Interesting Budget Article ...
So, I'm feeling pretty tickled tonight ...

Home Management Binder - Update!

 *Note: This post will undoubtedly be TMI for some folks, so if "binder talk" is not your cup of tea, feel free to check back tomorrow when I'll most likely be posting about something entirely different ... :)

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Hello, everyone!

Well, it's been just over a month since my home management binder Q&A post, and I am finally ready to share an update. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on why you love your binder AND why you don't. I found it all very helpful as I attempted to re-work my own binder into something more ... well, workable.

One challenge I've needed to address is that I just have too many planning "tools" going at once, so I decided to try and make my HM binder as useful as possible. To that end, I set about rethinking its contents ... and I gathered some new, pretty papers. It's still early days yet, but so far I'm quite happy with it.

Let's take a look, shall we?

Front cover ...

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To be honest, I'm not crazy about this paper, but I'm leaving it as is, for now. I'll probably change it up closer to fall, and choose something more seasonal.

Just inside ...

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On the left, I taped down two index cards. On the yellow card I wrote down personal contact information (name, address, phone, etc.), and on the pink card I will list emergency numbers. (I say "will," because as you can see I haven't yet filled it in.)

First section: Daybook Pages ...

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My favorite color is yellow, so I decided to make my daily section as sunny and cheerful as possible. I got the idea for using colored paper when I was at Staples not too long ago. They were having an incredible sale on packs of multicolored loose-leaf paper and I thought the pastel shades were so lovely. (I live in a house of all boys, I take my pastels where I can!) I also liked the slightly smaller size of the paper (8x10), so I bought a TON of it - enough that I'd have plenty of yellow paper for an entire year's worth of days.

But here's the thing ... I'm trying to keep the HMB from getting too bulky - so I only keep a week's worth of days in my binder at one time. That's 4 sheets per week ...

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So what about the rest of the daybook - the sheets for the rest of the year? Well, I'll go into that a bit further down, but for now, let's move on to the next section ...

A Master To-Do List:

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I'm using the blue sheets for a running "to-do" list - those things that come up but don't have a set timeframe. (For example: "Clean out potting shed." or "Find a new dentist.") I like keeping a list like this because if I write something down - while it might not get done - in theory, it should not be forgotten.

Next comes my Clippings Journal ...

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First of all, how pretty is this cover page?

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As I've blogged about before, I've been keeping "clipping journals" for years. In these journals, I save all kinds of things, but especially bits of magazines and newspapers. Things that catch my eye and inspire me or make me think. My journals tend to be very seasonal - a pressed autumn leaf, a note to Santa, a label from a jar of homemade jam. It's just something I've done since I was a kid, and I honestly can't imagine ever not doing it!

Up till now, I've been using plain spiral-bound notebooks for my journal, but I'm trying this idea out in an attempt to pare down my "tools." So in this section I have several sheets of loose-leaf paper (standard, lined white, 8.5 x 11). Through the week I add things to the pages and at the end of that week I retire these pages to a storage binder (more on that below). Then I add new sheets for the next week. 

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These pages show some clippings from British magazines - my favorite journal fodder!

I do kind of miss my little notebooks, but I do find it easier to work in my journal, having it right here in my binder. Clippings get in here much faster this way, so we'll see ...

After the front section, come the rest of my tabs ...

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... and since those are pretty much the same as I've blogged about before, I'll just give you a list. (But if you'd like more information on any of these tabs, just let me know) ...


Month @ a Glance Calendars

Seasonal Planning

Home Management

Menus & Marketing


Phone & Address Book

Home Education

Projects Index



Prayer Book


Now, about that Storage Binder I've been mentioning ...

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This is a very wide (3" I think?) binder. Inside here I keep pages from - and for - my Home Management Binder.

First, I have a Record of Days ...

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Here is where I'm keeping all those soft yellow daily sheets. The ones I've already used are filed up front (a week at a time), as a "record of days." The ones that come after (separated by a tab) are for the rest of the year.

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So each week I take four pages out, and that gives me eight sides - each side is assigned a day (Monday - Sunday). That extra side is devoted to a weekend planning page - I fit it in between Friday and Saturday. Bill calls this our "POW" (Plan of the Weekend ... which is much like our "POD," or, Plan of the Day). This list is always much more ambitious than is even faintly realistic ... but it's always good to have a plan. :)

Since the sheets are just plain lined paper, I've been writing in my own to-do's, dinner notes, appts., etc. It's very free-form, but I like it. If I get a phone call, I write the info down here ... if I spend money, I note it here ... if I have an allergic reaction, I describe it here ...

(You probably get the idea.)

At the end of the week I file the "spent" pages into this binder, and retrieve the next week's sheets so I can start all over again. It's really pretty simple, but surprisingly it's been working out well - I hope I'm not making it sound overcomplicated!


There are still some planning "tools" that don't fit in the HMB, and I can get into those things in a future post. But for now, I'll wrap things up because I've definitely kept your attention long enough! (At least I hope I kept your attention, lol!)

So I'll sign off for now, but I'd like to thank you for stopping by, and wish you all a very nice weekend. I will be scarce the next few days as my dad has his surgery tomorrow morning. I will definitely post an update when I can, and of course I would be grateful for your prayers ... 

See you all again very soon!