In the interest of full disclosure, I was sent a BusyBodyBook for my review. I did not receive any compensation, and all opinions expressed are my own.
I am an organization freak. Lists and details make me happy. Needless to say, calendars are my friend. I remember being in college and having my beautiful calendar - ahhh the days of being responsible only for myself - organized with each color representing a different type of obligation outlining my commitments' timeframes. It was a thing of beauty, and I always knew where I was supposed to be when.
These days, I have not only my schedule but my husband's and the wee ones' to worry about, too. And my calendar isn't nearly so neat. I have a traditional calendar with boxes for each day and random things written on it by random people in random places. I may have an evening event for me on the top and a morning obligation for the wee ones on the bottom. And we always run out of room.
They have created the ultimate family organization schedule - although admittedly, I would have loved this in college, too. For each day, there are five columns that you can use for different people in the family to better organize what's going on.
I am no longer trying to figure out who a particular entry applies to, and running out of room is a thing of the past. Note that to the left of each weekly calendar, there is space for notes and a to do list. Have I mentioned how much I love to do lists?
Needless to say, I immediately started entering everything that I know for 2011 into the calendar. And interestingly, I actually have quite a bit to add already! I will say that I was slightly disappointed upon opening my BusyBodyBook to find that it contained the calendar year of 2011 because the cover states that it is 2011 Academic Year. So until the calendar turns to December 27, I will still be trying to remember my 2010 commitments in my head. Once we hit 2011, however, my BusyBodyBook will be going with me everywhere!
I love that it's 7x10 inches, which means that it fits perfectly into my purse. Since I have PTO and babysitting co-op meetings that generally require a calendar, I love that I won't have to cart my huge wall calendar with me anymore. It also is spiral bound, which menas that whether it's January or November, I will be able to fully open it easily. The protective hard plastic cover means that living in my purse won't destroy it by January 5th.
In addition to your typical calendar functions - although can I really call the innovative columns typical? - the BusyBodyBook offers a number of other super useful features. There is a little pocket in the front and back, perfect for holding receipts and other miscellaneous papers I seem to carry everywhere. It has a monthly quick glance where I can write down my big picture appointments and plans for 2012 - no more scribbling on the bottom of the December month and hoping that I can read my tiny chickenscratch once I get the next year's calendar.
I am also a prolific note-taker, and there are five pages front and back with room for notes. I love how this is done in three grids (room for one set of notes across the top, one wider down one side and a narrower one down the other). I rarely require a full page for notes, and this is a great way to separate out various topics without wasting paper.
And the to do lists.... there are seven pages of perforated to do lists, with four per page, so that I can keep track of what I'm supposed to do. And when I'm done? They simply tear out and disappear. Or if I'm assigning the to do list to someone else? They now have it, and it isn't an ugly ripped off little piece of paper.
With the thought of the perforated to dos comes one of my disappointments with the BusyBodyBook. When I have weekly calendars, I really like to be able to easily flip to the current time of year by having the top corners perforated to tear off. The BusybodyBook doesn't have this, although I can just cut it off myself. Since they've already gone to the expense of perforating some pages, it would have been nice to continue this theme. While there is a bookmark at the back of the book that you can pull out and reattach to mark your place, I've already found that once it detached, it doesn't stay in the book again very well. It's fallen out three or four times, and I know I will quickly lose it.
Needless to say, I'm pretty thrilled with my BusyBodyBook, small nits aside. I love that the book has a sense of humor - from calling the whitespace to the left of a week "To Doodles" to including what I should be thinking about at that time (e.g., putting away my holiday decorations, wishing Canada a happy Independence Day, making brunch reservations for Grandparents' Day).
For me, it's a perfect size with the five columns - one extra for the "random" obligations that always pop up. Those with larger families aren't out of luck though, and you don't necessarily have to share space like you do everywhere else! The wall calendar has seven columns on the grid.
Are you excited yet? You can win your very own 2011 BusyBodyBook just like mine.
So what do you have to do?
First of all, let me stress that you must follow all the rules. If you do not follow the rules, your entry will not count!
This contest is open until Tuesday August 3 at 7pm CST. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via random.org and must respond within 48 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.
Mandatory Entry: What is your best organization secret?
Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry - if you put it all in one comment, I'll count it as one entry):
1) Earn one additional entry for following me on Twitter and tweeting this contest (leave a link to your tweet as your comment).
2) Earn one additional entry by following this review blog publicly via Google Friend Connect.
3) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly! publicly via Google Friend Connect.