Thursday, October 16, 2008

The BusyBodyBook - Personal & Family Organizer

So I have my Google calendar of activities that I'm sure you all are sick of me linking to. And I have a pretty wall calendar of vintage Italian travel posters that is good for daydreaming of the Amalfi Coast and is usually turned to the previous month.

For family engagements and personal events, I would write the item down on the free calendar my church gives out at the beginning of the year. As I'm Catholic, the calendar does not list other religions' holidays and so I am clueless about the exact date of important celebrations and observances when setting up events with friends. (Hey gals, Let's do book club on Yom Kippur! How about a big pasta lunch during Ramadan? Oh, only two of you can make it due to momentous religious holidays? Oops, I'm an ass. Shalom!) Sometimes I'd enter an event I received over email from a friend or my husband into my personal Google calendar. Sometimes I'd mean to and stick the email in a folder to enter later, but then I'd forget.

In short, I was a mess. And right out of college I was a scheduler for an elected official. This was not good.

In the last year I have even BLATANTLY FORGOT the following activities:

Dinner at my friend's house with her family and one other family. I was supposed to bring wine for six adults, my friend expected my family of four to show up for a meal. Unforgivable.

Book club when my friend was hosting at her home. Total no show. Totally bad.

Going to see Harold and the Purple Crayon at the Adventure Theatre. The tickets were waiting at the box office and everything.

The first day of soccer for my firstborn son. Debbie Phelps I am not.

Bringing something that started with the letter "A" for my son's preschool class. He tried to compensate with saying he brought himself, since his name has an "A" in it but does not start with A. Survey says? Fail.

A luncheon for the upcoming birth of my friend's daughter. Yup, I said I'd be there on the Evite response. Nope, I didn't come.

Are you cringing? I told you I was a mess. I was in desperate need of help. I was writing some of my commitments on an inadequate calendar, typing some into an online calendar I failed to check and about one event per month was falling through the cracks. I was spending more time apologizing to friends and co-volunteers and fellow parents than actually spending time with them. But I didn't have the time or knowledge to implement a better system. Oh, and when you quit your job? No one hires you an assistant. Hate that.

Thank goodness for the BusyBodyBook. Now I have one system, and it's a good one. The BusyBodyBook has a column for each family member with one week per page and space for each day of that week. It is now a breeze to organize and track all four of our schedules and activities, coordinating everyone side by side. It's easy to see overlapping schedules and doublebooking. I can also easily see those evenings, afternoons and weekends that we actually do not have a commitment and so we can, wonder of all wonders, INITIATE plans with other families! There's also a front pocket for hard copy invitations, months at a glance, key contact info for important people and numbers, shopping lists and plans for world peace inside.

I love my BusyBodyBook. It has changed my life and I credit it with keeping the few friendships I still have. Thank you!

Cost: $17.95
For families with kids that can actually read or parents that want the family week at a glance at eye level 24-7, there's a 7-column wall calendar version for $14.95 and a 7-column fridge grid pad for $11.95

Graphic design by Jeannine Marie Soden of ROYGBIV Design

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