Can You Use an Erin Condren A5 Coiled Life Planner with the New Clear Planner Folio?

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Today I want to address a question that I have been seeing quite often – and that is whether or not you can use this new clear planner folio from Erin Condren with an A5 Life Planner.

The answer is not as clear cut as you would think. But I would say the answer is “No” in the traditional sense, but “Yes” with some creative adjustments.

Let me explain.

a planner folio with a clear cover

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The New Clear Planner Folio Specs

First let’s talk about the specs of the new clear planner folio, so you can better understand what the recommended use is.

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Erin Condren Clear Planner Folio

These gorgeous clear planner folios are a great way to protect your coiled 7x9 planner while still showing off your own unique interchangeable planner cover.

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an empty planner folio with a clear cover

Per the official Erin Condren product description, these new clear folios were designed to hold the 7×9 coiled Life Planner with any of the following specs:

  • 12 month 7×9 coiled Life Planner – with or without optional Add-On pages
  • 18 month 7×9 coiled Life Planner without optional Add-On pages.

That being said, I personally, have been able to fit an 18 month 7×9 coiled Life Planner with the optional Add-On pages into the folio.

So, if you read between the lines, what this is telling you is that the clear planner folios are quite roomy and can accommodate very wide books.

What This Means for the A5 Erin Condren Life Planner

The clear planner folio with a too small planner inside

By it’s very nature, an Erin Condren Life Planner in the A5 size is smaller and less bulky than a 7×9 size.

If you try to put this smaller planner into the clear planner folio that is designed for the 7×9 planner, then you will have big gaps between the book and the cover of he folio and, because, the A5 is not as tall as the 7×9, the book will slide around inside the folio as well.

In the photo below you can see that I can fit my whole hand between the A5 planner and the clear cover even when snapped shut.

a hand on top of a planner inside a clear planner folio

So, in the traditional sense, you are not going to get a good user experience if you use a coiled A5 Life Planner in the new clear planner folio that is made for the 7×9 Life Planner. (As of now, Erin Condren does not make a clear planner folio specifically designed for the A5 book – but maybe they will in the future – EC, if you are reading, … hint, hint!)

However, with a few adjustments, I have been using my clear planner folio with my A5 Life Planner and absolutely love it! So, the good news is, it can be done.

The Secret to Making The Planner Folio Work with an A5 Life Planner

a view of the top end of a clear planner folio that is filled with a planner and planner accessories

The secret to making my planner folio work with my A5 Life Planner can be summed up in two words: planner accessories.

In order to have a good user experience with the A5 Life Planner and the clear planner folio, you need to bulk up your planner so you don’t have big gaps in the folio and so the planner does not slide around in the larger cover.

To accomplish this, I do a few things.

an open planner in a planner folio

First, I strap a planny pack onto the front cover plus some pages of my planner. (Tip: You do need to strap in a bunch of pages in addition to the cover or the interchangeable cover will keep snapping off due to the weight of the planny pack) I store a variety of planner accessories in my planny pack – things like coordinating washii tape, pens and markers, and my favorite white out tape.

a colorful striped to do list notepad

Next, I actually added this snap-in notepad pocket dashboard to the back of my A5 Life Planner. Even though this is designed for the 7×9 size Life Planner, it actually does fit on the coil of the A5 size.

However, the dashboard and notepad are bigger than the A5 Life Planner and stick out of the book. But since I am using all of this bundled inside of the 7×9 clear folio, it does not bother me at all.

the inside flaps on the back cover of the planner folio

The clear planner folio has a few built in flaps in the back, so I always store an Erin Condren Sticker Book here for easy access. I also store my snap in ruler in one of these flaps, because I find it easier to get to than actually snapping it onto the planner coil.

a floral list style notepad on top of a coiled planner that is open

I also will occasionally slide a list style notepad randomly into the center of the planner because I use those often for making lists.

An Added Benefit

By adding all these planner accessories to my A5 Life Planner plus folio combo, I am not only bulking up the thickness but I am also ensuring that I have my planner accessories with me at all times.

I have to say that since I have been using this combination, I have actually been using more of my writing tools and stickers in my planning than I ever have before – which makes me really happy.

In the past, at the beginning of every planner launch I have always had so many leftover stickers, sticky notes, and accessories that match the prior years design. Now I am putting everything to good use.

A Word About the Planners That I Am Using In This Post

Just to give you all the information you might need to make a purchasing decision, I want to let you know what planners I am using in the photos for this post.

Erin Condren introduced the clear planner folio with their 2024/2025 Life Planner Launch in April of 2024. The planner designs in this launch include:

  • Canvas,
  • Evolve, and
  • Bold Blooms

If you chose an 18 month planner – the start date for the planner would be July 1, 2024.

Since it is still May at the time of this writing – the planner that I am using in most of the images in this post is a 12 month A5 Life Planner (on an 18 month coil) in the compact vertical layout featuring the Wildflowers design from last years 2023/2024 launch.

The reason that the 12 month planner is on an 18 month coil is that the planner was originally an 18 month planner, but I ripped out the first 6 months from 2023 and am using only the 12 months of 2024. This gives me a bigger coil with less pages so I have more room for snap in accessories.

I imagine that you are looking at the folios to use in the year coming up – so I snapped the photo below with my intended planner for 2024/2025.

a planner inside the clear planner folio

The planner in the photo below is one book of the A5 Daily Duo Life Planner in the Bold Blooms design – and also accompanied by the Bold Blooms Planny Pack.

My observation is that the 2024/2025 Daily Duo is quite chunky in it’s own right. This is because Erin Condren added a weekly summary page for each week as well as a lined notes page – so the Daily Duo book is a bit bulkier than it has been in the past. What you will find is that the coil is a little snug and you won’t be able to add as many snap in accessories.

an end view of a planner and a pencil pouch inside the clear planner folio

Will You Be Using A Folio with Your A5?

I hope you found this post to be helpful if you were trying to decide whether to take a chance on the clear planner folio to use with your A5 size Life Planner.

If you use the planner by itself, I think you will find the folio to be too large. But if you tuck all your planner accessories into the folio to fill it up, then you might enjoy it.

Happy planning!

a planner and accessories inside a folio with a clear soft plastic cover

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