September 17, 2014

My Student Logbook: Success Made Simple (Product Review)

Last year, one of our biggest challenges in homeschooling was focus. Little Britches had a hard time staying focused to the lessons because they seemed endless. He'd finish one to find there was another one to begin. He would always say "How much longer???!" I started writing the list of everything we were doing on the board, but this wasn't an ideal solution. He needed to have an element of control to make it work. When I learned about the My Student Logbook by a small family run company of the same name based out of Oregon, I wondered if this would assist in granting him more control over what needed to be done every day--as well as keeping me from having to nag him to stay on task.

Product Details

My Student Logbook Review
My Student Logbook is a small family run Oregon based company, that decided to make daily homeschool management more simple and organized. The result was My Student Logbook, a system that is easy to set up that offers clear communication between teacher and student and accountability for the assignments given. These logbooks are designed so that a years worth of assignments can be logged all in one place for each child. This also helps the teachers use the logbooks to create transcripts! There is an excellent product guide video for you to get an idea on how it works!

My Student Logbooks are 8 1/2" x 11", spiral bound, about 1/2" thick and have clear plastic covers. The core of the book is the 53 weekly pages which can be ordered in three styles:

* Predated August 1 – July 31, 7 days a week labeled Monday-Sunday
* Predated January 1 – December 31, 7 days a week labeled Monday-Sunday or
* Undated 7 column pages with blank heading space you can customize to your needs!

Each logbook also comes with 6 checklist pages for recording assignments. Don't worry if these aren't enough because the copyright allows you to photocopy more for your use!

My Student Logbooks are available in nine different covers so you are sure to find one perfect for your child. These books retail for $15.00. My Student Logbook is also available as an instant PDF download if that is more your style. These range from $10 to $20 based on your need of a single or family use license. These logbooks are ideal for 2nd grade and up.

For my review, I chose My Student Logbook Undated with a Dinosaur cover.

How Did We Use the Product?

One of the first things I did was watch this video which explains how this book can best be used. It's so self-explanatory and looked easy.  Next, I flipped through it to see what all was included in the logbook and there is more than just the logbook portion. There were some great pages to fill out with your kids like these...


I love these as being part of this book since I plan on using this book over the course of one year. I can save this to keep tabs on all that we completed for the year like a record book!

Once I flipped through all of the pages to see what was there, I jumped right into setting up the logbook. I started by cutting off the assignment page as directed and then taping it to the back of the first page. And then *poof* it was done and ready to use.

Here are some pics to show you how easy it really is...
The first page to cut...
 The sheets has step 1, step 2 and step 3...so easy to follow and use!


It really was as easy as it looked and I quickly had it ready to start recording information in. Once you have the assignment page attached, you can make any notes that you want, and date your pages (if you choose undated books).
There is always a section to make any notes about the assignments for the week. This hides under the checklist.

How it looks once the page is taped on and folder over. Time to start writing!
Once this was all attached, I pulled out my own planner and recorded all the things that were going to be done the first week. I love that you can just reuse this list until it's no longer valid--which might be a week, a month or even a year!

Here is the first week. I chose the undated logbook to maximize it's useage and to start it when I wanted to do--which happened to be in August. Here I listed out what needed to be done during the week, noted if there was time associated with it--or how much needed to be done. Then I labelled the week and added the dates. Now it's as simple as Little Britches checking off each day.


Little Britches really liked this concept and keeps his logbook near his area at all times to mark off and keep track of what is done and what is left.

When we didn't have to do a few things on the list anymore, I simply crossed them off and added anything new...I didn't see the sense of getting a new one yet.

If I cross something off, I carry that out across the page to keep the boxes easy to match up. You can see that I dated this one differently. You can really do whatever you want which is why I love it.

Once we started up a full week, our list grew longer, but the concept stayed the same...
I always go through and cross out the days that we aren't going to do something--if it's a 2 day a week or 3 day a week subject. If I decide we aren't going to do it, I put my initial so remind myself that he didn't skip it without my permission.

What are Our Thoughts on the Product?

Little Britches
"I love it. I can keep track of your stuff. It helps me from getting off task, and keeps me on track so I'm not dilly-dillying." (dilly dallying! LOL!)

Me
#1 It is incredibly easy to use and you can just open and go!
#2 It is spiral bound so it folds over and stays open to where you need it to.
#3 If you run out of assignment pages, the copyright allows you to make more.
#4 The undated version means you can start and end with as little page waste as possible.
#5 There is a "notes" portion where you can list details UNDER the main assignment list.
#6 This product fosters independence in my son to stay on task so HE can check off his completed assignments himself.
#7 Plenty of room for even the most vigorous of curricula
#8 Could be adapted for chores and/homework easily
#9 He loves it. What more do I need to say?

Would I Recommend this Product?

Yes yes yes! This product has completely changed my son's attitude about what he does every day because he can see it right in front of him. It eliminates the feeling of mommy just giving him endless things to do because he can visually keep track of how much is left to do each day. Because he has it in front of him, he can also see how much will be required of him each day/week.  He enjoys telling me "I only have two more things to do before we are done!" 

If you have a child who is like my son about their schoolwork, I recommend considering purchasing this product. Who knew that something as simple as allowing him to SEE his work for the day would make such a difference!

I would also recommend this product for those of you with multiple students because you can tailor each one specifically for what your child needs to complete. This also means that if you have children who are working mostly independently, you can quickly see that they have (or have not) done all their work for the day/week and can pinpoint things to be completed. 

Don't homeschool? Use this product for chores and/or homework! It will work just as well for that!

Will I be purchasing any more of the My Student Logbook when this one is complete? Absolutely! It is definitely worth every penny of the $15 to not battle my son anymore!

Want to Learn more?


We reviewed the My Student Logbook: Undated Dinosaurs ($15.00) from My Student Logbook.

You know what my family thinks about My Student Logbook, but there were many other reviewers of this product! 
Click to read Crew Reviews
To learn more about My Student Logbook make sure you check them out on these Social Media sites:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/MyStudentLogbook

You Tube -- http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMxzpy91vov8a8nDpyp2ihQ
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thank you for checking out my review of this product. I really do 100% endorse it because it works so well. It works great in conjunction with my own planners. 
I hope you have an excellent week. I am hoping to be able to share a recipe later this week, so make sure you stop back by!
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September 15, 2014

The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner (Product Review)

I recently reviewed a book which invigorated me to make some changes in my daily time management. But it can be tricky to know how and when to start. Imagine my thankfulness when I was picked to review The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner by The 7 Minute Life™...a planner specifically designed to help with time management..and in just 7 minutes! Would this be the answer to my needs?

Product Details

The 7 Minute Life™ is a company all about redefining time management. They believe in that in three simple steps: Prioritize, Organize and Simplify they can help you make changes leading to the time management everyone dreams of! They provide time management tools including forms, checklists, audios, videos, and more!

One of their top products is the The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner ($24.95). This planner is different than others which have you just list your commitments and obligations...this planner helps you prioritize your commitments, plan out how you are going to fulfill your tasks, and does it all by breaking it down into bite size pieces of just 7 minutes of your time per day!  The company believes in the success of their product to help you with time management so much that they are offering a 100% money back guarantee! If you don't see a positive change in your life in 30 days of use, you can send it back for a full refund!

You can check out their great video to show you how it works...

I was given The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner to review for my own use.

How Did I Use the Product?

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review
As soon as the planner arrived, I spent time just looking through it to see what all was included. I was impressed by the sheer volume of sections and yes, rather overwhelmed! LOL! Fortunately, the beginning of the planner is a guide on how the planner can be used and steps for going through the beginning pages.

I freely admit that I jumped right to the Daily Progress Reports because those were the #1 thing that I was interested in.  After I checked them out, I went back to the beginning and started working through the introduction pages all about setting goals, prioritizing my values, documenting my strengths, identifying my purpose in lie...and then more goals. Pages and pages about setting goals and planning for the future.

At this point I rather gave up. I am just not into this kind of thing nor did I feel like it was useful to me as a planner in the capacity of NOT being in a business scenario. 

I jumped ahead to the monthly Calendar and filled out the dates for the months through the end of the year. I skipped the next section "Meeting Planner" and got right to the "good stuff" of the Daily Progress Report.
7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review
I was excited when i looked over the two page section (the above is page 1) for this portion. I liked what I saw, but saw things that I could and needed to adapt for my own personal use.  Here are a few sections that I revised...
I changed the voice mail portion to grocery list/menu.

I made this section to include Get Well cards too.

I changed the Daily Contacts to Daily Chores
It didn't take much--eventually I just didn't bother crossing anything out and just used it as I intended. I really try to stay on top of using this portion--especially the 5 before 11 section as I felt it was something new that I could totally use right away to help me with time management.

I haven't used my planner enough to hit the Monthly Progress Report, but I'm getting there soon. I like the concept of it and hope it works as I think it will.

What are my Thoughts on the Product?

I think this planner is a very high quality product. From the time I first flipped through it I was impressed with it's detail and thoroughness relating to every aspect of planning or list making that was included. I love that it is spiral bound and that it has a protective cover. I also appreciated the inner pockets where I could put things like important mail or bills for me to remember to deal with later.

I really felt almost overwhelmed when I was flipping through it...so much inside! So much blank spaces for writing! But the planner as a great "how to" guide at the beginning to walk you through the steps to maximize it's potential usefulness. 

Pros:
*spiral bound w/plastic cover to protect
*smaller 7.3" x 8.5" which fits better in a large purse or in a bag
*"how to" guide at front to help you get started along with links to more resources
*Excellent for goal setting (personal, financial, work, etc) and planning long term changes
*Daily Progress pages to record 
*Monthly Progress Reports to analyze how you did over the month
*Undated, but with calendars you can create for reference
*Can record daily habits like exercise, sleep, diet and water intake as well as reading and mediation
*can record daily spending
*Allows recording of networking, voice mail, appointments and mailing out handwritten cards
*pockets on cover to hold envelopes or receipts
*Unfinished task pages to fill in
*Meeting Planner pages
*Blank Note Pages

Cons:
*Concept and design geared towards someone who works in a business setting--irrelevant for me
*Extensive goal setting and planning pages beyond anything I would use or find useful
*Only enough daily reports for 90 days (or 1 quarter of a year)
*Need a new planner every 3 months--at $24.95/planner this works into $100 a year
*Had to make a lot of adjustments to make it work for me

In summary, there were several things that I absolutely loved! My #1 thing that I took out of using this product was the importance of setting 5 high value things to get done before 11am every morning. Planning these out the night (7 minutes!) before gives you a goal to accomplish the next day. I had a great sense of "I did it!" when I could check each one off before the clock hit 11am. My 5 before 11 list could be anything from:
1. Bible Study
2. Wash Dishes
3. Do 2 loads of Laundry
4. Call dentist to make appointment
5. Email Jill about article

to 
1. Bible Study
2. Make Grocery List
3. Set out meat for dinner to thaw
4. Sew curtains for classroom
5. Write Blog Review


But the goal is to always make these be the high priority things that have to be done at the start of your day. I love this concept because I am so guilty about "forgetting" to do something I promised I would do. This takes care of that.

The next thing I liked was the portion at the bottom of the Daily Progress Report to keep track of water intake, sleep, exercise, reflection, reading and the meals that get eaten through the day...and then the final step to look at my day on paper and answer "Did I do what I said I would do Today?"
There really is power in a check mark!


If I could redesign this planner as a "best fit" for someone like me, I would take out the extensive goal setting pages as they are far more geared to the business world (IMO), but it would be okay to leave a few for the personal goals. I think the place where you note your strengths can be useful, but it isn't something I would want in a planner. I like the mental clutter list to write down all the things in your head that you need or want to do. The place to note unfinished tasks is useful too--I'd like them to be near the daily progress report. I also would love a thick fat full year version!

I think it would be cool to have a business and a non-business version of the planner because I think there would be an equal number of people drawn to each type.

I did appreciate that at the end of the book there was a note that if you became a fan of The 7 Minute Life™ Community you can download additional forms to help with time management for FREE. This includes a birthday calendar, travel checklist, weekly progress report, monthly progress report, daily task checklist and more.

Would I recommend this product?

Yes and no. I would absolutely recommend this product to anyone who is involved in the business world whether in an office or at home. I think it is very valuable and the method that it teaches could seriously improve time management and mental focus relating to your job. It really is useful for keeping everything from goals, to budgeting to networking to contacts to voicemail to planning--to even daily exercise/water intake/sleep/spending all in one place.

But really it was too much "extras" for someone like me who is not in the business world and just wants a great daily planner for dealing with the nitty gritty of home/homeschool/life. I found myself not interested in all the hardcore goal settings, and altered many of the business related pages to fit my needs--which was just an extra step to do every day. 

Will I buy another one, once this one runs out? No, I do not see myself doing so. I just had too many "wasted" un-used pages (the sections that were geared towards business) to make it a worthwhile investment. But I WILL still be using these concepts (like the 5 before 11) in the future.

Want to Know More?

I reviewed The 7 Minute Life™ Daily Planner ($24.95) from The 7 Minute Life™.

Now that you've seen my review on this product, why don't you head over and see what my other crew members think about it!
Click to read Crew Reviews
For more information about The 7 Minute Life™, make sure you check out The 7 Minute Life™ on their various social media outlets!
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/The7MinuteLife
Twitter - http://twitter.com/allyson7minutes
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/the7minutelife/
Google+ - http://plus.google.com/+AllysonLewis7/posts
You Tube - http://www.youtube.com/user/AllysonLewis
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Thank you for stopping by to check out this product review...I hope you will come back and see me again soon--I've got a recipe going up later this week as well as a review on My Student Logbook which I'm very eager to share with you!

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September 7, 2014

Giveaway--Under Drake's Flag


I recently reviewed the product Under Drake's Flag, an audio drama from Heirloom Audio Products and shared how much we loved it! I also mentioned that I have an extra copy to share with one randomly selected reader! You don't want to miss your chance to share this action filled, swashbuckling audio adventure with your own family, so get entered below!
The deadline to get entered is September 14th so make sure you don't wait too long! This is a great product and one that I really think your family will enjoy--I know that we sure did! For more details about this product and what it's all about, why not check out my review?

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