I promised this post would contain information about 6-ring storage binders for Personal size pages, but since there is so much interest right now in the Lifestyle packs I thought I would post my review of the Family Organizer first. If anyone is desperate to locate ring-binders for Personal pages, let me know! Otherwise I will hold off until my next post.
I want to apologize for the enormous length of this post! I hope you will read it. I had a lot to say about the Family Organizer Pack. I ordered the 2009 A5 Family Organizer Pack when the price went to 50%, partly to be able to report in full to Philofaxy (as I justified the purchase to myself), and partly to satisfy my own curiosity. This was before the contents of the Lifestyle Packs were made available to view online at Filofax.co.uk, so now it seems a little redundant. Oh well, some of the pages will certainly be useful to me.
This family pack is very similar to the Go Mom! Planner (www.gomominc.com) which, interestingly, will not be produced for 2010 after 9 years of production. They used to have a ring-bound planner with removable pages in a Dayrunner style, as well as spiral-bound planners. The calendar format of the Go Mom! was similar to the new Filofax Family Organizer calendar with space for Mom, other members of the family, and meal planning. A note about the boxes for family members: they can be used in other ways too of course, such as to record your exercise that day, expenditures, or anything else you want to categorize on a daily basis. The A5 calendar has the days as columns across the two-page spread. The Personal size version has the days as rows down the page, similar to the grid of the fun and quirky Dodo Pad (www.dodopad.com). I use a Dodo Wall Pad in my kitchen to have the comings and goings of the family in public view. It is such a useful format, I am seriously considering getting the Personal size Family pack to have my Filo and wall calendars in the same format. MomAgenda and Whomi planners also have a similar weekly grid format, which must work for a lot of families since this format is so popular!
The Go Mom! Planner contained many of the same worksheet pages as the Filofax contains, such as babysitting info, school info, contacts, children’s activities, pet veterinary records, etc. One thing the Go Mom! Planner had that the Filofax does not is a Carpool Chart. I thought it was particularly ingenious. It was a chart with each day of the week, event (such as sports practice, music lessons, etc.), times to and from. Here is the most brilliant part: the chart is for each CHILD. I would have thought to make a chart for myself, where I need to drive each day. But this addresses the much more important issue, does the child have a ride to and from each of his/ her events throughout the week? Genius.
Another section the Go Mom! Planner had that the Filo does not, and I wish it did, is medical summaries for each member of the family such as when they are due for checkups, vaccines, dental, when were their most recent appointments, lists of medications, etc. Go Mom! also had directories for insurance information such as group and member numbers, address and phone contact info. I have found these pages to be especially useful when at a new doctor’s office. Inevitably they ask these questions, and it helps enormously to have it all on one page for reference.
The Filo Family Organizer includes A-Z tabs, which is redundant since Filofax binders themselves come with A-Z tabs. Far more useful would have been to include blank tabbed dividers, which it seems the
The US Family Organizer is for the calendar year only. The UK Family pack starts now, July 2009, and runs all the way through the end of 2010. That is a great feature, so that your planner can be on an academic or calendar year.
Awhile back, someone made the observation that the US Family Organizer is labeled as “for busy Moms,” and the question was, why not dads too? I haven’t held a
In all, I think the Family Organizer pack is very useful, and would certainly help any parent keep things straight. (We need all the help we can get!) There are certainly some things missing that would be useful, such as the carpool chart and medical info pages I have mentioned. But, I guess it can’t be all things to all parents. And of course the beauty of a Filofax is that we can make our own pages for whatever we want and insert them where needed.
I am very happy to see that Filofax is making these Lifestyle packs, and I hope to see more in the future!