As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Just last week, here on my blog, I shared some of my favorite tools for planning. Those tools all involved paper planner.s I’ve tried various digital planners over the years, and I just can’t seem to find out that works for all my planning needs. And, I like things to be easily accessible – right at my fingertips.
Recently, the review team over at Home & School Mosaics had the opportunity to test out a new planning system from the Homeschool Buyers Co-op, called Homeschool Planet. It’s an interesting concept in the world of planning, and I’d like to tell you a bit about it.
About Homeschool Planet
At last — a full-featured planner that doesn’t require hours to learn how to use it!
Homeschool Planet includes:
- A Calendar View that lets you see anybody’s or everybody’s calendars at once.
- A Planner View with a simple list of everything you need to do and when.
- Automatic Rescheduling — A class time changes? You miss a few days to illness or vacation? No problem! Homeschool Planet automatically reschedules all the affected classes and assignments.
- Separate logins for kids to view their assignments and check them off when completed.
- Daily Digest emails to everyone in your family with their own schedule, assignments, and chores for the day.
- Email and text message reminders to help everyone stay on schedule (Some limits apply.)
- Lesson plans with assigments, web links, notes, and more.
- Easy attendance tracking, grading and transcript creation.
- To Do lists for everyone in your family.
- Shopping lists (one each for Target, Safeway, etc.) that you can text to your spouse or have sent to your smartphone when on the go.
- Widgets you can use to do research, send text messages, and more.
- Mobile Version — Ability to view and edit (with some limitations) your calendar on SmartPhones and tablets.
- Calendar sharing — View the contents of your spouse’s Google Calendar inside Homeschool Planet, and vice versa! This also works with Apple iCal and other online calendars.
- Lesson Copying — Copy any lesson for use at a later time by another student.
Homeschool Planet is, quite literally, a control panel for your life! To use it, all you need is a web browser and a broadband Internet connection.
Heidi Says . . .
Being the paper planner that I am, I started off using Homeschool Planet for our homeschool lesson plans, and got distracted . . . and confused . . . and, eventually, I gave up. I learned, many years ago, in scheduling our homeschool lesson plans, that I simply CANNOT write them out ahead of time. I get VERY frustrated when something comes up and plans change. I don’t like pencil, so I write in pen; messed up lesson plans require the use of White-Out. So, the way I do things nowadays is to print out an entire year’s worth of lesson plans and hand them to my daughter – she copies them into her paper planner as she does the assignments – that way, there is never any need to erase or white out, and I don’t have to get so stressed.
While Homeschool Planet does allow for rescheduling (and I love that built-in feature), the homeschool planning just didn’t work for me. That’s not to say I don’t think it’s a great system, because I really, really do. It’s just not the system for old-fashioned me.
HOWEVER, that being said, I love so many of the other features of Homeschool Planet. I think it’s awesome that it’s useful for so much more than homeschooling. I love that I can set up accounts for each member of my family, and I love that I can color-code various tasks.
Here’s a picture of what the monthly calendar looks like:
I really love how it shades out the days that have passed. That makes it so visually simple to find exactly what you are looking for. The color-coding feature makes it easy to glance at the calendar and see if that day includes sporting events, music lessons, etc.
Here’s the planner format (this is just a portion of one week’s planner, obviously):
I love that I can have e-mails sent to my family members containing each week’s tasks for them. That frees me up from having to remind everybody about everything, so I can focus more on what I need to be doing.
Another very cool feature is the widgets that you can add to your planner, and the fact that you can move them around so they are just where you need/want them. Currently I’ve got a To Do List and a Store List in my right-hand sidebar. What’s so great about these lists is that they can be e-mailed (so, I could send the store list to my hubby to pick up the items on his way home from work).
Across the bottom of my planner, I’ve got widgets for a Daily Quote, the Weather, and a Daily Bible Verse. The weather comes in handy, and the quotes are nice little ways to feel encouraged. Other options for widgets are Look Up (which is basically a built-in search engine) and Messages (where you can send messages to other members of your family through the planner).
I know there is so much more to this system that I haven’t utilized or even discovered yet. I just like that it offers so much flexibility and that it’s so much more than just a homeschool planner (as the name suggests). ANY planner can make use of this tool. Oh, and did I mention that the backgrounds are customizable as well? (You can see a bit of the blue swirly background that I chose in my pictures above, but there are LOTS of themes to choose from.)
You can learn more about Homeschool Planet by visiting the website. There’s a great introduction video there that you won’t want to miss.
Be sure to stop over to Home & School Mosaics to see what my friends had to say about Homeschool Planet.