TOS Review: Motivated Moms Chore Planner

Motivated Moms Review
I’m excited to bring you my first TOS review in 2014! I’m more excited to share that it’s for a chore planner that’s actually usable and helpful! I’ve tried different systems over the years, but I couldn’t stick with anything. Email-based programs didn’t work for me, because I get too much email anyway. The reminders would either get lost or become overwhelming. I tried using task managers in calendar programs to set up daily tasks, but that became cumbersome and overwhelming. Paper wasn’t going to work, because I hate to waste paper. I didn’t want to make a new list every day. Then, thanks to TOS, I discovered Motivated Moms.

The planner is available as an ebook or an iOS app. A few weeks before our review period started, I downloaded the iPhone app. It’s available in a paid version, with more features, or a two-week free trial. I got the trial, because I just needed to know if I liked it enough to apply for the review.

Motivated Moms Review
The app is great. You can color-code the tasks, and things move off the page as you check them off, so they’re not in your way.But I’m not the only person in my family, so I wanted everyone to be able to see the list. Fortunately, you can print from the app. If you have a wireless printer connected to your phone, it’s super-easy. If not, I’m not sure how that would work. There are Crew members doing full reviews of the app. You can read those more more information.

I did use my wireless printer. The color-coding doesn’t translate to the printout, but you can see we just used initials. Completed tasks do move over to the printout as checked items. (Follow the link at the bottom of the page to see in-depth reviews of the iOS app.)

Motivated Moms app printout


Except for the printing, I loved the app! Specifically, I loved the system. It’s broken down into daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks. (Probably some quarterly stuff, too. I didn’t dissect the task list. That’s why I have the planner.) It’s all there as part of your list for each day, so you don’t have to go to a separate page for less-than-daily chores.

Once I was fortunate enough to be accepted for this review (yay!), I selected the Motivated Moms Chore Planner, because it allowed me to print the whole week onto one page. (While working on this review, I see that selecting the Half-Size Chore Planner would have enabled me to print two weeks on one page. I’m not sure how I missed that, but know that’s an option if you’re as paper-conscious as I am.)

The planners all come with the option to include a daily Bible reading plan.

Motivated Moms Review
Planners are also available in color or black and white.

I was originally going to send the ebook to Office Depot to have it printed and put in a 3-ring binder, but I decided to just print it at home one week at a time. Had I actually had the whole thing printed, I might have actually noticed that there is a two-week menu planner at the back. Probably not, as it’s at the back. It’s in the description of the planner; that was something else I missed. I just wrote that week’s dinner menu on the side of the page.

So, I’d print out the week’s task list, and mark off the things we didn’t need (like watering plants). I’d use a highlighter to color-code the remaining items. Some things weren’t coded if there were things that anyone could do as needed, like taking out the trash, or things we all do, such as taking vitamins.

This weekly Chore Planner lists all the daily chores in one section, with a checkbox for each day. The boxes aren’t labeled, but I just jotted the days of the week at the top to help us keep track. Individual days’ tasks are listed on the other side of the page.

Motivated Moms Chore Planner

As you can see, we didn’t get everything done every week. No perfection here! Another good thing about the week-at-a-glance page is that you can do extra things if you have time or pick up an uncompleted task later in the week. And if you don’t get to something, you know it’ll come around again, and you can do it then.

I love that it has tasks like “clip children’s nails” (if you’re like me, you notice that when they start looking like Dracula), “pamper yourself” (I have to! It’s on the schedule!), and order credit report (does anyone remember to check those regularly?). My biggest accomplishment while using this system was cleaning out my purse and wallet. I clean out my purse every few months, but apparently it’s been a really long time since I cleaned out my wallet. I found my voter registration card. From our former address. Where we lived ten years ago. I should do that more often. Too bad I didn’t find any hidden money in there.

I did find it confusing that every other week, “plan menus” was on the Sunday list, but “inventory refrigerator contents and plan meals around leftovers” was on the Monday list. Wouldn’t it make more sense to either do them both at the same time or at least get check the leftovers before planning the week’s menu?

The only thing I didn’t like about the ebook (which isn’t a complaint, really, because it’s an ebook, and this is kind of obvious) was that I couldn’t remove the items that don’t apply to us, as I could with the app — like feeding the pets. Unless you count the kids, we don’t have any pets. It wasn’t a big deal; I just marked those things off. It’s just something to consider if you’re trying to decide between the app and the paper planner.

How to get it

Choose from 16 different ebook versions $8 for a 2014 planner


Click to read Crew Reviews

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#myrealhouse Jan 9

Yes, it’s January 9, and the Christmas tree is still up. Also — our youngest child is five years old. The high chair is for the grandbabies, and it’s been months since one of them was over here to use it.

#myrealhouse Jan 7 Christmas tree

#myrealhouse is inspired by Kathryn at Designing Around. There is enough Mommy-guilt going around without bloggers adding to it. So we’re making an effort to “keep it real”. You can see that other families live in messy homes, just like yours. I’m using dates rather than numbering by day because I don’t post every day. If you want to join us, use the tag #myrealhouse on Pinterest or Instagram.

#myrealhouse Jan 7

After seeing this post by Kathryn at Designing Around, I decided this would be a fun project. Don’t expect daily posts, though, simply because I won’t remember to post daily. 😉 I’ll be pinning on my #myrealhouse board, in case you miss a post and need some real world inspiration. I love to post decluttering pictures, so you’ve seen some of my “junk” pictures, but #myrealhouse is a good way to remember that no matter what else we have going on, our families are still living and loving in our homes.

We don’t have many flat surfaces in our house because they end up like this:

#myrealhouse Jan7

2014 Word for the Year: Mindful #oneword



This is only second year to choose a word to focus on for the year. My word for 2013 was Freedom. Life is always a work in progress, but having come nearly full circle, I can say that I’ve come a long way toward my own freedom in so many areas of my life. I’m happy. 🙂

I’ve been thinking and praying about my 2014 word for weeks. I thought about love or kindness, not just toward others, but toward myself, as well. Continue reading

Looking for Some Peace on [Your Little Spot of] Earth for Christmas?

I’ve had an interesting year. (Ha!) A big part of my attitude shift this year has been toward less stuff and more simplicity. Between having my apartment flooded and having to go through boxes of stuff I didn’t even know I had, and moving yet again, I have determined that we have way too much stuff and I’ve been working on getting rid of some of it. It’s a work in progress.

Christmas tree 2010. Some of those gifts are for my grown stepkids, but most of them are for our TWO kids.

Christmas tree 2010. Some of those gifts are for my grown stepkids, but most of them are for our TWO kids.

That quest for simplicity affects all aspects of life – from not buying things you don’t truly need, to toning down the holiday celebrations so that you have time to actually enjoy your family and friends. Continue reading

Life Just Sucks Sometimes

I don’t care who you are, life just sucks sometimes. My uncle lost his battle with liver cancer today, and my emotions are all over the place.

I’m angry because I’m so sick of cancer.

I’m heartbroken for my dear aunt who lost the love of her life. They didn’t have nearly enough time together.

I’m sad for my cousins who lost their father. They’re all in their 20s and 30s. That’s way too young to be without your dad.

I hurt for my cousins’ children, some of whom are not old enough that they’ll remember their grandpa when they’re grown. He adored his grandchildren and I know my cousins won’t let his memory fade away.

I’m feeling an almost-panic that it could very easily have been my dad. It was only 3 1/2 years ago that Daddy was diagnosed with colon cancer, then after a year-long fight and treatments, he got the all-clear. Then later that same week, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and had to undergo treatment for that. He’s cancer-free now, but the fear never goes away completely.


Guest Post: The Day We Went Camping

I’m still in the process of writing a post about our camping trip. Meanwhile, we had a school paper due about “a special day”. So we picked one chock-full of interesting things. He’s actually combined some things from all three days into one day. Most of this happened on one day, though. He said I could post it, but I couldn’t put his name on it. So here is a condensed version of our camping trip written by my ten-year-old son who shall remain nameless. (He wanted the title in big blue letters, but I couldn’t let him do that on his actual paper.) Continue reading