A Different Kind of Household Planner ~ Motivated Moms #Review
I have a confession to make. In late December, I knew there was a possibility that, sometime in early 2014, I might have the opportunity to review a Motivated Moms chore planner. But, see, late last summer, I’d already promised myself that when the new year rolled around, one of the Motivated Moms Ebooks was on my absolutely-must-buy list.
And I tried to tell myself to be sensible, and frugal, and WAIT… but no, it just wasn’t going to happen this time. I wanted to be able to print a “chore list” that lasted longer than a day or a week, have it easily accessible for the kids (because they’re perfectly capable of checking it themselves), and thus not be the only one responsible for remembering!
See, we tend to binge clean. We get busy and let things slide a day or two or three – and then I can’t stand it, and we waste altogether too much time on one day playing catch-up. I’m tired of that pattern, and I don’t want to do it anymore.
That’s where Motivated Moms comes into play. They’ve already made the lists – from everything from everyday tasks to those once or twice a year chores that are so easily forgotten. Plus, there are always a few blank spaces so that you can personalize for your family’s needs.
The question isn’t whether a Motivated Moms chore planner can benefit you, it’s which one will work best for your particular style?
There are a total of 16 different Motivated Moms ebooks to choose from, which might seem overwhelming at first, but really, it’s far simpler than it appears at first glance. To choose your planner, these are the things you need to know, and all possible variations among these choices are available.
Do you want your planner to be on full-size sheets of paper, and fit in a standard binder, or would you prefer half-size, which prints two pages per paper, and fits in a half-size binder?
I chose full-size, because I wanted plenty of room for notes and additions. If you’re not expecting to need much extra space, or want to cut your ink and paper needs in half, the half-size would be for you.
Do you want to print in black and white, or would you prefer colored planner? Black and white will be the most cost effective of course, but the color versions use color sparingly to brighten the page, so it all boils down to your personal preference.
I chose black and white, for two reasons. First, it *is* easier on the ink budget. Second, I prefer the monochrome page for the background, and want to use color for my notes, to make them easier to see. (I have this addiction to colored pens, you see… besides, the color helps me visually organize my thoughts.)
Bible Reading Schedule?
This is a simple one. Do you want your planner to include a daily schedule for reading through the Bible in a year?
I chose without the schedule. I know I wouldn’t follow it, even if I intended to, and I’d rather not have it sitting there guilting me.
Daily or Weekly?
This is the big question. First off, there’s a huge difference in the number of pages between these two. The full-size weekly planner is a 55 page book – that’s a cover page, 53 weekly pages, and a two-week menu planning page. (The menu page, of course, can be printed as many times as you need.) At minimum, for a full year without menu pages, printed on both sides of the paper, you’ll use 27 sheets of paper. The half-size planner would utilize the same number of sheets, printed one-sided.
The daily planner, on the other hand, has 365 calendar pages, plus cover sheet and menu page. That’s a bare minimum of 183 pages printed front and back. (Or two per page, for the half-size.) Despite the extra paper usage, the daily planner has some additional benefits:
An hourly schedule, a menu plan space on the page, all of the daily chores laid out individually, rather than check-boxes, plus ample room for notes or additions.
What did I end up choosing? Well, in my case, I ended up with both. The weekly planner for the kids’ reference and mark-offs, and the daily planner for me. But let me explain.
How We Ended Up Using The Planner(s)
The kids have their weekly planner in a brightly-colored notebook that’s the only one of its kind in the house. (Makes it a *little* bit harder to lose that way…) It lives on a corner of the counter, near a cup of pencils and pens, and location-wise, it’s pretty much both the center of the house and someplace we pass constantly. (Makes it a little less forgettable that way.)
I (or they) note on the planner who is responsible for which chores, which days. Some are marked “All”, and there’s at least one (laundry) that everyone does on a different day of the week. A sticky note takes care of those details at the moment, but I’m thinking about adding a white board for reminders about certain things. Just can’t quite figure out where to put it.
As for me, I have my daily planner in my “brain” book. (Someday I’ll explain this, I promise, but for now, just understand that it’s where I keep schedules and records and planning and to-dos and etc. Or at least, I’m trying to, because if it’s not written down, chances are I’ve already forgotten it, these days.)
I scribble on it, add notes to it, write work and activity schedules on it, and I’ve already got the entire year printed out, because then it’s easy for me to do things like “OH! Hey! I haven’t seen changing the heat filter on here anywhere, and we’re supposed to do it once a month… let me add that to it!”
I’ve taken to adding appointment to these pages, too, in addition to my regular calendar pages. If it’s there twice, I’m a tad less likely to miss it and forget.
Also, I’ve made myself a rule: I’m only allowed to cross it off with a line through it if it’s something that just doesn’t apply to us and we’re never going to do it. If it’s something that just didn’t get done that week, it gets added to the next week – sometimes to a “bonus” list of chores that might get an extra reward for the kids. Or, if it’s something that only I can do – to wait for a day when my energy level is up to it, especially for larger projects. (Another trick I’m attempting to teach myself – for those bigger projects, go ahead and start, do what I can, put it back as neatly and usably as possible, and work on it again another day. Divide it into chunks. This would also help those that are time-limited, not just the health-limited.)
While we haven’t been perfect about sticking to the plan, I’m seeing an improvement in accountability with the kids, and that’s what we really need to have happen – to increase their ability to self-regulate, because I don’t always remember to direct, and to break the chores into smaller tasks that are less time-consuming, but still get everything done in the end. Having it on paper – in our case, duplicate paper – is making progress in the right direction.
Each Motivated Moms Ebooks is $8, a great price compared to many similar-purpose products, most of which fall short in a “comprehensiveness” comparison.
Also available are iOS and Android Motivated Moms Apps, and some Schoolhouse Crew members had the opportunity to review the iOS version, so if that interests you, make sure to check out those reviews!