When you walk into a bookstore, what are you drawn to? Are you drawn to the section with the pretty journals and planners? When you hold one, do you see the endless potential in their blank pages? Then you, my friend, might be a “planner”.
Admittedly, I am new to “planning”. Well, let me clarify. In high school (over 20 years ago), I did use a spiral notebook student planner. The only tools I had back then were colored pens and liquid paper. But, that’s not the type of “planning” we’re talking about.
Fast forward to present day. “Planning” is a way of life. There are endless blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to planners, storage of planning accessories, and reviews of new planning products. One of the leading companies out there for “planners” is Erin Condren. Who or what is Erin Condren?
We are a lifestyle brand known for creating fun and functional organization essentials for the home, office and everything in between. From high-quality planners and notebooks to custom organizers, desk accessories and more, each product is intentionally crafted to help customers achieve goals, reduce stress and lead more joyful, meaningful lives through organization.https://www.erincondren.com/our-story
I found Erin Condren through a targeted Facebook ad. That’s right. A targeted Facebook ad. They were advertising their new Hello Kitty collection. We all know how I feel about Hello Kitty. I clicked on the ad and got routed to their website where I fell down a rabbit hole of planner supplies. I was overwhelmed.
I knew “planning” was a thing. Most chain crafting stores usually have a whole aisle dedicated to “planning.” You can find everything from washi tape, to stickers, to cute paper clips to customize your planners. At the time planning became popular, I had no need for it.
As I sat there browsing Erin Condren’s website, I got that feeling of wonder and excitement. In those blank pages, I saw the potential. Up until this point, I organized my life with apps on my phone and Google calendar. I really didn’t need a physical planner, but Hello Kitty winked her eye and I am now a proud owner of my very own 8.5 x 11 personalized Hello Kitty monthly planner.
Below is my assessment of the large 8.5×11 Monthly Planner. I have not tried any of their binder products or the PetitePlanners.
FIRST IMPRESSION OF THE MONTHLY PLANNER
If I answer honestly, I was initially a bit disappointed with what my $40.00 bought me. I guess I had missed the fact that the cover is laminate even though it is clearly listed on the details. I did feel a bit cheated. On initial evaluation, it felt like something I could make at home. The cover is a printed cardstock laminated like an old driver’s license. I was afraid of discoloration and bending, but the laminated cover has held up. Does it bother me after two months? No. The cover is actually pretty durable, you can use wet erase markers on it, AND if you like changing it up, they’re removable. You can purchase replacement covers to swap in and out. In the end, my disappointed dissipated and I am happy with my planner.
WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT
Spiral Binding. Unfortunately, the aspect that gives their planners the ability to snap in optional add-in products like laminated rulers also makes it difficult to write in the planner. In my monthly planner, the large spiral makes it impossible to write anything on the “Wednesday” column. I don’t think there is a solution to this. Any other style of binding would take away the ability for the planner to lay flat and be able to snap in any accessories. It’s definitely a flaw, but the solution to the flaw would create the inability for replaceable covers and snap-in accessories.
Pricing. Erin Condren is expensive. No matter how you look at it, the Erin Condren brand of products are luxury items. I don’t see a family of five struggling to make ends meet spending $37.00 on a student academic planner or up to $60.00 on a life planner.
WHAT MAKES ERIN CONDREN PLANNERS SPECIAL?
Quality. As mentioned, you can find a much cheaper alternative for your planning needs. The most prominent difference are the pages. They are printed on a heavier weight paper than you will find in cheaper alternatives.
Extra Pages. Erin Condren does a great job of providing additional pages that store-bought planners don’t. In my monthly planner, each month came with productivity pages and eight lined pages. This helps you jot down shopping lists, unfinished song lyrics, or whatever other thoughts you might need to keep collected in one place.
Personalization. Erin Condren products make you feel special. Something as simple as customizing your experience makes your planner more unique. From snap-in accessories, to adding additional pages for your unique needs during the customization process, their planners make you feel special and make the planning experience enjoyable.
Accessories. Erin Condren has everything you need to make your planning go smoothly. They offer everything from clips, to stickers, to pens and markers. These cuties are bookmarkers to find a specific location in your planner.
IS IT WORTH IT?
The price is definitely its one and only weak point. Erin Condren does offer smaller “petite” planners at a much more reasonable price, but one might not think the compromise is worth it when you can, for example, go to Amazon and find a full-sized planner at the same cost as a petite one.
However, if you are a planner, if you enjoy sitting down and spending time applying stickers and feeling the joy of moving toward your goals, yes. Spending the extra money for an Erin Condren planner is worth it. The little extras you get from extra lined pages to the motivational statements on each tab, it makes it worth it.
FLAGSHIP STORE – AUSTIN, TEXAS
I am blessed enough to live near Austin, Texas where I was able to visit the flagship store. I visited their store for the first time the day after Christmas and it is a beautiful store. Guess what I forgot to do?! I forgot to take pictures. I was so excited shopping, I didn’t document the experience. Look forward to another post about my haul and what I thought about a few of the products I picked up.
**DISCLAIMER – I am expressing my own opinions. All products were purchased at full price with my own funds. I am not affiliated with Erin Condren and did not receive any compensation for my opinions. I am also aware of the controversy surrounding Erin Condren. I do not believe in cancel culture. I think cancel culture and those that participate in it are toxic. I am not perfect enough to pass judgment or jeopardize the employment of many that simply work for her company. Please feel free to keep your opinions about her actions to yourself. Thank you.**