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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Red & Black Erin Condren Planner

At the beginning of the month I was surprised by winning an Erin Condren Lesson Planner! Thanks again so much to Ashley at Just Reed!

Just Reed!

I had been thinking of purchasing one of these but they are so stinkin' expensive!! I didn't want to buy one and then think later that I had wasted all of that money. I have been all over the site dozens of times. Should I or shouldn't I? Should I or shouldn't I?

It took about 3 weeks to arrive. It came in the mail so beautiful wrapped! Look the tissue paper is RED! Please ignore the white square in the first photo, didn't want the whole world to have access to my address. =)

I discovered that some of the designs let you choose your own colors and so that is what I did with the Candy Lace design. It is red lace with black dots. I may switch it next time. Isn't it pretty? Bet ya didn't know you could make it in my favorite colors?

This is the inside of my lesson planner. I love how the additional stickers were created to match (top right) and that there is a pouch to hold these in.

The cover appears to be a hard laminate over card stock. The inside back cover (top left) has a 2012 and 2013 yearly calendar. Inside front cover is just the lace design same as outside back.

Middle Left shows the colored lesson planner pages. I use a wide popsicle stick to create additional columns (for example lunch, recess, morning routine) to add to this and personalize it for me. The one thing I do not like about this is the cute owl at the top. Remember my "no owls allowed post" - I would have to cover each and every owl or never let my students see it (which is not an option).

Middle right - there are 4 pages of stickers to use in the planner. Cute addition but I would like some more cutesy graphics but that is just me. I love that 2 of the 4 pages is blank so I can add in my own things.

Bottom Left - monthly calendar and notes page. I use this notes section as a checklist of things I want to accomplish this month. Goals to reach. Etc... It is more "personal" than school related but it does include crafts I want to create. =)

Bottom Right - LOVE this! It is a checklist for students and each line is a different color. This would help make sure that grades are recorded in the right spot. Or you can use it for forms to be turned in or whatever you are needing.

The Pros!
I love the colors of this, the fact that I can personalize it, and it appears that it would be very sturdy! And I can wipe it clean if something spills on it. 

The Cons!
The price and the owls. As weird as this sounds, I think I would like it 3 whole punched as well. A lot of my lesson plans are done electronically as it has to have objectives included which are required by my university and the state.  

How I Use My Planner:
Do to the requirements of my lesson plans, a week's lesson plans are insanely long. My mentor teacher printed hers out last week... 19 pages! It did not even have all of the requirements that I have to meet for school. As a result, I have a printed copy that goes into a 3 ring binder for the state that is sorted by quarter and week.  

My planner is my go-to guide. It is a "checklist" of things that I want to accomplish that day. I says things like "DOL Wk 3 Mon" or "TM H432" or "Nouns PP" - these small notes fit perfectly on the page and remind me of what the big one says. It is also what I carry with me to team meetings. I plan in this book and I finalize on the computer.

Pens or Pencils?
When I have used a paper planner in the past, I always used colored pens for it. I was able to keep track of things easier with this. Paydays listed in green. Each child was a certain color, family things in another. I tried that with my planner but it did not work so well.  Pencil is working much better for me as I can change this as I need to. My computer plans are in color. 

My planner came with colored pens! I LOVE me some colored pens. They said they were not to be included on the invoice but alas here they are as a free gift! 

I have to admit that I am disappointed by this product after the high quality of the planner. These are sold for $7 but I recommend not getting them. The colors are nice but the pens are so cheaply made that it is not worth the money. The first time I used one I thought it was gonna break. =(

So there is my newest toy. I have already begun using it and can't wait to make my final decision after a year of using it.

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At August 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Sara said...

Hi Misty! Thanks for your honest review of the Condren planners... I can't get past the price, but I like seeing the reviews of real people that use them because I'm like you - back and forth. So again, thanks for the honesty! :)


At August 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM , Blogger the team said...

hi! thanks for the great review, love to hear the feedback both positive and negative! i pinned to our pinterest board, check it out! pinterest/erincondren! enjoy!

At August 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM , Blogger Rikki said...

I just purchased one and now I'm wondering if I should have. I did have a coupon. Still expensive but not quite as much. It included the pens for free. But what you said about the pens scares me. It doesn't arrive until Sept. So I am starting the year without it. I'm happy I read your review. I'm excited to see if you decide to purchase one next year.
The Hive

At October 26, 2012 at 5:14 PM , Blogger Jackie said...

This is my first year with my Erin Condren planner, which also arrived in August! I was very iffy about the price, but I love mine! In the end, it is so worth it!


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