Thursday, August 7, 2014

Let the planning commence!!!

My Erin Condren Teacher Planner arrived in yesterday's mail!!!! WOOO!!!!! Decided to do a video for the unboxing so you can see what I selected for my own customized Teacher Planner. 

If YOU are interested in getting an Erin Condren Teacher Planner. I have some coupon codes that will save you $10 - that's about the cost of domestic shipping (that I got and is the cheapest option) + a few more bucks savings. Two of them are general use and one is a teacher coupon code that expires. Please see below for codes...

:: Coupon Codes for $10 off ::
Automated referral code so I can get product credits 
Teacher Coupon code, expires midnight PST on 10/15/2014 =>TLP1014TXG9EJWUL 
First Time ordering code, no expiration date =>WELCOME10
[If you want to read the rest of my review that would have been included in my video, click through to get through the break! Thanks!]
It took almost three exact weeks from the time I ordered to have it in my hands (shipped via First class mail from California). I've already started using it at least in the way of numbering the months using the removable (and I have discovered repositionable dots on the days) and I am so glad that I have those dots because I would have otherwise messed up at least every other month. The calendars are each set up to start with Monday (vs. Sunday) and then each week ends with a Saturday and Sunday split block. I never realized what a creature of habit I am but this has really messed me over when I was trying to number the months! But, like I said, I have the dots for the days and that has helped with me not having to cover up the days with white-out the way I otherwise would have had to do.

Some other things that I wasn't able to note in the video...
  • The back cover looks pretty much the same as the front except the inside of it features the 2014 and 2015 mini calendars (vs. me having another picture of my family).
  • The sheets on the inside of the planner (other than the dividers and section pages) are laminated at the coil to help reduce ripping when you turn the pages and/or as time goes by. This is a nice way to reinforce the pages but it does make the pages kind of a pain when you try and turn them sometimes. 
  • I have read reviews that the laminated covers bubble over time - and even as early as just a few months in! I understand that they still work just fine though and if you really care you can also order a new one for yourself. 
  • I still don't know how I am going to set up the weekly lesson planning pages. I had an I idea (that I thought would work well) when I first considered this planner but for the life of me I cannot recall what it was. 
  • I have a zippered pouch for my favorite pens - Pilot G2 retractable pens (in over seven colors) and I am using these to color code items on my monthly calendars. It's working out nicely and the ink doesn't bleed or smear too much. 
  • The extra pen loop that I purchased? It doesn't fit any of my aforementioned pens but a capped Ultra Fine Black Sharpie does fit. Had I known that retractable pens don't fit that well, I probably would have saved a few bucks and not gotten in. I know that the little pen loop is elastic and will stretch but... well, I have the the zippered pouch for a lot more pens so why bother with the pen loop. (Oh well...)
  • It occurred to me that you could probably use the same planner for multiple years in a row (if you keep it nice unlike how I expect mine will end up). You could do this by just using post-it notes all over it. That would definitely make it thick and heavy but it could be done if you like the set-up and don't want to pay the price for it every year.
  • If you are a guy or tend to have more masculine preferences (in terms of design), Erin Condren doesn't make that much that would suit you. She clearly markets towards women more than men and to elementary and middle school teachers more than to high school. I say this strictly from a perspective of her visual design style. I think this is a shame because her products do seem well designed but they are rather "frilly" and fanciful looking. If I were a guy, I wouldn't be so inclined to get a planner from her and honestly? I was even a little hesitant because I typically like products tailored more towards the taste of men (meaning: less frilly and fanciful stuff because I'm not super girly).
  • Customer service for Erin Condren has been pretty sub-par and this same opinion is note throughout her company social media connections. I wrote them two emails through their website messaging system and it took me over a week to finally receive a reply. This wouldn't have been an issue if I had generic questions but one was one about their products that could have easily pushed me out at least a week from being able to finally place my order which would have meant I would have been pushed well into August before I could have gotten it. I did get my planner OK enough but if customer service is a concern of yours (which it always is for me) then Erin Condren might not be your best bet. 
And I guess that's kind of it in terms of how I would have wrapped up my video of my review of the teacher planner. It would have made the video even longer than the eight minutes it turned out to be so this was probably a blessing in disguise for all of you to not be subjected to me rambling. Additionally, I ended up ordering another planner (as a gift) for a best friend but it's of the wedding planning variety rather than the teacher planning one. She should get hers within the week so if you are interested in her take on that, I will let you know an abbreviated review from her perspective. 

My best intention (of course!) is to try and do at least one follow-up review about the planner once the school year starts and I am able to actually test it out and then I also want to do one more follow-up (Woo! Look at how ambitious and aspiring I am when the school year hasn't even officially started!!!) during the back half of the year to show you how the actual planner is holding up AND if I am still using it in the same way that I started out. 

That about does it for me for the preliminary review of my new planner. I mentioned before that it took me about three months to find this product (sadly, that's not an exaggeration on my part!) and I am kind of jazzed that I finally have it in my hands and can try it out to see if it's worth all of the fluff and fuzz. Time to get to planning and finishing my supplies order for the year (I'm so behind)!!! 


  1. Where did you find your stickers? I, of course, got my teacher planner in the mail today and messed up Feb and March :(

    Also - I didn't get an envelope with labels in it. Was I supposed to?

    1. Hmmmm... you mean the circle dot stickers? They didn't come with the planner and I just know myself well enough that I thought ahead to get them for myself. I got mine at Hobby Lobby but I have seen them at office supplies stores. They are really REALLY tiny dots (they almost look like they would be useful for not a lot) and they come in colors or white.

      Here they are on Amazon in color (these are what I got and spoke about) =>

      As for the envelop with labels in it, I have no idea but I think it was a bonus gift. I have seen videos where people have gotten them also so I don't know if it's something that is always given out. I do know that I had a bit of a problem with customer service so I wonder if I got them in part because of that. *shrug*

    2. Thanks :) I went to Staples yesterday looking for dots the right size - the only white ones they had were too big, so I think I will punch some out from regular white labels with a hole punch. But then I was thinking I could use colors... Oh the possibilities! I am a tad bit nerdy about my planner. ;)

    3. Ohhhh, Mrs. Owens! I have completely gone nerdy over this whole business of using a paper planner now. (Where has it been all my life????) Sorry to hear you weren't able to find what you were looking for immediately! The teeny tiny ones definitely are harder to come by but it seems you are more likely to find them in color because I think they are intending more for color coding file folders and the smaller size is better for that? *shrug*

      Anyway, I've made a TON of headway in terms of figuring out how to use my planner so that it is functional for as many facets of my teaching life as possible and I have been able to figure out some reasonably simple ways to flex what it offers for teacher planning needs. My plan is to keep sharing this information as I figure it all out and I am already gearing up for my first (of what I hope will be many more) update of how I have been using it with reasonable success.

      Also? I ended up purchasing ANOTHER planner (from Erin Condren also) but one of the Life Planner variety for the purposes of small business management. I'm an entrepreneur and I've been working hard to launch and establish a niche business since January and it's finally starting to get big enough that I can't just tuck it in with my teaching life/planner. I'll try and share about that too when I get all of the details worked out with it (and the life planner in my hands - it still hasn't arrived!)


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