How to refresh your planner for summer

Thank you to the Erin Condren team who sent me these products for my review. This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase something, I may earn a commission at no cost to you.

Just as we swap out our wardrobe and rotate decorations in and out of our home throughout the seasons, the same practice can apply to your planner as well.

We’re sitting on the doorstep of summer – depending on your location, summer may have started already! I look at my planners and think to myself whew, these need a refresh! A past version of Lauren would have purchased a new planner on the Academic Year schedule. This year, however, I am cultivating and practicing self-control (it’s been a bumpy ride :P). I’m riding with my calendar year planners. And I’m particularly focused on how I can work within the bounds of the planners I already own.

This summer is extra special, as it corresponds with a return to “normalcy” for many of us after an anything-but-normal 15 months. The past year was marked by lost plans and missed celebrations. I don’t blame you if you didn’t pick up a planner at all in the past year. But plans are beginning to stack up again for many of us. We’ve never needed our planners more than now! If you are losing the inspiration to open your planner each day, perhaps it’s time for a planner refresh!

A planner refresh can take many forms, but I will share my ideas for how to refresh to your planner with both functional ideas and decorative elements.

Create your ideal summer schedule.

If you are new to my website and content, I champion the concept of planning with your ideal week in mind. Your ideal week is one in which you feel capable of completing your most important plans. It’s a week in which you feel balanced and in control, with just enough slack in your schedule to deal with life’s fire drills and unexpected turns. It’s a week in which you accomplish some–but not all–of those “I wish I did ____ more often” activities, tasks, and to-dos. If this concept interests you, I explore it in this in-depth video. I have a printable bundle on my website that gives your a step-by-step guide to planning your ideal week.

To summarize, your ideal week factors in the constraints of your current season of life, like your work schedule, school schedule, and other non-negotiable commitments, like a volunteer obligation or a neighborhood meeting. After planning for these, you sprinkle in time for the elements that move an average week into ideal territory: maybe that’s a creative pursuit (drawing, painting, writing) or a physical one (running, swimming, walking the dog), for example. You allot time to work on your goals. And voila, you have a template for a week you’re proud of! When we sit down to plan each week, we use this template to guide our weeks with intentionality at the forefront.

Learn about the Bundle

It is reasonable to expect your ideal week to change over time. No season puts more pressure on the idea of a consistent routine than summertime.

Kids, if you have them, are out of school and commanding your attention. There’s more time for daylight activities and more interest in nighttime outdoor activities. You take a vacation or two and time off from work. Summer is the most challenging time for consistent planning. When you sit down for your summer planner refresh, I urge you to consider mocking up an ideal week template to guide you from week to week!

Of course, there are other functional ways to summer-ize your planner! Use your notes pages in fun and engaging ways. For example, use a notes page to create a list of new restaurants you want to dine in al fresco. Or draft a list of summer concerts and drive-in movies in your area, a list of festivals and free events in your region, or all the U-Pick farms and seasonal fruits if you love picking berries and cherries (this is one of John Michael’s favorite summer activities)! The possibilities are endless and your notes pages are the perfect canvas for your creativity.

Alternatively, create summer-based goals. In my household, we are emphasizing spending time outside and celebrating missed events. This brainstorming and pre-planning will make it easier when you sit down and put plans on paper this summer!

Change the setting of your planner.

Refreshing your planner should be fun. And above all, it should motivate you. Think of this as giving your planner a much-needed facelift. The easiest way to accomplish this is with an awesome sticker kit or washi set from your favorite planner brand or sticker shop. Along these lines, the Erin Condren team sent me their Summer Seasonal Surprise Box. If you don’t use an Erin Condren planner or if you are unfamiliar with their Seasonal Surprise Boxes, check out my video explaining the concept. The Seasonal Surprise Box is released–you guessed it–seasonally, with four launches during the year.

The box contains planner-related and lifestyle items. Some of the items are exclusive to the box; others are sneak peek items you get early access to by purchasing the Surprise Box. Unfortunately, this Summer Seasonal Surprise Box is sold out. But if you snagged one already, here are some ideas to put it to use!

When it comes to a summer refresh, think about the images, the words, emotions, and feelings you associate with summer.

Look for opportunities to incorporate these feelings into your planner.

If you have an Erin Condren planner, you can snap in one of the many interchangeable covers with summer themes (my personal favorite: the Dahlia cover in the Flora theme). The Seasonal Surprise Box includes one of these beautiful covers to help you! Additionally, the box includes a sticker sheet trio, a product exclusive to the box. These seasonal sticker kits are the easiest embellishments to complement a summery planner spread.

Beyond stickers and washi, however, there are decorative ways to add flourishes to each page of your planner.


Decorate your notes pages, monthly spreads, and weekly layouts with embellishments to draw in the summer themes. The box includes a 5 color ballpoint pen (a sneak peek item) to help create those embellished notes pages.

There are plenty of additional accessories and supporting materials that can put you in the summer mood while you plan. The Seasonal Surprise box includes a pocket journal that is exclusive to the box. I plan to take this with me as I create summer memories. It’s the perfect vehicle to jot down lists and funny things your kids say; the pocket journal also slips into a pocket or purse to take with you on the go. The box includes one more exclusive item, which is a postcard trio. Send happy mail to someone you love – a friend or family member you’ll be seeing this summer that you missed.

The Seasonal Surprise Box is always a great value if you commit to using the products. Thankfully, if you’re looking to do a summer refresh in your planner, you’ll get a great head start with the products included in this year’s Summer Seasonal Surprise Box!

Let me know by leaving a comment below – do you plan to do a summer refresh this year? Share your ideas with me!

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