The giveaway has ended. Congrats to Rachel Santiago and Vicki Vibbert!
Hi, my name is Kelsi and I have a paper addiction.
I even have a pinterest board devoted to the topic.
I will unashamedly admit that if something doesn’t have the right font or feel, I’ll ditch it for something prettier.
So that being said, I’m pretty picky when it comes to my planners. I’ve tried all manner of online planning and family calendars, both on my pc and my phone, but as much as I try, I can’t get away from paper and pencil and I end up going back every time.
I guess I’ve reached the point where I’m young enough to know that yes, there’s an app for that, but no, I don’t want it…there are some things that I like doing the old fashioned way.
I stumbled across the Polestar line of calendars a few years ago from a friend and I was hooked! I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you, so I was so thrilled when Ruth, at Polestar, sent me their 2014 Family Calendar to review. The downside is that she sent it to me this summer and it’s for 2014, so I’m counting down the days until the start of January, when I can put it into full use! In the mean time, I’ve been slowly adding to the info pages (more on those in a second), and I’ve been adding family birthdays, vacation days, holidays, and upcoming events.
So, here’s what I love about it…
There is a 2 page spread for each week and I love the three horizontal divisions per day: Family Appointments, Meals/Kitchen, and Home. I wear so many hats in a week, but all of my jobs overlap – I love how this categorizes things simply and easily.
I use the Family Appointments box for any errands, doctor’s appointments, lessons or extra-curriculars, or any church events that we have going on; really, it’s the catch-all section! Then, I use the Meals/Kitchen section for all of my meal planning and any food prep things that I need to keep in mind. For example, if we’re having roast chicken on Wednesday, then on Tuesday, I leave myself a note to thaw it out. (We don’t have a microwave, so if I don’t write down a note to thaw something the night before…well…then we won’t be having roast chicken til Thursday.) Finally, there’s the Home box and this one has so many uses. I typically find myself scheduling certain cleaning tasks in this box, and keeping track of my kids’ main chores for the day. It’s also great for scheduling out long-term home maintenance things as well. For example, I know that this March, I need to switch out water filters and in early summer we need to get some plumbing work updated. Bada-bing. It’s in my calendar.
There are also some other really handy items on the weekly spread. On each week, there’s a large box at the bottom of the right hand page that is for messages. For me, this is the box that fills up the most! Between homeschooling, church, and running 2 small businesses, I send close to a bajillion emails a week, give or take. Usually, I remember that I need to email so-and-so while I’m cooking dinner or sweeping the floor. I (try to) leave my calendar open and on our buffet in the dining room, so it’s centrally located and I can jot things down as it comes to mind.
Also, there are two vertical columns along the spine: “To Do” and “To Buy”. These fill up quickly as well, and I love that I can do all of my meal planning and make grocery shopping notes in one place. I can look at upcoming events and plan my meals accordingly – all from one spot. Brilliant. And so handy.
I also love the extra info pages. I used to be able to keep running lists in my head and manage my life by picture memory. That uncanny ability went out the window when I got a positive result on the pregnancy test for my third child. Now, two years later, I write down everything. I definitely use the Items Loaned/Items Borrowed pages (and it has saved me from wondering who borrowed which book from me and vice versa), and I use the Storage Record page to keep inventory of our deep freeze and our provision room (pantry).
I like having the Family Profiles pages, but I don’t use them as much as I thought I would. I do keep track of certain clothing items that I know each kid needs/wants, but thankfully, at 3 kids, I’m still able to remember their sizes without writing it down. At least at this point. Once number 4 is added to the mix, I know it will come in handy! So it’s a great feature, but not one I personally use very often.
There is also a Phone List section – which is really a mini address book. I use mine for more general info, like doctor’s offices, the dentist, the vet, mechanic and so on. It’s not large enough to house our entire address book, but it’s perfect for some of those general numbers and addresses that you need to keep handy.
Finally, I love that there are pages and pages for notes, there’s a section of perforated shopping lists, and there’s a heavy duty pocket in the very back cover of the book. I shove receipts, invoices, business cards and recipes I’m interested in trying back there. It’s a great catch-all for those random slips of paper that float around in your purse!
Here are the only things that I’d change if I could, and most of these are personal preference:
-The Polestar Calendar is a soft back book, and I love having a hard back calendar because I am rough on my planners and tote them around.
-I love having a month-long calendar-at-a-glance at the beginning of each month. The Polestar Family Planner has one, but it’s a full calendar on the left page, and a page for notes on the right. (see the first picture at the top) My personal preference is a 2-page spread for the calendar as well, because I tend to fill up the dates with way too much and I have to write teeny tiny. There is a bonus though: I really like having the spot for notes on the right side of the monthly calendar pages – it really does help with overall planning for the month and I can take note of any new homesch0ol projects that we’re working on, field trips we’re taking, books I want to read, events I want to look into, and of course, pinterest ideas that I need to execute. It’s a trade off.
-I’m not crazy about the cover art. It’s great, just not my personal style. Easily remedied with some scrapbook paper or fabric. Not a deal breaker by any stretch. Plus, the covers for their other planners are super cute – I just prefer this particular layout and version.
-The font is not my favorite (I know I’m sounding picky and brutal, just giving my honest OCD opinion). It’s a little old school, not as modern as I prefer in my paper products. However, that being said, and understanding how picky I am about completely trivial items like fonts, I have to say that the layout and overall design and function of this planner totally makes up for it – and that’s saying a lot! I have tried other planners and felt like there were major things missing that I needed. Or, there were so many components to it that I didn’t need, that I felt like I was wasting it. The Polestar Family Calendar is probably the most functional planner that I’ve found that fits my A.D.D. life; I use all of the boxes and categories and it covers basically all aspects of my life.
And now for the fun part!!! Ruth has GRACIOUSLY sent me TWO of their 2014 Family Calendars (regularly $16.95 each!) to giveaway to 2 lucky readers!! (side note: Polestar Calendars sent me the 2014 Family Calendar for free in exchange for an honest review. The comments made within the post are in no way reviewed, edited or influenced by any parties, including the Sponsor (Polestar Calendars). All opinions are 100% that of little old me, here at Cheeky Bums Blog.)
Complete the Raffle Copter Giveaway and check back here on Saturday for the winners! (the giveaway ends 11/16 at 12:00 A.M.)
(and in the mean time, check out Polestar’s awesome site and their other Calendars – they have everything from Daily Planners to Student Planners!)