Friday, June 20, 2008

Keeping it together

I realize that my life (and my post) have mostly been consumed with my health of late. Hives are still living at my house but I am learning to live a little more pleasantly with them. I am determined to live life again this summer. It is shaping up to be a fun and busy summer.
For years, I have had a life management notebook that houses everything for me. There are seasons that it doesn't get used but for the most part it is a vital daily/weekly help for me, my family and household to run smoothly. Thought I would share it with you. I also decided recently that since this is such a main commodity in my life that I should jazz it up and make it more creative. I have been working on doing such in my spare time and I have to say I am extremely pleased with the results. See for yourself. Hope it gives you some ideas as well as inspiration.

front cover

zipper pocket for supplies

section 1 - scrapbook paper cut (with a tab) cut to size and laminated

the spine

Sections of Notebook:
1. Calendar - I keep 2 calenders in here. 1)a whole year at a glance that is on one page 2)monthly calendar - this is where all my stuff goes first.
2. Master Schedules - just what it says. a copy of every ones daily schedule stays in here. This changes periodically depending on what stage the boys are
3. Planning & Evaluation - this section I try to use regularly. It is a commitment of my time but it very much helps me run life more smoothly. To me this is worshipful as well so there are often times that it becomes my time with the Lord that day. In this section are monthly goals for my whole family. This helps me know what to specifically be working on in training each of my children, it helps me not get overwhelmed when I see sooo many areas that need working on - it keeps me focused and patient. It gives me an opportunity to weekly think about how my marriage is doing, how I am doing, what needs to happen in our family, etc. I have a few sheets that I have with questions to help me evaluate and plan. I also have a quarterly evaluation (very thorough) that I put together from my proverbs 31 study a few years ago. Sometimes this lengthy evaluation happens and sometimes it doesn't.
4. Home Care - in this section I keep my cleaning schedules -both weekly as well as monthly, quarterly & yearly. I will however admit that at this stage of my life I have made a choice to slack on my normal cleaning expectations. I do get my weekly chores done (most of the time) but sometimes the extra stuff doesn't happen. It is something that I see is best for this season of my life while my children are young and at home and requiring extra tlc. This season will pass all to quickly and I will resume extra tlc to my house but for now only the necessities. I also keep in this section any ideas that I come across for decorating that I really love. I keep the paint colors of my house in here as well. Basically anything pertaining to my house.
5. Menu Planning - I keep this section in my notebook and it has a few things in it but I do most of this from my computer so there is very little that goes in here. I do have a Wal- mart aisle guide that has an aisle by aisle list of what is on each aisle. This has made grocery shopping for me absolutely 100 times easier. I highly recommend it. I will tell you more about how to do this in another post. I also have blank aisle guides that are my grocery list. If I get a new recipe (very seldom these days) I stick it in here so that it is with me when I plan my weekly menus.
6. Finances - will hold our budget and envelope system. John does our finances now so at this point it is mainly for me just to have a copy on hand.
7. Family - this one is full of helpful stuff. This is where my thinking and planning is kept for my boys - more long range stuff. If I have ideas that I have found to help teach them whatever we are working on it goes here. All 3 boys (John too) and myself have a section in here. John's has a sheet entitled To help me think for him. It does just what it says. Also principles for relating to my husband. Just gives me a place to corral my thoughts about him and our marriage. The boys has same gist but geared toward each child. Mine doesn't have a ton but if there are some things I want to spend time thinking about or looking up later. List of books I want, etc. me stuff. I also have a section for family fun ideas. I keep up with summer movie schedules at the park, free nights places, fun ideas if I read or hear them somewhere.
8. Holiday Planning - this keeps list of all my holiday traditions (which I am really big on!!!) as well as ideas for the holiday, decorating tips. This is not just for Christmas folks - all holidays that I deem worthy to celebrate :) and birthdays to. Helps me with pre-planning.
9. Special Projects - this is just what it says. List of to do's for each project and resources I may need. This can range from house stuff, hobbies, VBS planning
10.Resources - this has a page with a list with all our medical information, docs numbers, etc. I also have a list of websites that have been helpful for various reasons. I also keep articles that are good resources for whatever.

I will post again soon about how I make use of my notebook. I may also do a post on how to put one together for yourself(?). Hope you enjoy!


Holly S. said...

Hi Amy,

I followed your advise (months ago) and have been enjoying my "life binder." I've just added a section to mine - I hope to have children one day and so as I run across fun ideas, values to instill, teaching methods I'm learnng from Mom and Dad Simpson, etc. from friends, books... I'm putting all in this section. Haven't named it yet. ~Holly

Kristin said...

Okay, this is one I'm going to print out! I've done some of these things and keep them in separate places... I've never thought about putting it all together in a cutesy little binder!! THANK YOU FOR SHARING SUCH A FUN, PURPOSEFUL IDEA! I can't wait to get started. Seriously, Amy, you should write a book or start a website with all of this information.

I'm guessing you have your own laminator... I'll have to try to find one to use somewhere around here.

Hope you're feeling better this week!

Kristin said...

Did you cut the tabs into the paper, or did you buy paper like that? I've been looking for tabbed scrapbook paper and have never found any...

Amy said...

kristin it is one sheet of paper and I cut the paper to make the tabs. I will put up a post about how I did it later this week. i need to take time to think out each step. I have a mini laminator but you can always take it to kinkos or such and do it there pretty cheap. It is sooo worth it to have a cute binder. It makes me quite happy to look at it every day

Momof3 said...

Cute notebook! I still have the one you helped me with a couple of years ago before you left COlorado :-( and I use it most of the time. This is a GREAT tool for those of us who are HIGHLY distractable. (I was headed up to take a shower and got side-tracked at the computer, I also have 24 people- 18 children-due here in an hour and a half -- why do I do this to myself??) I like the idea of jazzing it up, but who knows when I will get to it. Love you! Kym