Life Planners: Erin Condren vs Plum Paper

I love a good planner. Writing things down, seeing what I need to do, it helps keep me on track. With a full time job, a side business, a blog and a load of hobbies it helps immensely to visualize everything.

I’ve been a long time user of the Erin Condren planner but I decided my 2021 planner would be Plum Paper. Here’s the pros and cons.

Erin Condren – Starting at $55

My 2020 Erin Condren Planner

Pros:

  • A lot of cover options. They have loads of cover options that have color options. If you like a chevon design, it may be available in blue, pink, purple, green… you name it.
  • The covers are customizable with your own name and/or text. Which also has color options.
  • The Condren paper is really nice. It is great for most inks without letting them bleed through. Not all, but that’s ok because most is good enough.
  • This may seem minor, but the TABS are awesome. They’re super sturdy, I’ve never had one rip, or get bent yet.
  • The layouts give plenty of room for creativity. I’ve used both the colorful layout, and the neutral. I prefer the neutral.
  • The planner comes with coloring pages. You get more coloring pages in the colorful layout.
  • Each month has room for notes with lined or dotted paper. There is also a notes section at the back of the book.
  • You can use wet erase markers on the covers.
  • The only upgrade charge is for a different color coil in the spine
  • Last but not at all least…. Erin Condren planners come with 4 pages of planner stickers and a pocket at the back of the book.
Beginning of the month layout
Weekly layout
Coloring pages

Cons:

  • Only the cover is customizable beyond color.
  • The print quality of the custom photo cover and stickers is pretty poor. They could blame your image quality but I don’t believe that’s it. As I’ve used both high quality images and phone quality images and the print quality is bad on both.
  • The planner is pretty thick if you order a 12 month. Understandable though given the thickness of the pages and the amount of pages inside of it.
  • If you want any other planning than daily or monthly, you have to buy individual planner books. They have these for meal planning, budgeting, travel, weddings, gratitude… that’s all great, but each one is it’s own book. It takes up LOADS of space and costs a lot.
  • Because everything is it’s own book, forget carrying it around with you very easily. It gets really heavy.

Plum Paper – Starting at $29

Pros:

  • Available in 3 sizes! A5 up to 8.5″ x 11″. The smallest size starts at only $29, The largest size starts at $42.
  • Almost FULLY customizable. Yeah you read that right… Your cover is just as customizable as the Erin Condren, but with Plum Paper even the INSIDE PAGES are customizable as well. You can choose what you want on your pages.
The text on these pages is customized! Sorry for the poor image quality.
  • More design layouts to choose from than Erin Condren
  • This is a big one… This is my favorite… you can put your extras (meal planning, budgeting etc) INSIDE the planner. You don’t need multiple books. You can choose which addition you want, and WHERE to put it inside the book. You can put it at the back, or you can disperse the pages at the end of each month.
Customized pages additions! Budget, Meal Planning, Brainstorming, Reflection, Notes
  • They have font options!
  • Comes with monthly highlight pages at the front of each month
  • Has a pocket at the back of the book
  • Each life addition you add to the book, gives you enough pages for every week of the year. You will get 12 months of budgeting pages, 12 months of meal planning pages and so on.
  • I chose to add a coloring page at the end of each month!
  • It’s customizable up to 80 extra pages beyond the 12 month spread.
  • After adding everything I wanted to my planner, it cost the same as a standard Erin Condren. And I didn’t have to buy additional mini journals.

Cons:

  • Each section addition (meal planning, stickers, coloring pages, budgeting etc) adds to the cost of your planner
  • The cover pages are not laminated like the Erin Condren, but they do have cover protectors at least.
  • (I haven’t mentioned how the pages do with ink because it’s my 2021 planner and I haven’t written in it yet!)

Summary

I’m in love with my new Plum Paper planner. I’m almost sad that I didn’t get it to start in 2020 but I currently hate 2020 and thought starting completely fresh in 2021 would be better for my mental health….

After all is said and done, I combined ALL of my Erin Condren extras (mini journals) and some that EC doesn’t offer, into the Plum Paper planner and it collectively cost less, and is way more convenient. The planner cost the same as the Erin Condren and the Erin Condren doesn’t include any of the additional planning pages… Let that sink in. Yeah. Who doesn’t love convenience and saving some money right?

Now, I know you’re thinking “what the hell, you still paid over $50 for a planner..” Yes I did! But it was OPTIONAL. Plum Planner gives you the option of a less costly book! I chose the largest size and I chose to add all of those things because I use them. They don’t charge extra for the cover customizing, or choosing a layout. You can add just budgeting if that is best for you!

These are only 2 of the many many many life planners available. If you’re on a more strict budget, there are printable pages that you can hole punch and put into a 3 ring binder. Search your options. Don’t think that you can’t find something that works for you! On that note, Plum Paper also offers that option. They will print the pages for you and send you just the pages.

So my final ruling is this… Plum Paper, FTW. (For The Win)

Thanks for reading!

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