“ Author: Sandra Boynton / Calendar / 36 Pages / Book is published 2011-06-30 by Workman Publishing „
I am not the most organised of people, but since my daughter has started school and we have found the need to determine, work, family life commitments, we have all started using a calendar in the home regularly. Last year I just used a standard calendar with a small square for each day, but this year we realised it needed to be a little more complex and organised so I bought the Mum's Family Planner.
The calendar itself is large in size and almost too big for needs if I am perfectly honest. On first impressions I thought it was going to be too big and bulky for my small notice board area in the kitchen where everything gets written down.
As we have used it more and more, I realise it's not too big really you just need to consider that it will hold a lot more information than your standard calendar therefore needs to be bigger than you may imagine.
** Layout **
The format of the calendar is a month per double page spread. This is laid out in a vertical list with five columns. Mum obviously gets priority as the first column, and then the remainder are left blank for you to write your own names in the top spaces.
Immediately what I liked about the layout was that the weekend was shaded in a slightly different colour so it was easy to see the dates for the weekend quickly. I also liked the space available to write the information. Sometimes I found we needed more than one thing in the space provided so this was useful.
There was only one negative I could find for the layout of the pages and that was if I am adding a family event into the calendar I either have to repeat it for every person, or write bigger and across the columns.
** Design **
The calendar is bright and attractive in neutral bright yellow. Each month has a different theme of cartoon style clip art running through it. Some of the pictures I look at and am unsure why they have been placed there, and a couple of the months, I find that the pictures overlap some of the columns and they are placed too darkly which makes writing over them slightly more difficult.
** Extras **
When I opened the calendar for the first time, I noticed there was a handy set of stickers included. I have to admit they aren't something we would use as a family as a lot of them aren't relative to us such as "childminder", but my daughter has enjoyed using them, and I can see the benefits for other families.
One of the best parts of this calendar is the little pocket that sits at the back. Just a simple design of folded cardboard with a smaller year to view calendar printed on it, but it's proving to be an invaluable storage space for a pen or pencil. We worked out very quickly you can't clip a normal biro pen against it as it sits upside down and then the pen won't work as you write on the calendar when attached to the wall, but a great idea for other pens that sit the correct way up.
** Overall **
I paid around the £10 mark for this calendar which is a little more than I would perhaps normally pay, but I liked the fact that it starts in September and covers sixteen months rather than just twelve, so I can get organised before buying the following year's calendar if needed.
Despite being large in size, the calendar is made well and in my opinion worth its weight in a family home.