Monday, March 3, 2014

Review: Motivated Moms Ebooks

Lately, we have had some [happy] changes going on and as a result our personal schedule has been a bit topsy-turvy. This leaves me with having to rework a lot of scheduling and some of our routine. Despite the fact that I know what to do, it feels overwhelming right now. Therefore, when the opportunity to review one of Motivated Moms Ebooks presented itself through the TOS Review Crew, I took it.

I didn't want to go searching on-line to find something that would suit me- it could take up too much time. In addition, I didn't want to sit down to create something myself. I needed simple, concise and organized and I needed it fast. Enter the planner just for moms by, Motivated Moms...


Motivated Moms has several ebooks to choose from. My review is on one of their printable PDF planners. There are several planners to choose from: chores and scheduled Bible readings, page per day planner, half-sized chore planner. They can be printed in black or in color. If you visit Motivated Moms ebook page, you'll be able to see their variety of examples by selecting one and hovering over the image to view it.

Or, if you find that you use your phone a ton, there is the option of using their app. I have plenty of friends who would appreciate the annual subscription to the Motivated Moms iOS App! I'm more partial to the *oldin' days* ways of life. ;-)

I chose to use the 2014 Motivated Moms Half-Sized Chore Planner {Black and White}. We already have a schedule we are following for our Bible studies, so the one with preselected verses to read was something which didn't suit my needs. Plus, I saved on paper and toner with this particular planner compared to some of the other planner options.

The heart of Motivated Moms is to offer a cleaning, organizing and creativity planner in little chunks in order to help you stay on top of things and have some fun in the mix.

It contains a printable (8.5x11) chore list consisting of 55 pages (cover page, 53 weekly calendar/planner pages, two-week menu planning page). Although, as already mentioned, I did go with the black and white version to cut down on printing costs. 

Daily responsibilities are the same on each page (making beds, feeding pets, doing laundry, etc.) Other chores are rotated on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis (a weekly example would be dusting different rooms). They also include little reminders for things like clipping your child's nails, cleaning hairbrushes, cleaning out your purse/wallet, cleaning jewelry, and watering indoor plants. Little and essential things such as quiet time, pampering yourself, and scheduled in time for creativity are also included. 

How I Used Motivated Moms Ebook Planner in My Home...

  •  I comb bound it. Loose sheets of paper floating around are not something I enjoy. Also, I felt that a 3-ring binder would be too bulky for it.
  • I kept it in sight in the same location so it would be in front of me. After all, a planner is like having a gym membership. They don't do you any good if you don't use them! 
  • I assign the same tasks (such as making beds) to everyone at the same time. Then I wait to check anything off until all of my children have completed the task at hand. This helps me to keep track.
  • There isn't an App for Android for this review, however, they do have a free trial for Android that may be downloaded. I used this with my kids to see if it would help motivate them. They had some fun with checking off chores on the touch screen. However, we found that we relied more on the paper planner (maybe it has something to do with our notebooking habits in our homeschool).


What I Like About It...

  • The check off list for daily chores is appreciated.
  • The clean design is nice (no added distractions). 
  • The extra spaces to add unique daily chores for my family is handy.  
  • There is a category for spending time on a craft/hobby. Outside of what I do with my children in this department, I rarely sit down to do it on my own. I appreciate the reminder t fit this in my day (even though it may not been consistent). 
  • That they offer a free trial for phone Apps. to see if it is something that suits an individual. 
  •  It is thorough (reminders to set clocks, replace batteries in smoke detectors, do mending)

Other Thoughts... 

  • The breakdown of chores by day is nice. I find that this aspect is handy for me in some respects, while at the same time not suited for me in others. For example, to make preparation day for Sabbath more easy for me, I like to have our children change their sheets on Monday. Then they are cleaned, dried, folded and neatly put away in time for Sabbath as I prefer it to be in our home (instead of piled up high in the hamper). Whereas the planner has it scheduled for Friday. We also do our meal planning and shopping on a different day then scheduled in the planner.

  • Conversely, the planner has other tasks that are not done on a daily basis listed and that helped me to be sure to do those. An example would be de-clutter and organizing the children's closets.

Something I'd Like to See...

  • A planner option for 6 days of work. Moms can overwork themselves as it is and having 7 days of work listed (in my opinion) adds pressure to "keep working, keep working, gotta keep going, gotta get it all done." A day of rest is beneficial and sometimes mamas need to be reminded of that. We need to be refreshed with a weekly break so we can get more accomplished during the work week. 

Since some believers keep the Sabbath on Saturdays and others choose to keep it on Sundays, it may be helpful to have the last two end of the week columns be included as *Saturday/Sunday.* Maybe fill-in-the-blank lines could be available for people to write in their tasks. This allows for flexibility among these believers. It's just a thought to throw out there. :-)

What I Learned From the Free App. Download:

Chore Planners

  • Chores can be assigned to specific people or as a family
  • Chores can be color coded per family member (I love this!) 
  • If the box is checked but you clear out of the app., the box is no longer checked. I don't  know if this happens with the annual purchase of the app. I just know that it happened to us with the trial on our Android.
  • Again, if you are like me and don't really use apps. and phones with bells and whistles, the PDF Planners may be more suitable for you.

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How Much Motivated Moms Ebooks Cost...

Each ebook planner costs $8 (regardless of color or black/white). There are a variety of options to choose from. The best thing to do is print the sample page for each planner as it helps you to ensure compatibility with your computer, printer and help you to weigh your options. 

You may consider putting each sample page into use to see what your preference is before making a decision and ordering.

How Much Motivated Moms iOS App. Cost...

This iOS for IPad/IPhone/IPod Touch comes with two months of tasks and server access. Additional months can be purchased via their in-app purchase for just 99¢ per month OR for just $7.99 per year. You can even share the app between your devices so they can in sync!

The app offers the same chore planning and housekeeping options as the PDF ebooks. 

Keep up with Motivated Moms:

You can read a variety of reviews about the different planner options and the apps by Review Crew members by clicking on the graphic below.


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