The Stationery Cupboard: Erin Condren Life Planner 2012

The only thing I love as much as books and coffee is stationery. I’ve often said/overshared that those big, thick corporate stationery catalogues are like porn mags to me (!) and in every office job I’ve ever had it’s always been a terrible idea to leave me in charge of re-ordering supplies. (Because you know I always opted for the fancy pens. One time the manager’s wife did the ordering and I, ahem, accidentally dropped the box of generic blue ballpoints she had the cheek to get down the back of the photocopier, where hopefully they remain to this day.) So seeing as this blog is already about both books and coffee, I thought I’d make some room for a new monthly post about the magical world of fancy pens, pretty notebooks and paperclips in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. Because (i) why not? and (ii) I was going to write a blog post about this month’s stationery pick anyway, because it’s that good.

Look at the prettiness! LOOK! MORE EXCLAMATION MARKS!

I’m taking about the Erin Condren Life Planner, which arrived in my life on Monday morning. You know when you see something, and you immediately know that once you have it, everything else in life that you want will be yours too? That once you have it on your desk, you’ll be more organized than the Dewy Decimal system? That instead of spending half the day reading other people’s blogs, you’ll have five books written by the end of the week? Well, that. Although in fairness, other people’s blogs is how I found out about it in the first place.

There I was, reading about red velvet cupcake mini cheesecakes or something, when I clicked on a link, and then another link, and then another, until I ended up on a girly-girly blog that I’d never been on before. And there, in the top post, was a picture of what looked like a personalized planner under the title, “My Erin Condren planner FINALLY arrived!” After a visit to and a viewing of the video below, I HAD to have one.

Now, yes, it was a little bit pricey. The life planner comes with personalization included for $50, and I opted to add a photo of my choice on the back cover, which was an additional $5. It was really shipping that was horrendous—almost as much as the planner at $49.91 (I know, but when it’s your only option…)—but that was because international customers were only offered FedEx and, hey, my planner did only take a couple of days to cross the Atlantic. I’m not sure I’d have trusted the post office with it, anyway.

And just think of it like this:

  • Total cost of planner = $104.91
  • Potential days of use = 295
  • Total cost per day of use = 0.35c.

(Tip: this purchase justification method also works for shoes, bags, coffee machines, etc. You’re welcome.)

After ordering my life planner, the anticipation of it arriving took over my life. (Think of the hours ahead of playing with it! Of filling stuff in! Of color-coding with Muji pens!) I actually had to cut back on my caffeine intake for a couple of mornings just so I wouldn’t push myself over the edge. Luckily it got here quick. And oh my Stationery God, just look at the papery prettiness!

It comes in a pretty box, wrapped in pink tissue paper!

It comes with little extras like personalized, co-ordinated gift tags, stickers and discounts off your next order!

It has a little pouch at the back for holding stuff!

There’s space to write something every morning, afternoon and night!

Needless to say I will henceforth be the most organized person in the universe.

If you think it’s a bit late to be spending a small fortune on a 2012 planner, you could opt instead for one of Erin Condren’s year-round notebooks or just wait a few months; I understand the 2013 planner will be available in the autumn. Alternatively check out their painfully adorable “Call Me” cards (the next item on my wish list), personalized address labels and iPhone cases.

(Krishna, if you’re reading this, I didn’t resort to making an unboxing video. I didn’t have the patience and was afraid that once it was posted, I’d be carted away by the men in white coats to a place where there was only scratchy lined A4 and leaky green biros…)

18 thoughts on “The Stationery Cupboard: Erin Condren Life Planner 2012

  1. Catherine says:

    Gorgeous! But I need to justify all that expense. There will come a time however. Thanks for giving me such a super idea for spoiling myself. Ciao cat

  2. Candace Henderson says:

    Lovely. I also love all the paper goodness I have been blessed with over the years. The journals I have been using for the past four years are very old fashioned. You can see what they look like on Amazon if you search for “A Song In My Heart 2012 calendar”. I write in it everyday even if I just mention the weather and that I was home all day. And I write with a fountain pen and red ink 😉

  3. Kate Dunn says:

    Ooh stationary fetishes — don’t get me started. The excitement of writing on the first page of a new notebook, finding the perfect pen, post it notes in different colours. Your life planner sounds like a dangerous new addiction. The simple pleasures of life…

  4. Leslie Langtry says:

    First, I have to say that I’m a HUGE fan – have read ALL your books and LOVED them (Results Not Typical being my favorite, followed closely by Backpacked)! Second, I have a horrendous stationary/life planner fetish too. Others tell me to use my cell for calendars – but I’m a paper kind of girl. I will definitely have to order one of these.

  5. Rosemary Jayne says:

    Ok, this is drool worthy… The only way it looks like this could be made better is by consuming chocolate whilst filling it in.

    Stationary fetishes aside I think you can easily justify the expense for the obvious increased productivity you will see 😉

    • thebusinessofbeingbirds says:

      I admit that I have tried planners and even calendars in outlook, but I think I am hopelessly disorganized. It is one reason I created my own blog, to force myself into a routine. Perhaps the planner will be the next move.

      If it works, then I will fly back here and eat crow ;).

  6. Michael MacMahon says:

    Loved the post. Have had a look at the Erin Condren site but, sadly, can’t see a blokey one. Got to be better than Filofax; but the people at Condren have obviously decided where their core market is. A pity for us fellows who like to be at least 50% organised.

  7. Michael MacMahon says:

    So even us blokes can appreciate stationery. (though maybe I don’t admit it to my male friends in the pub)

    Even simple things like pens … And PADS.

    So I was glad to read, Catherine, towards the end of “Self-Printed” (section 8.8.4), that when you were preparing to speak at that self-publishing conference and you noted some reminders to yourself, you wrote them on a LEGAL PAD.

    I’d thought it was only the Americans who realised how great those things are! Most of the A4 pads sold in the UK are nothing like as good.

  8. Yesenia says:

    OMG! I just recently purchased the new and improved life planner from Erin Condren Last week. They finally came out with the 2012-2013 series and it is completely updated!!! I am extremely excited and axciously awaiting for my package to arrive. They dont begin shipping until the 25th unfortunately but I can manage! I am counting down the days enjoyably but anxious none the less! (:

  9. Danielle says:

    Why hello! I clicked through to here from you “In other news” post the other day, and after umming and ahhing and scraping moolah together I have ordered mine! Can’t wait! 😀

  10. elizabethraine says:

    So I decided to really make a go of my writing/freelance/performing career in the new year…and that this meant I needed to invest in a really nice planner.
    Remembering this post, I checked these out and finally ordered one last night. I’m already super excited for it coming, and it won’t even ship for another week!

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