Thursday, 29 August 2013

Getting organized with a family binder!

Lately I have been struggling with keeping up, in case the lack of blogging hasn't been enough of an indication. The good news is it's getting better, but it took a lot of work, and a lot of prayer. 

One big tool for me starting to get organized was my family binder. I finally sat down and made one that is functional for me. I'm going to talk a little about my family binder, but I'm not going to provide printables. Instead, I'm going to show you how I made mine work, and help give you the tools to make one that will work for you

I struggled a lot with using others peoples pages. I got bogged down in the sheer amount of pages out there, and it caused my to struggle to put one together.

A couple days ago, I got tired of it, scrapped all the pages I had printed off elsewhere, and set out to make my own. They weren't going to be super pretty, but they would be what I needed. I made a list of the things I would practically use. I wanted this to be a book I could love on, this is the list I came up with. 

- Address Book/Phone Numbers 
Because I don't have a cell phone anymore, and I'm getting tired of getting numbers from my hubby. 
- Budget
Caleb wants me to take over the budget, and this was a necessary page for me. 
- Spending Tracking
I actually ended up making this a cheque book kept in the book in a pocket after some thought. 
- List of Meals
I don't know about you, but when I get to sit down and actually plan my menu... I blank. This is a list of all the meals I can make. Sides, entrees, lunches... the whole bit. Makes menu planning so much easier. Makes it so I don't have to rely on my faulty memory as much. 
- Appointments
This page is a simple list with who/why/where/time. The next page is a card holder with any appointment cards that were given. I'm famous for forgetting appointments, but regular things I don't need reminding of, so I found a full calendar or day planner tedious. This lets me see all my appointments at one glance. 
- Dreamlist
This is the list of the things I want to do in each room. My 'dream list' for each one. Split up into "Now - Cheap", "Later - Cheap", and "Later - Expensive". This is also my brain storm for home decorating and things. It's nice to have some solid ideas. 
- Menu Notebook
This is a normal Hilroy notebook. I put it in there, and I use it to plan my menus in. I hate menu planning sheets, cause I shuffle things so much. I don't mind marking up a notebook. This is also where my grocery lists are. 

That's all folks! It's not very thick, but it's the most functional binder in my house! It doesn't have anything I don't need in it, and it works great for us! 

Here's a sample of what one of my pages looks like! 

See? Super simple and functional! 

Now for choosing your own notebook pages! First off, I recommend, make your own! It's not that hard, use word if you don't mind it not being pretty, and if you want it pretty, use a simple drawing program like GIMP. This allows you to make them how you want them, in a way that makes sense to you. 

Second off, choose what pages will actually work for you. Don't get pressured into putting something into your binder you're not gonna use! Sit down and think about things you struggle with. For me it was scheduling and budgeting. So that's what my binder focuses around. Yours might be around homeschooling, or include things for planning your family! You never know. 

Third off, put them in a place you will use them. This means for me it stays right near my computer, where I can write things down when I think of them, since when I'm at my computer is the only time I'm not chasing Wiggles around, thus the only time I really think. Find the place you think, and keep it near. It'll help you actually use it. 

That's all I have! I'd LOVE to hear your suggestions for family binders! 

- Adele

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