Hi everyone, my name is Becki and I am a Planner Addict. Filofaxes, diaries, notebooks, I’ve tried most of them…
But I have always struggled to find my planner peace – the diary that just works. In a vain attempt last year to move away from buying Filofax inserts for the few that I have and losing patience before half the year was out, I bought the Organised Mum 2015 Life Book. Instantly, I fell in love. So, naturally, I got excited when they announced the new 2016 Diaries – they’re known to sell out quite quickly, so I bought mine as soon as I could!
First off, let me start by saying that this planner isn’t perfect – there are some bits that don’t work for me, but that’s more about me than the diary itself. As the diary runs for 16 months, I’m still using 2015, and 2016 doesn’t start until Mid-August, but the layout is pretty much the same. 16 months? Yes, it runs August to the following Christmas. The overlap from one to another is going to be an interesting transition, however, I think I’ll just fall into the new diary.
I can certainly see the appeal of the 16months – you can plan up to Christmas in 2015, but still have a new diary come the new school term that will take you through the rest of the school year. While at the moment I don’t have to worry about school term dates etc. it will definitely be useful in the future.
The design this year is slightly different – I’m not sure on the leaf (is it a leaf? Is it a Pom Pom? I don’t know… I’ll call it a leaf… I won’t tell you what my husband said it looks like…) pattern to be honest; it seems a very seasonal item, and I do wonder if it looks a little out of place in summer – however, the colours are nice and bright, and there’s nothing too off-putting about it. Looking at previous years’ designs, this one is less “typical family” with pictures of dogs etc. and a bit more generic, which is an improvement.
The internal design is very similar to last year’s in terms of the colour and general layout, but the leaf design is featured heavily again. I’m not keen on the little leaf in the bottom right hand corner, seems superfluous and a bit in-the-way.
The first page we come to is the Personal Information page – pretty standard, but there is space at the bottom, which I plan to fill with stickers and pictures of X! This is followed by a page of Useful Numbers, which includes Doctors, Dentists etc. as well as blank spaces for other numbers, and sections for Nursery and Babysitters.
The next few pages cover “Weekly Routines” – I can’t think of a use for this section for myself at the moment, as our routine is pretty much non-existent. I imagine in the future, with school clubs and swimming lessons, these pages will prove invaluable.
Then the actual diary – it is a Monday to Sunday, One Week to Two Pages layout with equal space given to each day – yes, even including Sunday, which is a rarity!! There is also a Notes and Next Week section under Sunday, which I find a pretty useful doodle space, although I do occasionally make actual notes there. The pages are perforated about 2 inches from the edge, as this is a dedicated and removable Shopping List. To be completely honest, I have never used it as a Shopping List, nor have I ever actually torn it out as I like whole pages, but I can see how it would be useful. The edges also double as Things To Do List… again, it just ends up as Doodle space, but I find doodling very therapeutic, so I’m not complaining.
The paper quality is good, it seems thicker than the Filofax inserts, although some pens do seem to soak through. I shall do further investigations with the pens in the future, but for now I just tend to use Frixion pens (as I hate mistakes I can’t remove) or a black Fineliner.
There are two plastic dividers that clip in and out on the metal binding – I covered last year’s in Washi tape so I could see it more clearly as they don’t come out particularly high at the top – they make brilliant week markers, and are strong enough to withstand paperclips without bending. I find them useful for storing post-it notes that don’t fit on a certain day of the week.
At the rear of the diary there are two further card dividers, breaking the diary up into 3 distinct sections – the main diary at the front, Monthly Planning Pages and Christmas and Holidays.
Monthly Planning Pages are my favourite. It’s where other planners let me down as I’d find them too bulky, but somehow this works so much better without adding the bulk – which is impressive considering there are even more pages!
You get a Month to View on Two Pages with a narrow Notes section, two “To Do” pages, a Budget page, plus an Income and Outgoings page to help you keep track of finances. Getting more organised with the monthly shopping budget is top of my to-do list for August, as we struggle to keep it on track, so these pages will hopefully help with it.
The Christmas and Holidays pages proved to be surprisingly helpful last year – it keeps all of your ideas for presents and a card list all together, so you’re not chasing separate notes or scraps of paper. The Summer Holiday section is similar to the Month on Two Pages layout, but it isn’t dated, so you can add the dates you need, and add your plans accordingly.
Following that are pages for Thoughts and Plans for 2015, 2016 and even 2017 (which is currently so far into the future I can’t wrap my head around it… X will be 3 in 2017… argh!). Then there are copious Notes pages, which I have managed to fill in my 2015 diary.
Hidden away in a handy pocket at the back is the removable address book – no more painstakingly going through and copying the addresses into your new diary, oh no… just grab last year’s address book and pop it in. And you’ve got a spare, should you run out of space. The address book isn’t huge, but to be fair, who uses an address book really these days. Everyone has their contact details saved in their phone or in their Gmail account.
Also hidden away are some rather spiffing stickers for every day needs – dental appointments, hairdressers etc. In all honestly, I have never used them, but I aspire to, and now I have two years’ worth to play with!
The only major problem I had with my 2015 was the elastic that holds the diary closed – it snapped out of the hole at the back of the diary, but this area is sealed and covered by the back pocket, so is unfixable unless I want to take it all apart. I improvised by tying it back to itself, but the poor elastic looks like it’s about to pop from the strain of all my post it notes and letters that I hastily stuff into my diary in the hope I shan’t lose them.
So this year I have treated myself to the Luxury Diary Cover in Cool Sage.
Picking a colour was pretty hard – I was really stuck between the Cool Sage and the Mustard Seed, but the Sage better matched my Cath Kidston purse, so it won. The colour here doesn’t quite do it justice, so do check it out on the website. The cover feels lovely to the touch, the zip seems like very good quality, and it holds a heck of a lot – I’ve managed to put all my letters and payslips and stickers in and it’s not struggling at all.
The diary’s back cover slips into a slot in the back of the cover, which also has a number of credit card slots cut into it. The top slot is perfect for a narrow note pad, as it goes all the way to the bottom of the cover. There is a black elastic pen loop on the left hand side, which looks like it will hold most sizes of pen – I’ll dig my Lamy out at some point and try it, but I don’t doubt it would fit.
I’m not 100% sure what I’d put in the little velcro pocket -paperclips maybe? It seems to small for much else.
Overall, I’m excited to get my teeth into this one; 2015 worked so well for me, that I have high hopes for 2016. Roll on Mid-August so I can start planning!
I purchased these products and have reviewed them as such; the items were not given to me to review, nor was I asked to review them by the company.