In the age of iPhones, Blackberries, and Palm Pres, it is odd to be excited about a pen and paper planner. I am one of those people though that likes to see my whole week and month planned out right in front of me without having to turn on an electronic device. Among other things, I also get migraines from wireless devices - so no iPhone for me. I even find that I'm not comfortable with a calendar displayed on a computer screen, I just need it all on paper. It is because of people like me (well, and teachers, lawyers, professionals, etc...) that Day-Timer is still in business. Sometimes you just need something bigger than a 2 x 4 inch screen to envision your plans for the month or week.
Day-Timer was generous enough to send me a Schedule Master Monthly/Weekly Wall Calendar and the Biscayne Bonded Leather Zippered Journal Cover with a 2-page-per-week refill. These are for 2010, but I played around with it to get a feel for how I will use it. I also read all the reference pages in the zippered planner ;) Schedule Master Monthly/Weekly Wall Calendar: This is a neat calendar for keeping your household organized. It can be either hung on the wall with the metal grommet or on the fridge since it has a magnetic back. Since I am at the fridge twenty times a day anyway - that works perfectly! The neat thing is that you can track multiple schedules for each person in the household. While we only have three people (plus an occasional kitchen centipede), this can be very helpful for households with multiple school age children. That way you can see all the appointments, practices, and sleepovers in one place. Everything is color coded, so each person gets one color, you can even give one to your dog. It has sticky notes of the same color that you can put on the calendar to designate chores. It also has two loops for pens and pencils so you would not have to go hunting for one like I always do. The big board is 16 x 16.5 inches and the calendar itself is about 7 x 12, the detailed weekly calendar is 4 x 12. It sells for $29.99.
Constructive criticism: The board broke at one corner. I am not sure if it cracked in transit or when I was exploring it. But in any case, maybe it wouldn't hurt to have cardboard corner protectors to keep it from cracking in shipping. Even better, perhaps some permanent metal corners, like the grommet.
Biscayne Bonded Leather Zippered Journal Cover: This is not your average journal cover. What is bonded leather? It is composed of 75% recycled leather fibers and is mixed with a natural latex bonding agent. So why does that matter? Because otherwise these leather scraps would end up in a landfill, that's why. Latex comes from the rubber tree, so that is a great way to bond the scraps without using some toxic gluing agent. The bonded leather is actually made in a tannery in Spain, it really does look and smell like real leather.
This Journal Cover makes me look very professional. Moms take note - it is not purse or diaper bag size, but Day-Timer does carry a lot of smaller organizers. I like that it is zippered, so it can keep my organized mess in. There is also a 'leather' pocket inside as well as some nylon ones for loose papers and concept sketches on napkins, great for interior designers and architects! It is 1" thick and 7.5 x 10 inches big. The Biscayne Bonded Leather Cover in journal size is $39.99.
The Journal Refill I chose is the two-page-per-week format. It reminds me of school agendas and for me personally is the easiest way to keep track of things. It has a whole month page as well so you can see the big picture. My favorite feature, though very simple, is the perforated corners that you rip off so you always know exactly where you are in the year. There are also pages for taking notes and keeping numbered lists within each month. There are three separate booklets as well for addresses and phones, a monthly advance planning calendar through the year 2016, and a memo work organizer for more lists. This particular set costs $23.99. They do have the same thing in recycled paper that is only $2 more, next time I would opt for that.
The Verdict:If it wasn't for three part time jobs, I would do fine without this. But I need to keep track of my interior design job, Lunch to do list, and blogging ventures (oh the reviews to write and the giveaways to host!) If you are a busy mom or just busy, these Day-Timer products are great for keeping you sane and putting all your plans on paper. It is really relieving to see everything written out in front of you and not have to keep it all in your head. These are high quality products and a very good investment for a smooth year ahead. Great gift as well!
I love their wall calendar, I use it to plan menus and my online blog and work! When I don't have time to sit down and fill it in, the whole week tumbles upside down. So I try to make it a point to fill it out on a regular basis so that I don't have to keep my menu and work schedule in my head!
I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a Christ follower, an Interior Designer, a blog author, a cook, an artist, an eco-conscious consumer, a nature lover, … more
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Day-Timer, a leading provider of time management and organizational solutions, offers more than 100 paper-based systems and computer and Internet-based products for business, school, and home use.
Day-Timer products are widely available through many resellers and distribution channels including: 1600 office superstores, computer and software stores, commercial contract dealers and wholesalers throughout North America, the Day-Timer catalog , and the company's World Wide Web site. Day-Timer products are also available internationally through Day-Timer of Canada , Day-Timer UK, and Day-Timer Australia/New Zealand.