2021-22 Erin Condren LifePlanner Launch Guide

I can’t believe it, but in just a few days, Erin Condren is launching their academic year planners and accessories. As always, this process is incredibly exciting–truly, one of my favorite days of the year! However, I understand how overwhelming it can be, especially if this is your first year buying an Erin Condren planner. With the simultaneous release of new planner sizes, themes, layouts, designs, and accessories, there’s a lot to wrap your head around. So I did what I love doing most: I made a plan to help you sift through the details. I hope it helps you as you make buying decisions. And ultimately, I hope it helps you pick out your perfect planner. 

In today’s blog post I’ll summarize everything you need to know about Erin Condren’s 2021 academic year LifePlanner launch. We’ll cover the themes, the sizes, the layouts, the accessories, what’s new in 2021, what didn’t change – all in great detail. To complement this blog post, I’m releasing a video on YouTube every day this week until launch day. Each video will focus on a specific piece of launch, starting with tomorrow’s video about this year’s themes and layouts.

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My Youtube channel

I want to thank Tori and the team at Erin Condren for sending me all of these products to review for launch. We have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!

Why this matters

If this is your first Erin Condren launch, I want to welcome you into the fold by sharing with you why this is so exciting for the planner community. Erin Condren is one of the biggest and best-known brands in the industry. The academic year launch – typically in late April or early May – introduces this year’s new design themes. This is the launch where we see the most innovation in their best-selling LifePlanner. New sizes, new themes, new accessories, new designs. The planners run on an academic year schedule (starting in July), so if you’re a ride-or-die calendar year planner, well–just wait a few months. 🙂


Sizes and Bindings

I’ll say right away – if having a big planner on your desk is soothing, go for a big planner. If you have big handwriting, go for a big planner. If you like making long to-do lists in your planner, consider a big planner. If you’re constantly on the move and keep your planner with you, the smaller size may be better for you. Don’t care at all? The 7 x 9 coiled size is the only one I’ve used before this year, as well as the 8 x 10 softbound LifePlanner – I love them both! For some people, planner size is the most important factor in choosing their planner. For most of us, however, something like the planner’s layout and design is more important. But there’s a more pressing reason you should care about your LifePlanner size. It’s because all of those other things you care about – the layout, the theme, the customization – are limited by the size you choose.

BRAND NEW this year to Erin Condren’s LifePlanner line are two sizes: the 8.5 x 11 coiled and A5 (5.8 x 8.3) ring agenda sizes. These sizes are an addition to two annual favorites: the classic 7 x 9 coiled LifePlanner and the softbound LifePlanner, which comes in two sizes – A5 and the larger 8 x 10. Additionally, there is a 7 x 9 binder. All told, we’re talking about a lineup from smallest to largest of A5, 7 x 9, 8 x 10, and the largest, 8.5 x 11.

Regardless of your handwriting size or personal preference, there’s a size option out there for you. The planner binding also factors in to the size debate. The 8.5 x 11 is only available on a coil. The coiled options in the LifePlanner are the A5 Daily Duo, the classic 7 x 9, the 7 x 9 Daily Duo, and now the 8.5 x 11. If you prefer softbound, there are no changes from 2020 to 2021 here in sizing, the A5 and larger 8 x 10 sizes are still available. There’s an undated softbound option this year – an underrated addition to the LifePlanner line.

Something new to Erin Condren this year and receiving a TON of buzz is the A5 ring agenda. There’s a lot to unpack with this planner, namely…ummm…RINGS, which opens another chapter in the great binding debate between coiled, bound, and ring planner systems. The new ring agenda system will give you a ton of added flexibility to customize your planner. In addition to the A5 ring agenda, there is a 7 x 9 binder system as well. To summarize, each binding option – coiled, bound, or ring – will have multiple size options this year. To my knowledge, this is a first for the Erin Condren LifePlanner!


The Just My Type Colorful theme in the daily layout.

The academic year launch introduces new themes that we see throughout Erin Condren’s other product lines. You’ll see these themes everywhere as the year progresses and new planners are released. This year there are three themes: Flora, Mid Century Circles (MCC), and Just My Type. For this launch specifically, It’s essential I mention that, depending on the size of planner you order, there are limitations with the theme you can choose. We’ll get into that in a minute.

Flora: Flora is exactly as it sounds, a flower-oriented theme that is clean and elegant. Each month in flora features a unique bloom and an inspirational message inspired by the symbolism of that month’s flower. My favorite flower, the orchid, makes an appearance – so I’m excited for this one! Flower Power was one of last year’s themes, so I can’t say I’m surprised we have a flower theme this year, too! Flora features heavily in the planner accessories, as we’ll see later on.

Mid Century Circles (MCC): This is an Erin Condren classic. It’s definitely a holdover from past years and a feature in both the LifePlanner and its accessories. The EC team added a new color distribution, and different scaling this year for a fresh take on MCC. In short: If you’re worried that this year’s planner theme is a carbon copy of last year’s MCC – don’t be.

Just My Type: The Just My Type theme is the neutral theme of the year and it is neutral, plain and simple. The font is crisp and playful. The theme itself is available in Just My Type neutral and in Just My Type colorful. This year, the neutral theme is neutral from cover to cover. Don’t be deterred by the word “colorful” in the colorful theme; the only pops of color are on the monthly quotes and the tabs. I’m excited for Just My Type because I’ve shifted more towards neutral and minimalist designs over the course of the year in my planner.


Available themes by size

  • In the coiled 7 x 9 LifePlanner all four of the themes are available! You have the most opportunity to customize.
  • The A5 ring agenda offers all three themes, with one caveat: The Just My Type theme is only available in neutral. 
  • In the 8.5 x 11 coiled LifePlanner, the only available theme is Mid Century Circles (MCC).
  • The 7 x 9 Daily Duo – MCC is the only available theme. 
  • The 7 x 9 binder – MCC is the only available theme. 
  • The coiled A5 Daily Duo – MCC is the only available theme
  • The undated softbound LifePlanner (both A5 and 8 x 10) – MCC is the only available theme.

There’s a pattern here I’ll call attention to: If you get the A5 ring agenda or the 7 x 9 coiled LifePlanner, you’ll have all the theme options. Otherwise, Mid Century Circles is the only theme available for your planner. 


Erin Condren is not adding any new layouts this year. Their planners are still available in the familiar horizontal, vertical, daily, and hourly layouts. Like everyone, I wish that every size had every theme and every layout combination possible. But that’s more than 60 possible combinations. I understand there’s a cost associated with designing and assembling quality planners. There are specific layouts available depending on the LifePlanner you select. Because things are already getting complex, here’s a comprehensive guide you can refer to throughout:

Available layouts by size

  • In the 7 x 9 binder, you have every option for inserts: daily, hourly, vertical and horizontal. 
  • In the 7 x 9 coiled LifePlanner, you have flexibility: You can choose the vertical, horizontal, or hourly layout.
  • In the A5 ring agenda, the layout options are horizontal and daily.
  • The Daily Duo isn’t going anywhere, and this year it’s available in the A5 and 7 x 9 sizes, both coiled, and both with the daily layout. 
  • In the 8.5 x 11 coiled LifePlanner, the only available layout is horizontal.
  • In the A5 coiled LifePlanner, the only available layout is horizontal.
  • In the undated softbound planner, the lone layout option is horizontal.

One additional thing to mention is that this year, and only with this academic year launch, will you be able to order an 18 month planner in the following sizes: 8.5 x 11, 7 x 9, and the horizontal A5 ring agenda. If you’re a hardcore long-range planner like me, the option to buy an 18-month planner running from July through December 2022 is like heaven on earth. Do keep in mind that the additional months will add some size and weight to your planner!

Covers & Coils

One of the reasons I first bought an Erin Condren LifePlanner is because of its interchangeable covers and its best-in-class metal coils. My planner takes a beating throughout the year, so I need a strong coil to help keep everything together. Overall, there are four coil colors to choose from in gold, rose gold, platinum, and black. All of the coil options, black included, are available on the 7 x 9 LifePlanner. In fact, if you want black you have to choose the 7 x 9 size. The platinum coil is your only option on the 8.5 x 11. The other sizes – the coiled A5 (horizontal), the Daily Duo A5, and the Daily Duo 7 x 9 have gold, rose gold, and platinum options available.

For covers, there’s a bevy of new interchangeable covers available with this year’s launch. I’m counting at least 19 new covers added to the amazing line of covers from Erin Condren’s past collections and lines. As always, you can order photo covers to add a personalized touch to your planner as well! Two important notes:

  • The coiled 7 x 9 LifePlanner will offer vegan leather cover options in addition to the interchangeable covers.
  • You’re probably wondering about the covers on the 7 x 9 binder and A5 Ring Agenda system. Well, the A5 Ring Agenda will offer four vegan leather color options in camel, blush, gold, and printed Mid Century Circles. The 7 x 9 binder will come standard with Mid Century Circles, with a limited supply of champagne, blush, sapphire, and charcoal vegan leather covers.
  • The interchangeable covers will retail from between $8 and $13 at launch and you can personalize them.

What’s new in 2021?

One important thing that has changed, albeit slightly, is pricing. Because of increased costs in the supply chain to procure the same quality paper, coil, and everything that goes into your planner, there is a small base price increase in the coiled LifePlanner, from $55 in 2020 to $59 this year. Throughout the website you’ll see prices listed as “starting at $55” for this planner, which is true. It’s just that the $55 planner won’t have 100% of the exact same parts you’re used to across the board in terms of paper weight and some other small details. This isn’t a decrease in quality per se, but if price point is your key factor in buying a planner, it’s important I share this with you.

Because there’s variability between layouts and sizes, it’s hard to pinpoint the small design tweaks and changes throughout.

Overall, the makeup of the LifePlanner hasn’t changed. At the beginning of each planner you get a Year At A Glance of 2021 and 2022. Then you have the 12 boxes dashboard spread. There’s a notes page at the end of the introductory section before moving into the main section of the planner. 

At the beginning of each month there is an inspirational quote, and from the quote page it transitions into the monthly spread. On the back side of the monthly spread there is a lined notes page, with a dashboard page opposite. What follows is the daily / weekly section, depending on the layout you choose. In all of the layouts, Saturday and Sunday are their own respective pages and aren’t combined together like in some planners.

At the end of the month there is an additional notes page to wrap up your month, or for pre-work towards the next month, and then the cycle starts again – quote, notes page, dashboard, and so on. This is repeated throughout the rest of 2021 and into 2022. At the back of the planner, there is a notes section with 9 lined pages, 1 page of contacts, and a 2023 year at a glance. Then, there are 4 pages with a mix of functional and decorative stickers. There’s a folder at the back which has been upgraded to a more durable plastic folder this year. 

This cover-to-cover synopsis is true across the board for coiled planners. The A5 ring agenda planner has a unique vegan leather snap enclosure. For a full cover-to-cover flipthrough of each planner with detailed measurements, scroll to the bottom of this post!


Erin Condren Ring Planners


New this year to Erin Condren’s LifePlanner line is an A5 Ring Agenda. Like last year, when EC launched the Daily Duo, this is the product I’m hearing the most buzz about. Whether it’s because of “shiny object syndrome” for a new planner, or if people are truly invested in switching to a ring system I’m not sure, but my DMs and comments are filled with questions about Erin Condren’s ring systems this year.

A little background: Last summer, Erin Condren acquired Kikki-K, an Australian-based planner company. Kikki-K is known for quality hardware, creative products, and above all, good ring planners. I don’t personally know if this acquisition factored into the creation of EC’s new A5 Ring Agenda or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the case. Regardless, we’re all the beneficiaries now of a new and exciting planner product!

Also, I’ve never owned a ring planner before, so this is a journey I’m going on along with everyone else!

There are two ring LifePlanners this year, the 7 x 9 binder and the A5 ring agenda. The binder isn’t new to Erin Condren, it’s an 8-ring system. We’ll see an expansion of the layout options in the binder to include daily, vertical, horizontal or hourly. The only theme in the 7 x 9 binder is Mid Century Circles this year, which is fine by me because it’s a favorite of mine. The binder will have multiple vegan leather cover options, some of which have limited availability while supplies last – blush, champagne, sapphire, charcoal, and Mid Century Circles printed are the 5 options.

The A5 Ring Agenda is, in essence, a hybrid product for Erin Condren. They’ve sold the binder ring system, as we know, and they have A5-sized planners. But we’ve never seen an A5 ring system in the LifePlanner, until now. One of the main positives with this release is that A5-size accessories and inserts from other brands can now be paired with your LifePlanner. Since the Ring Agenda is a new product, we may see some growing pains as they refine it and incorporate customer feedback.  

Erin Condren hasn’t shared this with us, but my prediction is that they will expand their insert options over time. How cool would it be to see complementary inserts available in the A5 size? I hope they follow this direction to make the A5 ring agenda a hub for new inserts and accessories. 

Going cover to cover in the A5 (and 7 x 9 binder), the cover is soft-sided vegan leather. On the front flap there’s a snap enclosure, and tucked on the inside there’s a deep pocket. Next to this there is a space to hold cards. I would put notes of encouragement and washi samplers up here, but your mileage may vary. 

The rings are a gold-colored metal, as is the spine and the tabs used to open and close the rings. Like any ring system, you can customize your layout. This year, there’s a daily option and a horizontal option (there are more options if you go with the 7 x 9 binder). You can easily snap entire weeks or months in and out to augment the layout with inserts and entirely new sections.

The themes in this year’s A5 ring agenda are Flora, MCC Colorful, and Just My Type neutral. Other than the classic 7 x 9 coiled LifePlanner, the best way to get the theme you want is to go for the A5 ring agenda. All the other LifePlanners – the 8.5 x 11, softbound, the Daily Duo, even the 7 x 9 binder – are only offered in Mid Century Circles. Erin Condren is clearly making a bet on this A5 ring agenda by offering all three themes.

At the back of the A5 ring agenda, there are 4 sticker sheets to correspond with the theme you choose. The back cover features a large slot, perfect for a small notepad. Then there’s a big pocket for papers, cards, sticker sheets, and other lay-flat accessories. If I have one criticism or caveat with this planner, it’s something you’ll find in most A5 ring systems – the 6 ring hardware means you’ll need a special 6-hole punch to create your own inserts, or you’ll have to hand-punch each hole, one by one. And of course, if you have big handwriting or prefer lots of space in your planner, the A5 size might be too small for you. If you love the idea of a ring planner but need a larger size, the 7 x 9 binder might be perfect.

As for pricing: The A5 ring agenda starts at $79 for the weekly layouts, and $89 if you opt for the daily layout instead. Further personalization will add to this base price. The 7 x 9 binder will start at $55 for the weekly layout and an additional $10 – so $65 total, if you opt for the daily layout. 

The A5 ring agenda is an exciting pivot for Erin Condren, and it’s one I hope pays off for them. As I said before I’d love to see EC expand the options for inserts in the A5 size, or to sell the inserts separate from the planner. I believe that’s not in the cards, however, at least for this launch.

Accessories & Launch Gifts

Every year Erin Condren includes a launch day gift if you purchase on launch day. This year that gift is the Cherry Blossoms ballpoint pen. This pen is beautifully designed and is an $18.50 value. It will come included with your purchase while supplies last. If you’re an EC Insider, you get an additional bonus gift with your purchase. It’s a clear glitter pencil pouch – valued at $12 – also available while supplies last. If you’re not an EC Insider, follow the link below. Registering will get you early access, special offers, and $10 off your first order!

Join EC insider

We can’t forget to talk accessories! This is my favorite part of launch each year without exception. I can’t cover all of the accessories in detail because there are 132 different products across 18 different categories. The new planners are amazing, but I’m always impressed at the new products the EC design team comes up with.

My favorite accessory this year is the Mid Century Circles planny pack, chiefly because it is home to all the other planner accessories I carry with me. The planny pack makes on-the-go planning a cinch. You might find the contents of mine include the MCC ballpoint pen, snap-in dashboards and bookmarks, the MCC washi tape duo, and the snap-in stylized sticky notes. (Hint hint: all of these accessories are available for purchase during launch). EC makes it easy with theme-specific accessory bundles you can add to your cart on launch day. 


The 132 total accessories I mention in this launch doesn’t include the 19 new interchangeable covers. Those covers, to recap, will retail for between $8 and $13 and include numerous Flora and MCC-themed options, among others. There are sticker sheets to match these cover designs that retail for $4.50 each, personalized stationery that sells for $24, and the return and gift label sets that sell for between $6 and $10 each. 

I typically focus on the notepads, sticky notes, pens, and bundles when I develop my launch-day strategy for what to buy. There are notepad 2-packs and list pad 2-packs selling for $18 and $15 respectively, and each product features this year’s Flora and MCC themes pretty extensively. As always, you have the option to personalize both of these notepads and list pads, the stationery, and the labels. 

There are numerous planner folios for $25, pencil cases for $20, lunch totes for $24, and ultimate pen folios for $38, all of which are geared more towards the Flora theme this year. Maybe this will be the year I finally splurge for a sherpa throw blanket (retailing for $55), but I’m not sure John Michael will tolerate yet another blanket added to our house! If he does, the MCC sherpa throw is the one I will add to my cart.

There are four accessory bundles this year to plan for. All are built around the Flora and Mid Century Circles themes. The Flora accessory bundle includes the Flora ballpoint pen, a Flora petite sticker notebook, the Flora planny pack, Flora snap-in stylized sticky notes, and the 3-pack of snap-in Flora bookmarks. All told, this accessory bundle retails for $50 with a retail value well over $100. If you buy the planner + accessory bundle, you get a Flora LifePlanner with the Flora planny pack, a pack of 7-dual tip markers, a list pad and snap-in bookmarks. This bundle starts at $84 but retains a value well over $150 if purchased separately.

For Mid Century circles, the same bundle accessories are included, just in the Mid Century Circles theme. The accessory bundle includes the MCC ballpoint pen, MCC petite sticker notebook, snap-in bookmarks, MCC snap-in stylized sticky notes, and the MCC planny pack. This bundle will sell for $45, again with a value over $100. Starting at $84 you can get the MCC LifePlanner, MCC planny pack, 7 dual tip markers, the list pad, and snap-in bookmarks. All in all, if you like the accessories I highly recommend the accessory bundle to pair with your planner purchase. You’ll have the chance to add themed washi tape duos for $5.50, a host of snap-in dashboards and bookmarks for $4.50 – $10, and even more on launch day.

Videos & Measurements

If all these details about the planner weren’t enough, I put together a flipthrough video for four of the planners – literally going cover to cover and explaining the differences between last year and this year while I go.


Any questions? Let me know by leaving a comment if anything wasn’t clear or if you have a question before launch starts!


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