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DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable!

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Sometimes in my crafty pursuits, I make something I really love, but I don’t get that much use from it.  A holiday decoration is a good example of this….I’m a fan of a good wreath or keepsake, but in my day-to-day life, they’re not something that have much impact.

What I’m sharing today, however, is just the opposite.  Yep, the snap-in meal planner/to-do list that I created and am now using with my Erin Condren life planner has truly transformed my life.  Ok, maybe it’s not a total transformation (I do have a flair for the dramatics), but it certainly has brought a HUGE amount of organization to our family and given me an ounce of sanity back.

Now my husband and I can quickly plan out our menu for the upcoming week, which makes grocery shopping soooo much easier.  It also prevents us from wasting food (“Ummmm, why did I buy six onions??”), and keeps us on track (“Sorry hon, but I forgot to pull the chicken out of the freezer last night….so we need to think of something else for dinner.  FAST.  Because I’m hungry.”).

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable!

Earlier this year, I shared a tutorial for how I make my own Erin Condren Life Planner interchangeable covers (because why spend major cash on something you can easily DIY on the cheap, amiright?).

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! #erincondren

My family has been in some desperate need of organization, especially where our weekly meal planning was concerned, so I applied the same concept and created my DIY version of an EC snap-in meal planner, and also added a to-do list to the back.  Now I have my own handy dandy reusable dual-sided planner accessory (wahoo!), and it has done wonders for getting our family a little more organized (double wahoo!).

Oh, I’m also sharing the designs I created for FREE below, so you are more than welcome to download and use them to make your own!  Because, like I’ve always believed, organization shall set you free.

 

**Want to SAVE $10?!**

Just CLICK HERE to get $10 OFF your first Erin Condren purchase!  Wahoo! :)

Get $10 OFF your first Erin Condren order at Where The Smiles Have Been!

 

Some Background Info

I love the functionality of the original Erin Condren Life Planner and its cuteness factor, but lately I’ve been utilizing one of their new Deluxe Notebooks (I have the colorful watercolor palette cover….so bright and cheery!).  I opted to add the 12-month calendar and this has actually been a more useful planner for me and my family at the moment.

While the original Life Planner is totally amazing, I don’t really need such an in-depth weekly planner.  A monthly planner is more than enough for me, plus the blank notebook pages are so handy and can be used long after this year is gone….hooray for longevity!

That being said, I created this snap-in meal planner/to-do list for use in my 8.5″ x 11″ Deluxe Notebook, but the printable can of course still be used with the smaller notebooks and life planners.

Erin Condren also sells several accessories for their planners and notebooks, and their snap-ins are only $4 each, which isn’t too bad.  However, they have two separate ones: a meal planner/grocery list, and a dual-sided to-do list (one side with lines and one without).

We don’t use a hard copy grocery list (my husband and I have a synched list on the Reminders app on our iPhones….technology FTW!), so the grocery list side wouldn’t get used much if at all by us, and I didn’t really want two separate snap-ins.  Sooooo, I combined the two and made a custom one that better suits our family, plus I was able to create it for mere pennies since I already had all the supplies on hand.  You can’t beat that!

 

Supplies

  • Printed meal planner & to-do list (snag the FREE printable below!)
    • These are the same size as the original Erin Condren snap-in accessories: 9.25″ tall x 3.65″ wide (not including the clear laminated border)
  • Paper trimmer
  • Laminator & pouch
    • Or take the printable to an office supply store to have it laminated
  • Scissors
  • 1/8″ hand hole punch
  • Wet erase markers to fill in your meal planner & to-do-list
    • These so take me back to school and their out-dated overhead projectors!  Ha! ;)

 

Printing the Designs

I based my designs off the original Erin Condren snap-in accessories (hello color!), but made a few changes that were more to my liking.  I then printed them off on a couple sheets of matte photo paper (you can of course use regular printer paper, but I like how the photo paper provides brighter colors, crisper lines, and also a little extra thickness).

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Trimming the Designs

Next up, I grabbed my paper trimmer and cut away all the excess….

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

….leaving me with my two designs.

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Laminating the Designs

Note: If you don’t have a laminator handy, no problem!  You can get anything laminated at a local office supply store for just a couple bucks.

Just to keep everything lined up perfectly, I added a small piece of double-sided tape to the back of one of my trimmed designs and stuck the back of the other design to it.  This isn’t necessary, of course, just a handy trick to keep the edges aligned.

I then ran upstairs and prepared for lamination by first pulling out my box of laminating pouches….

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

….and lining up my now dual-sided design in the lower right corner of a pouch.  I used the cover of my notebook as a guide to keep the clear laminated edges the same width.

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

After my laminator was pre-heated, I fed my pouch through….

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

….and a few moments later, I had a perfectly laminated dual-sided beauty!

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Trimming the Laminated Design

My paper trimmer was then put to good use again when I trimmed away the excess lamination, leaving one side a little thicker than the other to allow for the spine holes.  I also used my scissors to round up the outer corners a bit.

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Marking the Coil Spine Holes

Now it was time to add the spine holes.  I first taped my meal planner/to-do list to the back side of my cover with some washi tape so I could use the cover as a guide for the placement of the holes.  Then using a dry erase marker, I marked the center of each hole.

With this step here, I was a little more careful and precise than how I did it in my DIY interchangeable cover tutorial….live and learn!  Using just one dot per hole instead of filling in the entire space prevented any dry erase marker from coloring the edges of the cover holes, and therefore made it much easier to clean up….check out my other tutorial to see what I mean.

Also, make sure you use a dry or wet erase marker here and NOT a permanent marker like a Sharpie!  I’m not super precise or steady with my hand, so some markings will eventually need to be wiped away after the holes are punched (more on this below).

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Punching the Coil Spine Holes

Now it was time to punch out the coil spine holes, so I grabbed my hole punch and started punch-punch-punching away.  And see what I mean about not being extremely precise with my hole markings or punchings?  I just wiped any remaining red marks away with a paper towel….

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

….and then used my scissors to snip little slits from the edge to each new hole, which transforms this into a *snap-in* accessory.  (And sorry about my gross scissors….yuckkkk.)

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

The Completed DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List!

And here it is!  Looks right at home, huh?  I keep it snuggled in the current month of my Deluxe Notebook.  Now whenever my husband asks what’s for dinner or if he needs to pull some meat out of the freezer to thaw, I just have to reply with “Check the planner!”  This thing is working out wonderfully. :)

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Like I mentioned, I keep this located in my monthly calendar and therefore don’t remove/reinsert it very often.  It’s quite durable, but if you will constantly be taking yours on and off, you might want to consider double-laminating it, using a thicker lamination pouch, or even reinforcing the spine section with some washi tape before punching the holes, just to make sure the spine tabs stay in-tact for the long haul.  Just a friendly FYI!

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

{Please forgive me for my absolutely hideous handwriting!}

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

And the to-do list is just a flip away!  I use this as my weekly to-do list and update it every Sunday when I’m planning our meals for the upcoming week.  Any tasks that are more long-term get jotted down in the actual notebook, then will get transferred to this list as they become more immediate need-to-dos.

On a side note, I jot everything down with my black wet erase marker then use colored markers to designate the topic or area of my life: Yellow = Home Chores, Purple = My Stuff, Red = My Son’s Stuff, Green = My Husband’s Stuff, Blue = Blog Stuff, and Orange = Fun Random Stuff (although packing isn’t fun, but a vacation sure is!).

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Then when I’m ready to plan out next week’s meals and to-dos (which usually happens on Sunday), all it takes is a quick wipe with a damp paper towel and wham-o!  There’s a blank planner and list waiting for me.  Ya gotta love reusable office supplies, and cute ones to boot.

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

FREE Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-List Printable!

Feel free to download this printable and create your own snap-in meal planner/to-do list!  You can probably also use it with other planners too!

>>>Click HERE to download the FREE Meal Planner/To-Do List!<<<

{THE FINE PRINT: This file is for PERSONAL USE ONLY. Thanks!}

DIY Erin Condren Snap-In Meal Planner/To-Do List & FREE Printable! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Make Your Own Watercolor Planner Stickers!

Learn how to make your own watercolor planner sticks using watercolor pencils!

How to Make Watercolor Planner Stickers Using Watercolor Pencils | Where The Smiles Have Been #planner #plannerstickers #watercolor #watercolorpencils #Silhouette

 

Don’t Forget to SAVE $10!

Click here to save $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase!  Who doesn’t love super cute office supplies, especially ones that are extremely practical?!

 

Even More Erin Condren Fun!

Make sure you check out my Project Gallery for a bunch more freebies and tutorials, including more Erin Condren fun like this!

Colorful Craft Room Gallery Wall + $100 Erin Condren Giveaway! | Where The Smiles Have Been

How to Make DIY Erin Condren Life Planner Interchangeable Covers! #erincondren

 

Stationery Teacher Gift Idea + FREE Printable Tag & Silhouette Cut File! | Where The Smiles Have Been

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have fun getting organized in style! :)

Where The Smiles Have Been | Crafts. DIY. Home. Mom Life.

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