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 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. 

*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

*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

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!
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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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