If you want to learn how to get really organized in 2020, I am going to show exactly how I stay organized using the Erin Condren Life Planner & other accessories.
When I first started planning, Erin Condren planners were the ones that helped me to get organized. So organized, in fact, that I was able to plan and start a blog all about it!
I know in a digital age it can be hard to stick to a paper planner. And I struggle with that often still. Online apps like Google Calendar, Asana, Trello, Notion are great for scheduling out bigger projects and schedules. But when it comes to daily life, paper planners are the best. You can really be mindful and stay on track with everything and plan for all the little details in a paper planner. Plus, you remember so much more when you write things down physically.
The Erin Condren Life Planner also has sections for planning out your goals annually and monthly, and seeing your years and months at a glance.
In this post I will walking you through how I plan on using the Softbound planner to get things done and how it has helped me get organized! I will also share with you how I use their softbound notebook to plan as well.
Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item I will receive a small commission or referral fee at no extra cost to you.
Get organized in 2020 with The Erin Condren Softbound Planner
If you want to get organized in 2020, the first thing you need is a planner, and how to use it. Erin Condren Planners are great for everyone. They come in multiple sizes, can be customized (colorful/neutral, horizontal/hourly/vertical layouts, and can have different cover styles with your names/quotes on it!)
For 2020, I got the 8×10 Vertical Neutral planner. These are bigger than the original life planners. You can see the specs and size differences in this similar planner post here.
I love the softbound planner so much! It makes the planner so light. I love how thin it is. I can easily put in a tote bag and bring it everywhere with me if I wanted to. I thought the size would be too big ,but it’s so nice to have all that space to plan and track all the things. The planner cover is flexible yet sturdy enough to toss around.
It can also lay completely flat without the need to “train” it. You can easily get those cute flat-lay pictures of your week without holding it down.
The softbound planner comes in the A5 size as well – super portable! Here are some of the custom features you can choose for your softbound planner:
- 8”x10″ or A5 Sizing
- Vertical, Horizontal and Hourly Weekly Layouts
- Colorful and Neutral Interior Color Schemes
- Hand-pressed Metallic Personalization
- scratch-resistant, vegan leather cover
- and rich 80# 118 gsm paper.
I chose the vertical layout because I love the freedom it gives you to plan in it however way you want, and you can change it up every week.
The planner pages included in this planner are:
- Yearly Overview
- New Goals (Blank can be used for more than just goals)
- Monthly Notes
- Monthly Goals
- Monthly Overview
- Next Year Overview
Planning My Year
Each year I like to use either transparent circle stickers or just highlight the annual calendar with birthdays, anniversaries, no-school days, vacations, holidays and more. The annual calendar is split up into quarters with a line so I like to use those to write down my quarterly goals as well.
Then I like to use the goal planning pages to write down my goals in each area of my life. You can choose any category for your goals or use it for something completely different. It’s left blank so you have the freedom to do that!
In the monthly section there is a month-at-a-glance which has a blank dot grid, and a productive overview page, and a monthly overview on two pages.
For the blank dot grid and overview productivity pages, I like to use that section to track my goals for the month, habits, memories from the month and to review my month.
For the monthly overview, I like to write down all of my big appointments, events, my blog posts’ tentative schedule, and other important dates. I also like to have it color coded so I can easily see what’s going on.
Here is the color code I use:
- Green – Family
- Grey – Blog/Business
- Red – Appointments
- Blue – Kids’ School
- Purple – Special Events/Birthdays
Each week I like take some time to review my week and plan the next week. I am so glad to be back in the Erin Condren Vertical Planner. It is so fun to decorate with weekly kits again. I bought some printable stickers from FasyPrintables. They didn’t fit perfectly as they’re made for the original coiled 7×9 planners, and the one I have is the 8×10 softbound planner, but it still turned out nicely, plus I love having the extra space for actually planning.
This the way I use the weekly layout when I plan:
Weekly Sidebar – for planning my weekly to-do’s that don’t have a specific date or time, but I would like to get done that week. Throughout the week if anything pops up, I would just write it down here or in the daily to-do if I need to get it done that day. I then make a to buy list with a quick shopping list of things i would otherwise forget to buy when out shopping. Towards the bottom, I like to use a weekly tracker sticker to track my expenses each day. Every night I add up all the amounts of what I spent that day and write it in here.
Daily Vertical Boxes – I use the 3 vertical boxes each day as “To-Do”, “Today”, and “Little Things”.
- For my “To-Do” section I write down my top priorities and tasks for the day.
- For my “Today” section, I write down any events or appointments
- For my “Little Things” section, I write down any little notes or reflect on my day.
Bottom Boxes – The bottom boxes are used for health and fitness. Here I would write down all of our meals for the week, my workout routine, and how much I ran each day.
Daily Planning & To-Do Lists
Every night I like to do a brain dump in my small softbound notebook before writing my final to do list in my planner. This helps me to categorize and batch tasks together so I can save time and do all the related tasks together. If you don’t know what batching is be sure to check out this post.
After brainstorming I also like to do a daily reflection to to see if I am moving in the right direction or if I need to make changes. I am able to see how productive (or not) I was today, how I felt, and how I can continue or what changes I will need to improve for tomorrow. I also like to make a “have-done” list where I list everything I’ve done for the day, so I don’t feel so bad about myself. Because once we acknowledge the things we have done right we can also build upon them.
Finally, I then like to prioritize and plan my day in my planner. I make my to do list in the order of priority and the sequence I need to get it done and write it in the top box of my planner.
The Notes pages
There are 4 lined pages in the back to use for anything you want. Some ideas would be:
- Your Morning/Evening Routines
- Your ideal daily scheduled routines
- Self-Care Ideas
- Cleaning Schedules
- Budgeting/Financial Trackers
- Restaurants to try
- Books to Read
- Places to go
- Bucket List
- Favorite Meals
- Wish Lists
- Party Planning
And if you don’t want to just write plain lists you can always download a printable and paste it into your planner on these notes pages as well! I am using my workbook printables (to be launched soon!) to put my routines and some self-care ideas in my planner.
Using Erin Condren Accessories to get organized in 2020
Along with the planner you can get even more organized with other accessories from Erin Condren.
Notebooks in general are a great place to help you get organized in 2020. You can use it to write notes, as an inbox for all your to-dos, as a braindump for all of your ideas, as a mindmap to map out your projects or goals, and so much more!
One of my favorites are the softbound notebooks. I got a silver one which matches my planner perfectly I use these for my daily brain dump and for journaling and reflecting on my day. It’s nice to end the day with clearing my head, and these notebooks are perfect for just that. This way I can organize my day before I plan in in my planner.
Designer Gel Pens
They also have great designer gel pens! These are perfect for color coding. If you don’t like color coding with highlighters, these are a great alternative. You can choose one color for each category you need to color code, and write in your planners accordingly. You’ll be able to see at a glance what’s what.
Their pen holders are also a must-have. If you have a life planner and are always searching for a pen, now you can attach your pen using these pen holders.
The square part has a sticky back which you can attach to any book, planner or notebook, so you can always have your pen with you.
The loop is a elastic, so can fit most pen sizes. It’s pretty secure to jam your pen down into it because the sticky attachment is so strong!
Get organized in 2020 with a brand new planny pack! This little zipper pouch has an elastic around it so you can attach it to your planner or notebook. Now you can store your stickers, highlighters, and favorite pens with your planner everywhere you go. The back also has a pocket so you can easily store and take out things without zipping!
Wall Organization Center
If you don’t have a wall calendar or command center type of system, you need to get one! This has been a life changer and can really help you get organized in 2020 too! I’ve always been a fan of wall calendars, so when Erin Condren came out with her wall calendars I had to get it. It was easy to set up on the wall. I didn’t even need my husband’s help for this.
The wall organization center sits right in our living area so the whole family always knows what’s going on. My kids love helping me set them up every month. Especially ever since I made these free DIY Calendar Magnets to go along with them. I am using a monthly one that I bought from home goods, and a weekly schedule from Erin Condren.
The monthly calendar is just an overview of the entire month with appointments, events, birthdays, and pay days. We also like to X out the days as it passes so we can “see” time passing, and that helps us to make the most of each day and make sure to use the time in the rest of the month more wisely.
For the weekly schedule, we write down our events and appointments for the week plus our meals. I also write down my workouts for the week on there as well.
Finally, I also have the insert for the weekly chore chart/checklist, but I found we weren’t using it as much so we switched it to the weekly schedule instead. I was using that as a habit tracker, then a chore chart for the kids, but we just kept forgetting to use it.
You can get 15% off accessories when you buy 4 or more at http://www.erincondren.com.
Sign up for $10 off
If you’re new to Erin Condren and want to get $10 off your first purchase, please use my referral code when you sign up here: https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/wendany0628 or simply click the picture below.
Ready to get organized in 2020?
Show me how you plan on using your planner and system to set up your year. If this post helped you in any way then please leave me a comment below to share! & be sure to pin this image below to save it for future reference!