While picking up a few things at Walmart the other day, I came across a planner called the Plan Ahead Student Planner that looked very similar to my day-to-day planner – the Erin Condren Vertical Life Planner. I decided to pick one up to be able to share an in depth comparison of the features as well as the overall quality of each planner.
While there were many similarities in the features and layout, the biggest difference I noticed was the paper quality of both the cover and the “guts” of the planner of the Plan Ahead Student Planner. The Erin Condren Life Planner was far superior in paper quality and cover quality. This a huge deal when your planner gets lugged everywhere with you like mine does. I could also see there being issues with the coil down the road because it’s so tiny. I’ve been going strong in the same planner for the past seven months and have yet to have any quality issues at all.
Both the Erin Condren Life Planner and the Plan Ahead Student Planner featured a dedicated place to put your name and info in case you lose your planner, an annual goal page, and a notes page before the monthly view. Something that I really liked about the Plan Ahead Student Planner was the page to name a monthly goal, and check off each day you accomplished said goal.
The Plan Ahead Student Planner is an academic year planner and is twelve months long, where as the Erin Condren planners can either be twelve months and are calendar year, or are eighteen months and start in June and end in December. While I used to order during the June release, I was repeatedly wasting six months in my planners. Now I order in early November, so that my planner has plenty of time to arrive before the new year begins and I don’t have to worry about the holiday rush.
Some features that the Erin Condren Life Planner has that Plan Ahead Student Planner doesn’t include are: personalization, customizable layout, interchangeable covers, extra note pages at the back of the planner, stickers, a “keep it together” pocket for important papers, as well as a sealable pocket (not pictured because mine is juice stained and gross) at the back for your most used planning supplies.
Price Point –
The Erin Condren Life Planners aren’t cheap, that’s for sure. However, as a pretty diehard fan and user since 2011, I have no plans to switch it up when I have found Planner Peace. Erin Condren Life Planners start at $55 USD and go up from there depending on the options you choose. I currently use their Vertical layout. If you’re curious, the cover on my planner is called Watercolor Drops, but I’m also totally lusting after this Cactus one they recently released!
The Plan Ahead Student Planner was $7.97. Like I said before, it’s not ideal for me because my planner lives in my purse and goes everywhere with me. I could see it being thrashed and falling apart within a few months. However, it would be great for a student who has been wanting an Life Planner but whose parents aren’t willing to shell out the $55+ or those who think they may like the Life Planner but aren’t sure if it will work for them.