How I Organize My Life Using The Erin Condren Petite Planner

Saturday, June 8, 2019

When you have a ton of priorities, life can be hectic. I by no means have the busiest life, but I aim to fill my days with things that will help me become the person I want to be. There anything with this, except there is only so many hours in the day. With limited time after work, it is important for me to structure my evenings in a way that lets me be productive and feel good about myself.

In this blog post, I’m taking a break from my general writing content to discuss how I organize my life to be the most productive using the Erin Condren Petite Daily Planner.

What I Plan

In my planner, I try to keep it minimal to avoid being overwhelmed. Rather than having tons of trackers, or fluffing things out with memory planning, I choose to only plan my daily schedule and keep track of to-dos. I don’t have tons of appointments throughout the day, so my daily schedule revolves around time blocking certain to-dos. The majority of my daily planning revolves in structuring my evenings, so I can be productive after work.

What I Track aka “The Extras”

Apart from simple planning, I do like to put in a few extras. In the open box of the Petite Planner, I write my daily gratitude list. It makes it easily accessible and keeps me in the habit of doing gratitude as a daily practice.

I also enjoy writing notes to myself for drinking all my water, working out, or general accomplishments that make me feel good about myself. Nothing is better than writing an accomplishment down where you will see it every day.

How I Plan

1.  The Monthly Spread

I always start any weekly planning session by checking my monthly spread. On my monthly spread, I keep track of bills, major events, appointments, and blog post schedule. I use a few stickers from Glam Planner and The Happy Planner to make bills and long trips stand out. I generally fill this spread out completely once a month, so it’s quick to reference throughout the following weeks.

2.  Add a Time Bar


The first thing I do when making a daily spread is to add a time bar along the lined portion of the pages. Generally, I knock these out once a week, so I don’t have to write them in every day. My time bar begins at 5 am and runs to 12 am every day. On the weekend pages, there isn’t enough room for a time bar, so I don’t add it. This is fine anyway because I don’t block schedule my weekends like I do Monday-Friday.

3. Write in Upcoming Events

After adding the time bar, I check my monthly spread and write in appointments and events in the appropriate areas. For example, wedding planning appointments, weekly gym class, meetings, etc. I like to make these items stand out by using an appointment label or a script sticker. My favorites are from Erin Condren and The Happy Planner sticker books.

4.  To-Do List

I always place a to-do list header sticker from the Happy Planner over the checkboxes. If I have a bill or something I know has to be done on a particular day, I will go ahead and write it in. However, I like saving this area for the day of so it can change as needed.

5.  Day of Planning

On the day that I am planning, I will add my daily to-dos. On my lunch break or mid-morning, I will look over the things that have to be done and block them into my daily schedule. Sometimes I will add stickers like laundry baskets or dishes to make certain chores pop out, but I try to keep my schedule simple. As the day progresses I will check off my to-dos. 

At the end of the day, I will write in my gratitude and my fitness tracking. If I have not completed some to-dos then I will draw an arrow in the checkbox to “forward” that task to another day. If I have another day in mind, I will go ahead and write that to-do in. Otherwise, I wait until my next daily planning session to worry about it.

Things That Don’t Work For Me

I love planners and organization, so I have been a secret lurker in the planner community for a long time. I have my own collection of sticker kits, pens, and washi. I have even tried bullet journaling, digital planning, other Erin Condren Life planners, and The Happy Planner. However, all of the planners never worked for me. As much as I love decorating and making functional cute, I spent too much time worrying about stickers and perfection, rather than the planning. Doing all the extra work took too much time, leaving planning to be a chore that I didn’t have time for. With all of the decorating, it made it impossible to be flexible with my scheduling in fear that I would mess up my spread.

While I still use stickers in my Erin Condren Petite Planner, they are minimal. Instead of loading down on stickers for decoration, I use them to highlight key events I want to pay attention to. This more minimal style of planning allows me to be consistent, rather than letting another planning system rot in my planner storage area.

What I See Myself Adding in Future

I love my current planning system, but there is one thing I would like to add. Erin Condren sells petite notebooks for the Petite Planner, which I think would be the perfect addition to my planning system. I currently write blog/brand ideas in tons of different places, so it would be great to have everything in one place with all of my other planners.

I hope this blog post gave you some inspiration for how you can plan out your life to be more productive. Since switching to this system, I have noticed myself getting more done, which increases my overall happiness. If you’re interested in purchasing an Erin Condren Petite Planner, feel free to use my link here for $10 off your first order!

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