Erin Condren Life Planner | Planning Essentials

Some links may be affiliate; all opinions are my own.

I’ve been using an Erin Condren Life Planner for four years now. Each year, there are changes and improvements and each year I keep going back for another amazing planner. If you are new to planning and want some inspiration on what you need to get started in your Erin Condren Life Planner, check out my planning essentials.

To to start off, you’ll need a planner — I love my ECLP for the bright, colorful layout, and the beautiful personalization. With the recent planner launch, there was a huge improvement in the paper quality and I can’t wait to use my new planner. If you’re interested in your own Erin Condren Life Planner, sign up through my link to get $10 off your your first order. Or read more about all the new changes with the new planners in my Pre-Sale post.

Once you’ve designed your new planner, you’re ready to go. Really, the ECLP is so pretty on its own that you don’t need anything else to get started planning your best life — I just enjoy decorating my planner because it makes it more fun to plan and pretty to look back on. So here’s all the basics you need in order to start decorating your beautiful planner.

Planning Essentials

Washi Tape

Washi is the easiest way to add some fun color and personalization to your week. I love to buy these cute tubes of washi from Michael’s because they have a ton of variety and each tube is a perfectly coordinated pack that you can easily travel with. I recently bought these little unicorn and mermaid themed washi tapes on sale and I thought they’d be perfect for summer.

I like to start out by laying down some washi on days that I know I don’t have much going on, or on sections that I want to separate out. I’ll sometimes use washi to block out an event that extends multiple days — like a conference or a vacation! The washi adds a nice detail while tying everything together. Washi is also very easy to work with — you can lay it down and tear it off with your fingers. If it’s crooked or you just change your mind, you can peel it up very easily without damaging your pages.

Michael’s pretty much has every type of washi you could want, but if you are looking for something more custom, check out etsy. I’m pretty new to the etsy scene, but I recently bought some washi from SimplyGildedCo and it’s gorgeous. Her signature washi has these dainty little bows which is super sweet. I bought four washi tapes from her altogether and they are so pretty.

Washi can also be layered to create a unique look or to section off a larger area. I really like using washi with different thicknesses to keep it looking visually interesting.


There are so many stickers available these days for planning. A lot of people use “kits” that basically cover your entire weekly view. That’s a little too much for me and not really necessary if you’re just getting started. You can find a bunch of planner sticker kits on etsy if you’re curious.

I like to use a combination of functional stickers and deco stickers in my planner. I mostly just use the stickers to highlight an area or help keep things organized. There’s a lot of white space in my planner and I like that I can still see all the beautiful detail in my Erin Condren Life Planner.

Functional Stickers

You can find a lot of different kinds of functional stickers on etsy or at Michael’s. Functional stickers are things like page flags, boxed stickers with space for writing, checklist stickers, or icon dot stickers that have little pictures of a grocery cart or maybe a trash can.

Functional stickers make it easy to keep your life organized while adding a visual interest in your planner. With the new Erin Condren Life Planner, there are sheets of functional stickers built in to the back of the planner. This year’s stickers are super cute and a lot of them have metallic foiling which looks super special.

Decorative (Deco) Stickers

I love deco stickers. I wish that I could find more because they are so cute and really spice up a boring looking week. It’s hard to find entire sheets of just deco stickers so lately I’ve turned to etsy. Etsy has some shops that create just deco sheets which is amazing but most etsy stores sell their deco stickers in those full kits I mentioned.

I ordered a lot of deco stickers from etsy through a few different shops — Once More With Love, PeachyChicCo, HoneyInked, Pumpkin Paper Co, and Hello Petite Paper. Some of these stickers were kind of a cross between deco and functional because they represented a task or event, but were colorful and hand drawn. Definitely check out etsy if you’re looking for some cute deco stickers. You can see my entire etsy planner stickers and washi tape haul here.


Pens are super essential for your new planner. I just really love pens in general but I’m always looking for new pens that write well and don’t bleed through.

My favorite pens right now are the Sharpie felt tip pens I’ve been using for years and the Le Pen pens I recently bought. Both have a fine tip so your writing can be super crisp and precise.

If you prefer gel pens, my favorites are the inkJoy gel ones. They come in a variety of colors and write super smoothly. There is some shadowing with them though which I don’t care for, but I’m hoping that this is not longer an issue with the new, thicker paper in the new ECLPs.


Some other extras that are good to have are white out/correction tape, adhesive roll tape, and scissors.

I like to white out some of the holidays in the monthly view, or I’ll use it if I don’t like my handwriting. I also use white out sometimes before putting a sticker down, so that the ink from underneath doesn’t show through the sticker.

The adhesive tape is nice because it rolls out just like whiteout, but it’s sticky on both sides so you can stick in little keepsakes or notes. And scissors are just nice in case you need to trim your washing tape or stickers.

You can plan in so many different ways. I love my Erin Condren planner for planning out my weeks, but also going back to make it like a scrapbook/memory planner. It’s cool for me to be able to look back and see what was going on last month or last year. Plus, it’s super fun just to decorate each week.

If you’re just getting into planning, I hope this essentials list is helpful. Also, if you want $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase, be sure to sign up through my link. Happy planning!