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I’m going to doing something a little bit different for this week’s edition of Video Thursday. Normally I don’t replace this feature with a product review but because this product in particular could be very helpful for parents everywhere I wanted to share it.
In previous posts I have shared with everyone that it’s not a big secret that I have been looking for a way to organize my life. Between the kids appointments, my appointments, bill due dates, blog review campaigns and related due dates – I’m a mess. It can be pretty hectic for one person to handle the day to day schedule for five people, especially if one of those five people is me. I have so many responsibilities between home, work and family that at times I just stop and live on the couch for a day just to cope with the fact that I will never be as perfect as I wish that I was. You would probably laugh if you saw all of the sticky notes, To Do lists, day planners, calendars and bulletin boards that I have set up. I love using those visual reminders, because I need them, but to be honest it has gotten way out of control. In fact, now all the visuals just make me want to cry because I feel that I will never get caught up, and they are right there staring me in the face each and every day.
For the last few months I have been searching for a way to streamline everything into one system that I can easily manage. Ideally I wanted to add everything into my blackberry so that no matter where I was the information that I needed, whatever it is, would be at my fingertips. Plus if its one thing that I am constantly checking it is my cell phone. I have my email accounts linked in so I am always in the know about any important emails. But that’s just not enough. I need more than that because the truth is that I have been late to or missed so many appointments or paid our bills late (just by one day because the due date slipped my mind), and these are just a couple examples of things that have gotten out of control. Way out of control. Quite frankly its driving my husband crazy and he feels powerless to help me because he just wouldn't have a clue as to where to begin
When I was asked by The Mom Bloggers Club if I was interested in reviewing a new organizational system I was more than excited to see what it was about. I am tired of being that mom that doesn’t have a clue what’s going on and dying to be that put together, power mom that has it all in place. A modern day Donna Reed is my vision. So I jumped in headfirst to see what CasaBlast was all about and if it could help me, and my family, get organized.
How Casablast Works
Once you sign up for a free account, CasaBlast assigns your family a phone number that is linked to your CasaBlast family account. This phone number enables you to access FamilyBlast, is a powerful new tool that allows you to communicate with the entire family at once. It is also an online Voicemail solution and has a shared family calendar and online to-do list that is easily accessible by any family member from anywhere, including on the go.
The Family Dashboard is a "tile-based" user experience that alerts the family of new messages and critical reminders for upcoming events. To me it resembles an online version of a family message board with post it notes, important dates and messages.
Setting up a family profile is easy. Enter in each family member's name and mobile phone. Each member is assigned a different color from the other. Then have each family member save the CasaBlast assigned family phone number to their phone. This will make it easier to recognize where the messages are coming from as well as knowing how to call and leave messages on the voicemail for other family members through the FamilyBlast.
Why CasaBlast Works For Me
In my case, I have three small children, none of whom have access to a cell phone - yet. My husband only checks his phone three times a day: before work, lunch time and after work. So primarily the CasaBlast system is for my own personal use as well as being able to blast reminders for my husband as needed. I could even add my mom to the list of family members but she gets a little baffled by text messages so for now I will be keeping the system just for myself.
As I mentioned earlier, I have tons of sticky notes and To-Do lists all over the place. I can now streamline my lists into the To Do section of the CasaBlast program. I can make as many or as few lists as I need, including grocery lists. Then because I like the visual reminder I can print them up and post them to my workspace. I can also send them to my blackberry which I love! That way even when I am on the go I can check the list to see if there is anything I need to do en route, like making an important phone call, dropping by the bank, etc...
I think that for me the most useful, and in my case money saving, feature is the event calendar. Here I can add in all of my appointments for myself and the kids, which is awesome. I am always losing those little cards that the doctors office give you and I always end up calling to find out when an appointment is scheduled for. Sometimes by the time I remember its too late and the appointment is long past.
Not only do I forget important appointment dates but also when my bill payment due dates are. I usually know when they are but then I get distracted by one responsibility or another and I will forget to pay them on the due date. Usually I miss it by one day or two at most - sometimes even only by a few hours. Of course we all know that if you miss a payment hefty late fees are imposed. I can't tell you how many times I have not been able to get the late fees removed and got stuck paying for my absentmindedness. Using CasaBlast I can set up the due dates for all of my bills and a reminder will be sent to not only my cell phone but my husband's. This way if for some reason I forget to pay it after I received my reminder he will know about it and also think to ask me if I have paid the bill or not. I really like the fact that it gets my husband involved with paying our bills. Usually the entire task falls to me so I think that these reminders will help for him to see just how much I really have to juggle on a daily basis to keep this family running smoothly.
*I share my 100% honest thoughts and opinions in all posts. For product reviews I am only compensated in product for the sole purpose of writing an honest review. Please refer to my disclosure policy or email me if you have any questions.*