Friday, August 15, 2014

Smart Moms Stay Organized with DotMine Day Planners #Review + #Giveaway


I have always considered myself to be a pretty organized person. When I had a 9-5 job in an office, and sat at a desk every day, I had time to organize my days, weeks, months, and the entire year. I used to be so good at keeping track of everything from birthdays to daily, weekly, monthly tasks, due dates, etc., and then I got married, and became a mom, and life just sort of got crazy. My hubby is wonderful, and I love him dearly, but he's not the best at keeping up with dates and schedules. I have been tying to keep our two schedules straight for the past almost seven years. Now, with an already very full work schedule, volunteer schedule, music gig/writing/recording schedule, daily editorial deadlines, day to day tasks, chores, and due dates, we're about to add a brand new schedule into the mix- B's preschool schedule!


As the matriarch of this family, it's my job to be the master schedule keeper. I keep lists, calendars and schedules all over the house, and on my phone- but I have to be honest here, even with the advanced technology we have today (I mean- we can share schedules to find a meeting date and time), I sort of stink at digitally scheduling my entire life. I am still a traditional gal when it comes to scheduling, and I guess I sort of follow in my dad's footsteps on this, because he doesn't go anywhere without his red datebook.calendar.

To help me keep up with the new mix of three people's schedules, I was offered the opportunity to work with the wonderful folks over at DotMine Day Planners. DotMine came about several years ago, when best friends Sarah and Lisa were both juggling careers and families. They felt that their planners helped to keep everything together, and brought a sense of balance to their lives. In 2014, Sarah took the lead at DotMine, and DotMine is still connecting moms, teachers, students, and families with the best planners, organizers and calendars out there!

I couldn't wait to get my hands on a brand new 2014 FAMILY_TIME.MINE Planner!

My new planner was sent out Priority Mail, and I was incredibly excited when it arrived.

I all but squealed when I removed my beautiful new planner from the packing envelope, and its protective plastic sleeve. The smiley face sticker on the plastic sleeve represented exactly how I felt the moment I opened the package!

My husband just sort of rolled his eyes at me, giving me that, 'You're the only person I know who gets weirdly excited over a planner,' speech, which I have heard many times. I know, however, that he deeply appreciates my efforts to plan and organize, and keep the family schedule straight.

My beautiful new FAMILY_TIME.MINE August 2014 - December 2015 Planner, in Petites Fleurs.

The design on the front and back cover of the planner is so me- girly, flowery, and downright delightful. I live in a house with two other dudes, so I allow myself a little loveliness when I can squeeze it in. I couldn't wait to dive right in, and start jotting down dates, times, special occasions, and whatnot, but I truly had to make myself take a step back, sit down, thumb through, and familiarize myself with the planner. I knew that if I jumped the gun and excitedly just started penciling things in, I might regret not having a system in place beforehand.

The first pages of the FAMILY_TIME.MINE planner are a heavier cardstock, and fold out, offering a Fall and Winter Master Schedule area. Each section contains a seasonal planning guide and a master weekly schedule, per quarter.

Quarterly Master Schedule

Fold out to reveal the weekly schedule and planning guide for each quarter.

I know that I am going to have to spend a bit of time sitting down, and filling in these quarterly schedules. I decided not to do this right away, because our daily schedule/routine is about to change. I wanted to wait until we had everything in our new schedule down to a science, before putting pen to paper. This section will be incredibly helpful to me, once I am ready to fill it in.

In the next few pages, there is an actual guide, which shows the new owner how to use the planner to its fullest potential. This guide tells you where to start- to use the Fall Master Schedule Planning Guide first, use the Fall Weekly Schedule next, to fill out the information on the personal pages, and then to move onto filling in the monthly and weekly planning pages.

A blank slate for the new school year... time to load her up!

I love the way the weekly planning pages are laid out... one spread shows two weeks at a time, with each week beginning with Monday, instead of Sunday. I really appreciate this little change that others might not notice or think anything of, because even though the week officially begins with Sunday, in my brain, the new week begins on Monday morning, when my alarm clock goes off. This calendar puts Sunday on paper, where it is in my head- at the tail end of the weekend.

This is not even close to what our weekly schedule really looks like, because too many slots are still empty, but this was a good start for me, as I began looking at my personal commitments and responsibilities.

On the side of each weekly planning page, is a grey area, which is perforated, and can be removed. This area is for everything from jotting down lists, notes and reminders, to placing sticky notes. I am a huge fan of using small sticky notes on these pages, especially when I need to send a reminder along with my husband! I make the sticky and stick it in my planning pages, so I don't forget to remind him, and then send the sticky along with him, so he doesn't forget, either. 

There are about eight lines to jot down plans and schedules within each daily schedule box, which is plenty of room, and helps me to be able to keep everything straight, and in an easy to find place. The bottom of each page gives you a witty, funny, inspiring, or thought-provoking quote, which I love to read, because it's a tiny break from the day to day busy-ness.

The back of the FAMILY_TIME.MINE Planner reveals a 3 year calendar page, for 2014, 2015 & 2016. It also include a folder for important items you need to be able to find.

I love that the planner includes a built in folder sleeve. I can picture my dad walking around with his red planner, papers and envelopes stuffed into it, and sticking out from between every few pages. This is a wonderful way to keep important documents organized, which you don't want or need to have filed for the time being.

Personal pages for contacts, family business, babysitter info, etc- are all located in the back of this awesome planner.

The FAMILY_TIME.MINE planner isn't just awesome for planning purposes, and making lists, it's the perfect place to keep important contacts and information for your family members, the babysitter, etc. There are prompts and spaces for you to jot down all sorts of info, like your doctor, hair dresser, church info, insurance agent, list of babysitters, teachers, neighbors, vet, favorite restaurants, etc. There's also a page for your kids, for you to jot down fun & fans (entertainment and friends), a place for work contacts, and a specific page for the babysitter, where you can list emergency numbers, and leave a sticky note with info as to where you'll be for the evening. So, so smart!

Petites Fleurs

Features of the FAMILY_TIME.MINE Planner

Back to School Perfection!
These little flower bursts make us just want to shout with joy! The world’s best mom planner agenda and family calendar—developed by moms, for moms—also makes a great teacher planner, editorial calendar for bloggers, nurses’ organizer and more!
Size: 8.5 x 11 inches
17-month planners, August-December
Fashionable cover designs printed on durable plastic
Monthly planner and weekly planner pages on crisp white paper
Inspirational and humorous quotes each week
Perforated margins for "tear-out" lists, & note pages make errands a breeze!
Plastic coil, spiral bound, back pocket holds papers in place
Unique master schedule / planning guides

Take a look at some of these other great planners and guides from DotMine...

life c'sest la vie
LIFE_TIME.MINE


little free bird
TIME.MINE

Purchase & download page spread PDFs to bind your own planner.


I know it won't be long before I have totally filled up the pages in my planner, as the new school year is just starting. I look forward to sitting down with my FAMILY_TIME.MINE planner at least once a week, and mapping out the week ahead. Being able to keep our personal schedules all in one place, which is just as portable as my phone, and easier to use, in my opinion, is really going to help me save time, and it will definitely aid in saving my sanity.

DOT_MINE has won multiple awards, such as PTPA, and StartUp Nation Leading Moms in Business (2010). These planners would make amazing gifts for parents, businesswomen, teachers, students, etc. Everyone deserves to have the best tools available to keep their schedules straight, plan ahead, and spend as much time as possible with the people they love. Start the year off on the right foot, well-organized, with a DOT.MINE Planner!

Want It? Buy It!

Head on over to DotMine Day Planners to explore their beautiful selection of day planners, or to purchase one of your very own. There are lots of beautiful designs to choose from! DotMine Day Planners would love to connect with you, socially, and invites you to like and follow them through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.



Want It? Win it!

One lucky MBP reader will win their very own DotMine Day Planner! Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older. Just use the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter for your chance to win!

Special thanks to Sarah, and friends at DotMine Day Planners for helping me get back on track with keeping everything organized, and for offering this wonderful Back to School giveaway for our readers.

Good luck!



27 comments:

  1. Wish this giveaway was for Canadians too! Love the cover! marg

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  2. i love the cest la vie planner

    marie

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  3. The covers are beautiful. So does it have pages with times of day along the side for each day, or just the 2-week spread with 8 lines per day and you just write in the times?

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  4. The family time planner would be the best for my family. We are all so busy and I like the tear off areas you mentioned. Thanks!

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  5. I like the Happy Tune planner.

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  6. The DotMine Day Planner I would like the most would be the Happy Tune. I like to be happy and want to surround myself with happy things. This planner would keep me even happier because my life would be organized and therefore much more manageable.

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  7. I would use this planner to stay organized with my daughter's school and church events as well as family activities.

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  8. I would love the Petites Fleurs family planner!

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  9. I would choose the Family Time in the Free bird design. I think this planner would be most beneficial in keeping my family and all of our activities organized.

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  10. I really love the Free Bird planner. so pretty!

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  11. The Family Time Mine in Free Bird.

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  12. I like the Beaucoup Bouquets Time Mine Planner.


    Desiree Dunbar
    desireedunbar@hotmail.com

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  13. I like the Garden Party planner the most.

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  14. This planner might also be good to keep track of blogging dates, sweepstakes and psot deadlines.

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  15. I think the best one for me would be the dotmine "time mine" planner. I adore the Garden Party design.

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  16. The C'est La Vie day planner would help keep track of everything. This would help so much.

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  17. I like the family time - free bird.
    Jennifer Rote

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  18. The free bird family planner would be great.

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  19. We not only have school to keep track of, but all of the extra-curricular activities like dance that this would be helpful with.

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  20. love the family time / free bird. thankyou, ken pohl19@comcast.net

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  21. I really like the Time Mine Planner in Beaucoup Bouquets. That would work great for my life right now!

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  22. I like the Petites Fleurs family planner. This would be great for the new school year and my kids activities.

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  23. I like the free bird family planner. I have an unhealthy obsession with funky journals, so this would be an awesome prize to win!

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  24. I love organization. I'd use it to keep track of my family of 6.

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  25. I love the Dutch Treat planner.

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