A few weeks ago, Sheila Hoeft at the Dotmine Group contacted me about reviewing one of their fabulous day planners. I swear, people, it was like she reached into my innermost thoughts and heard my cries for help on organizational matters, and came to the rescue. A little about Dotmine:
Our concept is simple: create fashionable, functional, and affordable day planners to help individuals and families keep track of busy schedules. Our day planners are designed to meet the specific, unique needs of families and professionals to increase efficiency and minimize confusion. We are run by the 2 moms that started the business, myself (part-time sales working mom) and our PR professional mom.
Simple. Fashionable. Functional. Affordable. These were the qualities I was looking for in a planner. I was having trouble finding just the right day planner to fit my needs in the aisles of my local bookstores and mega-retailers. The planners I came across were either too simple or too complex to fit my needs, and if they were serviceable they were ugly and EXPENSIVE. Dotmine to the rescue! Sheila sent me a beautiful family_time.mine day planner.
This planner is about the size of a normal school notebook. There is also a smaller planner that would be suitable for tossing into your handbag or diaper bag. But I love the big one. This, moms, is your command center. It fits perfectly in the outer pocket of my breastpump bag, so it goes to work with me every day and I set it out open on my desk for easy access. I find myself turning to it to jot down appointments and activities several times a day. The front and back cover of the planner is made of durable plastic, so you don’t have to worry about the cover getting ripped or wrinkled, and if you spill your coffee on it, no worries. You just wipe it off. Good as new!
Each planner runs 17 months, from August to the next December. That way you’re not left high and dry if you forget to order another planner. The family_time.mine gives you a couple of months grace period between buying planners. At the beginning and end of the planner there are large master scheduling guides to put your static activities (gym, tan, laundry, etc.) for the week and also on a daily hour-by-hour basis. As a working mom I wasn’t really able to utilize these much, but I can definitely see how a busy stay-at-home mom would find these extremely beneficial (especially moms with multiple children who are involved in many activities). There is a page for your personal information and emergency contact numbers, as well as a list of the year’s holidays. There is a monthly view, and each week has its own page. One awesome detail about the planner is the detachable sidebar, which is great for grocery lists, tasks, and other to-do items. Just make your grocery list during the day and tear it out to go to the store (or pass off to your hubby so he can go). There is plenty of space to write for each day, and a segment in the sidebar to stick a post-it note. After the weekly days are done, there is a full page dedicated to notes. You can use it to start planning for the next month or even jot down your thoughts about things that have gone on that you may want to elaborate on for your blog. Another thing that I found really fun about the planner was that there are little quotes along the bottom of most pages. Por exemplo:
The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.
I LOVE that kind of stuff. It’s the little things in life that make me happy, and the family_time.mine is chock full of little details that make my heart sing. At the back of the planner there is a section called Family Business, which has a place for you to keep all the information of your family’s various business-related contacts. It has a place for your accountant, your bank, your church, children’s coaches, doctors, dentists, attorney, car repair, favorite takeout places, even your veterinarian for your furry babies. There’s a page for friends and family information, work contacts, and even a page for your kids to write down their friends’ names and phone numbers.
I also love the page for the babysitter. It has a place for all of the vital information: mom and dad’s cell numbers, neighbors, doctors, important info about the kids (birthdate, allergies, etc.), and a blank space for a post-it note to let the sitter know where you will be. I love how they give you dedicated space to utilize post-it notes, because at any given time my house is covered in post-its.
Another great little thing I love about this planner is that it has a page of stickers for you to use throughout the planner. There are stickers for birthdays, bills, vacations, games, dental and doctor appointments, days off from school, date nights, holidays, anniversaries, and the all-important monthly breast self-exam.
Finally, there is a pocket on the inside back cover. I love pockets. I feel the same way about pockets in notebooks as I do about cabinets: you can never have enough. You can stick your receipts, info sheets, doctor notes, prescriptions, anything in the pocket for safe keeping until you get home.
Overall, I have really enjoyed having this planner. It is durable, easy to read and use, and full of thoughtful little details that are tailor-made for busy moms. I’m looking forward to picking out my next one in August and getting to use it for the whole year. And the price? Virtually a steal at around $18. You pay nearly as much for a plain old day planner with just dates and not enough writing space.
However, one lucky reader won’t have to worry about the price, because the Dotmine Group is giving one winner a free family_time.mine planner!
Alright, let’s get down to brass tacks.
The ONLY required entry: Leave a comment below with your name and e-mail address. Easy peasy!
Additional entries if you want to up your chances (be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry):
-Follow my blog publicly.
-Follow me on Twitter @HouseOfBurks.
-Follow the Dotmine Group on Twitter @TimeMine.
-Like Dotmine on Facebook.
-Tweet about this giveaway.
-Vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs or Top Mommy Blogs up there on the right.
If you already follow me or Dotmine or already like Dotmine on Facebook, don’t forget to leave a comment for that. Get your entries in by midnight on Sunday, May 23. I will select a winner on Monday, May 24, via random.org. You seriously want to win this planner. It’s that awesome. Good luck!