One of my most popular posts is about my brief foray into using a Happy Planner. I have been a long-time Erin Condren die-hard, but a friend of mine had gotten a Happy Planner (that would be Mandee from The Kitchen Wife. She is generally to blame for my new purchases) and she was loving it so much, I had to check it out.
I headed to my local Michael’s store, armed with a 40% off coupon, and picked up a Happy Planner. I loved the cute design, but the biggest draw for me was being able to add and remove pages. After about a month of use I ended up giving it to my daughter and switching back to an Erin Condren. I think the biggest reason was because the disc bound system just wasn’t as durable as the coil bound EC’s, and since my planner gets thrown in my purse daily, I need one that can take a beating.
Planner loyalty can often reach cult status, so it can be hard to get an objective opinion about the pros and cons of both planners. Today I am going to compare them side by side, and hopefully make your decision a little easier about which one would work for you.
The Happy Planner is the clear winner on price. You can pick up an 18-month 2016-2017 Happy Planner for $29.99. And if you are shopping in a store with a weekly coupon, that 40% off coupon brings it down to $17.99. That is less than half of the retail price of an Erin Condren, which comes in at $55. There are customizations and upgrades you can add to both planners which increase the price, but the Happy Planner is consistently far cheaper than an Erin Condren.
This ends up being a toss up for me. The Happy Planner paper is definitely thicker, but the Erin Condren paper is much smoother. I found that some of my pens feathered a bit in the Happy Planner, but some pens shadow and bleed through the EC pages. I would say that Erin Condren definitely has better quality paper, but if you have a heavy hand or use pens that tend to bleed through, you will appreciate the thickness of the Happy Planner pages.
City planners are stunningly close in layout, but I will give Erin Condren a slight edge in this category due to the extra note pages included at the end of the month and the end of the planner. I use these for everything from my budget layout to Christmas gift lists to password lists. You can even rip a page out for letter writing on the fly. These are definitely a functional addition to me. The Happy Planner does have slightly longer boxes on the weekly view, but that added benefit is negligible. Erin Condren also offers several different layouts, so you can choose which one best fits your needs.
Style is another category that could go either way. I love the basic design of the Erin Condren planners. They a re colorful, fun, functional, and fairly universal. But the Happy Planner adds a bit more flair to its designs which I also like. I dislike how the Happy Planner blocks the weekends out, tho.
This is the main selling point for me. I use my planner as my blog editorial calendar, my personal calendar, my salon appointment log, and my personal to-do list. The Erin Condren covers have peeled at the corners and detached after being thrown in my purse a time or two, but the planner itself remains intact. The Happy Planner, however, just couldn’t stand up to being transported from my desk to the salon. The cover frequently detached, and any pages I may have taken out to write on came back out easily as well. This is what eventually made me switch back to an EC because I need a planner that will travel with me. So for this category, Erin Condren wins.
So that is my basic run down of the two planners. I am a firm believer that everyone has different planning needs and there is no concrete right or wrong planner. If you are interested in picking up your first Erin Condren planner, use my referral link for $10 off your purchase.
I am pretty sure I will always dabble with other planners, but Erin Condren is the closest I have ever found to planner peace. What planner do you use?