Thursday, April 8, 2010

Organizing With Notebooks

Today's post is another reprint from my old blog. I've done some editing to update it, but thought it was still worth printing again. As my family can testify, I truly get by with these notebooks to keep me organized!

You know how your desk piles up with all those little slips of papers that come home with the kids with information you need to hang on to? Or how about those committee notes you took at the last meeting. Not sure where to put them? And what do you do with the bills that arrive scattered throughout the month?

Files are great for stashing things that you don't need to retrieve but once or twice a year and for filing away paid bills or receipts, but they aren't as practical for the information that you need at your fingertips each week or even daily. Notebooks have been a huge problem solver for me and after using these for over 5 years, I'm convinced they are a life saver!

I like to use the plain white three ring binders that have a clear protective cover in which you can slip a piece of paper in the front for a title and I use my labeler to add the title on the binding. You can pick up a package of these notebooks at Costco or find them at your local office supply store where they have them in various sizes. A lot of people use one large notebook, but I find that I have way too much information and I don't like big bulky items to lug around. It's much easier to keep several small ones on my desk where they are right on hand.

Here are some of my notebook titles:

Bills and Budgets
Home Management
Family Activities
Recipes - I have 5 of these!
Christmas Planner
Kitchen Appliance Manuals
(And at least 2 committee folders)
My School notebook holds information from my oldest daughter's school such as the yearly calendar, parent handbook, class schedule, snow day policies, etc.

Bills and Budgets is pretty self-explanatory, but the Home Management holds articles and ideas for cleaning with natural products, schedules for yearly checks and services around the house, cleaning schedules, chores for the kids (mom's back up copy), and such.

Family Activities is for all the extra-curricular stuff that trickles in from sports, music, and church. I have a section in this notebook for each family member along with a plastic sleeve to hold small things (like badges and Awana bucks).  Any kind of letter, schedule, or other kind of thing from clubs or coaches goes in here.

For the Kitchen Appliance Manuals I took all the booklets that came with the new appliances and had my local office supply store drill holes in them so that they fit into my binders.

I'll talk another time about Recipes and the Christmas Planner, but the rest of my notebooks are for various committees that I serve on. I have one notebook for each committee. When it is time for a meeting, I just pull out that notebook and go. Later, if I need to make calls or do any work for the group, the notebook already has the information at hand and easy to access.

I wish I could tell you my desk is never messy, but my family and friends know that isn't true. However, I am very faithful to keep information that goes in the notebooks where it belongs - in the white notebook! Hmmmm... perhaps I need some more notebooks!


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