Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Seven-Minute Life Daily Planner Review

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As a homeschooling mom of 4, organization is a priority in my life. In fact, as my husband and I have discussed many times, I find organizing and scheduling even more challenging now than when I was working full-time outside the home. When I was working outside the home, I had bosses and co-workers and daily routines that helped me stay motivated and productive. But as a homeschooling mom, I need to be the responsible one to keep us on task and keeping our priorities in the right order! Enter The Seven Minute Life Daily Planner by Seven Minute Life and Allyson Lewis. 

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     This planner is 270 pages, spiral bound, and 7.3" by 8.5". It's a tool for the moms (or dads).  This is a physical planner (not a download). The first pages give you instructions on how to use the planner, there are ten micro-action tasks that you are to do before using it. These steps will help you focus on what your goals are and give you inspiration and motivation to organize your life. We all know that the more organized we are, the more we will accomplish, however it can be difficult to remember what our top priorities are sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day to day life. This is where The Seven-Minute Life Daily Planner helps you improve productivity by their organizational system.

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

 Some of the forms in the planner include:

  • Unfinished work and home tasks- there is a place to list many unfinished tasks you may have at work and home. As a homeschooling mom, this is a great place to put school tasks and projects for the children. 
  • Mental clutter- list any stresses in your life and plan the actions that can help overcome them. 
  • Home Repair  and Grocery List
  • Life connections-The personal and business people you need to stay in touch with . This is a great place as a blogger to keep up with link-ups or blogger groups, affiliates etc. It could also be used as a prayer list or even a to do list.
  • Annual Projects and Tasks This is a great place to organize and keep track of home tasks that need to be done regularly but not daily or weekly. Some of the tasks I have written here include: Run clean cycle on dishwasher, check children's drawers for clothes that don't fit, organize and clean freezer, bacteria for septic tank, change smoke alarm batteries, wash siding, etc. 
  • Your 12 month calendar 
  • The Meeting Planner- designed to help make meetings more efficient. This would be a great place to plan out family devotions or special homeschooling projects/activities. 
  • 90 Day goals–there are several pages for this so that you can keep seperate work, personal, financial and life goals.  There’s also space underneath each goal for breaking it into smaller tasks of action.
  • Notes pages 
  • The Annual Exercise Progress report 
  • The Daily Progress Report which we talk about more in-depth below

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      Now we get to the main part of the planner which is called the Daily Progress Report.  As you’ll see, the pages are pretty straightforward.  The first page includes:
  • Daily contacts–These are the people you actually talk to, call, etc. each day.  I changed this area to be activities I want to do each day to increase my blog traffic.
  • What I will do…5 Before 11–These should be the five most important goals you have each day that you will achieve before 11 o'clock. For me, this was a mix of home tasks, blog activities and homeschool activities, depending on the day. Sometimes it was "get a load of laundry in and hung out" or " Exercise". Often it was "Complete Math and English" or "Finish Blog Post".
  • “7 Minute Connections”–This is place for you to write down the people you are keeping in touch with and intentionally connected with through visiting, a handwritten card or a phone call. It could be also be a useful tool to help your children practice making intentional connections in their lives too.
  • Unfinished tasks–These will be the “to-do” list your continuing to add to from the previous pages as well as new things that come up. There are 10 spaces here and sometimes I could have use a few more!
  • What I spent–great way to keep track of your expenditures for your budget. This area was often left blank for me since I rarely shop on a daily basis.
     The bottom area of the page has a place for you to monitor your water intake, write down your meals and snacks, and log your sleep, exercise, reading time and quiet time.  There is question at the bottom of the first page is a yes or no, “Did I do what I said I would do today?”  
     The second page of the Daily Progress report includes spots for Appointments, Voicemails, Thank you Notes and then a blank area for whatever you may need to write down and remember. The appointment list makes a nice spot for writing down what you want to accomplish by certain times of the day since it has times written along it, the voicemail spot has small white square to check off as you complete them making it a nice extra "unfinished tasks" spot if you have more than 10 things you want to list, like me.

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     I found this planner to be very helpful in making me focus on what my goals are and checking my daily to do lists to make sure I am working towards the goals I am wishing to achieve. It's clearly meant for more of a business setting, but since homeschool moms are known for their resourcefulness and ability to think outside the box, I think it can be very useful as a homeschooling/blogging resource for moms, as long as you are okay with using some of the areas of the planner unconventionally for your own purposes. You need to be the boss of your schedule and the boss of your planner, it doesn't tell you what to do, you tell it what to do!

     If you are interested in more information on this time management tool , there is this 12 minute video explaining how the planner works:

     And, these additional 16 short videos (total viewing time approx 30 min) here:

     I have a limited data connection to the internet and so I am not able to watch videos online and was still able to effective understand and use the planner. However, I'm sure the videos are useful and helpful.

You can currently purchase The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner for $24.95.
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