In the world of planners, there are daily planners, there are weekly planners, and there are monthly planners. Each of these different types of planners fills a different need, and today’s review shows a monthly planner from Erin Condren – the Deluxe Monthly Planner from Erin Condren – which launches June 4, 2019.
Quick housekeeping: the links on this post are affiliate links – they cost you nothing, but I may earn a small commission if you click through, and for that I am so very grateful! Thank you! Also, thank you to the team at Erin Condren for sending a preview copy of the Deluxe Monthly Planner to me so that I can review it for you!
I have several friends that use the Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner as a main planner. It’s exactly the right fit and function for them. I like using the Deluxe Monthly Planner, not as my main planner, but as a support or theme-specific planner to fill a special need that requires thoughtful management. Currently, I’m using a Deluxe Monthly as a goal planner and it has been an amazing tool to help me set, track, and manage some big (and little) goals. I think it’s helpful to hear the different ways a planner can function, so here are 8 different ideas I have for using the Deluxe Monthly Planner:
- Health & Wellness – I’ve mentioned before that I have used an Erin Condren LifePlanner for my health and wellness planner for the last 2 years in order to track and manage my Autoimmune Disease, but I’ve been thinking of streamlining and the Deluxe Monthly might be a perfect fit for tracking symptoms, dietary notes, supplements, labs, doctor consults and any other notes pertaining to my health. This is how I’m thinking of using my Deluxe Monthly Planner this year.
- Menu Planner – I’ve shared on my Instagram that for the last several months I’ve been generating a monthly menu plan (I just keep mine on a calendar page), and it has been working out so well for our family menus! I think the Deluxe Monthly could be a fantastic menu planner – I would add our monthly menus to the monthly layout, and keep track of sales, pantry and freezer stock, and lists on the other monthly pages. I think the functional/goal pages at the beginning of each month could be a great place to designate foods that need to be eaten quickly before they spoil as well as pantry options that need to be used quickly. And I’d also use that page to list seasonal fruits and veggies to incorporate into my menu. I also think the bulk blank pages in the back would make a great section for grocery lists. Then, at the end of a year, you have a Master menu planner! My stars – that would be valuable!!
- Budget Planner – the Deluxe Monthly is an ideal planner for tracking and managing budgets! My friend, Jen Dufore, of JenPlans offers a lot of insight and information on her budgeting technique and she uses a Deluxe Monthly Planner for tracking her family budget.
- Goal Planner – I used my Deluxe Monthly as a goal planner last year and really enjoyed it. I kept my master yearly goal list in the front of the planner, and then each month, broke down my goals and listed them out in the monthly. The blank pages that are connected to each month are great for action stepping each goal. And, as always, it’s so great to look back and see the goal progress through the year! This year, I’m excited to incorporate my goal planning into my LifePlanner by using the new goal planning and tracking pages that are at the beginning of each month.
- Memory Keeping – the Deluxe Monthly is so ideally suited to be a Memory Keeper! Tuck photos, memories, trips, special things your kids said or did! Record all the sweet, little things…because time flies!
- Content Planning – this is another use that is ideal for the Deluxe Monthly. Map out your content plans in the monthly and brainstorm content ideas, note any upcoming collaborations, track social growth – all on the monthly pages.
- Homeschool planner – especially if a Teacher Planner is too much planner for you – the Deluxe Monthly can be a great fit! Consider the Deluxe Monthly (pro tip: go for the 8.5 x 11 size) if you only have young children, or you already have pre-written lesson plans and just want a place to track family work and activities.
- Family Activity planner – to track classes, sports activities, and school events for the year.
Check out my friend Laken’s video for a great review of the Deluxe Monthly and her ideas for using this planner! A few of our ideas overlap, but I love her walk-through and explanations! The visual is so helpful!
Before we walk through the planner, let’s get a few details out of the way –
- The Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner launches June 4.
- Base price – $40 (non-metallic covers)
- Base price – $45 (metallic covers)
- This planner has two size options:
- 7 x 9 – the same as the coiled Life Planner
- 8.5 x 11 size – additional $5 for this larger size
- Choose your start date – any month – and this planner will include 12 months of monthly spreads and pages starting with your designated start month. This planner will only come in a 12 month option.
- Choose your color preference for the interior pages – colorful or neutral – just as in the LifePlanners.
- There are 40 notes pages included in the back of the Deluxe Monthly Planner.
- There are 2 sheets of stickers coiled into the planner.
- You have the option to add more pages (there is an additional charge for additional notes pages):
- dot grid
Let’s walk through the planner; it is very similar to the Erin Condren LifePlanner except that it is missing the weekly pages. So, if you just need the monthly view and some pages for notes, the Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly may be a great fit for you as your regular planner!
The planner I was sent to review is a 12 month planner with a January start date. It is colorful in its design – the neutral will be much more subdued and will have light gray tabs (as opposed to colorful) and a soft, pastel kaleidoscope color theme. You can see the neutral color theme on my LifePlanner review here.
The same yearly overview is in the front of the planner…
…along with the same 2-page spread which contains 12 lined boxes.
Use these to designate noteworthy items for the 12 months, or name your 12 goals, or fit anything important and worth tracking inside these 12 containers! Side note: how much do I love that these boxes are now lined??? SO MUCH!
Each month follows the same layout. It starts with one lined page (left facing page) and an inspirational quote page (on the right). You can tell the lined notes page goes with the upcoming month by looking at the color stripe at the top of the page which matches the month’s color.
Next are two brand new pages. The new 2-page spread is something Erin Condren is calling a “monthly functional page.” The left facing page is a blank dashboard style page, and the right facing page has 4 boxes, 2 of which have designated text assigned to them. Don’t let that be an obstacle though – I plan to use a sticker to cover the text and repurpose both of these boxes!
I think that it’s sometimes challenging for those using the planner to envision different ways to use these boxes, but just think of them as a container and use them as you would use an organizing bin to contain a collection of….
- monthly action items
- family topics you consider it a priority to communicate with your husband
- mini adventures (close to home) you’d like to accomplish this month
- items you’d like to consider purchasing that may not fit within your normal budget
- health/wellness/workout goals and wins
- book club – books you are reading or would like to start reading
- habits to work on
- prayer requests
- liturgical year dates and ways you will celebrate/observe them
- important volunteer action items and dates
- monthly home deep cleaning focus
Next is the full 2-page monthly spread. The dated monthly spread has generous room to record events, and I have always loved the notes column on the side of each monthly spread. And, it’s worth mentioning that if you really need LOTS of room to write in your monthly, you should grab the 8.5 x 11 size – the monthly spread is perfect for tracking lots of information!!
We’re up to 6 pages in each monthly section so far. The next pages are all lined notes pages. There are 4 lined notes pages behind each month, and then we start the next month. That’s a total of 10 pages in each monthly section of the Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner. And it just repeats each month.
Following all of the monthly sections is a future planning section with room to note events that need to be noted for inclusion in a future planner.
And then…notes pages. And lots of them. 40 lined pages come standard with every Deluxe Monthly. This year, there is an option (for an increased cost) to add additional pages. You can choose to add dot grid pages, lined pages, or productivity pages. Choose the page style that makes the most sense for you and how you’ll use this planner!
There are 2 full pages of coiled in stickers that all color coordinate with the monthly color theme in the Erin Condren planner.
A heavy cardstock folder is the last part of the Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner.
There is a storage pocket on both the front and backside of the planner.
I should have mentioned that there are coil options for this planner, just as on the Erin Condren LifePlanner – I have the gorgeous rose gold coil! The base price includes the platinum/silver coil, so just be aware that upgrading to gold or rose gold will involve an additional fee.
I hope this review has been a help as you consider which planner format is the best fit for you! If you’re a new customer to Erin Condren, use this link to set up your account and receive a $10 coupon to use with your order! I’d love for you to leave me a comment below if you have another idea for how to use an Erin Condren Deluxe Monthly Planner!