Product Review: family_time.mine® Planner

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Note: This product is no longer available.

As you may recall, I recently sought the help of readers in tracking down my ideal paper planner. In response to that challenge, a representative of dotmine offered me a copy of one of their day planners, certain that it was the perfect match to what I was looking for. Although I’d already ordered the myAgenda from momAgenda, being a bit of a calendar junkie, I was happy to accept the offer.

I received a copy of the 8½ x 11″ family_time.mine® planner, as shown above on the right. The company also creates life_time.mine™, which is also 8½ x 11″, and the original time.mine®, which is 6 x 9″. Each version is available in a variety of designs to suit a multitude of personal tastes.

I was immediately impressed with the cover, which is colorful yet not garish and is made from a heavy plastic which will certainly withstand day-to-day wear and tear. The coil binding also appears to be quite durable, being much heavier than is used on regular notebooks.

The inside pages are printed on high quality paper, so pen users shouldn’t have to worry about ink showing through, and pencil users like myself won’t have to worry about tearing pages when erasing. I especially like the way the book lies flat when open.

There are many sections over and above the weekly and monthly calendar pages to facilitate planning, including Weekly Schedules and Master Schedule Planning Guides for each of the four seasons. In addition, each weekly page includes a perforated section for lists which you can easily tear off and take with you. In the back there are pages for recording important contacts and babysitter information.

As well as being a very functional planner, it is quite pleasing to use. In addition to the attractive cover, each weekly page includes a motivational quote, including this one that I particularly like:

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.

Charles Reade

Also included is a page of stickers for events such as birthdays, doctor appointments, and the like, which I always find fun.

Weekly planner pageI might have been tempted to use the planner myself, except for two things. The first is that it is highly focused on managing a family, rather than a business. I could probably have adapted it to my own needs, but I was set on the grid-style page layout, with full columns for each day of the week, and family_time.mine® planner is laid out the same way as my current planner, which isn’t working well for me.

I would absolutely consider buying a life_time.mine™ or time.mine® planner in the future, if they were to offer it with a grid-style page layout. The quality is excellent, and the price extremely reasonable.

I won’t be using the family_time.mine® planner myself, but I would hate to see it go to waste, so I am going to give it away to one lucky winner. Wouldn’t it make a great gift for one of your clients? Or maybe you’d like to keep it for yourself!

To enter, please leave a comment answering the following question: What is the most important feature you look for in a planner?

You can earn extra entries in the drawing by tweeting about this contest. You must mention @JanetBarclay and include a link to this post in your tweet.

Contest closes on Friday, November 6th at 11:59pm EST.

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Janet Barclay

A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

Join the Conversation


  1. Avatar Heather Burke on November 2, 2009 at 9:31 am

    The most important feature I look for when recommending a paper planner to my client – is does the planner allow the client to “see time” meaning can the activity find a “home” on calendar.

    Time is like a closet – it is finite (only 168 hours in a week) and every activity needs a place.

  2. Avatar Rosie Fernandez on November 2, 2009 at 11:30 am

    What is the most important feature you look for in a planner?

    I really like to have extra space to jot down plans for future ideas and projects, no just for scheduled appointments. I also like it to be a medium size – portable, but roomy enough to jot down all I have to.

    Thanks Janet!

  3. Avatar christina on November 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    The feature I look for in a paper planner is whether it has enough calendar space to list out the appointments and therapies for my special needs son. In my family of 4, there are a lot of things to keep track of, while I work a full time job outside of the home.

    I prefer paper planners because they allow me to creatively illustrate and lay out what the plans are for my me and my family in a uniquely visual way.

  4. Avatar Shanna on November 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    What is the most important feature you look for in a planner?

    Room to write. Even with small children, my days get filled up fast with doc appts, play dates, family things to do, etc… and that’s just family. Working from and managing a home is another feat in itself.

    I need room, organized room.

  5. Avatar Janet on November 9, 2009 at 10:05 am

    And the winner is… Rosie! Congratulations, and thanks to all of you for your comments – it sounds like space to write is a very popular requirement!

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