I was recently reading Life as MOM (love it!) as she shared her brain on paper. Jessica’s timing was perfect (as usual) because I was just revamping my own system for fall. Britta left a comment about the frustrations of trying to create synergy between a digital organization system and a paper one. Like Britta, I have struggled to find harmony, but I think I’ve finally got it figured out.
The Paper System:
My Daily Home Management Notebook is a 2 inch 3 ring binder. I prefer a 3 ring binder so that I can add and remove pages as things change. Things tend to change a lot for the Mac 5- Ha!
My Home Management Notebook has 5 sections separated by tabs which are labeled as Personal, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Financial.
I love the printables at Life…Your Way! For a visual thinker, like me, they just can’t be beat! I added backgrounds to them after I downloaded them and I changed a few of the titles because I use one sheet in multiple places in my notebook, but other than that they are unchanged.
The Personal section of my notebook holds our household personal information (pretty profound, right!?!). Using the Life… Your Way printables I have pages for emergency information, medical information, goals, and babysitter information.
The Daily section has the items I need to refer to daily. First is my Daily Task List. It’s basically a checklist of all the chores that should be done daily to keep the house in order. It’s in a page protector so that I can check each item off as it’s completed then erase it and start over the next day. Behind the Daily Task List I have a Daily Minimum List. This is also a list of chores, but it’s the bare minimum list to keep the house running. I use this list if I’m sick or if we’re going to be gone for the day. I also have my Daily Docket in paper form, just in case I need to fill it out for someone else. Typically though I keep my Daily Docket in digital form (see below).
The Weekly section has all the information for the week in it. It starts with the Weekly Overview (in a page protector for easy reuse), our family week at a glace. Behind that is the Weekly Menu Plan. I use the weekly menu plan without days because (as previously mentioned) things tend to change for us a lot at a moments notice. I have a Weekly Task List, which is a checklist similar to the Daily Task List but it contains chores that only need to be done once a week.
Speaking of task lists and chore charts, it took me forever to come up with what would work for our family. What I’ve come up with is a mesh of what can be found at FlyLady and the Time-Warp Wife along with a lot of personal trial and error. If it seems like there’s interest I am happy to explain my process and results in another post.
The Monthly section is a calendar. I purchased my current calendar but a great printable one I’ve used is the 2-Page Monthly Planner by Vortex42. I sit down with my digital calendar (after syncing with my husband) and my paper calendar at least once a week and combine the information in both sources. It doesn’t usually take long and it’s incredibly helpful for me to have both a paper and digital copy of the events. As a visual person I just can’t seem to do without a paper calendar.
Finally, I have a Financial section in my Daily Home Management Notebook. My Financial section has a Goals Worksheet specific to our financial goals. There’s also a page protector that I use as a pocket for holding bills and receipts that need to be addressed at our weekly financial planning meeting. Once those have been addressed I move them into a manila envelope which get’s filed at the end of the month.
There are 3 other parts of my paper system that I’m not going to include a lot of detail about today. I have an Occasional Home Management Notebook which contains some additional chore charts, more detailed medical information on our family, and recipes- stuff I don’t need every day but still need close at hand. I have a magazine file which includes several different manila envelopes for filing. Finally, I have a Writing Management Notebook where I keep my current Bible study, blog ideas that come in paper form, and notes for the book that I’m (almost) writing.
The Digital System:
My digital system is on my iPhone, which I take with me everywhere. The app I use for this is Awesome Note by BRIDWorks. I love Awesome Note. It’s super visual and fun to use! Although I use and suggest Awesome Note I have been told that the digital system I use can also be used with Evernote and good old Google Docs.
My system is comprised of several different folders which I think of as digital tabs. The primary ones essential for a digital system to compliment my paper system are the Daily and Grocery List folders.
The Daily folder contains my Digital Daily Docket. Essentially, I just took the information from the Life… Your Way printable and created a file in Awesome Note with the same headings. Each morning I complete the information and map out my day. I found it essential to have this part be in digital form because I needed it to be with me everywhere I went throughout the day. It works great for me!
The Grocery list is my running grocery list. I create the list as I create my weekly menu plan on Sunday. Since I do my shopping on Thursday I also double check the next weeks calendar in case there’s something extra I need to pick up.
Other Awesome Note folder titles I am using now are Gratitude Journal, Back2School, Reading List, Bible Journal, Prayer Journal, Daily Thoughts, The Book, and 2nd Book. Awesome Note makes it easy to add and subtract folders as needed.
In addition to Awesome Note I use the native iPhone calendar which syncs directly with our Google calendar. It’s not my favorite calendar out there, but it’s the one my husband is comfortable using, so it’s easiest for me to use it too.
So, to wrap it up, these are the tools I use. On Sunday night or Monday morning I sit down and go through the weeks calendar, making sure to sync everything together.
What does your home management system look like?
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