To say that this is a planner would be a correct but not nearly a complete description of the binder. The version resting on my lap has a gold-colored spiral binding that allows the pages to be turned quickly and easily, without hanging up or getting stuck. This 17-month planner measures 8.5 x 11 inches. The cover is made of tough but flexible plastic and is decorated fashionably in bright earth tones ("Tan Pottery"). More cover options and sizes may be seen at the company website, listed above.
Inside, the planner is divided into "seasons," with two foldout pages at the
front and two at the back, entitled "Fall 2009 Schedule," "Winter 2009 Schedule," "Spring
2010 Schedule," and "Summer 2010 Schedule." These pages allow a listing of the
typical week's activities in half-hour increments, as well as a view of each
day with activities contained within their respective daily rectangles. Printed
on the back of the "Summer 2010" page is a three-year calendar, running through
2011. The final page in the Family_time.mine Planner is full of small stickers:
birthday, bills, beauty, happy day, game, recital, vet, date night, holidays,
and more. Behind that page is a pocket in the back cover.
The middle sections provide what one would expect in a family planner--lists of holidays, pages for contact information, a page for babysitter information, plus weekly and monthly layouts. There are spots held specifically for sticky notes. The pages are all easily legible, sized appropriately, complete and thorough.
Beyond the typical, though, are the quotes provided each week. At the bottom of the pages are inspirational quotes that are meant to lift you up and spur you on as you guide your family. Beyond the typical are the perforated pages, which can be kept in the planner or easily separated to serve as a carry-along list. Beyond the typical is this company's stated philosophy that we need each other in order to move toward success.
One drawback to this planner is that it is not, to my knowledge, available in electronic format. For those who have transitioned to laptop or Apple products, a printed planner may be obsolete. I imagine that the same idea would make an excellent cd-rom or iPod application, perhaps with virtual "stamps" in place of the stickers. However, if you still enjoy penciling in your information, feeling the lovely heft of paper, or carrying a book-like object with you, none of the aforementioned will trouble you.
I appreciate the accessible format of this planner, the uncomplicated suggestions regarding its use, and most of all, that the families who began this company clearly "get it." We have much to accomplish as homeschooling families, and we love tools that will boost us up as we travel this path, cheering and inspiring us and enabling us to meet our goals for our families.
The Family_time.mine Planner thoroughly rises to the expectations one would have
for such a product. That it does so with humor, intelligence, and goodwill is
icing on the cake.