Behold, the 2011 Life Book by Organised Mum!
This diary is absolutely packed with features. Go grab a beverage, and a snack too if you like, to sustain you while I go on and on about all the amazing pages and extra goodies in this planner!
The 2011 Life Book is an A5 size weekly planner that goes from September 2010 through December 2011 with monthly planning pages, budget worksheets, holiday planning pages and much, much more.
***Edited to add: the 2012 version of the Life Book starts mid-August in response to folks (including me) in Scotland who start school earlier than the rest of the UK. This makes this planner great for US folks starting school in August too!
There's so much to tell you I hardly know where to start, so I'm going to just jump straight in and take you through the book.
(Click on photos for a larger view.)
The very first page is Personal Information, so you (or someone else, in an emergency) don't have to flip through pages to find your important details.
The next page has spaces for more useful numbers for quick reference, and annual calendars for 2010 and 2011.
Next there are six pages of Weekly Routines. There are several ways you could use these pages. You could use one page for each person's weekly routine, or use one weekly routine page for each school term. Also, there is a very handy page to record clothing and shoe sizes for each family member.
Next comes the weekly diary section. Click on the photo to enlarge and see all the excellent features on these pages.
At the bottom of each day's space there is a line for Meal Ideas. At the left side of the left page, there is a perforated tear-off Shopping List so you can write the ingredients you need to buy for your menus for the week. At the right side of the right page, there is a list area for Things To Do, and Important notes or reminders at the bottom.
UK holidays and phases of the moon are printed on the day spaces (which as you all know by now I REALLY appreciate). The font and blue ink color are pleasant to look at, and I really like the seasonal icons on the pages. Let me just say how much I appreciate that the book is very attractive inside and out, without being cutesy or frou-frou. I really like it.
As if all that weren't amazing enough, we are only halfway through the book! Hold onto yourselves, this book gets better and better.
After the weekly pages is a tabbed divider for the Monthly section.
Every month from September 2010 through December 2011 has a generous two-page spread with nice big squares to write in. Holidays are printed in the day spaces, making it easy to plan around holidays and events.
How great is it to have your planner, goals, monthly reviews, budget and expenditures record all in one place??
After the Monthly Planning section there is another tabbed section for Christmas and holiday planning.
Because this planner covers September 2010 through December 2011, there are planning pages specifically for Christmas 2010 and Christmas 2011. For each one, there are pages for your plans, and your budget for the holiday season:
Also in the Christmas and Holidays section there are pages to plan your summer holiday, to make sure your summer is action-packed but not over-packed. And, here is something I really love: at the back of this section are pages for Thoughts and Plans for 2010, 2011, and 2012. This is the perfect place to write New Year's Resolutions and Annual Goals for each year. I love that there is space specifically designated for each year to stretch out your thoughts and dreams for the year.
There are a couple of pages for Notes, then at the very back of the book there is a page with annual planners for 2012 and 2013. Inside the back cover there is a pocket (that is open at the top, not the side, so that longer papers and envelopes can stick out the top. Thank you!). Inside the pocket there are two pages of stickers to indicate special days, and an Address and Contacts booklet.
I especially like the stickers that remind me to pay my car tax and get my car's MOT inspection, which I am very likely to forget without being reminded!
The Addresses and Contacts booklet has alphabetized contacts pages for names, addresses and numbers:
There is a page for Useful Contacts for services and businesses, and a page of Quick Call numbers:
The Life Book includes two clear, movable page dividers with top tabs, to mark your place in the weekly and monthly section (or wherever you need to reference quickly).
The cover has a water-resistant coating that survived my test of having water rubbed on it without soaking in. The cover wipes clean easily, which is important for those of us with messy lives! Click on the photo to read the back cover.
Even with all of these features and 16 months of daily, monthly and budgeting pages packed in, the book is still less than an inch thick.
This A5 size Life Book is nearly two inches narrower, half an inch shorter, and a whole lot lighter than my A5 Filofax.
This book is an amazing all-in-one diary, budget record, menu planner and overall life organizer! I'm absolutely smitten. And, I still can't get over the price: it's only ₤12.99, which I think is a fantastic value for everything you get in this book.
There is only one thing (only one!) that I would change about this diary, and that is: I would make it start at the beginning of August instead of the beginning of September. For those of us in Scotland, school starts in mid-August, and it would be nice for my diary to begin before school does. Also, despite the UK-specific aspects of this diary, I think it could be a huge hit in the US, and all of America starts school mid-August. So, Organised Mum, that is my only suggestion. I know it would make the book thicker, but I don't mind in the least.
***Edited to update: the 2012 Life Book starts in August, to start at the beginning of the school year in Scotland and the US! A big THANK YOU and a pat on the back to Organised Mum for listening to your customers!
Organised Mum has loads of products to help you organize (organise) a busy household. If you like the Life Book but want a smaller version, check out the Pocket Life Book Diary. If you want a book identical to the Life Book but would prefer a weekly grid layout to keep track of each family member separately, you want the Family Life Book Diary. These diaries can also be purchased with beautiful faux-leather zip covers too.
In addition to diaries, Organised Mum has wall calendars in weekly or monthly formats with either large day spaces, or grids to keep track of each family member every day of the week.
They also have their Made By Me line of stationary products that kids can design themselves. Cool! I especially love the colorful DIY Children's Calendar, with tons of stickers to personalize and decorate each month. Who could resist designing your own calendar??
There are also loads of accessories for your diary and calendars, including extra stickers of various types, clever arrow page markers, and a beautiful diary stand that I really want!
I ordered my Life Book from the Organised Mum website, and I was really happy with their easy ordering and super-fast shipping. You can also find some Organised Mum products in John Lewis stores, or use their Stockist locator to find a shop near you.
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