Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Working on Organization with Motivated Moms Chore Planner eBook {A TOS Review}

Motivated Moms Review
I may have mentioned that organization is not one of my strong points. In fact, my word for 2014 is "Organization" as I have decided I really need to get more organized if I am going to work on my stress levels. So, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to review one of the Motivated Moms eBooks from Motivated Moms.  I was really looking forward to using this chore planning system.
I was given the choice of 1 out of 16 different eBooks. There are regular sized planners that take up a whole page and half-sized planners that print out two pages per sheet. There are planners with one day per page and planners with one week per page. You can choose to get each of these with or without a Bible reading schedule. In addition, the planners are available in black and white or color. 
First let me tell you which book I chose and why. I decided to go with the 2014 Motivated Moms Half-Sized Page Per Day Planner in Black and White

Having two pages on one sheet seemed to be the more frugal way to go as we would use less paper and less ink, though we did need to go out and buy a small binder to put it in. I decided on black and white for the same reason. Having a colored border did make it prettier but it does not change the functionality and it would have unnecessarily used colored ink. Now, the reason I chose the Daily Planner over the Chore Planner is that the Chore Planner has the entire week on one sheet. This would be great for someone who wants to see the entire week at once, but personally, it was too cluttered for my mind to work with. 

I have been printing out a month at a time to go easy on the printer ink. I realize some people may want to print it all out at once and get it bound. As getting something bound is not that easy of a thing to do in our rural community I thought that a binder would be an acceptable way to hold my planner and it is working really well.

I love the fact that, not only is it a checklist of specific "chores" that should be completed each day, it also includes a calendar for appointments (separated in hour increments).  The chores include exercise, make bed, empty trash, etc.  Each day also includes different weekly items such as "'clean shelves in refrigerator" or "vacuum bedrooms".  These are the things that I tend to not budget time for and then, by the time I think of them, it seems like an impossible task to complete which frustrates me because I feel I should be doing other  things.  Using this checklist, things don't get out of hand like they used to and I am remembering to do those daily tasks. Even hubby has been making the bed when he wakes up for work. 
I also like that there is an item on your checklist for "quiet time".  Nothing relieves stress like spending some quiet time with the Lord.  This is something that I enjoy doing and I found it helps my day go much smoother.  Hubby's only complaint is that it should be listed first as it is the most important thing on the list, but since I don't necessarily do things in the order listed, I don't mind. Though he does make a good point. It's still nice to have a visual reminder to stop, pray, and spend the time I need with God.
The square for meal planning is also a very nice tool.  We're on a limited food budget (who isn't these days) and it's nice to be able to look ahead and see that all we need for supper is some potatoes or some cheese.  It's also helpful that with hubby's backwards work schedule I can look ahead and make sure things are out of the freezer in plenty of time to be ready to make before he had to leave. There is also a two-week menu planner at the end of the eBook. I have to confess, I forgot that it was there. I remember reading about it when I was researching Motivated Moms, but when I received my eBook it had slipped my mind. As I am only printing out one month at a time, I just didn't notice it. As it is a new month, this is something I do want to put to use as I know my days went smoother back when I was doing my weekly menu planning.
I should probably add hubby's work schedule to the appointment log to prevent me from scheduling appointments late in the day that he has to work but we haven't done that yet.  I did, however, notice that I had an appointment scheduled for a date that we were talking about being out of town. This planner helped me realize that well in advance so I can change it/before it's last minute.
I do have to say, I wish this planner was a tad more customize-able. There are quite a few tasks that just don't fit our life, such as feeding the pets and using the dishwasher. I do like that I can add some tasks down the bottom as some lines were left blank, but I am crossing out tasks quite a bit. Additionally, I would have loved to see a few blank lines left for those weekly chores as there are times I can not do certain chores on the assigned day. For instance, because hubby works nights, I can not do any "master bedroom" chores on the days that he is upstairs sleeping or, as another example, I would put some more time-intensive tasks on Saturday instead of Wednesday as Wednesday is our homeschool co-op day.
All in all, I am so very thankful for this planner that is keeping me motivated and getting me organized. It is a slow process because of how cluttered the house has gotten and sometimes I have to forgo some of the tasks listed so I can get other needed tasks done. (Not having my dishwasher anymore means I am spending a LOT of time washing dishes for our family of 6 that eats 3 meals at home almost every day.) If you need a bit of motivation, there may just be a planner that fits your style from Motivated Moms.
You can purchase each of the eBooks from Motivated Moms for $8.00. The also have an app available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android. Unfortunately we didn't have the option to try out the Android app, because we recently got tablets from our cell phone provider and it would have been really cool to try it out. You can see what my fellow Crew mates think of the eBooks they chose or the app by clicking on the banner below.
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