*Originally posted on E, Myself, and I (6/17/2013)
If you are a regular in the blogosphere, you’ve probably seen all the hype about the Erin Condren Life Planner and the new release a couple of weeks ago. I should probably start out this post by saying that I LIKE the EC Life Planner. Two years ago, when I was pregnant with Sam, it was the latest and greatest and everyone (it seemed) had one. Not to be left out, of course, I bought one with an awesome discount/coupon available that made it virtually free, and I happily used it for the next year. It was super cute, and I got compliments on it all the time. I also appreciated that EC seemed to have thought of everything – a zipper pouch and folder to hold stray papers and cards, colorful tabs and stickers, a cute placeholder. I was a big fan.
BUT, when the time came to buy another one, I found that the company had gotten too popular to run the same great promotional deals, and I really couldn’t justify spending 50+ dollars on a paper planner. (Even though I do LOVE a good paper planner.) Then, possibly just to make myself feel better, I started thinking about the things (besides the price) that I didn’t love about it too – like the way each day was set-up by time slots and the gigantic size/weight.
For a while, I switched to a much simpler planner from MayDesigns and – while I loved it for other reasons (like being incredibly adorable and inexpensive) – it was too basic. I needed a happy medium.
Finally, about a month ago, as the school year ended and I started getting the itch for some new organization in my life, I started researching alternatives to the Life Planner…
That search eventually landed me at Plum Paper Designs on Etsy.
Please allow me to introduce you to this beauty…
At only $31 plus shipping, the Plum Paper Planners (say that three times fast) have all the stylish and preppy flair of Maybooks PLUS the borderline OCD organization of the Erin Condren at – what I consider – a much more reasonable price.
Here’s What I Love:
– It is similar to the EC in terms of size and basic design; but, I think, slightly lighter.
– Like EC, it too has colorful laminated tabs for each month, a full page calendar spread at the beginning of each month, and then individual columns for each day. It also has a pocket in the back and space for for contacts, notes, etc.
– I also, personally, like the cover designs and optional monogramming even more than EC. (P.S. Since this post was originally posted, Plum Paper has also added interchangeable covers to their shop!)
– MY VERY FAVORITE THING though, is that Plum Paper gives you the option to personalize the actual pages of your planner. For just five dollars more ($35.00) you can get the FAMILY PLANNER (which is what I chose) and choose up to seven labeled tabs for your weekly schedule.
I love the idea of having one row per child/family member or something like that. For me – since it is just three of us and that isn’t really necessary – I chose these labels and have been thrilled with them:
Work – Home – Errands – Appointments – Dinner – Exercise – Blog
I love that this is almost like an entire “home organization notebook” (another big blog craze) that I can carry around in my (giant) purse all the time.
Not in the market for a new planner? They also sell wedding planners, teacher planners, fitness planners, meal planners, etc. 🙂
Anyway, that’s it. Just wanted to share.
* This is not a sponsored post. Plum Paper did NOT pay me to write this post or give me a free planner. I’m writing this because I’ve been really happy with it, and I know how important it is for us organized(ish) mommas not to break the bank. Hopefully some of you will find this to be a great alternative to the coveted Life Planner we keep hearing about. (And yes, I realize that this probably takes me out of the running for ever being one of Erin Condren’s bloggers! Oh well.)
EDITED TO ADD (3/26/14): After the success of this post originally, I was contacted by Plum Paper and given a free planner to use in 2014. I still love it!
EDITED TO ADD (12/31/15): Ultimately, I settled on the Emily Ley Simplified Planner. I am on my third edition now, and I really do love everything about it. It is pricier ($58), but so well made and perfect for a busy mom/teacher. For a review of that one, check out this post.