April 2016 Planner Update | Erin Condren

by Lisa on Tuesday: Apr 12, 2016

At the end of December, I wrote my first post about my Erin Condren planner and how I was using it at the time. Just a month prior, I had started using planner stickers and I wasn’t sure if I would be sticking with them. Well, the verdict is in and I can’t see myself ever going back to a non-decorated planner!

Erin Condren cover

Since we’re now into the fourth month of the year, I thought I would do an update on how I’ve been using my planner and what I’ve been tracking in it.

Erin Condren - March

I’ve been using my monthly pages to plan out my blog posts. Above is an excerpt from March. I use the Erin Condren stickers from the back of the book and try to color coordinate them with the colors of the month. The great thing is that the stickers are removable so I can easily rearrange my schedule if things change.

Erin Condren Goals Page

Toward the back of the book, there is a section of colorful notes pages where I track my yearly goals. This page is one of many and tracks the ongoing list of house projects I want to tackle, which will be expanded on in the second half of the year. I also have pages for health/fitness, wedding, blog and personal goals.

Erin Condren - Current Week

Over the past few months, I’ve been really figuring out the things I want to track on a daily basis. Each day, I track my hydration using a sticker like in the above picture. I also have a step tracker in the sidebar which I use in conjunction with my Fitbit. I also have recently started doing habit tracking, which is what you see in the upper left.

Erin Condren - Last Week 1

But overall, my weekly pages are overwhelmingly filled with to do lists. I’m such a huge list maker, and I find that I’m most productive and least stressed when everything is written down in front of me.

Erin Condren Inside Cover

Not only is my planner keeping my life on track and helping me reach my goals, but it’s also a big stress reliever. Often, I will find myself sitting in the living room and will just reach for my planner and start decorating weeks in advance just for fun.

Erin Condren May Week

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If you want to get your own Erin Condren planner, you can get $10 off your first purchase if you use my referral link: http://bit.ly/1QDm26r

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

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Are you a fan of to do lists? If so, what do you use to keep track of them?

Any other planner sticker fans reading?

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.

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If you want to get your own Erin Condren planner, you can get $10 off your first purchase if you use my referral link: http://bit.ly/1QDm26r

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

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Do you use a planner? What kind?

Do you prefer to use paper planners or electronic?

Getting Organized

by Lisa on Saturday: Dec 05, 2015

As I mentioned a few weeks back, my November goals list included several home organization projects that I was excited to dig into. Here’s an update on how things went!

Pantry Storage

With D’s help, we mounted the Container Store Elfa system in the kitchen pantry. It was very easy to install, and to begin, we hung four baskets of varying sizes. I actually asked for a few more for Christmas, but this was a great start. It allowed me to take things like oil and vinegar bottles, spice containers, tea boxes and miscellaneous other items and move them to an easy-to-access and organized area. This has made a huge difference. The pantry now has so much more storage and organizational potential.

Pantry door

This isn’t a new concept for the pantry, but I did want to mention it since we’re already talking about pantry organization. I absolutely love these OXO food storage containers. I use them for pastas, flour, sugar, other baking supplies and some miscellaneous other things. I love them and will probably continue to add to my collection.

Pantry containers

Office Closet

The office was a bit of a bigger project simply because it required me to sort through everything inside, do some purging of items, and reorganize the whole thing. I started by purchasing many small clear containers to hold the smaller items like wall hooks, backup printer cartridges, scrapbook supplies and Christmas tags.

Office closet

We also went ahead and installed another Elfa system here, which still needs another small piece to finish it off. This will eventually be the place where I store rolls of wrapping paper. 

Office closet door

Another area of the house that needed some organizational attention was the master bathroom closet, which is also used as our “medicine cabinet” since we don’t have any traditional medicine cabinets in our bathrooms. I originally had two baskets in there that contained a mishmash of medicines, first aid and toiletries. I decided to increase the number of baskets and separate them into categories.

Medicine cabinet

Side note: D will never stop making fun of me for the name of “Quils” basket (it contains Dayquil, Nyquil and Zzzquil).

All of these changes may seem minor, but each one has increased the usability and efficiency of each individual area. I’m looking forward to doing some more organization projects in the next year!

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Today is D’s birthday! Happy birthday D!

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What area of your house needs the most organizational help?

Tell me about something you recently organized!

Tracking Workouts

by Lisa on Thursday: Aug 09, 2012

If there’s one thing that everyone in my life knows about me, it’s that I love organization. And because of that, I feel the need to record the workouts I do so I can easily go back and take a look at how hard I worked, how far I’ve come and where I need to work harder. Over the years, I’ve tried out many different methods of keeping track of these details and still haven’t quite found just ONE solution that will do everything I need.

Here is my system right now:

  • I use my Polar Ft 4 to track how many calories I’ve burned and how long I’ve been working out
  • From there, once my workout is completed, I record the numbers in a notebook
  • I also record all of my weight-lifting activities (reps, pounds, type of exercise) in this notebook
  • However, I don’t stop there – I ALSO have experimented with numerous phone apps to do my tracking for me. Right now I’m using Cardio Trainer, which records pretty much everything I need to keep track of, except for specific weight lifting activities.
  • And to top it off, occasionally I’ll plan out my workouts in advance on my google calendar

I’d love to be able to consolidate all of my tracking within one app, but every one I’ve tried seems to make it really difficult to record different weight machines. I’m ridiculously picky when it comes to organizational apps. Sometimes I think I should just create them myself – that way they’ll have EVERYTHING I need! (Trust me, I’ve actually considered doing this). Pen and paper always seems to be the quickest, easiest way to do what I need, but then it’s harder to get stats and see trends.

So, I must ask you – what do you use to track your workouts?