Ohhh, the Erin Condren 12 boxes.
I know you’ve come across it. The plague of the EC planner community. You have probably done your fair share of squinting at it in confusion. You’ve hopped onto Google, or Bing… or some other search engine and have plowed into the creative realm. Spending hours, maybe days! (oh yes you have) researching and brainstorming ideas of what you could possibly use them for.
With Erin Condren planners being so pretty and of such great quality, you want every page to turn out perfect. To just create itself into a Leonardo DaVinci painting from the tip of your pen without you even having to utter a word. We want our planners to utter perfection and our ideas to be solid.
Hmmmm, perfectionist much?
That’s quite alright. Having done my own fair share of brainstorming, these are just a few of the ideas that I have come up with that you might want to think about using those erin condren 12 boxes for:
A Vision Board
I feel like this is originally what the 12 boxes may have been intended for, so why not give it a go? Turn this into your vision board for the year and make a collage of all the wonderful things you want to come true in your life. Cut out pictures from magazines, print images you find on the internet (*cough… pinterest…), or just draw it in. Get creative!
Monthly Memory Keeper
Many lovers of the erin condren planners seem to love using the 12 boxes page as just an overall memory keeper. Some paste pictures from each month and write little notes beside them of what happened. Others just write in their favorite memories of each month. And then there are some that don’t limit one month to each box and kind of just paste memories into them as they feel.
Sinking/Savings Fund Tracker
If you’re using your planner primarily for budgeting, why not use the 12 boxes for tracking your sinking funds or savings? You can be less complicated and simply right in your balance and a few goals for the next month. Or you can be a little more complex and decorate it. Use piggy bank and dollar bill stickers to your heart’s desire! And watch your savings grow with this yearly snapshot of your finances.
Detailed List of “Year At A Glance” Page
Many people use transparent dots on their ‘year at a glance’ page to track events like birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, graduations, etc. I’ve also seen some use the 12 boxes to make a more detailed list of those events. If you would like to be more detailed on what events you have coming up, why not use your erin condren 12 boxes page to list out more details of that event?
Quarterly Check In
Quarterly check ins could be a great use for your 12 boxes. Divide the sections into 4 columns, and BOOM! You have a check in column for each quarter! I am using my 12 boxes for a quarterly check in with my budget planner. I have also filmed a video showing how I did that, so be sure to check that out below:
12 Monthly Goals
Or you could just use the erin condren 12 boxes to track 12 months goals, regardless of what month you do them in. Maybe you have 12 different areas of your life you want to improve on, or just 12 goals all jumbled across the board. Whatever you decide, use these 12 boxes to help you stay on track to getting there.
Much like the setup for the quarterly check in, you can also create the same concept for project planning. Separate it into 4 columns and make each row something that pertains to the project. You may have an overall project for finishing renovations in your kitchen. So your sub-sections might be things like “ideas and colors”, “things to buy”, “inspiration” or things like that.
Something I use the 12 boxes for in my art planner is an inspirational section, and I did talk about that in this post. I separate it into 3 rows: creative, logical, and emotional inspiration. Then the 4 columns pertain to who, what, where, and why. For more information, be sure to check out that article!
Culinary Tips and Conversion Chart
In my recipe planner, I discussed how I used my 12 boxes page for conversion charts and food pyramid nutrition info. I have also left a row blank for family tips and tricks. If you use your erin condren planners primarily for recipes or even meal planning, perhaps turning your erin condren 12 boxes into a culinary spread would benefit you the most.
Table of Contents
And then, your planner might turn out to be something all over the place. It happens. So why not create your erin condren 12 boxes into a type of “table of contents”? You could do so by separating it into different months and jotting down what specific information can be found in each month. You could take it up a notch and actually label the pages of your planner and make it a true index page as well (I’ve actually done this in my recipe planner too).
A Travel Tracker
Perhaps you have trips already planned out. So why not use your erin condren 12 boxes to track your travels? If it’s for one big trip you’ve got coming up, use the first column for trip planning, the second column for travel checklist (maybe), the third column for your itinerary and the last column for memories! If you’ve got several little trips coming up, just keep them all to one box each.
Use this idea if you love to give or even for holiday tracking. You can give each special person in your life one box. Doesn’t even have to be a person, maybe there are different charities you like to donate to.
Maybe you want to do better with giving back so you can divide them into different columns where one column could be how you gave back financially, another could be emotionally, another could be socially, and the last one could be voluntarily. However you want to track that, maybe a gift log would be of great use to you.
Chore List Tracker
This is how I am currently using the erin condren 12 boxes in my catch all planner. I got this idea from a Passion Planner Youtuber and thought that this would be a great idea for my erin condren planner!
I have basically given each box it’s own section according to chores I want to accomplish Monday-Sunday, as well as chores to be done daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. This has proved to be of immense help when it comes to pre-planning each week and it’ll definitely keep you using this page often.
A Letter A Month
Are you using your erin condren primarily for memory planning? Why not write a letter to yourself every month? If you’re quite the crafty individual, fold your letters into small envelopes and stick them into each square of the page. At the end of the year you will have written 12 letters that you can go back and re-read in detail how each month went for you.
It doesn’t have to be a bullet journal, but you can definitely draw in 30 or 31 squares in each of the 12 boxes and create your own mood tracker for each month. Create your own color key and update your mood tracker accordingly. And at the end of the year, you’ll have a wonderful overview of your mood was throughout the year.
Analytics Tracker / Graphs
Who likes charts and graphs!!?!?!?
I do. 😐
If you want to fit a bar graph or a line chart into these erin condren 12 boxes, you most certainly can do just THAT! Maybe you are using your erin condren for social media planning. Using a bar graph or line chart is a great way to see your overall progress for the year.
And it doesn’t have to just be for social media planning or anything to do with tracking analytics. You could also use this to track your Level 10 Life. While I don’t know that much about how it works, this might be a great way to track that as well.
Word of the Month
Why settle for a Word of the Year when you can have a word every MONTH? Get those fancy calligraphy skills up and running and just choose a word for each month that you want to focus on.
If you want, write down a little definition underneath it to really help it sink into your mind. Or you know, just decorate it with lots of fancy stickers. Have fun!
Using your Erin Condren planner for reading or self reflection? Then maybe you could use the erin condren 12 boxes for quotes that you come across and love. Quotes that speak to you, make you laugh, and brighten your mood. You can divide them by categories, months, or just write them as you feel.
A Prompts Section
If you’re any kind of creative, you have most likely dealt with hard-hitting “Creative Block”. Or writing block, art block, whatever you want to call it. For those inevitable moments where you’re artistically stuck between a rock and a hard place, why not use the erin condren 12 boxes for prompts? Prompts that can probably help get those creative juices flowing again? Get you thinking outside the box and kind of give you a few ideas.
Of course, creative block could also be linked to stress so I wouldn’t encourage you to push yourself at a stressful point in your life. But if you aren’t all that stressed and just out of ideas, perhaps your “Get Unstuck” page can help generate some ideas.
Or maybe you just want to live on the edge and want to take up a challenge every month. Whether they’re related to finances, health, career, or anything else, keeping track of all the monthly challenges you do might serve to be a great motivator. Write down the name and if you can, fit in the rules you need to do to finish strong. And above all, have fun with it!
So there you go! I have racked my brain for these 20 ideas and I hope you found them helpful. Have any creative ideas of your own? Share them in the comments section below!
But until next time, you all have a wonderful day. Toodles!