Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review: Amy Knapp's Family Organizer

As a mom, it's a constant struggle for me to stay organized. The moment I think I make some headway on my massive to-do list, I find myself once again scrambling to cross off the tasks. Keeping track of bills, budgets, birthdays, doctor's appointments, groceries, playdates, blog review deadlines - it can easily become overwhelming. It's a never ending job to stay on top of your game. And with my persistent mommy brain, it's a wonder I make it anywhere on time or get anything done at all.

So, I was thrilled to win Amy Knapp's Family Organizer during a launch party giveway at Inexpensively. No longer would I have to fish my way through crumbled fragments of post-it notes or distressed looseleaf pages. I now had a singular place to log all of those little details swirling around in my brain. And I could finally get rid of those aforementioned notepad escapists.

There's a lot to love about this organizer. First of all, it's an 18-month planner, which I personally like. The overlap gives me more time to transfer all of the necessary information. But more months doesn't equal more bulk in this case. The organizer is still compact enough to throw in a medium-sized purse, tote or diaper bag.

There's a yearly grid near the front of the book so you can get a broad overview of which dates fall on which day. There are monthly calendars (with holidays conveniently written in) to see everything at a glance. This format is perfect for planning school/work assignments, vacations, or to note when bills are due. Amy even included sheets of stickers to document birthdays, vacations, doctor's appointments, school days off and bill due dates. Pure eye candy for a visual person like me! The weekly views contain to-do lists, perforated grocery lists (to tear out and take with you to the grocer - how ingenious!) and menu planning lists. I have yet to see an organizer or agenda that contains all of these useful features.

Another nice attribute is the weekly inspirational quotes, like "great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us daily." It's just the motivation I need to complete those projects on my insurmountable to-do list.

At the rear of the planner, there is room for phone, address and web references (no more forgetting your online passwords!), a monthly and annual budget planner, and babysitter pages with space to record your child(ren)'s likes, dislikes, allergies and bedtime.

Seriously, almost no stone was unturned when the content this planner was conceived. With that being said, there are a few little things that I think could be improved upon.

The cover design is not very stylish or modern. It's simple and serves its purpose, which is undeniably most important in a product such as this, but I'm tempted to buy one of the several aesthetic cover options sold separately. It would be great to be able to customize it as you can with other brands. My biggest gripe is I wish there had been tabs so I could quickly flip to my desired month. Instead, I have to use a paper clip or tab through a million pages to get where I want to go. I could buy some DIY sticky tabs but it would save me time to include that little accessory. Neither of these factors, however, would be enough to discourage me from purchasing the planner.

Bottom line: Despite the minor drawbacks, I would definitely recommend Amy Knapp's Family Organizer to any mom in desperate need of an all-inclusive planning system. And truly, what mom doesn't need that?!

BUY IT: You can purchase Amy Knapp's Family Organizer (ARV $14.99) on their website,, or if you want to save on shipping, you can visit your local Barnes and Noble, Borders or Books A Million.

Amy Knapp has an extensive product line. In addition to the Family Organizer, they offer a Christian Organizer, Pregnancy/Newborn Organizer, Homeschooling Organizer, a Big Grid oversized wall planner, and the new inFocus Digital Organizer. So, no matter what your busy lifestyle entails, you can keep it together.

Let's face it: you may not feel like SuperMom. But with an organizer like this, you can at least look like you are.

Disclaimer: As I mentioned above, I won this organizer in a giveaway during a Twitter sitewarming party. I was in no way compensated for this review.


Inexpensively said...

I'm glad you like it as much as I do! Last year, I purhcased the 3-hole punch so I could buy a pretty cover to put it in. To be honest, it just wasn't worth it. This year, I'm sticking with the spiral calendar.

Maybe you could make a project out of decorating the cover - stickers, pretty scrapbook or contact paper... I'm okay with the utilitarian look, though, because I've bought planner after planner to find one this good!

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