Most of my friends will tell you that I am a very organized person. However, I would argue that I'm not! I never feel like I am getting it all done like I should be. Then I received The Busy Woman's Daily Planner for review. It was definitely heaven-sent! I've tried using day planners before but just never succeeded in using them long-term. I do not think that will be the case with this planner. It is obvious that the creator of this planner (fellow homeschooling mom, Susie Glennan) understands the needs of other homeschooling moms!
The items that I received for review are the Carry All Purse & Tote and the Busy Woman Basics Planner Set--sold together for $69.97 (as of 8/1/06), a 15% savings over buying the items separately. From the website:
These Cotton Purses & Totes are functional, convenient, and "washable"! With plenty of pockets for your purse contents, you will have one of the most organized purses in town. With the FREE removable binder inside of the purse, the planner will be nestled inside of your purse without anyone noticing. The tote is perfect for your file folders, books, as a diaper bag, toy bag for moms, or whatever you need to put inside. It's not bulky and cumbersome like other totes either!
I really like the tote. It is nice-looking and could be used in many ways. The planner is tucked inside the tote, which has long straps. There are several pockets, inside and out, that can hold such things as your checkbook, cell phone, and keys. It can even hold something the size of a file folder or a standard notebook.
When you purchase the set online, you receive instructions (in MP3 format) to help you set up your planner. The Basic Planner Set includes pages for addresses, pages for notes, 12 monthly pages, a six-month supply of daily pages, tabs for separating sections, a zipper pouch, and more.
I chose to purchase a few more sets of pages to add to my planner because I found some items that I wanted--Fitness pages, Menu and Budgeting pages, and Weekly planner pages, to name a few. The Lesson Planner pages can be used for scheduling children's assignments each week. However, the pages are small. If you have a lot of kids, you probably would not have enough room to schedule everybody. I plan on using those pages in a different way. I will use them to note areas in which my children need extra help as well as resources I need to check out. The Lesson Planner pages are broken down by subject, so if I see a wonderful history book that I want to add to our home library, I can note it in the History box.
I've been using my planner for several weeks, and I can already see a difference. I am getting more done and not procrastinating as much as I used to. I sit down each weekend and plan the next week's menu, check on the budget, and write a "to-do" list for each day of the week. I carry my planner with me at all times. I am still using my regular purse because I just have more to carry than I can fit in the Carry-All Purse, but that is not a negative to me. I'm always carrying extra papers with me in the front seat anyway! The only feature that I would like to see with the Carry-All is removable shoulder straps. There are times that it would be nice to carry the item like a book, especially since I am not able to use it as my purse.
TheBusyWoman.com website also contains lots of resources--articles, personality tests, and time management tips--to help you make the most of your busy days. If you are looking for a mom-friendly day planner, then you really should consider The Busy Woman's Daily Planner. There is something for everyone's taste and budget on the website. Do yourself a favor and let this item help you make the most of the limited hours that you have each day!