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 through Plum District 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) - 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 me landed me at Plum Paper Designs on Etsy.
Please allow me to introduce you to this beauty...
At only $30 plus shipping, the Plum Paper planners (saythatthreetimesfast) have all the stylish and preppy flair of the Maybooks + 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 and note sheets at the beginning of each month, and then individual columns for each day. It also has a pocket in the back and space for contacts, etc.
- I also, personally, like the cover designs more. Check out some of their latest monogram styles that were just released in May --
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 got) 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 the three of us and that isn't really necessary - I chose these labels and have been thrilled with them:
I love that this has virtually replaced the whole idea of a "home organization notebook" (another big blog craze) for me because everything is in one place that I can easily carry with me in my (giant) purse all the time.
Anyway, that's it.
***Plum Paper DID NOT pay me to write this post or give me a free planner, FYI. (They did give me free shipping, but only because I asked for it in exchange for writing this post.) I'm writing this because I've been really happy with it, and I know how important it us for us organized(ish) mommas to not break the bank. Hopefully, some of you will find this as 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 of ever being one of Erin Condren's bloggers - oh well!)