Keeping track of everyone’s schedule can seem like such a hopeless task. Organizing your calendar, work schedule, house cleaning, doctor appointments, veterinarian appointments, family birthdays, school activities and so on seems almost impossible. You write it on a cute sticky note and then it is nowhere to be found when needed. Of course, six months later you find it stuck on the back of a piece of paper in a completely different area. How in the world did it get there?
Some people are very successful at using a digital system. I am definitely not one of them. Not for this area. The thought of losing everything because I push the wrong button gives me heart palpitations. I know there are a ton of ways to back up your information, but who wants to have to put it all back. Not this stuff.
So how do you keep all of this information organized?
I’ve tried wallet organizers, desk calendars, refrigerator calendars, you name it. Even glued magnets on the back of a desk calendar and put it on the back door. Nothing seemed to keep us organized. There were always misplaced papers. The cute bin I had made always stayed empty and full of dust. Admitting failure is not in my nature, but I was about to admit it.
Until I put together a binder system!
It was such an exhilarating moment for me. Yes, I got excited over binders. I love putting binders together (legal field) so it worked out perfectly. For every situation, I created a binder and kept all corresponding paperwork inside of it. Calendar, School, Finances, etc. So, when we need something, we just grab the binder. That simple.
For this blog post, we will be creating the Calendar Binder. Anything and everything that has to do with the family calendar goes into this binder.
Note: All template papers should be inserted into a clear sheet protector to prevent them for tearing.
Front Cover and Spine
There are numerous free designs on Pinterest for binder covers. It can actually be a bit overwhelming. Here is a cute rustic design by Simply Southerners I found for free at www.teacherspayteachers.com. Both the cover and spine should be printed on cardstock.
The zipper pouch should be first with all the tools you need so you do not have to get up and hunt for something. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting down to plan something out and then having to get up. Concentration lost. Pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters, markers, white out, and sticky notes are a good start of what to put inside it.
Daily and Weekly Schedule Tab
Having a daily/weekly schedule enables you to utilize your time wisely. Especially during the hectic work week. A simple paper to glance at when everything has left your brain. Here is a Daily Weekly Plan template I created to help get started. It is fully editable. We have a copy on our refrigerator as well.
Birthday Pocket Tab(s)
Depending on how large your family is will depend on how many you will need. When the month starts, look at who is having a birthday. This is where you keep their card so when their birthday arrives, it is ready. This also enables you to plan months in advance. Extremely convenient for relatives who live out of town. Note: You can also insert a blank birthday template to keep track of new birthdays.
Deep Cleaning Tab
All tips for deep cleaning go here. From spring cleaning tips to getting out a tough stain. This way, you know right where to go when you need it!
Income Tax Tab
Your tax return checklist should go here. Here is a great tutorial from Dave Ramsey to get you started. If you would like to have someone prepare your taxes but have no idea where to start, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s website. Go here to find one in your area that is endorsed by him.
Severe Weather Tab
Depending on the area you live in will determine the type of emergency guide you need. For example, we are prone to hurricanes so we have this Tropical Cyclones Preparedness Guide. A month before hurricane season starts, we go over the guide to ensure we are ready should one come our way.
Yearly House Checklist Tab
Here is a great checklist from This Old House. This cheat sheet is an absolute lifesaver. Pick the least busy month throughout the year and complete the checklist. If that is not possible, do a little each quarter. Winter inspections are also extremely important. Here are 60 tips for preparing your home for winter.
Yearly Overview Tab
This is a master cheat sheet I created for each month. My Yearly Overview template is fully editable. We use it as a guide when we prepare for each month. It truly has helped us stay on top of everything.
Field Trip Tab
Family fun ideas should go in this tab. If you see something you would like to do or somewhere you would like to go, put it here. Then, when it is time for family vacation, you have a lot of ideas to choose from. It sure does beat racking your brain trying to remember. Activities by Season is an editable document I created to help me think of ideas by each season. This ensures we are not going to the same places nor missing out on seasonal fun!
This is where you start your monthly tab dividers. 1) Place a yearly calendar in front so you have a quick reference guide. 2) Next is your monthly calendar. 3) Last is a pocket insertable divider. Document(s) pertaining to a certain month go here. For example, new patient forms for a doctor’s visit two months from now. When the time comes, you know exactly where the documents are.
Keeping either a spiral or notebook paper in the front or back of the binder is highly recommended. You never know when you will need it to write something down.
And you are done! Now all of your calendar documents are readily available and organized.
Please let me know how you like your notebook and any tweaks you do.