Sunday, 11 August 2013

Mum's Office Big Family Diary - can it get me organised?


School Academic Year Diary
The start of a new school year brings with it many emotions and challenges, but for me it also represents a fresh start.  Another chance, a clean slate to start again part way through the year, with a lovely new shiny academic year diary or calendar.  Long-forgotten New Year resolutions of getting organised are re-kindled and I leap at the chance to start a-fresh in the grim, determined hope that this year will be different.

I am one of the mums at the school gate who only gets to hear last minute about mufti-day or the cake sale that was mentioned on a school missive months ago and has been screwed up in the bottom of the book bag ever since.  I've turned up to doctor's appointments a week late - and once a week early.  I've double-booked nights out and forgotten birthdays.

So this gorgeous looking diary looks to be the answer to my prayers.


I have got over my feelings of inadequacy that I don't have a beautician, a butcher or a cleaner who's number I can scribe neatly inside on the 'need to know numbers' section, and consoled myself that the next time the roof springs a leak I will have both the number of the guy who came out last time, policy number and telephone number of the insurance company who didn't cough up previously.


Whilst I do harbor the suspicion that this diary is for uber-glamorous, city-slicker mums with au-pairs and personal hair stylists, I do accept that it has something to offer every family.

Lets face it, before kids life was pretty straight-forward.  I only had to worry about myself, and I could pretty well keep tabs on what I was up to on a scrappy piece of paper at the bottom of my handbag.  But with family life comes swimming lessons; hospital appointments; play-dates; tea at friend's houses after school; governor's meetings and a plethora of other things I usually forget.

This diary has a space for everything.  There's a handy section at the front for recording all your children's personal details including allergies; shoe size and term dates.  I can pretty much stay up to speed with my one child, but if I had 3 or 4 I'm sure I'd get in a muddle.  I think this section would be particularly handy if you have childcare - it's something you can leave for your nanny or babysitter and be sure in the knowledge that they could get hold of the doctor in an emergency.

The 'in case I lose my mobile' section could stop many a cold-sweat moment, and I need to fill that in right away.

Moving on to the diary section itself, it is a week-at-a-view style, with one page for my plans, so it will be great for keeping track of all my work appointments and blog schedule.  The opposite side side is a grid plan with 4 sections so you can keep track of what the kids are up to; your partner's movements; use it for meal planning and shopping; budgeting...whatever suits your needs.



Overall, feelings of inadequacy aside, it's a great looking diary and one which I intend to use to the max.  It measures 24.5 cm x 19 cm so will fit easily into today's cavernous handbag.  I plan to leave it on the kitchen dresser so all the family can see what's on, and take it out with me as I grab my keys and mobile.  This way, I will keep a note of everything all in one place - rather than some appointments on the wall calender, some in my phone and some pinned on the noticeboard - that's how things get missed.

The diary comes in three colour options - raspberry, peppermint or blackberry, and has a stylish faux croc skin hardback cover.  There's an elasticated strap to keep it neatly secured, a pen loop to keep your writing implement handy and a useful gusset pocket at the back for notes; invitations and receipts etc.  It's available from stationers and retailers nationwide, or from Amazon at around £16.

      

Disclosure: I was sent a diary for the purposes of this review.  All opinions and images are my own.  The link above is an affiliate link.

14 comments:

  1. I have one to and love it. Having three kids means life is crazy and being a teacher my year does start in sept so perfect for us!

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    1. Oh yes, I didn't think about teachers Emma, perfect!

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  2. I love diaries like this, except I'm so disorganised that I generally forget to write in them or refer to them at any time! Do they have a magic column to help you remember that?!

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    1. Yes, I hear you Jayne! I need to make a real concerted effort to keep it up. I'm sure it will pay dividends.

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  3. Ooo I love diaries but never seem to get past using them for a fortnight - maybe I need to look again having read this!

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    1. I think being disciplined is the key to being organised (huh, guess that's where I fall down then!)

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  4. I love this, but I am so uber-organised that I live with my filofax and a print out diary for each week. (Having just said that I'm organised I've just glanced at my filofax and laughed at all the pieces of paper sticking out - letters to post, fliers I've picked up etc. etc.

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  5. Wow it looks gorgeous. I'm at a stage I have to write everything down or I forget. And for some reason I prefer physical calendars rather than online ones. But I need a small one I can carry around in my bag.
    PS - i don't have an au pair number either (maybe next year)

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    1. Thanks Susanna. Yes, it's not a pocket diary, but it fits in my bag!

      You know what 'mum bags' are like - bottomless pits!

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  6. Looks good! I still haven't made the transition to doing all this digitally, so a paper diary is still a must. I like the look of the cover, but not sure about all the pink on the inside - think it might look better with dark text?

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    1. Hmmm,I wonder what the other colour-ways are like inside?

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  7. Really great post and cool looking diary. I prefer one you can keep in your handbag though. However, I do have a calendar, my mobile phone and a diary and still manage to miss some birthdays. I think a year planner is a great way to see where the expense will go for the months ahead and allow for forward planning, when there are too many birthdays all together in one month.

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