Sunday, November 6, 2011

2012 Life Book diary and faux leather cover by Organised Mum

I love my 2011 Life Book diary from Organised Mum so much, I ordered the 2012 Life Book diary!  And this time I treated myself to the purple faux leather cover too!

There are several updates to the 2012 Life Book including excellent new paper, an elastic closure strap and some slight changes to the format. You can click here to see my review and photos of the 2011 Life Book if you'd like to compare it to the 2012 version.

One very noticeable improvement in the 2012 Life Book is the paper! Last year's paper had quite a bit of show-through, especially with wet inks. But now the paper is absolutely glorious. No show-through whatsoever, even with my Sharpie pens and Microns. The paper is thick, smooth, white and very pleasant to use.

The 2012 Life Book began in mid-August this year and goes all the way through the end of December 2012. The 2011 Life Book began in September 2010 to coincide with the start of the school year in England. Scotland (and the US) start school earlier, and last year I suggested to Organised Mum that it would be useful to us if the diary started in August. Thank you to Organised Mum for listening to your customers!!

When you buy the 2012 Life Book together with a faux leather cover it costs a little bit less than buying each separately. It comes fully loaded with the Life Book slotted into its holder pocket in the cover, the Addresses booklet and stickers in the documents pocket in the front. There is also a black elastic pen loop next to the front pocket to keep your pen handy with your diary.

The Addresses booklet has A-Z pages for addresses and phone numbers, useful contacts for services and businesses, a quick-reference page for frequently used phone numbers, and a page for birthdays and anniversaries. You can use this booklet year after year to avoid rewriting contact info each year.

The Life Book diary comes with two pages of stickers to help you mark important dates. I also bought extras of these General Stickers, the School Stickers, and the Household Stickers.

Here is the front of the Purple Berry faux leather cover! I like the dapply look of the faux leather, and that it wipes clean easily (which I need!).  It looks so smart I'll carry it in my hands most of the time, but when I do put it in my bag it will protect my Life Book from all the other things I have banging around in my bag. The cover is soft and smooth and wonderful to touch!

Here is the zip-around goodness! No worries about papers flying out.

One of the additions to the Life Book diary this year is the elastic closure strap which is great for keeping your book securely closed while you're out and about if you're not using a cover. I think this is an excellent addition to the book.

 Some other changes include the design inside the cover, and an easier-to-read font.
The Useful Numbers and reference calendars are still here just like in the 2011 version (thank goodness!)
The Weekly Routines pages have changed. Now there are three two-page spreads with columns for seven different people or categories to show what's happening when on a weekly basis.
The weekly format has a slight change: this year the days of the week and Meal Ideas text are located on the left side of the days, last year they were on the right. Also the font has changed (and I think it looks very nice).  Holidays and moon phases are printed on the day spaces, which I really appreciate. The weekly pages start August 15, 2011 and go through the end of December 2012.
I love the Meal Ideas prompt, it gets me thinking about what to make for dinner throughout the week so I don't have that horrible feeling at 5pm while I'm staring into the fridge wondering what to make for dinner!

Click on the photo below to see the difference between the 2011 version (top) and the 2012 version (bottom).
I have to be honest, I miss the seasonal decorations in the 2011 version. The winter months had snowflakes, the spring months had dandelion fluff, the summer months had butterflies and the autumn months had leaves. Now all weekly and monthly pages have a flower design. It's very pretty, but I liked the seasonal icons. However, the Life Book has a sizeable customer base in Australia, where of course the seasons are reversed from those in the northern hemisphere, so to be consistent for all users it makes sense to have the flower design.

Below you can see how I use the lined areas at the page edges. (Click the photo for a larger view.)  The left edge is meant to be used as a tear-out shopping list, but instead I use the top of that column for my Goals for the week, and below that is my main To Do list for the week.  The right edge is where I put things I need to do for my Blogs and Household.  In the bottom right corner under Important I write financial totals for the week.
The Notes and Next Week space is a great landing spot for those random bits of information that come in during the week, and to prepare for next week. I also write two or three lines each week for a Weekly Review.

There are two clear, top-tabbed divider pages included in the Life Book. They clip onto the rings and can be moved from page to page. I use one to mark my current week and one to mark my current month.
 After the weekly section there is a page for Notes, then the (very pretty) tabbed divider for the Monthly section. I get really excited about the features in this section!

First there is a page for Notes, where I will write my goals and resolutions for 2012:
 2012's version has monthly calendars for August 2011 through December 2012:


I LOVE having a two-page monthly spread to plan my month. Holidays are printed on the day spaces. Here is the clear divider to mark the current month:
After each month there's a two-page spread for Things To Do that month (where I write my monthly goals and tasks) and Notes for that month (where I write my Mid-Month review in the top 1/3 of the page and my Monthly review in the bottom 2/3 of the page).
THEN there is a two-page spread for Budget and Expenditures!  I love these pages sandwiched between the monthly calendars to keep my plans, goals, reviews and budget all together for each month!  Very organized.  I feel so in control when I use these pages!

At the end of the Monthly section is another Notes page, which I think I will use for my year-end review. Next is a tabbed section for Christmas and holidays planning.
There are pages to record Christmas Plans, Budget, Presents, Shopping, and Cards.
Next is a Summer planner with eight undated weeks to plan the entire summer on one two-page spread. This is a great way to plan out the summer so at the end of it you don't wonder "Where did the summer go??"
Next are three two-page spreads for Thoughts and Plans for each of 2011, 2012 and 2013.  After that there are several pages for Notes.
In the back of the book there are forward planning calendars for 2013 and 2014. There is a pocket to hold your Addresses booklet, Stickers and other papers (if you're not using a cover).

I ordered the 2012 Life Book diary together with the faux leather cover along with the stickers I mentioned above. I used international shipping which I thought was very reasonably priced.

I have to say, moving over into my 2012 Life Book made me a little sad to leave my 2011 Life Book because I love it so much! It's extremely rare that I ever move directly over into the following year's version of the same planner. Usually I move to a totally different type of planner. So, Organised Mum, you deserve some kind of Plannerisms Consistency Award!  Well done!!

7 comments:

  1. How long have you been using the LB for this year then Laurie? Is this a record?
    :-)
    Steve

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  2. Not a record yet, Trinote holds the record. :) But only time will tell!

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  3. Damn and blast, Laurie! Every time I think I find "THE ONE" (usually from your blog) You find something else AWESOME! And how incredibly GORGEMOUS is that cover??

    Gotta go, off to Organized Mum...*sobs*

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  4. LOL sorry Rori!!! And yes the cover is absolutely gorgeous, I love the color! It makes me smile every time I look at it.

    Check out my post comparing sizes of day spaces of the Life Book and other planners:

    http://www.plannerisms.com/2011/03/doing-math-pinpointing-planner.html

    Even though the day spaces are not as huge as I normally use, I've figured out how to use my pocket daily Moleskine for overflow/ as a logbook, and now it works beautifully! (Not to mention, I've learned that in larger day spaces I overtask myself and write in more than I can possibly accomplish in my day!)

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  5. Laurie - do you use both the Woman's Success planner and the Life Book? Or do you prefer one over the other?

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  6. I use the WSP for household reminders and chore lists, but my Life Book is my main planner.

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  7. I use this planner too. It is fabulous! I would strongly suggest it for people who are like myself; very forgetful, cannot plan things without it being on paper and have a LOT of hospital appointments!

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