How I Organize My Erin Condren Life Planner

How I Organize My Erin Condren Planner

When I first received my Erin Condren Life Planner, I was a little worried about finding a good system for organizing all my activities. Although I was initially intimidated by the vertical layout, I think I’ve found a great system that works! Read on to find out how I organize my days, and what supplies I use to make my planner bright and colorful!


Pens – Papermate InkJoy 100 RT (10 colors)

Organizing Erin Condren Planner

These pens write easily and look bright and colorful on paper! I have yet to run out of any of them, even the black pen which I use the most. 10 colors was perfect for color-coding all my classes and activities, and the price is reasonable (A 20 pack {2 of each color} is less than $9 at Staples!).

Washi Tape – Recollections Washi Tape Dispenser, Pastel Polka Dots

Organizing Erin Condren Planner

This really cute pack of washi tape ($7.99, available at Michaels) helped me to color-code bigger events and events that I wanted to highlight (exams, meetings, formals, etc). The clear dispenser makes it super easy to tear off any sized piece. Plus, you really can’t go wrong with the polka dot pattern!


At the beginning of the semester, I assigned a color to each class, tutorial, and lab so that I would always know what class I was talking about based on what color I wrote the assignment in. I attached this piece of paper to my bookmark for quick referencing.

Organizing Erin Condren Planner

As assignments came up, I wrote them down in their designated color according to what time of day I wanted to complete the assignment or what time the assignment was due. When I completed an assignment, I would simply cross it off (or draw an arrow to move it to a different day if I didn’t have time to complete it.)

Organizing Erin Condren Planner

As events came up, I added a washi tape band with the event written on it (with a thin Sharpie). On the back of the piece of paper where I wrote down my color-coding for the pens, I also wrote down the color-coding for the washi tape! I designated the 5 colors as exams/papers, meetings, work, special events, and working out. I also bought rolls of sparkly washi tape at Michaels to highlight fun events such as birthdays and formals!

I also invested in a pack of sticky notes from Walmart, which I used to write down problem sets. For example, I would write down “Orgo problems” during the week and then refer to the sticky note when needed. I also used the sticky notes for items that I wanted to be able to move around, like professor office hours.

Organizing Erin Condren Planner


Finally, I added a “Thankful Thought” and a “Quote of the Week” for a little motivation and inspiration. I also wrote down the temperature and forecast (“c” for cloudy, “r” for raining, etc) so I would never be caught in a Midwest downpour without an umbrella!

Here’s an overall look at one of the weeks from last semester. Having a colorful agenda brightened my day, and made it easy to glance over the week and see which assignments needed to be completed.Organizing Erin Condren Planner

How do you organize your Erin Condren (or your favorite planner)? I’d love to hear from you in the comments or on Twitter (@theswirlblog). Happy Planning, Swirl readers! 🙂 Also don’t forget to check out how Gabby organizes her planner, the Plum Paper Planner!



  • Alison

    Love this post, Hannah!! I just got my Erin Condren and I’ll admit, I’m a little intimidated by it! These tips will be super helpful 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Thank you so much! I hope you end up liking your planner as much as I do – let me know how you decide to organize/decorate it! 🙂


  • sydney

    I love these kinds of posts, thanks for sharing!
    xo, Syd

    • I’m glad you liked it! Thank you so much for reading! 🙂 // Hannah

  • The quote of the week is such a good idea! I’m going to have to start doing that! I’m obsessed with quotes. I’ve just started to really get into my planner this semester. Love the post!

    • I love searching through all of my Pinterest boards to find the perfect quote for the week! 🙂 Thank you so much for reading! 🙂 // Hannah

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  • These are some great ideas! I love my Erin Condren planner. Great tips here! Love your blog 🙂

    – Seri

    • Thank you so much for reading! I’m glad you like it! 🙂