Getting Organized with the Erin Condren Planner
One of the biggest things busy moms struggle with is keeping everything that they have going on organized.
And don’t get me wrong — I love apps like Trello to help me step back and broadly schedule out all the different projects I have planned (things like my editorial calendar and launch schedules).
But when it comes to simplifying and streamlining my day-to-day life, nothing beats a paper planner.
And there are some paper planners out there today that are absolutely phenomenal for keeping you organized and on track with everything going on.
One of my absolute favorite planners for this is the Erin Condren Life Planner.
It has the space for goal planning, project management, and keeping up with your day-to-day life.
And today I’m going to walk you through exactly how I use this boss planner to do #allthethings. Well, at least the important things. But we’ll get to that.
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Outlining My Projects
One of the most important sections of any planner for me is the space where I can break down the different projects that I want to work on.
And I prefer to keep these outlines inside my actual planner so that I can easily schedule the next steps in. Plus, it just wastes time having to flip back and forth between another notebook or having to go into Trello to get all the details.
And the Notes section toward the back of the Erin Condren planner is great for breaking this all down.
So the first page is where I keep all of my project ideas. This keeps it easy for me to jot things down as I think of them. This also helps prevent shiny object syndrome, because I know that I put it down in my ideas area and I can always come back to it later.
I already have my next 4 projects scheduled out, and I’m not going to carry all of that over from my 2017 planner (but I will carry over the projects that I want to keep for consideration).
So once it’s time to start scheduling out my next projects, I’ll revisit this page, choose my next project, and move it to the next page to start working on it.
Here I’ll identify all the action steps I need to take to get the project done and then assign the deadlines. From there, I’ll move them into the main weekly schedule of the planner.
Outlining My Year
Back up at the front of the Erin Condren planner is a 2-page spread that’s perfect for planning out your year.
I’m not much of a long-term planner — it’s just my personality type.
So all I really use this section for is to highlight when I need to start pushing out articles for certain holidays or annual events
I will use it to jot down the different projects that I’m going to be working on over the next 2-3 months, though.
This way I can easily visualize what all I have going on in a month so I can make sure not to overbook myself.
I’ll then continue to fill in the rest of the year as I plan my projects out.
Busting Into January
Because I’m a professional organizer and productivity coach, January is an extremely busy month for me.
Hello, New Year’s Resolutions!
So I’ve had most of my projects outlined for a while now.
But the first thing that I always like to do to set the tone for a month is to choose a word for that month.
And since January is already coined “GO Month,” I’m sticking with that.
So my theme for January is Get Organized, and all of the content that I have scheduled is based on that.
And one thing that I love about the Erin Condren planner is that there’s a page at the start of every month to outline everything.
On this page, I jot down the 2 or so big projects that I’ll be working on that month, as well as any important dates or certain things that I need to highlight.
I also like to use this space to reflect on the previous month. So I jot down what worked and what didn’t work, as well as any reflective thoughts I may have.
Taking the time to do this lets me see if I need to make any adjustments in the upcoming month. Having this flexibility is absolutely essential to my growth!
The next page in the Erin Condren planner is the monthly overview.
This is where I write down all of my blog posts for the month, the different promotions I have going on, and the emails and social media blasts I’ll send about all of this.
And I color code this all to keep it super easy to read.
So all of my blog posts go in blue. All of my promotions go in purple. And all of my affiliate promotions go in dark pink.
I jot down the article or promotion on the date it starts and carry a line through to when it ends.
Then, in the top of the box each day, I abbreviate any emails I’m sending out in the appropriate colors. This helps me make sure my email marketing isn’t overwhelming or off balanced.
And at the bottom of the box, I abbreviate what social media blasts are scheduled for that day so I can hop in and promote them a little more.
Each monthly spread has a column on the side for additional notes, and this is where I’ll write down any extra information I may need to know about a certain promotion, such as noncompete dates.
The majority of the Erin Condren planner is the weekly planner.
And there are three different options you can choose here.
I chose the vertical layout because I like breaking my day down into what I’m doing in the morning, what I’m doing in the afternoon, and what I’m doing at night after the kiddo’s sleeping.
Also, each week in the vertical layout has a box for the week, as well as a notes section below it.
This is where I write down the project that I’m working on this week as well as any important notes about it.
Then, I pull the different tasks that I’ve outlined in the back and jot them down on the date they’re due.
I make sure that I don’t put more than one or two tasks in each of the three boxes for the day. But this all really depends on the size of the task. It’s always easier to put in less than I’ll be able to get done than to put in more. This way, if I have some extra time, I can knock a few other things off my to-do list.
I also try to make sure that the things I’m scheduling in each box are similar to each other so that I don’t lose much time to context switching.
My To-Do List
Finally, I have a snap-in to-do list that I can carry from week to week.
This is where I jot down all the other things that I need to get done outside of my projects.
I use wet erase markers on it so I can clean it up every Sunday night when I’m going over my schedule for the week.
This little tool is so great because I don’t have to clutter my weekly planning with all the little things I need to do. Because I never really know when I’m going to squeeze them all in, so I hate trying to actually schedule them. So having a to-do list that I can carry from week to week helps me tremendously!
Do you use an Erin Condren planner? Let us know in the comments!
If you don’t, then I highly suggest you get your hands on one! This is seriously one of the best planners on the market and will truly help you rock your goals!
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Love this post. Being organized is so Important. Especially when you have so many things to do.
Yes, there’s always so much going on!!
I have tried several different planners each with things I like and don’t like. I will definitely have to check out the Erin Condren planner!
Me, too! I’ve found that the best ones have the structure to keep you organized but the flexibility to use it to fit your own needs 🙂