Wednesday, November 28, 2007

MomCat Reviews: DayRunner Family Matters Line

The best way to describe my home and my organization style would be to say that I am an organization wannabe who was raised in a home full of people who like to save everything and could care less about running a vacuum. I could get way off of topic here, so I will leave it at that.

How I turned the other way--gravitating towards being a stress/sometimes compulsive cleaner--is your guess as good as mine. But, the irony is, that my house on most given days is quite a mess and it drives me crazy every minute that it is. I love organization, but had no role model for this, so I clean and clean and have no tools or understanding of how to KEEP things tidy and neat. So, within a day or two, I'm back in full clutter mode. Yes, it is a vicious cycle.

When PBN sent out the call for reviewers for Day Runner's line of Family Matters products, of course my office supply loving little hands couldn't hit reply fast enough to sign up. And, I was THRILLED when I got my packet of various scheduling/organization tools not long after that.

Just in time to start a new calendar year, the Family Matters Monthly Planner arrived and I have already begun to transfer information to it. I am someone who LIVES by my planner and feel lost if I leave it at home for even one day. It is what keeps me on track with volunteer commitments, activities at my kids' schools, and more. And, I've tried out several different styles over the years, and have tried to take it online with no luck. Paper planners work for me, but I have definite opinions and requirements needed in my calendar each year.

This color-coded calendar pleased me a lot because of it's flat binding and compactness. I like the listing of holidays in the front as well as calendars for the next three years. Each month has a two page full-month calendar where you have plenty of room to write in things, and then each week is split between two pages with a Priority/To Do list at the bottom. The tabs make it easy to flip to the month you need and there's even an address book and other handy places to list frequently referenced things in the back. The book is a larger size than what I am used to, and I'm not sure about the flexible cover, but it lays very flat and I like all it has to offer. So, I can't wait until January comes and I jump into using this planner full-time!

Also in the kit I received were some handy organization tools that I instantly put to work on our "school paper" zone. If you have kids, you'll know what I mean when I say that it sometimes feels like the amount of paper that comes in my home from my kids places of learning during the course of one school year could practically fill the Grand Canyon...or at least our beloved old Astrodome! This drives me NUTS, people! Add to that the fact that my son has on-going projects that I can't tuck away too much or we'll forget to do them. I have a heck of a time finding a system.

Here's the school work cabinet in it's sad state before using the Activity Planner folder and boxes. Attempting to hold both my kids school things AND be a home to paper products and plastic utensils was just not working. (Notice the pencil sharper nestled in next to the plastic spoons?)

And, here it is now! Yes, we still have the baskets that we use for graded work and project that come home. during our Christmas break, those baskets will be purged and keepsakes will be filed away elsewhere and the rest trashed. But, doesn't it look swell now?

Each box has 2-3 plastic color-coded folders in it. I actually wish the cardboard boxes were more durable, but the size of them is perfect and I like the color-coding. Now, my son has a folder for study guides, homework, scout stuff, and other ongoing projects. Also, I liked that my Monthly Planner fit nicely in my folder box.

I also received some door hanger reminders that are reusable with a pen. I don't think we'll use these much actually as I'm a post-it girl and have my lists everywhere. They seem more like they'd get in the way of things, actually.

I also got a huge Undated Erasable Wall Planner. I've read some reviews with people raving about this wipe-off board, but I have yet to use it. The size of it doesn't work for those of us who have a two-door refrigerator/freezer. I do have one spot on the back of my pantry door that this could work, but it currently houses a chore chart for the kids. So, it doesn't really work for us. Instead, I plan to use the desk monthly calendar also in this kit for my husband's office. I think this will make it easier for me to copy down all our activities for him, and keep us all on the same page.

Check out what other people had to say about the Family Matters line of products from Day Runner over at Parent Bloggers Network.



Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

I can't wait to hear if it really works. Please do an update for us later in the year, k?

5:54 AM, November 30, 2007  
Blogger FRIDAY'S CHILD said...

Sounds like my hubby who doesn't seem to want to discard old things. I love to throw away things that aren't used for months. I hate keeping or stocking things unused.

9:40 AM, November 30, 2007  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

LBC-I'd be happy to update you in a few months on my organization quest!

10:32 PM, December 01, 2007  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

Great review! I know I couldn't find a spot for the wall planner either - my kitchen was designed with very little wall space. Even where I hang my tiny wall calendar, it blocks the light switches. Ugh.

1:30 PM, December 08, 2007  

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