I think I’ve made it clear that I’m a sucker for anything organizationally related, and that I am addicted to paper. So you might not be that surprised to hear me raving about a planner, but bear with me. It really is that amazing.
Back in February my friend Katherine introduced me to the wonderful world of Erin Condren and I wrote about it here. Erin Condren is a designer who has created one of the coolest planners I’ve ever found, along with many other fun and handy products. Even though I owned a perfectly good, brand new 2014 planner created by my company specifically for their consultants, I ordered my EC Life Planner (ECLP) within 36 hours of learning of their existence. It arrived on Friday, March 7 amid much fanfare.
My Guy still wonders what all the hoopla is about.
While many reviews have been written on the ECLP, this one will be specifically focused on its use with a business, especially one in the direct sales industry. That said, this review will offer information that I hope anyone considering an ECLP will find helpful.
How I use my planner:
- Monthly views
For me, monthly views are where I record everything: all appointments, playdates, jewelry shows, downline meetings, or any other important events. If you look at this picture, the pink strips of washi tape are all my shows for this month, including the hostesses’ name and my gift to her. (Right now I’m using gift cards.) What’s beautiful about putting my shows on washi is that when someone reschedules, it’s movable! I just peel up the washi and move her to the newly scheduled date. (If she’s not sure of her new date, I’ll move her to a section in the back of my planner, which I’ll show you later). No more using white out or boring pencil. I also use washi to block out trips or vacation days, as in the month of July.
The stars are my open dates. This makes it easy for a hostess to know what is open, and it tells me what I still need to book. Once the date is filled, the washi label covers up the star. Oh, and you see that scribbled out label on June 5th? That’s one of my EC labels. Last year they were permanent, but with the newly released ECLP these labels are repositionable. No more scribbles!
- Weekly spreads
I’ve always been a sucker for the weekly spreads in any calendar. If it doesn’t work for me, the planner is worthless. That was one of the biggest selling points in the ECLP for me. Erin has broken the weekly spreads down in to morning, afternoon, and night with extra space for notes down the left column and on the bottom.
And… I totally can’t work like that. I need to see my agenda for the day—usually it’s pretty basic—but the bigger thing for me is my to-do list. So I use washi tape (are you seeing a trend?) to cover up the sections I don’t want to see, and also to create a block for me to record my daily contacts.
Speaking of contacts, if you’re familiar with Ilene Meckley’s High Five Club (speaking to five business contacts per day), this is one of the initial reasons I was excited about my ECLP. I had attempted to use Ilene’s Contact Tracker, but it was just one more notebook for me to lug around and write in. With my ECLP, I use the night section as my contacts section. Here I track whom I’ve spoken with each day, and make a note of what kind of contact it was: customer care call (CCC), a purchase (P), someone interested in starting their own business (O), or someone interested in hosting a party (H).
Other random things I use my weekly spread for are:
-tracking my water intake
-tracking my exercise (working out earns me a smiley sticker)
-my weight (which I’ve happily blocked out for you)
- Notes section
Your ECLP will come with a fabulous notes section. Mine has 21 lined pages and 10 unlined pages, all decorated with Erin’s fun art designs. This is perfect for whatever, but I use my lined pages for:
-thank-you notes I need to write
-my daily, weekly, and monthly checklists
-shopping lists (I keep mine on post-its, so it’s more of a dashboard in that respect)
-quotes I love (and end up sharing here on Quotable Friday)
-prayer requests and answers
My unlined pages are really fun. I’ve taken one spread to keep track of women who want to either host a party or become a consultant at a later date. I jot down their names in the month when they’d like to be contacted. This is where I stick my washi labels from postponed shows that have not yet been rescheduled.
I also use a spread to track whom I’ve shared my business with. Generally women take 2-4 months to decide to join a company after hearing about it, so here is where I can keep an eye on when ladies are most likely to become a consultant.
Since I love tracking everything, I washi tape my Building That Counts chart into one page, so I can track whether I am working my business as a hobby, simply maintaining, or building. I also use a page to track my progress on my current sales goal, so I can see if I’m on schedule, ahead, or need to work a little harder.
The back of your ECLP includes a sturdy, two-sided pocket. This is handy for brochures, mini catalogs, notecards, and training handouts. Then you have the plastic zip-pouch. I like to fill mine with stamps, stickers, business cards, and washi labels for when I book shows or schedule other events.One of my absolute favorite aspects of the ECLP is that you can order it for either 12 or 18 months. The 18 month planner releases every June for July of that year through December of the following year. This is pure gold for anyone in event planning. It’s only June and I have jewelry shows scheduled for 2015—I need a planner that lets me actually plan ahead. As I like to have a planner dedicated to each year, I’ll continue to use my 2014 planner until December 31, but my 2014-2015 planner will accompany me to events so that I can work as far out as my hostesses need to book.
Some of my favorite planner products:
I’m always curious to see the preferred products of others in the planner community, so here are a few of mine.
- Thin Rainbow Washi Tape (when I ordered this set, it took 3-4 weeks to arrive. But for $2.45 and FREE shipping, I wasn’t complaining.)
- Small Post-It Notes (these fit perfectly inside the EC boxes)
- Pilot G2 Retractable Gel Pen
- Paper Mate Flair Pens (These pens will bleed if you get your pages wet, but I love all that color!)
$10 Discount Code:
I hope this review was helpful for you! If you’d like to give the ECLP a try, or simply try any one of Erin Condren’s fun products, you can use this code to receive $10 off your first purchase. The $10 discount does expire 30 days after activation, so keep that in mind. If you use my discount code, not only will you receive $10 off your next order. I will as well! Then you can get your own code to share with your friends as you get excited about your ECLP. It’s one of the many things I love about this company. ***Note: You need to click on the link above and create your account through the link in order to receive the $10 discount. The discount code will be sent to your email within a few hours of signing up.***
*In writing this review, I received help from some of the girls on the “We Love EC” Facebook group. If you commented on my post there, this shout out is for you.
*This post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided…and I only post products I’ve tried and believe in. Thanks for supporting the Scattered Fashionista!
8.24.15 update: you can now download the Building that Counts worksheet here.
*This giveaway is limited to those living in the United States or with an APO address.