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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Erin Condren 2014/2015 Life Planner: Full Review

Hello Darlings!

I have had my Eric Condren Life Planner for a few day and have had a chance to really get to know it and figure out how I am going to use it. I wanted to give a comprehensive review of my experience with the company from the introduction to receipt of my beautiful life planner and after.

 The Website

       I was first introduced to Eric Condren by Kristina over at Pretty Shiny Sparkly. I have been a follower of her for some years and when I saw her review on ECLP I knew I had to have one! One thing you should know is that I have a crazy love for notebooks, planners, and a vast range of school supplies and I love color. So naturally, when I visited the site I experienced a host of emotions from excitement to lust. The website was user friendly and easy to navigate. Everything is colorful, easy to find, and easy to understand.

Price and Justification

     After the wondrous excitement of finding this product, sticker shock set in. My first time on the EC website was a little over two years ago, and I had been figuring out why I needed an $80 planner ever since. I was never busy enough to feel like I needed a planner and I was trying to get with the 21st century and use my phone to keep track of my appointments. However, with Naomi starting school, I knew there were going to be important dates and appointments that I would need to keep in front of me so I didn't get dates mixed up or completely forget about them (Case in Point: We missed her kindergarten orientation because I thought it was on Wednesday. It was on Tuesday.) In addition to Naomi's social calendar, Hubby has a number of trips coming up for work and I am starting grad school next week. We desperately needed a family calendar! So the latter part of June and early July, I was on and off the Erin Condren site looking at different designs and talking myself into making the leap and placing my order. As you saw from my previous post, I chose the Dahlia design with custom coloring and the calendar with the remaining 2014 months into 2015. This totaled $62.95.

Customer Service

     I placed my order on July 11th and received a confirmation email stating my estimated shipping date as July 28th. I must say that this was the estimated shipping date and there is a disclaimer that it could change depending on your design needs. However, I completely ignored this and was expecting to receive an email on July 28th with an order status of shipped and have my ECLP in my hands by August 4th or 5th. To my disappointment, this was not the case.  When I logged on to see the status of my order, I was hit with "pending"and when I checked my account (which was daily because of my obsession) I didn't see a status change until July 23 when it went from "pending" to "waiting". On what, you ask?  When I checked my email, I found that I was being charged a $15 design fee. Naturally, I was not happy about this having just paid $62.95. I emailed back, asking for an explanation of the charge and didn't receive a response to that question until July 29th, after I emailed saying I was okay with the charge. Per my request, my card was charged on August 1 and the status of my planner began to move pretty quickly. It went to "print","reprint", and finally "shipped". My package shipped on August 1 and arrived on Friday, August 15. As you can probably understand (if you have read this far), I feel like the Erin Condren Customer Service Team, leaves a lot to be desired. They definitely need a better and faster email response system also the possibility to speak to someone over the phone. Right now you can only get to them via email. Also, it should be clear when purchasing that there will be an extra design fee for custom coloring. There is a snippet in the FAQ's about design fees, but no one looks at that until it's necessary.

First Impressions  

     My package was waiting for me on the kitchen table. The shipping box is super cute and definitely heightens the anticipation to see what is inside. When I opened my package, my planner was in perfect condition. I had no spelling errors, all my pages were correct, and none of the extras I was expecting were missing! It actually included some surprises!  If you haven't seen my previous post, check it out here for full details on the unveiling ceremony.

Usability

     Initially, I didn't think there would be enough space to write everything I have going on(family, work, school, meal planning, blog planning, etc.). Then I realized that this is a planner/organizer not a journal and there is enough space to do just that, plan and organize your life. You can jot down times for appointments, organize the schedule for your day with the Morning/Day/Night format, and know your monthly schedule at a glance when necessary.  I have found that when it comes to the details of planning or the research notes (I am planning vacation time and need to write things down for comparison) there isn't a lot of space. There are about 15 note pages (lined and blank) in the back of the planner for extra notes and doodles, but if you are like me, you would like to be able to flip to the dates needed and find all my notes and reminders right there. I have been looking into purchasing the notebook notepads and coil clips to take care of this dilemma. There is space to write down your weekly goals and daily to-dos, but again you will need another notebook or some EC notebook notepads to have room for details.
     One thing I wasn't sure about was the extras that are included in the package the personalized gift labels and the perpetual calendar. To my surprise, I am really excited about is the use of the Forget*Me*Not* perpetual calendar! Hello blog calendar!!!! The layout of the FMN calendar is such that I can write out my blogpost ideas for each day of the month! I already have September laid out and am working on ideas for October! It is a great way to see what you have already done and allows me to organize my schedule (in the big LP) to allow time to get those posts published on schedule! It is definitely something I didn't know I needed, but now that I have it I couldn't live without it.

Overall

     I've been carrying my ECLP with me everywhere since Saturday and I am completely in love with it! Since it has only been 6 days I am just getting to know the layout and letting my day to day help with  how I will be using it. I am constantly flipping through the pages and filling in whatever comes to mind and have been online looking at some great reviews and tutorials on YouTube on how other EC Addicts have used theirs. It is mind blowing how organized some people are with their planners! I'm not there yet, but I am well on my way! I hope this review helped in your decision making process if you are contemplating investing in a Life Planner! If you have any questions comment and I will definitely get back to you!!!


**This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


All My Love,






Friday, August 15, 2014

One Thing that Made My Heart Skip a Beat

Happy Friday Darings!

I made it through the first full week of Naomi going to school and my new job! Though we made it, it is evident that we need something to keep our lives organized. I knew this was going to be the case ,especially when I start my graduate program next week, so I ordered myself a little something special to keep my head on straight.

An Erin Condren Life Planner!!! It came in the mail today and I couldn't be happier! Here are some pictures. Because I am pressed for time, a full review (including customer service) will come next week.



I chose the "Dahlia" design with custom colors peony and teal.



A few goodies there to greet me as I first open the box.



Beautiful extras~ Forget Me Not calendar and personalized gift labels




Cute EC Logo


I am so excited to get writing in my new Life Planner! Come back for a full review later in the week!!!

All My Love,


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Quality VS Quantity


Do you wait and invest? Do you buy it now? Delayed gratification is a practiced habit that I tend to neglect. I need new clothes for work and can either buy some now or wait a few weeks until I can get the good stuff. 
Quality VS Quantity

Quality VS Quantity by jasminesinclair7 featuring cotton sweaters

What say you Darlings?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Transitions

Hello Darlings,

     It's been a while, hasn't it? Real life has gotten a bit crazy for us these last few months. This summer has been one of transitions. It started with us moving from our park view bungalow and Naomi embarking on her first full summer away from home. It ends with Naomi starting Kindergarten and me getting a new nine to five and beginning a grad school program at the end of the month!!! 
     Next week is going to be major, Naomi will have her first full week of school (she started Thursday) and my first day is Monday. Everything is beginning to settle down and it is time for us to get our routine in place. I will be making a 45 minute commute and my goal is to make our days seamless and worry free so we can enjoy the few hours we have together between work, school, studying, and housekeeping (sleep will fit in there somewhere). 
     Pray Darlings! That I am able to keep my Type A at bay (for Hubby's sake) and that I don't get overwhelmed with all I am trying to accomplish. Any organization tips?
     I hope that in all my scheduling, I am able to fit in a solid posting schedule with some good content. I haven't given up on blogging yet!!! 
     That being said, check out how adorable my big girl was on her first day of school!!!
Chalkboard sign via Etsy
Pottery Barn Kids backpack, lunchbox, and water bottle



Outfit~ GapKids


Custom made cuteness by yours truly


Stay tuned Darlings!

All My Love,
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