Everyone has their own special way of organizing time. As if we humans could do that. It’s the charade of control that we enjoy, isn’t it? Blocking off hours on the calendar labeling them “DO NOT DISTURB,” scribbling commitments in a time slot months in advance, adhering (or not) to a schedule. Writing lists of things to do.
And paper. Glorious smooth sheets of new-smelling paper, blank blocks of days, ripe with possibility.
Somebody stop me before this gets ridiculous. Too late?
I love me a good planner. By “good” in my case I mean simple, straightforward, with exactly what I need and nothing more, plenty of room to write notes and doodle and to house the ever-growing lists. Up until this year I have favored the one-year weekly planner format: a 8.5″ x 11″ two-page spread for the whole month, then the weeks following with larger blocks for the days.
I started to hit a glitch this summer, though, when planning for the school year (not just for my own kids but for the whole community because I am the PTA co-president) I found that I needed pages for 2015. I started looking online for the year format for 2015 back in June. Too early.
Enter family_time.mine, the code-looking title for Dotmine‘s academic year weekly planner. It goes from August 2014 to December 2015. “A place for our family’s plans and dreams” it says inside the front cover. Well, more like a place for Mom’s control freak tendencies to have a field day, but okay. That’s a nice thought.
The family_time.mine format has the 2-page monthly grid calendar that I like, plus a page for each week with room to jot down appointments and ideas. The thick margins are perforated so that if you jot down a particularly important list you can easily tear it off and go. What I need, plus what I didn’t know I needed!
There are other nifty features of this planner – thick fold-out cards for each season of the year where you can block out your family’s master schedule, a few pages set aside at the back for addresses and phone numbers, babysitter info, and notes – but not too much of the fluff that fills up other planners. I don’t need international maps or time zones or area codes in my planner at all times. I like that this book focuses on family information but it’s not too cutesy. The design is tasteful and it doesn’t say MOM anywhere on it. The one feature I miss here is the presence of tabs for each month so I can easily flip to the calendar and find a specific day. I remedied this a little bit by adding my own tabs with tiny sticky notes.
Dotmine is also mindful of the modern family’s shift to electronic planning. While I do keep a Google calendar, I still love my paper planner, and Dotmine seems to have combined the two obsessions by offering a downloadable day planner. WHAT. It’s the same format and content as the hard copy but half the price and you print it yourself. Maybe one can prevent overwhelm that way…
Dotmine’s family_time.mine day planner – Free Bird style, $24.99 at Dotmine.com. I received a complimentary planner to facilitate this review but you can bet your overscheduled bottom all opinions are my own.