NEW Erin Condren MONTHLY Planner Review!


I am SO excited to share the newest Erin Condren products with you all! I’m going to show you some of their latest accessories and then flip through the LONG-awaited, much anticipated MONTHLY PLANNERS!


The product line from my favorite planner company has been expanding over the last few years, and there are some really cool new things out there now. The newest and probably biggest departure from their stationery and home decor line-up are these flair pins:photo-oct-14-10-31-45-amThe signature asterisk flair pins are $6 each, and the Stay Gold flair pin is $8. Perfect for a jacket or bag! I think I’m going to pin one on my daughter’s backpack as a reminder that I’m always with her. She started Kindergarten this fall and is still getting used to the long day, so I love the idea of having a visual reminder of home for her.

The other (long-awaited!) new product is the nail wrap line! I have seen SO many people asking for nail wraps and there are now FIVE patterns you can pick ($10 each) to match your nails to your notebook!photo-oct-14-10-43-45-amI’ve never been great at putting these on, so I’m going to try them out and will reveal them in another post 😉

I also had one of the new Luxe Gold Metallic Quote Clutches ($20) in my surprise box! The teal faux leather is very, very flexible and soft, and the gold accents are so beautiful in person. The pouch is really roomy and perfect for toting around planner accessories. photo-oct-14-10-43-02-amAnother picture, in comparison to the Deluxe Monthly Planners (original and larger size planners pictured):photo-oct-14-10-43-27-amThere’s one more accessory to share, but I’m going to show it to you as I walk you through the Monthly Planner. You’ll see why.


This planner is the answer to everyone asking for a more simple, sleek monthly planner. Even with the roll-out of the neutral color layout this past summer, folks were still asking for a planner with less decorative touches and more function. Enter the Monthly planner is 7×9 and bound like the Erin Condren Journals with a smooth, permanent, customizable cover. You can choose from this understated canvas print with a monogram, or their collection of colorful covers.

The first spread is the 2017 year-at-a-glance. These mini month calendars are the same size as the Life Planner, so you can use the same stickers you use (*cough*Krissyanne Designs Transparent Mini Circle Stickers*cough*). I also love the wide open space at the bottom for next page is split into a holiday list and a spot for monthly notes:
photo-oct-14-10-32-40-amI love the space here for deadlines, special projects, goals or other monthly notes people like to keep:photo-oct-14-10-32-47-amThe next page is the January Monthly layout:photo-oct-14-10-32-58-amThe monthly layout features a notes sidebar along with a mini next-month calendar at the top left:photo-oct-14-10-33-10-amAs you turn the page, you jump right into the next month:photo-oct-14-10-33-21-amNo notes pages between each month means you can just get right to business. If you like continuous months, this planner is for you.

After December 2017, you can turn directly to a notes section that contains 92 notes pages:
photo-oct-14-10-33-39-amThe calendar pages are not perforated, but the notes pages are:photo-oct-14-10-33-54-amOnce you run through the notes pages, there is a 2018 year at-a-glance spread for future planning:photo-oct-14-10-34-09-amRemember that last accessory? The new Large Clear Sticky Corner Storage Pockets ($7 for a pack of 2) are a super-sturdy add-on for your planner. They’re 6″x6″ which is a GREAT height for those taller pieces you want to keep handyphoto-oct-14-10-34-37-amWhat do you think of this new planner? I can’t wait to see how people use this one!

This is the one I’VE been waiting for!!!!!!!!!!! photo-oct-14-10-35-06-amFor the first time EVER, there are TWO size options for an Erin Condren planner. The planner on the left is the larger 8.5″x11″ option, which is the same size as the Teacher Planner and larger notebook. The planner on the left is 7″x9″ and the same size as the current LifePlanner. At the Go Wild 2016 planner conference in New Orleans, Erin Condren hinted in her keynote speech that there may soon be another size option for the LifePlanner, and this addition is definitely adding to the anticipation!

I’m going to walk you through the smaller one, which is the exact same layout as the larger one. As always, there is a removable cover with an inside whiteboard:photo-oct-14-10-35-20-amAlthough you could use a dry erase marker, I recommend either a wet erase marker (EC sells some here), or a Sharpie permanent marker (wipe off with rubbing alcohol). Always love this cover page to write your name and contact info:photo-oct-14-10-35-28-amTurn the page to their signature quotes:photo-oct-14-10-35-36-amThe next page is the year at-a-glance: photo-oct-14-10-35-41-amNext up is a 12-section open planning space. This would be great for monthly goals, tracking health or body measurements, keeping running lists, cleaning zones for your house – anything you want to divide up

photo-oct-14-10-35-48-amOnce you turn the page, you see the first notes page before January 2017:photo-oct-14-10-35-52-amTurn the page once more, and the monthly layouts begin. This layout is identical to the LifePlanner monthly layouts, so if you’re using the traditional 7″x9″ size, all of your stickers will fit perfectly!photo-oct-14-10-35-57-amI love that there are several notes pages between each month! When you turn the page from the monthly layout, you see this:photo-oct-14-10-36-02-amThe page on the left is a new format for EC. It has five sections with a check circle in the corner of each one:photo-oct-14-10-36-18-amThis would be great for big priority monthly tasks of any kind! The next page is the productivity page that we’ve seen in the option list for notebook layouts:photo-oct-14-10-36-23-amBut wait, THERE’S MORE! 😉 If you turn the page again, you get a dot grid notes page followed by another beautiful quote:
photo-oct-14-10-36-29-amAfter this one, you turn to the next monthly pages to take notes or make lists between each month, in my opinion, is a HUGE help when managing monthly tasks or tracking monthly progress. If you hate it, you could easily tear out the productivity/dot grid page and be left with just one notes page and a quote, but it won’t free up that much coil space and from my observations, people are always looking for MORE writing space.

Have you noticed yet that there aren’t any tabs? photo-oct-14-10-37-02-amThis would be my only complaint. I love having tabs to easily flip from month to month. BUT, I quickly hacked a solution using one of my Mini Snap-In Bookmarks (pack of 3 for $4 – a steal!). See it peeking out?photo-oct-14-10-37-33-amI am also keeping a magnetic page marker handy for the same reason:

photo-oct-14-10-37-56-amOnce you get through the months, you reach the 2018 year at-a-glance:photo-oct-14-10-38-33-amThe notes pages follow. The planner comes with 40 notes pages (20 sheets front and back), and for another $5, you can add another 40 pages. (Other upgrades include a rose gold, gold, or black coil for $10):photo-oct-14-10-38-49-amEach Deluxe Monthly Planner comes with two sheets of flag stickers, and a pocket:photo-oct-14-10-39-09-am photo-oct-14-10-39-21-amalong with another pocket on the back, and another whiteboard:photo-oct-14-10-39-26-amNow, onto the size comparison! The layouts are identical, but you can see the size difference here:
photo-oct-14-10-41-24-amI pulled a sticker from the back to place it in the monthly layout of the larger size. It’s so roomy!photo-oct-14-10-40-21-amIn terms of thickness, the Deluxe Monthly Planner is comparable to a notebook (notebook on top, planner on bottom):photo-oct-14-10-42-51-amAnd it’s definitely thinner than my LifePlanner:photo-oct-14-10-42-21-amPHEW! That might have been my longest post. I’ll be using the smaller Deluxe Monthly Planner to manage my budget and finances, the larger Deluxe Monthly Planner for work, and I’m still undecided on the Monthly Planner…but I’ll keep you all posted!

If you’re a first-time customer of Erin Condren and would like to save $10 off of your order, you can use this link to create your account! It will save me $10, too.

I also filmed a review for YouTube that you can find here!photo-oct-14-10-46-13-amThanks so much for reading!


My Krissyanne Designs Sticker Binder!

Krissyanne Designs Sticker Binder

My first purchase of planner stickers ever (from a shop that hand-made them) was from Krissyanne Designs about a year and a half ago. I had been admiring her stickers for a while, and the stickers themselves and her customer service had me hooked right away!

From the very beginning, it was clear that she was intentional about making her stickers as user-friendly as possible. She was one of the first sellers to cut her sheets in such a way that they fit in the back pocket of the Erin Condren Life Planner. Last Spring, she announced her plans to release a binder full of her stickers that were pre-punched for easy organization, storage and use. I love that she not only creates a wonderful product, but wants them to be as user-friendly as possible. Her first round of Sticker Binders sold out almost immediately! No surprise. They are BEAUTIFUL, functional and the highest quality.

I was SO EXCITED when one of these beautiful binders arrived in my mailbox a few months ago! I have used it every single day since then, and it has cut my planning time in half. Being able to flip right to what I need, peel it up and stick it in my planner has eliminated searching, flipping through piles, and taking sheets in and out of boxes and files folders.

Let me give you a tour!


The Binders come in two sizes: Travel Size and Full Size. I got the Travel Size! (The Full Binder is a full-sized 1′ Binder, while the Travel Binder is a 1/2″ smaller binder.) It is a high-quality binder with reinforced corners and a personalized cover of your choice. It is sturdy and BEAUTIFUL!

Here it is in comparison to my Erin Condren Life Planner:


and from the top:


My binder came with 22 sheets of stickers that were punched and already in the rings, like this:


Included with a binder purchase are two binder-exclusive sampler sheets (which I love and as you can tell, have already used):


I LOVE – cannot describe how much – being able to just flip to a page, write, peel, and stick.




Speaking of writing on stickers, Krissyanne Designs stickers are semi-gloss, and I recommend using a permanent marker so it doesn’t smear. I tested it out here (Pilot permanent on top, Pilot G2-07 Gel smeared below):


My favorite is the Pilot Ultra Fine Point Permanent marker. Sharpie permanent markers, Bic permanent markers (or really, any other permanent marker) will work fine as well! Team Blue, of course 😉


When I first posted about my binder, everyone asked how I was going to incorporate the dozens of other Krissyanne Designs sticker sheets I already had. I decided to hack apart an old Erin Condren Life Planner folder and tape the two sides into each side of the binder.

I was easily able to add all of my other sheets to the back and front pockets! It didn’t add too much bulk, either.


There aren’t enough heart eyes emojis:

IMG_6598Binders are sold as an inclusion with a minimum purchase of sticker kits. Once you purchase a minimum amount ($100 worth of sticker kits for the Travel size and $200 worth of sticker kits for the Full size), you add a binder to your cart and the binder price drops to $0.00. It is SUCH a great deal. Essentially, you are buying stickers at a discount (in comparison to if you were to purchase each individual sheet from her site) AND you get a personalized binder with two sampler sheets included. Kits range in price from $20 to $100.

SPEAKING OF KITS… I’m SO happy to share that there is now a JenPlans sticker kit! It includes 20 sheets of what I personally consider essentials for functional planning. These are the stickers I use most frequently and recommend most often. If you purchase the JenPlans kit, it is enough of a minimum purchase for a binder which will also give you two additional samplers 🙂 This was created as an easy way for me to recommend stickers to those who ask.

If you have additional questions about the Sticker Binders, check out the FAQ in the pinned post of the Krissyanne Designs Facebook group. Kristin will also be doing a live Periscope broadcast to answer any questions sometime (TBD) on Thursday evening, October 1, which will stay up for 24 hours. Be sure to follow Kristin’s channel here if you want an alert when she goes live!

The next round of binder sales will open at 9pm CST on Friday, October 2nd,  directly from her website. The last round sold out quickly, so if you’re planning to purchase, be sure to set your alarm and write it in your planner! 🙂 I am so excited to order more kits for my binder! Can’t wait to see what everyone else orders!

This was NOT a sponsored post. I was not asked to publicly review this product.
All opinions are genuinely and enthusiastically my own.





2015 Atlanta EC Meet-Up

Atlanta EC Meetup 2015

Most of you know that I use (and love!) an Erin Condren Life Planner to keep my life organized. I’ve been using an ECLP since 2011 and highly recommend it to anyone who might still be searching for a paper planner. In the last few years, I’ve found a few ways to connect with others who use the same planner and have made some great friends in this community of planning and organization. A few weeks ago, 30-40 planning friends from across the country met up at the Atlanta Scrapbook Expo and had a great time! I want to share some of that experience here on the blog and express gratitude to some very generous folks who made the meet-up so wonderful!

For those of you wondering why people who use a paper planner would seek out a scrapbook expo, many elements of scrapbook cross over into the planning world. We use our planners not only as a way to keep track of appointments, but also as a way to manage lists, record milestones, track exercise and meal planning and a million other parts of our lives. We use stickers, stamps and washi tape much like scrapbookers – some use them to decorate and some use them to highlight parts of our schedule or tasks. It becomes a creative outlet for us and motivates us to stay organized.

The meetup started as a way to gather and talk planners, share ideas and spend time together. A handful of people came into town early and we may or may not have spent all day in IKEA, Container Store and other shopping venues. 😉 Who doesn’t love spending all day with other organized people looking at organization eye candy?

The next day was the big meet-up. I would say that we had 30-50 people in and out of the meeting room one of us had so kindly arranged, and the most exciting part of the official meet-up was a raffle that another friend had worked hard to arrange!

A whopping 23 companies/shops/individuals donated at least 25 items EACH to “swag bags” that were raffled off to attendees. Many of them have very high-volume orders and still took the time and effort to make sure the attendees were able to have a chance to score some of their awesome products. Please take some time to check each of them out because so few people do things like this these days and we were so very appreciative! I always love giving my business to shops who go above and beyond. I’ve linked their shops for easy browsing! 🙂 I will try to contain my excitement and use of exclamation points (!!!!!!!).

  1. Erin Condren Design
    The largest company to donate, Erin Condren Design, gave these Designer Sticker Books (Classic Collection)! I LOVE my sticker book and have found that it’s not only a great variety, but a great value if you want to purchase one! A few pics from the inside are below! (If you’re a first-time customer, you can use this link to save $10 off of your first purchase!)
  2. OliBLOCK
    OliBLOCK was SUPER generous and donated a BUNCH of clips to the swag bags! Everyone got a slightly different combination, and I LOVED mine! OliClips are magnetic paperclips that are very strong and really, really thin, so they don’t bulk up your planner! I’ve had a small set that I’ve used for a long time, and I was ecstatic to get some bigger ones to try too!
  3. CraftyCato
    Brianna from CraftyCato was so sweet to give everyone washi samples!
  4. Discbound Marketplace
    If you’re unfamiliar with disc-binding, many people choose to punch their planner pages to fit small discs (in place of a coil or rings) because it’s a fast and extremely convenient way to add and remove pages from your notebooks or planner. Adding notes, budgeting pages, contacts, etc, is a breeze when you disc-bind. Discbound Marketplace donated these notebooks (with the discs, hardcover and pens!) for everyone to try!
  5. Hello Ashleyann Prints
    Hello Ashleyann Prints was so generous to donate three full sticker sheets to everyone, but unfortunately the shipment got held up by the post office and didn’t make it to the meet-up. I was lucky enough to still get my hands on a set and love them! Those donuts!!!
  6. #junkfromjodi
    Jodi has a well-deserved reputation in the planner community by being the sweetest person ever. She frequently blesses people with her #junkfromjodi (FAR from junk – all treasured items!) in the mail. She had goodies for every bag at the expo! Such a kind soul.
  7. Lillie Henry
    LillieHenry is one of my FAVORITE shops and I absolutely adore these travel stickers she donated to each of the bags! She is also such a kind, hardworking woman. I have many of her stickers and always LOVE adding to my collection!
  8. Lily Daniel Designs
    Lily Daniel Designs donated this sweet sampler set to each bag!
  9. Lisa V Creations
    Not only did Lisa from LisaV Creations donate this sticker set to everyone, she also volunteered to make the labels listing all of the sponsors of the swag bags! Check out her reward system for customers! I’m lucky to call her a friend, and when we moved earlier this year, I became her neighbor, too!
  10. Maklow Planner Goodies
    Maklow Planner Goodies made a HUGE donation to the swag bags! Every recipient got this WHOLE SET! Wine, anyone? These stickers are all ADORABLE!
  11. MilaPrintShop
    These sweet samplers are so perfect to tuck in the pocket of your planner. MilaPrintShop donated these to each bag! Love the little planners!
  12. Olive Planning
    OlivePlanning donated several different sets to the meet-up and I got these half-boxes – PERFECT for my ECLP!
  13. One Orange Snowflake
    Taylor is a busy student and mom in addition to being a shop owner, and she STILL took the time to donate TWO sampler sheets to each bag at the Expo. Her shop is one of the most popular on Etsy in the planner community and it was so generous of her to donate.
  14. Pink & Main
    Pink & Main was the only shop that was also exhibiting AT the Scrapbook Expo! It was so cool to see their selection (not just for planning – mostly for scrapbooking, card-making and other paper crafting!) They not only donated a stamp set to each bag, but they also gave everyone a discount at the booth!
  15. Planned Chaos
    Planned Chaos is one of the most sought-after planner subscription boxes in the planner community. She always delivers goodies from the shops everyone loves and adds so many other special things for subscribers to try out, too. Here’s one of her sticker sheets that was part of her monthly kit! She also sells many of her stickers separately in her shop (including this one!), 4BoyChaos, which you can find here!
  16. Planner Pandemonium
    The largest donation of the swag bags came from Vicki at Planner Pandemonium! She donated an ENTIRE monthly kit to each swag bag! Seven sticker sheets (in coordinating colors to the ECLP August color scheme), sticky notes, a felt paperclip AND a discount code! Amazing.
  17. PowellsPaperCrafts
    If you’re a paperclip person, you MUST check out Powells Paper Crafts! The picture doesn’t even do this sweet little thing justice, because her little puddle is shimmery and precious and there’s an itty bitty rhinestone on her, too.
  18. Sizemore Designs
    Austin has been in the planner community for some time now, and he has his own stationery shop! He offered a discount code to all who attended the Expo!
  19. Stick-e Beans
    These are functional clip-ins, but they’re also SO funny and cute! You just snap them in and use double-sided tape if you want to add anything to your planner! They fit the EC coil, and I’m guessing they also fit a Plum Paper Planner as well!
  20. Stickers, Washi & More
    One of my favorite people, another longtime admin of our We Love EC Facebook group and owner of StickersWashi&More donated these sweet samplers to everyone! I love her shop because everything is so unique and sweet. She has a signature style I can spot a mile away, and I love using her stickers! The “coffee time” sticker has always been my favorite!
  21. Sweet Peach Planner
    Sweet Peach Planner donated this summery lemon sticker set! Such a sweet set and included one of my favorites – full box flags.
  22. TheECPlannerKitLady
    I’ve already used most of this donation because I couldn’t resist the watermelons or that ant washi! Good thing I took a pic before I started using it! TheECplannerkitlady donated such a fun set!
  23. TwoKraftyChicks
    TwoKraftyChicks donated this sweet set to the swag bags! The smiley taco!!


We also had a professional photographer there who volunteered to take pictures – if you are local in the Atlanta area, please check her out! Her name is Anna McGlamry and this is the link to her business page! She did a wonderful job capturing us all in our natural habitat!

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

ATL Traveling Llama

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

I got to draw the winners!!!!! 😀

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

Here are all the winners:

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

And everyone who was there at the peak time!

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

Photo Credit: Anna McGlamry Photography

Again, HUGE thank-you to the sponsors for their generous donations, and especially to those who helped organize everything behind the scenes so that it could be extra special for everyone who was able to attend. The very best part was getting to spend time with friends who share a love of planning! I hope we can all meet up again sometime soon!


Planner Peace: I’m switching back to vertical.

The very first thing I need to say is that paper planners are SO personal. What works for one person might not work at all for another. The most important thing to remember when choosing a planner is that it MUST work the way your brain does, or it won’t be a helpful tool to keep you focused and organized. Does it organize your schedule in a way that makes sense? Can you keep track of your tasks in a way that keeps them from being lost on the page? It can’t be overwhelming to you or it won’t work. I use my planner in a function-first way, and as a naturally forgetful person, I rely on my planner every day to keep me on track. Many of you know this as “Planner Peace.”

Since 2011, I’ve used a vertical Erin Condren Life Planner, until this summer, when she released a horizontal layout for the first time. I really wanted to try something new and I LOVED the colors and layout. When I was given the opportunity to preview the planner, I chose the horizontal layout.

There are some things that I still love more about the horizontal; I love the room (I think there’s more writing room than the vertical), I love the colors (more muted and single-color-scheme per week), I love the lines (more grayscale and not overpowering), and I love the flexibility for people whose schedules or tasks vary from day to day, and I love that I don’t have to be bound by a morning/day/night set-up.

All that said, I’ve been feeling very lost and unfocused for the last month or two. I’m forgetting things, I’m not as motivated (in any area of my life), and I’m feeling overwhelmed. I have been writing more in notebooks and on pads of paper instead of using my planner. I write things in my planner but don’t really reference them or go there first when I need to organize my day. I was losing my groove because my system just wasn’t working. When you’re a compulsive planner, you NEED to feel comfortable with your system.

After reflecting on why things have been this way lately, I have just realized that my brain thinks vertically. I need the morning/day/night structure. I instinctively plan my day that way, even when I have a more flexible schedule. I have decided to switch back into my vertical planner. Around launch time, I ordered a 12-Month Rose Gold Vertical ECLP that I will move into in January, but until then, I’m going to switch back into my old planner next week. I already feel a million times better knowing that I’ll be “home” again. With school coming up for the kids, I NEED to have a reliable system to keep things organized. As much as I still love the horizontal for so many reasons, it’s just not for me.

To transition back into my vertical ECLP, I snipped the weeks I’ve used out of my horizontal and put them into my old vertical so that I don’t lose those weeks. I might also add a notes page from my notebooks before each of the remaining months because I REALLY love having those back and would be sad to not have them for the remainder of the year.

It was very easy to remove the pages. I just grabbed the ones I wanted to remove, took a small pair of scissors and snipped right under the coil on each hole, like this:
Snipping old planner pages out

I carefully pulled them out from the coil and made sure I had everything I wanted:
Pages removed from old planner

Next, I removed the unused weeks from my vertical ECLP so I didn’t have unnecessary bulk:
Removing pages from old planner

Then, I carefully snapped the horizontal pages into my vertical, just like you’d snap in a bookmark, dashboard or new cover – just more carefully:
Inserting pages back into vertical planner

This week is kind of a Frankenstein week, and I will miss the colors of the horizontal, but here’s the finished product!
Frankenstein Planner

Do you have planner peace? I know I will now. HOME SWEET HOME! Now the wait until January when I can use the newest version. 🙂


Welcome to JenPlans

Thank you so much for joining me!

I’m Jen, and I’m a stay-at-home-mom to three little ones, the wife of almost 10 years to a busy entrepreneur and I just moved our family across the country to chase some dreams. I’m so glad you’ve stopped by!

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Over the years, I’ve had many people ask how I manage to stay so organized and get so many things done. In the spirit of keeping my thoughts organized, and after a lot of encouragement, I felt like the time was right to start blogging about my projects, habits and thoughts. I hope you’ll find this to be a helpful, inspiring place!

To start off on the right foot, I want to share my goal for this blog. We are all human and no one is perfect. I strive to be smart and efficient with my time and resources and to try my best. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I succeed. I learn from my mistakes. I keep learning new things. I keep trying new things if old things don’t work. I’m a firm believer in choices dictating outcome. I strive to be disciplined and diligent. Most of all (and ironically), most of my focus IS NOT on the planning . . . it’s on the DOING.

Planning is a great tool, but it can also be a way to procrastinate. My focus will be on how to efficiently plan in order to accomplish your goals. That should always be the objective of planning. Getting too caught up in how to organize or the best supplies to use or how every system has to be perfect hinders us all from getting things done. I’m going to try to share how I plan with the end goal of accomplishment. I’m not a particularly creative person, but I’ve learned how to take ideas and inspiration from others and tweak them to fit what works best for my family. I will share my process for finding ideas and making them work for me so that you can have more ideas of how do the same in your own life.

We’ll dive into many topics – daily planning and home management, personal finance and budgeting, health, family + marriage, and much more! If there’s something you’d like to see, please let me know and I’ll happily share!

In the FAQ tab, you’ll find the answers to some of the questions I’m asked most. In the links tab, you’ll see resources I find helpful and inspiring organized by topic.

Thank you again for joining me on this journey!