Friday, October 3, 2008
I am becoming "one of those" moms, one purchase at a time.
On a macro level, I'm an organized person: I'm punctual, I pay my bills, almost everything has a place, etc. On the micro level, I'm a mess. I don't have a calendar or address book that I keep updated. I actually have two or more calendars working at any one time: a wall calendar in the kitchen and a Google calendar for the family, one for work and one for my meet up group. I am also a lover of pieces of paper. I print out exercise routines, recipes, coupons, etc. And these random papers end up in a variety of places, none of which is practical or efficient.
So I went in search of a mom-friendly planner or calendar that would address my needs. I found mom Agenda. I decided to purchase the AllInOne Folio. It's an academic calendar, folio, notepad in one.
There are 25 plastic sleeves for all the paperwork that can come into your life. I like the sleeves, but think 25 is probably more than the average mom needs, unless you have a bunch of kids or keep everything in there: takeout menus, school calendars, bills, school paper work, etc. I could do with 12-15 sleeves, but I'm sure I'll find a way to use them all. These sleeves have tabs that you can insert labels into for easy organization. Some of the sleeves come stuffed with pre-printed sheets to capture frequently used phone numbers, notes for the babysitter, family information and birthdays. You can also print other sheets from the momAgenda website for free, like shopping lists.
The included calendar is large with a 2 page spread per month. There's also a left side margin for notes. This calendar is not for you if you need to write down a daily schedule for several people, but it can catch the highlights of appointments, deadlines, etc. I think the paper calendar will wear out after several months of use, the paper is pretty thin and the cover is paper not cardboard/cardstock.
The notebook and pen included are nice. The notebook is large with the sheets perforated at the top for easy ripping.
I carry the book to and from work in a large totebag. It is pretty heavy- probably 2-3 pounds and rather large in dimensions at 10" x 12". The folio is really made to sit in the kitchen or at a desk, rather than to be used on the go. If I worked 5 days a week or needed something for everyday travel, I would have purchased something else. If you carried this planner around in the same bag as a laptop, you would probably have a sore shoulder or back at the end of the day.
Overall, I think the product is useful and practical for the average mom or family. But if you have a PDA or a newfangled phone, you probably don't need this paper-based system. I'm just old school. I do think the folio can be a great way to set up a home command center, in conjunction with a good wall calendar and dry-erase board.