Tuesday, July 26, 2011

blue sky home series review and giveaway

you know the summer is winding down when people start asking the kids if they are ready to go back to school...that and all the glaring "back to school special" signs all over target.

i am feeling pretty thankful right now that we still have another month before we have to think about heading back to school.  this fall i will have three different kids going to three different schools.  i can feel myself start to panic, just thinking about it.  thanks to the blue sky home series of calendars and planners, i'm starting to think i may just be able to keep everything straight after all.

above you can see the weekly/monthly compact planner ($9.99).  i really like how there is a monthly overview view, alongside a "do," "call," "buy" page.  i think this is the section each month that i will use the most.  i really like having a monthly overview so that i can get a big picture of what is on our plates.  when you turn the page, there is a week by week place to write everything you have to do each day, or driving directions to the places you have to go, or any other information you might need for each day.  each month has its own tab so you can easily flip to the appropriate place in your planner.

the next tab is for essential info.  here you can write down medical contact information, personal contact information, plan a trip or a party, make a list of essentials for the car or for the grocery store.  i don't think i will use these as much.  i would love a grocery list that tore out but this only has a couple pages that certainly won't last the whole year.

the last tab is labeled "notes."  i think this will be very handy.  i like to have a place to jot blog posts and ideas when i'm out and about.  i can see myself pulling this out when i'm in the car waiting to pick up kids and getting some "work" done that i wouldn't otherwise be able to do.

i'm sure those of you with smart phones and ipads (jealous intake of breath) are thinking you have no need of paper versions of these things.  i feel like, even if i ever manage to get an ipad, i will always want to have a paper calendar and paper for notes.  i like to be able to write stuff down and see it in hard copy form so that it will stick in my brain better.  i think the blue sky home series is stylish and pleasing to the eye so i will actually enjoy carrying this planner around and using it throughout the school year to keep track of the various school events and activities that i'm sure we will have going on.
i also received a mousepad/notepad with "do," "call, "buy" headings on it ($5.99).  i like the idea of this because i am always reading an important email, thinking about what i have to do, call or buy and then forgetting as soon as i log off the computer.  this way i have the pad handy, ready for anything that i need to remember after i leave the computer.  unfortunately, my mouse isn't working as well on top of the paper so i will probably just keep this next to the computer instead of using it for a mousepad.  i'm hoping this will help me keep track of the things i need to be sure to do better than i've been doing so far.

i have to admit, when i first received this last product, i thought it was a little weird.  door hanger to-do lists ($9.99)?  i am not the kind of person to hang things on my door knob.  i wasn't sure i would ever make use of these.  then i realized that they would make great chores lists for the kids.  we had returned from vacation after school ended, and i knew i wanted to institute a better method of checking off chores.  i wrote a list for each child, laminated it and now they keep them on the door knob in their rooms.  each day i can wipe off their check marks for us to start again.  i also made one for each of the rooms in the house that i wanted help cleaning.  the system isn't working perfectly due to human error, but the door knob lists have been fabulous.  i'm glad to have a whole pad available for other lists i will want to make when school starts.  i can also envision using them before a field trip, science fair or some other school event where we need to remember to bring extra things to school with us.

overall, i am very pleased with the blue sky home series.  the quality of the paper is excellent and perfect for this type of usage.  the series offers 14 different products, all under $10 (an excellent price for the quality).  one other product that i am interested in is the big monthly desk calendars ($9.99 for a variety of choices).  i would love to put together a family calendar using those so we can all see what is coming up for the month.  there is also a weekly family board (dry erase for $5.99) if your family prefers operating on a weekly basis.  i may have to purchase the grocery checklist ($3.99) with tear-off sheets to facilitate my weekly shopping trips. you should be able to find all of these products at target, as well as at the blue sky home series website.

i am so excited to be able to offer a giveaway package to one of you readers. just leave me a comment telling me what your best organizational tip is. i will choose a winner using random.org on august 1, 2011 (usa residents only).

i received three different calendar/planning products (and a set to giveaway) from blue sky home series/susy jack contemporary paper. regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.


  1. I don't really have organization these days...what I like to try to do is pack the diaper bag the night before if we're going somewhere in the morning so that I have one less thing when getting out the door.

  2. Through the years I have found that it's good to have a "drop spot" for important things like book and computer bags. (It works better if the drop spot is not right in front of the door, though.) Establishing the habit of dropping those important things in one designated place can save hours of searching.

  3. Oooo I want this one! I don't know where I'll keep it because I need to organize my kitchen better. :) But, I read recently to empty a drawer by the door to keep as a drop spot, a place for cell phone, keys, notes that are going out the door with you, etc. I also love our shoe basket and hooks by the door.



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