DayRunner has created a new Family Matters organizational and calendar system, which is designed to help families get and stay organized. The disorganized gaggle of girls were invited to review this for Parent Bloggers and try to get ourselves organized. The color-coded system is very versitile, and different components will be a perfect fit for different families – all families have a lot to organize!
The idea behind the Family Matters system is that everything is organized within 5 different colors. On their message center, there are stickies, folders, key holders, a calendar, and wipe-board area. There’s a 9×11 spiral-bound week-by week calendar, as well as folders, magazine holders, and little reminder people all coded in the soft color palate. Unfortunately, the entire (really cool!) Message Center wasn’t available, but we did a test run of many of the different parts. Our family has five people, so we’ve used the five colors as one per person, but it could be done differently by categorizing by person, then entire-family activities for smaller families, or by each parent, big kids, little kids, and whole family for larger families.
We received a 2008 wall calendar and an undated wipe-board calendar – both of these have 5 non-calendar color-coded squares for notes. The dated wall calendar is fabulous – big squares with plenty of space for actiities for a family with 3 kids. The wipe-board has lots of space for information monthly notes at the bottom, plus it is divided into 5 color columns for daily notes per person. As you can see in the image at the left, we are happily using up lots of space on the wipe board!
Another item we are getting a lot of use out of are the different-colored reminder people. These little guys are great for hanging on doorknobs so kids remember to clean their rooms. Or so people remember to wear pants that day for a hike, or a skirt for a party. Another one that was well used was “library books!” – we often get halfway to the library before remembering we left the books at home!
We haven’t had much time to use the 2008 week-by-week & monthly calendar yet, but it does have lots of space for all of our activities. Unfortunately, its size make it impossible to put in any of my purses, and being desk-size doesn’t help when I don’t have a desk! Most other weekly calendars are divided by hour, which isn’t as helpful when you’re really trying to figure out schedules based on different kids and activities – the color coding is great. I ended up picking up a smaller 2008 weekly calendar, and while it isn’t as well-designed as the Family Matters one (no color-coding, no To Do lists), it will fit in my purses. If I didn’t have back/neck/muscle problems, and still carried a bigger purse, if I was carrying a briefcase, or if I was still carrying a diaper bag, the size wouldn’t be an issue. I will carry it with me to coop planning meetings, and anything where I bring my laptop. I’ll just have to see in time which weekly calendar gets more use. I do wish Day-Runner had a smaller-sized version, though!
The color-coded file folders are made of a sturdy plastic, and while we probably aren’t using them as intended, we are using them to bring papers with us to coop, or for bringing papers in a backpack with crayons. I would probably use the file folders and magazine holders more if I was dealing with school paperwork. My girls already had other containers in use for holding their homeschool work.
We really like the versatility of the Family Matters products from Day Runner. We also like the colors used for color-coding – most color-coded items are in loud colors, and these are nice muted colors. Even though only one person got her favorite color, they are soft enough colors that no one minded. All of the products are designed to work together, but each piece can also work independently. We love the Message System, wipe-off calendar, and the little reminder guys best. If our family worked differently, then I can see how all of the products could be used to their best advantage.
For our family, the collection of Family Matters products from Day Runner receive 4 lights out of 5: we love the products we do use, and the others are well-made, even if we aren’t using them – if only the color-coded weekly calendar was small enough for a purse!
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