Confessions of a Planner

I am that friend in the group that needs to know the game plan ahead of time.

My outfit is always laid out the night before.

If we’re going somewhere, I’ve probably already made a reservation.

I just bought shoes for an event that’s nine months away.

I am a planner.


No matter how old I am, when September rolls around I get all the back-to-school vibes. My bones tingle to get organized and buy all new office supplies. There are lists to be made, ballpoint pens to buy and file folders to fill.

Here are my three tips for staying organized at the office, at school and at home this fall:

1. Virtual folders

Make folders for everything, especially your email, and actually use them.

This one is easier said than done.

When I started at my job in May, I made a folder in my email based on every project I worked on. When I open and read an email, I move it to the appropriate folder. If the email contains a task or info I need for the day, I leave it in my inbox. At the end of the day, I make sure that only the emails with tasks I have to do for the next day are in my inbox.

This has been essential to staying on top of my work. It’s way easier to click on a subject folder to find something than to dig through a thousand messages. It also helps me prioritize my to-do list. Speaking of to-do lists, here’s why you should make…

2. Lists on lists on lists on lists

It has always been a running joke that I make a list for everything. Chores, groceries, packing lists, possible weekend activities, things I don’t want to forget to tell my bff on the phone later…

I like making lists because it helps me remember things.

All the teachers that swear by handwritten notes for memory are totally right. I was the lonely college senior writing all my notes while hundreds of fingers clicked away at their keyboards during lecture.


The point is that even if you never look at the list again, writing it down helps remind you what you need to accomplish.

If you are already a list-maker like myself, put some tasks on there you’ve already accomplished. It reminds you that no matter how daunting the task ahead, you are capable of knocking it out. If you’ve already done 6 loads of laundry, you can do just about anything else.

anyone else leave way too much laundry until Sunday night? Nope, just me? Great. Moving on

3. Use a planner, duh!

I love Google Alerts and calendar apps as much as the next person, but nothing beats writing down “hair appointment” in your prettiest cursive two months in advance.

Using an agenda is a great way to look ahead at your week/month/year and make adjustments as conflicts and new events come up. As I said, I’m a real believer in writing things down and using all the electronic stuff as a back up.

I’ve been buying Erin Condren life planners for about three years and they are my absolute favorite. When I saw her Seasonal Surprise Box, I knew I had to order one.

The box includes $60+ worth of random agenda accessories and stationary for $35. She did one for winter that sold out really quickly, so I scooped the fall box up as soon as it was released.

It came in the mail last week and let me tell you, it is everything my little Type A heart could dream of. Here is what came in the box:


The first thing I noticed was the metallic planner cover. One of the things I love about the EC planners is that you can switch out the interchangeable covers whenever you want. They are completely customizable and she releases new ones almost every season.


The felt-tip markers are the best. If you nerd out about writing utensils, you need to buy these ASAP. They are super fine on one end and have an ultra smooth felt-tip marker on the other. Even the most tragic of handwriting turns fabulous with these bad boys.


My final favorite from the box is the card set. I believe the ones I received were special for the fall box, but there are tons of cute options on her site. You can personalize them with your initials, name, by the pattern and color scheme.


Side note: I don’t care how old you are, Halloween stickers stickers of any kind are always fun and should be utilized.

I hope my tips and short love letter to Erin Condren inspires you to write things down and get organized this season. Your future self will thank you.

Love, Leigh

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