Product Type: Bosch in Homeware
Newest Review: ... end of each week entitled 'Notes and next week' which is handy for things like making a note of birthdays / events you need to be organi... more
Time for Mum to get organised
Organised Mum Life Book Diary
Member Name: KLockwood75
Organised Mum Life Book Diary
Date: 14/09/11, updated on 15/09/11 (172 review reads)
Advantages: Great for keeping yourself organising, lots of features, enjoyable to use
Disadvantages: Too big for my handbag!
It is going to be a busy few months in our house with the oldest starting school and a potential house move on the cards as well. Feeling that this period is going to provide a real challenge to my organisational skills, I decided to invest in a shiny new diary - and treated myself to an Organised Mum Life Book.
* The Diary *
The Organised Mum Life Book is a week to view, 16 month diary / organiser. Mine starts from mid-August 2011 and runs until 6th January 2013. This was ideal for me as I wanted a diary that would cover the start of the new school year - perfect for keeping track of the staggered start dates, complicated childcare arrangements and all those school events that I'm praying will be on the two days a week that I don't work!
It is very attractive - A5 size with a hardback cover and spiral binding, with a turquoise elastic to hold it closed. The front of my diary is a mid-blue with a variety of different graphic style flowers / circular patterns on it and the words '2012 Life Book' down the right hand side. The only issue I would have with the size is that it is a big diary and you will need a big handbag if you're planning to carry it around with you. I tend to keep mine by the computer at home and use the calendar on my phone to make notes when out and about, which I then transfer to the diary at home.
Each week is spread over two pages of the ring bound diary with plenty of space for writing down all your appointments. There are four lines for each day, plus an extra line at the bottom of the day for 'Meal Ideas' - this is a feature that appeals to me as I like to keep a track of what we eat on a daily basis and hopefully it will encourage me to get back into meal planning properly. There is also a section at the end of each week entitled 'Notes and next week' which is handy for things like making a note of birthdays / events you need to be organised for the following week. The other features of the diary pages are a shopping list on the left hand side which is perforated so that you can tear it off and put it in your handbag for a trip to the shops, and a 'Things to Do / Important' list on the right hand side - this is also perforated but if you tear it off you lose the 'Shopping List' section for the following week.
Along the bottom of each page is a handy little calendar of this month and next month so you can check what day of the week each date falls on at a glance without having to flick to a different part of the diary.
* Additional Features *
The Organised Mum Life Book is more than just a diary, it is also an organiser. The 16 month diary section only actually makes up roughly half of the book and the second section provides you with even more tools to help your life run smoothly. In the second part of the organiser, behind a card divider, there are a variety of pages dedicated to each month. These are a Month to View Planner Page which is a double-page spread where you can see the whole month at a glance, useful for noting down childcare arrangements / holiday dates / birthdays which are fixed in advance so that I can work around them when making other plans; pages entitled 'Things to Do in September / Notes for September' where you can write down your plans for the month; a budget page for the month with space to work out all your monthly expenses from the mortgage payment to savings for Christmas and holidays; and an income and outgoings page so you can write down everything you spend (and even add on your earnings from reviewing on here). So far my scribblings in this section just comprises a list of the things that I've spotted in the shops which I am tempted to add to my Autumn / Winter wardrobe, and a few notes on things to do with school, but hopefully I will get into the habit of using the planning pages more regularly.
The final section of the book is for those planners amongst us and is entitled 'Christmas and Holidays'. Again it starts with a 'Notes' page and a page on Christmas plans. It then has a budget page where you can write down everyone you have to buy a present for, allocate a budget to that present and then write down your actual spend. I am hoping this will encourage me to budget properly and shop around for bargains / special offers in an attempt to come in under budget - of course the reality is probably that I will completely fail to budget and run around the shops like a headless chicken in December like I do every year. There is also a two page spread where you can write down your ideas for everyone's Christmas present and tick them off when you've bought them, plus lists with tick boxes for Christmas cards and Christmas shopping. There is also a summer holiday planner where you can organise the whole of the six week summer holiday at a glance, and pages for you to write down your thoughts and plans for 2011, 2012 and 2013... if you want to think that far ahead! Lastly there are basic calendars for 2013 and 2014.
The back of the Life Book has a handy pocket for all those school letters / invitations / notes that you are waiting to respond to. This pocket also contains two sheets of stickers to use in the diary to highlight important events - they include stickers for Activities, Back to School, School's Out, Holidays, Doctors, Dentists, Beauticians, Hairdressers, Day Out, Night Out, Party, Birthday and a host of other things that you may or may not want to remind yourself of like the car tax renewal date or when to file your tax return. If you don't have enough stickers, you can buy additional sheets of stickers from the Organised Mum website - http://www.organised-mum.co.uk/.
There is also a removal Addresses and Contacts file with a birthday list in the back which is ideal as you can just transfer it to the next years' diary when you've finished with this one. The final feature I want to mention is the repositionable clear divider which you can move to the relevant page of the diary to make it easier to find your place.
* Cost and Where to Buy *
I actually bought my Life Book in John Lewis as I had a voucher that I wanted to put towards it, but it is easy to buy them from the website - http://www.organised-mum.co.uk/. A basic 2012 Life Book costs £13.49 but you can also buy them with faux leather or real leather covers from the website. They also do a pocket version (better for your handbag) and a big family Life Book which may be better if you've got children who have busy social lives and do lots of activities.
* Final Thoughts *
So far I am really loving my Life Book - this is actually my second one as I bought one two years ago which I also loved - and I do feel that it is making me feel more organised and in control of my life. I always loved the whole new back to school stationery thing as a child and this Life Book, especially the stickers, really appeals to that part of me. There is so much space for keeping track of life's events and making plans for the future that I can even see myself keeping these diaries once I've finished them and looking back at them to see what we used to do. I would definitely recommend it to everyone who wants a bit more organisation in their lives.
*Originally posted on Ciao as Brownie_Queen
Summary: A fantastic diary / organiser for busy Mums
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