!!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you! Congrats on becoming an ambassador for the marathon – that must be very exciting!

Leave a Reply