Busy B Family Diary Review

Busy B Family Diary

I have the pleasure of being a Busy B Ambassador (I’m known as a #BusyQueenB I’ll have you know). This means that myself and a few other fellow stationery tarts/fans/addicts users have the opportunity to receive some Busy B products every month. What do we have to do? We have to write honest and open reviews about the products we are sent. That means that if we love it, we say we love it. If we think something could be improved, we’re going to tell them that too.  You know me, if I write a review, I mean what I say. And on that note, let me introduce the Busy B 2018 Family Diary….

Now, I have made four videos to showcase this fab diary. Three were lost when I dropped my phone then stood on it (don’t ask) and the fourth was NEARLY complete when someone called me on my new phone and I managed to delete it. Rather than make you wait any longer, I figured a written review would do the job just as well.

First of all, I am going to struggle to describe to you the quality of this diary as you really need to feel it and see it to appreciate it. I’m really fussy when it comes to paper quality and insist on flawless printing and the Busy B Family Diary 2018 tickets all my QC boxes. If you are new to the brand I have to ask you to just trust me on this one.

The weekly layout of this diary is the real winner. You have a week to view which is split into two pages/two sections. On the lefthand side, you have Your Week. Here you have a section for each day of the week, Monday to Sunday and a handy reminder section that runs the length of the page. On the righthand page, you have Their Week. This page features a grid format for you to use for other members of the family. For me for example, I would have a section for Roy, Kieran and Taylor (for school dates, reminders, appointments etc) and the fourth column I would use as a home planner. Here you’d find home-related reminders for example, “Gas man 4pm” or “Asda shopping 10-11am”, and so on.

Busy B

The flexibility of this layout is what makes this planner the wonder that it is. You could fill the diary purely with these weekly spreads and it would still be popular. Busy B do however like to spoil us all so other features inside the diary include:

  • Spaces for your personal details and your partner’s details. Busy B
  • Children’s information.
  • Useful info (i.e. your dentist, hairdresser etc).
  • Contact pages (don’t rely on having all your numbers on your phone. I did and lost them all when I broke my phone).
  • Monthly birthday pages.
  • A 2018 and 2019 calendar.
  • Monthly calendar spreads.
  • To do list page 
  • A 2019 forward plan section
  • Notes
  • Don’t Forget tear-out sheets (one of my favourite features)
  • Pen loop
  • Elastic closure
  • Document page (for popping paperwork in to keep safe). 

Those clever cats at Busy B really have thought this planner through, making it as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen a planner get.

More Busy B Goodies

Busy B

I was sent two other Busy B products to compliment the diary and they do a fine job of it. 

The Busy B Black Rollerball set (two pens) co-ordinates brilliantly and more to the point writes really nicely too. I’m not known for my handwriting (an understatement) however even I manage a pretty decent chicken scratch with one of these in my hand.

The second accessory is these Contemporary Busy B Page marker. On their own, they are great however coupled with this planner they are fantastic. Busy B has left a little slot in the back of the planner so that you may slot these right in, having them safe and sound for whenever you need them.

My Busy B Family Diary 2018 Conclusion

I’m not easily pleased when it comes to planners and so on. I’ve been known to buy a planner, use it a month or two then move onto something else. The problems have always been that they don’t cater for everything in my life (my business, family and home) or/and offer flexibility in how I plan. This ticks both boxes AND it’s gorgeous. 
If I was giving this a star rating, this diary would get a 5/5 from me, with the accessories receiving the same.


Top Tools and Apps for Business

We all have such a lot to get done, especially those running our own businesses. I came across a really interesting thread on a Facebook group I belong to about what tools people recommend for getting things done, and efficiency. It made me think about what tools I currently use.

Apps and tools are great for helping get things done and I have worked my way through a great number of them over the past ten years. There are no wrong tools, it’s all about what works best for you and this is my current collection. It might alter slightly as time goes on.

I use Canva for images/headers and all things social media related. The phone app is rubbish (right now) so don’t base your opinions on that, stick to the web version which is excellent. 95% of the things I create on Canva are free however occasionally I will buy credits so that I may use specific premium images that are perfect for what I’m working on.

A quickly put together image for a client’s Facebook page using Canva.

I use Buffer (paid) for all of my social media/client accounts. I’ve used Tweetdeck, Hootsuite (hated it) and various other scheduling apps and sites and have found Buffer to be the best one for me by far. We just clicked Buffer and I.  This is one of the few things I pay for (I don’t pay for anything unless I need to) and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

Buffer run a Twitter chat weekly which I find great fun for hints and tips, and brushing up on certain areas (as well as meeting some great freelancers and what not). These chats are found via the #bufferchat hashtag and a recap each week will fill you in on what you missed if you couldn’t make it. There’s also a #bufferchat Slack that some find useful. 

I use Raindrop.io on phone and web for resource collation/bookmarking. I’ve used Evernote web clipper and Pocket before now, however, find this the smoothest one for me. Even better, I have it installed on my Kindle Fire tablet so when I have some time I can catch up easily on everything in my “Read Me” collection that isn’t urgent or client related yet interesting, business-wise or not.

What can I say, I’m an Outlook girl, using outlook.com as my main email and my calendar. The desktop Outlook 2016 and I are having some syncing issues right now so I’ve moved back to the web-based version as part of Office365. The Outlook calendar I love. I don’t keep a paper schedule/date book etc anymore as this has taken over, and of course, syncs brilliantly with my phone. 

Again, I’ve used other cloud-based programmes but always come back to Dropbox for safe storage/file sharing.

I use Zoho invoicing (free) and find it very user-friendly. Their customer service is also excellent! If you have a query there is a web chat function and if mid conversation your chat disconnects (for example if like me you forgot to plug the laptop back in) they email you to make sure you receive the answers you need. 

I use Asana for some web-based info storage (lists and what not I don’t need daily) and KanbanFlow for the Pomodoro timer. If you haven’t used the Pomodoro system before now it is well worth looking up. Highly motivating, great for productivity, especially if you’re having one of those days where you’re easily distracted.

There are so many online/mobile apps and sites for to do lists, task management, planning and more. I’ve stepped away from all of these and instead my task lists/schedules/get stuff done has reverted back to paper via the Action Day 2017 planner. There’s just something unrivalled about putting pen to paper.


What are your must-have tools, apps, websites and systems for getting things done?

*Please note that this post contains an affiliate link to a product I value.