Day Planners for Moms: FamilyTimeMine (and a Double Giveaway)
When I started yakking about my favorite day planners over at Lilting House a long while back, I had no idea what I was starting. Look at this:
That’s just this week’s searches, and only the top chunk of the list. I let
go of the Grab button too soon and didn’t feel like redoing it.
It seems I’m not the only one with a planner obsession.
I also learned that if you review them, they will come. I wound up with more planners than you could shake a Bic at. (Har.)
Here’s one with lots to like about it: the FamilyTime.Mine day planner. The company sent me two sizes to look at: a purse-sized 5 1/2" x 8" model, and an 8 1/2" x 11" model. (I’ll be giving them away at the end of this post.) Both are spiral bound, which I’ve decided is my preference for a planner. I really need to be able to fold back the cover for easy writing. The front and back covers are sturdy plastic, also a plus. I like the colorful confetti design on the little one. Actually, they’re both quite festive. The colors on the larger one (this is the "Collage" pattern) are brighter than they appear in this image.
Okay, these images are not to scale. The one on the left, Collage, is the 8 1/2 x 11" model. There are other cover designs available, too.
Enough about the outside! Open them up, and the first two pages are a heavy card stock, folded so there’s a large flap on the left-hand side. I have the August 2007-Dec. 2008 versions, so the flaps read "Fall 2007" and "Winter 2007." I assume the 2008 version has front flaps for Winter and Spring. Open the flap and you have a fold-out grid for writing out your weekly master schedule. In the back of the planner are two more of these folded card-stock pages, with two more seasons’ worth of master schedule grids. This is a pretty nifty feature, I must say. The flaps do add a little bulk to the planner, but these are skinny planners compared to other brands on the market, so even with the flaps they are not unwieldy at all.
(Click image to enlarge.) The weekly schedule on the left is the folded-over part of the flap.
Apart from these master schedule pages, the paper is thin. I haven’t pen-tested these but I’m guessing there’s bound to be some bleed-through. I’m a felt-tip pen kind of girl (or better yet, fountain pens), so thin paper makes me crazy. This is the only major strike against the FamilyTimeMine, but for me it’s a biggie.
After some instructional and promo pages (which you could tear out), there’s a page for personal info, emergency numbers, and holiday dates. On the other side of that begin the monthly and weekly calendar spreads. This planner has the monthly spreads inserted before each month’s set of weekly pages (as opposed to the MomAgenda which has all the monthly spreads together up front, a feature I am wildly fond of).
The monthly spreads are nice and clean, with big clear boxes. (REALLY big, in the 8 1/2 x 11" version.)
The weekly pages are a page per week (not a spread per week).
You’ll note it’s a Monday-through-Sunday week.
The gray columns on the side of each page are a perforated list area. You can tear these off or fold them over. That’s a neat feature, although I’m not crazy about the fact that every page is perforated (including the monthly calendar grids—not the card-stock flap pages, of course). Call me picky, but I don’t like the perforation running down the line between Sunday and Monday on the monthly calendar.
It’s a clean, functional format, though, with lots of writing space and little visual clutter. There are teeny tiny quotes at the bottom of each weekly grid.
Back-of-the-book extra pages include a babysitter info page, a kind of personal yellow pages space, some pages for recording phone numbers & email addresses, and two blank lined pages for notes.
Behind the two final flappy card-stock master schedule pages is a page of FlyLadyesque stickers for birthdays, bills, holidays, vacation, Important! events, ball games, and other events for which you might enjoy a colorful reminder. The back cover (that nice sturdy plastic again) has a very nice side pocket for tucking stuff into. I think I would prefer a bottom pocket, but this is still quite a nice feature.
Checking around, I see prices ranging from $10.15 (for the smaller size, at Amazon) to $16.99 (for the larger size, at Calendars.com). (The larger size seems to be about $13 at Amazon.)
Giveaway time! Leave a comment on this post and I’ll enter you in a drawing for one of these two planners. I’m giving them both away, so if you have a size preference, include that in your comment. The first winner I draw will get to pick which size he or she gets. I’ll hold the drawing on Monday, December 17, for a sort of hobbity reason. That ought to give me time to mail these to the winners before New Year’s. (But remember, these are the August 2007-December 2008 models, so you’ll probably want to tear out a bunch of pages in the front.)
Next up: the Bizzimom planner.
Other planners reviewed at Lilting House (this is the index page; scroll down to find the review you want):
Catholic Woman’s Daily Planner
Mom’s Daily Planner
A Circle of Days (Small Meadow Press)
I’d like to enter! I’ve been looking unsuccessfully for a new planner. I hadn’t seen this one before–thanks for the review.
On December 13, 2007 at 9:43 pm
Thanks for the review! I am currently searching for the “perfect planner.” And, I would like to enter the drawing!
On December 13, 2007 at 10:34 pm
i would like to be in a drawing for the purse sized one. i actually took a note book and drew in my own planner because i couldnt find one that i liked. but i think this one is what i was going for. thanks
On December 14, 2007 at 12:37 am
Please enter me in the drawing!
On December 14, 2007 at 12:44 am
Renae H says:
Count me in! Either size is fine with me. Thanks for the giveaway!
On December 14, 2007 at 1:05 am
I would love the larger sized one. The covers are lovely — much nicer than my plain old black office-supply planner.
On December 14, 2007 at 3:53 am
I dont expect you to enter me in the draw (I’m in the UK!!) but I wanted to say thank you so much for this review – I have been looking for a planner with a tear out section for ages – and they actually seem to have some on UK-Amazon!! Thanks again.
On December 14, 2007 at 4:36 am
I would love to enter the drawing. thanks so much for the reviews.
On December 14, 2007 at 4:47 am
Mary G. says:
Lissa, I’d love the 8.5×11 one as I try to keep everything in a binder so I can add pages as needed ….
Thanks for offering these up … you’re a real peach!
On December 14, 2007 at 5:08 am
Count me in! I’d love to be entered in the drawing for the larger size planner. The Lord knows I need a little help in the planning department!
On December 14, 2007 at 5:24 am
I’d love a new planner. I am a big fan of the FTM planners as well.
On December 14, 2007 at 5:48 am
thank you for reviewing these.
On December 14, 2007 at 6:31 am
I appreciate the review, especially with the visual examples. Thanks for doing the giveaway!
On December 14, 2007 at 6:40 am
I’d like to enter, please. 🙂
On December 14, 2007 at 6:41 am
Activities Coordinator says:
Free! Planners! Ooh, pick me! Pick me!
On December 14, 2007 at 6:53 am
Add me. 🙂 Please..
On December 14, 2007 at 7:13 am
Angela, MotherCrone says:
Thank you for this review…I really like this. I’d love to enter!
On December 14, 2007 at 7:16 am
Ana Betty says:
I’d love to enter! These reviews are so helpful, thanks so much!!
On December 14, 2007 at 7:32 am
Need a new planner…enter me!
On December 14, 2007 at 7:50 am
Oh, I’m a sucker for a new planner. Either size could work, but the larger one might be nice for our family information station in the kitchen.
On December 14, 2007 at 9:41 am
Add me to the list. I’d love to win a planner 🙂
On December 14, 2007 at 10:34 am
Sarah S. Chicken says:
I’ve not really had a day planner before. But the whole calendar-on-the-fridge doesn’t seem to be working as well as I might hope. Perhaps I could have the small one? Hopefully it would round out my purse and make me a more organized mommy. Thanks for the giveaway!
On December 14, 2007 at 12:20 pm
I’ll enter because 12/17 is my birthday.
On December 14, 2007 at 12:30 pm
I love those! Perfect timing, mine is just ending and I need a new one!
On December 14, 2007 at 12:37 pm
That is a great planner! But don’t enter me into the competition, can you imagine the postage if I won?!!
Btw, how do you get the search information for your weblog?
On December 14, 2007 at 12:46 pm
Since I’m about to go buy a Familytime.mine planner- I’ll enter, please. I use that one for my family planner, (love the seasonal Schedule pages) and I also like the Family Organizer one I have, with tear-out sections, for a smaller size. I got it from Walmart.
On December 14, 2007 at 12:55 pm
Helen (Mary Vitamin) says:
I love your planner posts and planners in general. Since I’ve been losing my planners lately, I think it’s a good idea to throw my name in the hat. I might need one soon.
(I guess I would prefer the larger one. I never win anything so I don’t know why I’m mentioning the size I’d prefer 🙂
On December 14, 2007 at 1:03 pm
Love to have a planner. Maybe I could get organized then. The big one would be awesome!
On December 14, 2007 at 1:17 pm
Mama Martin says:
I’d love a planner – to help me and each member of my family to be and do what we plan to! Thanks for sharing and aye, for giving us a peep into the Bonny Glen.
On December 14, 2007 at 1:18 pm
Love to have a planner. Maybe I could get organized then. The big one would be awesome!
On December 14, 2007 at 1:18 pm
Just Jen says:
This goes to show you how important it is that we teach our children good planning…they’re obviously going to need it…lol
I’m good…I have enough planners to start a store…lol
Good luck to all of you!
On December 14, 2007 at 1:46 pm
I’d like to enter, too, please 🙂 Either size would be fine with me.
On December 14, 2007 at 2:33 pm
Wow, lots of comments! 🙂 Entering because I could use a pick me up. The smaller size, I guess, although either is great
On December 14, 2007 at 2:36 pm
I would love to be a winner! Either would be fine.:-)
On December 14, 2007 at 3:06 pm
i love planners.
On December 14, 2007 at 5:26 pm
Jennifer Z says:
I appreciate seeing your review! I am currently trying to get myself organized and on track, and it’s great to be able to get information like this before committing to one particular type 🙂
On December 14, 2007 at 10:55 pm
Alli ~Mrs. Fussypants says:
Pick me, pick me! 😉
On December 15, 2007 at 5:54 am
Hey! This looks like an awesome planner. I love to a smaller planner to carry out and about!
On December 15, 2007 at 6:30 am
I’d like to enter to win one of the planners. I’m always looking for a better way of organizing. I’d prefer the larger version.
On December 15, 2007 at 6:50 am
I love your planner reviews (I’m a bit of an addict) and would love to be included in your drawing. Thanks!
On December 15, 2007 at 12:03 pm
Count me in! I’d love to try out one of those planners! I’ve never used one before, except my own homemade versions…
On December 15, 2007 at 1:47 pm
Thanks, Melissa, for reviewing these. I’ve been limping along without a proper planner for a couple of years. I do have a lovely Filofax that used to keep me organized (pre-child) but doesn’t have the organizational oomph I seem to now need… nor is the “slip-in-purse” size adequate. I’ve resorted to buying student planners from the nearby big-box-office-supply-store. Not great, either (worked when I was in University but those relatively uncomplicated days are loooong gone). I do like the familytime.mine set up and I will likely get my hands on one in the near future (one way or the other!).
It’s so hard to make planner decisions. I appreciate that you’ve spent some time scoping out the options for us all. 🙂
With warm appreciation, Rebecca in Canada
On December 15, 2007 at 3:26 pm
I would like to enter, too!
I think I actually like the week on one page. We keep a log in a small spiral book. But, I’m wondering if a planner might help as I head of for full quarter of classes after taking a two quarter break. It gets a bit hectic around our house when I’m in school, too.
It might be nice for letting each other know what the boys want to “homeschool”.
On December 16, 2007 at 11:55 am
Sign me up!
On December 16, 2007 at 12:54 pm
Wow, these look great. Please enter me in the drawing!
On December 16, 2007 at 1:39 pm
Count me in! I’m using way too much ink printing my own colorful self-designed pages. Time to try something new.
On December 16, 2007 at 2:35 pm
Another planner nut.. I love them but don’t use them well. Would love to try a new one! Please count me in the drawing. Thanks!
On December 16, 2007 at 2:38 pm
Chronically disorganized and a planner addict…So count me in, please!
On December 16, 2007 at 3:53 pm
Lynn B says:
These look gorgeous! If I were so lucky, I would pick the larger one. 🙂
On December 17, 2007 at 12:40 am
Count me in!
On December 17, 2007 at 3:31 am
please enter me too…
On December 17, 2007 at 7:11 am
I hope I’m not too late!
On December 17, 2007 at 10:10 am
Ann@ HolyExperience says:
The 8 by 11 would be such a blessing… Thank you for the opportunity to enter.
But really, Melissa.
Most gratitude simply for investing into this corner of the blogosphere. You’ll never have any idea how many families you have impacted. Ours, deeply.
On December 17, 2007 at 4:20 pm
Ana Betty says:
Thanks so much for the drawing and for the reviews. It is so helpful to have a real-life, tidal, homeschool mom review these. Your blog is brings a smile to my face each time I visit. Many days I really need that. Thanks for all you do.
On December 22, 2007 at 3:52 pm
Shelia Lewis says:
Love these – we are going planning on selling these to raise money for ACS Relay for Life.
On June 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm
I have been a planner lover for a long time, and now to find one that encompasses all the blessings of my life is just perfect. I have to tell you I sat at the store, with husband and children all around me for quiet some time. I knew of all the date books, agenda’s, planners ( I have had them all) yours was the one I was drawn to. My biggest decision what WHAT SIZE, 8X11 or the next size smaller. I went with the larger and could not have been happier. Thanks so very much- Do you put out idea’s or thoughts where people could preview/review I would love that opportunity- I love that kind of stuff! Happiness and Peace- Kim
On August 17, 2009 at 5:38 pm