Home Management Notebooks are a great idea.

About Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

Home Management Notebooks absolutely work for me.

Here’s are quick links to my Home Management Notebook series:

  1. Having a Home Management Notebook is good.
  2. Identity and target your Most Important Tasks.
  3. Consider using a Daily Docket.
  4. Use a Weekly Checklist as your main reference point.
  5. Brainstorm ideas for what else you might need in your Notebook.

I hope you found this series useful. Using a Home Management Notebook isn’t a new idea – chances are, many of you already use one. But if this is new to you and trying one is uncharted territory, here are a few pointers:

• The point of a notebook is to have all your management tools in one place. Include what you need, leave out what you don’t.

Do what works for you. If you prefer to scribble in pencil on a Moleskine Notebook, then by all means, do that! You could even have it all online using your favorite tools in one location. I’ve thought about doing that myself, but I just can’t handcuff myself to the laptop – I share it with my hubby, and I’m up and around too much during the day. Maybe one day, though.

• It helps me if my notebook looks pretty –  know I use it more when I like to look at it. I use scrapbook paper, magazine clippings, and whatever else strikes my fancy to personalize my baby and make it mine.

If it doesn’t work at first, don’t throw in the towel! Give it more time, or change it up, or take a short break and think about what might work better for you. We all manage our households differently – the point is to do it well, simply, and stress-free.

As promised, here is a FREE PDF download of my Daily Docket and Weekly Checklist. Update: All the downloads can be found on the downloads page. I’ve made them a bit more generic, so maybe you’ll find them useful. In fact, I’ve included two Daily Dockets – one is identical to the one I use; the other has two areas with blank titles for you to fill in, in case mine aren’t something you need. You’ll see what I mean when you download it.

And finally, here’s a little more inspiration juice to get you going on a notebook that works for you:

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  1. These are awesome, dear Toblerone, simply awesome!

    Suzannes last blog post..Play

  2. Thank you for this great idea – I think it is something that might work for me, I’ll have to give it a try!

    Blesseds last blog post..The Contest – 2nd Clue

  3. Thank you so much for this series! I think I really need a home management notebook! I’m saving this to del.icio.us for future reference!

    Lynnaes last blog post..Kyle’s Coupons: On the Road Again…

  4. So glad they might work for you all! Let me know if you have any feedback. And yes, I’d love some bookmarking love if you’re up for it… ;)

  5. This is great info! I have been meaning to start a Home Management Notebook as a way of gecoming more organized and eliminating some of the clutter- both physical and mental- that come with trying to keep track of papers and coupons and just trying to remember everything that needs to be done!
    Thanks for this series :) Can’t wait to get started!

    Lavonnes last blog post..Ways that I make money online

  6. Thank you so much for the pdf. This will work for me great! I also like the suggestion of making your notebook pretty and appealing.

    Rachels last blog post..Reality Check: Downgrading Monthly Services

  7. @Lavonne – So glad this might help you! Keep me updated on your progress, and let me know if you have any feedback.

    @Rachel – Oh, I wouldn’t use it if it wasn’t pretty. ;) Silly but true. And I’ve been meaning to tell you that I LOVE your blog, too! I spent quite a bit of time over there the other day. I like your composting ideas.

  8. I just found this for free printable planner pages: http://www.diyplanner.com/templates/index
    In the ‘templates directory’ you can search by what size page you need. Looks like the dynamic pages list is actually software to let you customize it to use electronically. In the ‘diet’ area there are even Weight Watchers point-tracking and water intake tracking pages. Fancy Schmancy!

    Clarisas last blog post..Cinco de Marriage-O

  9. avatar
    Rosebud says:

    I luv these! I suffer from getting seriously overwhelmed when I see everything that needs doing. Then I get depressed, adn nothing gets done at all. I hope this will change things for me.

    One idea I had was about chore charts – we have them for each of our kids, but I made one for myself too and pinned it up next to theirs. The kids call me on it a lot “Oh MOM! You haven’t finished YOUR chores today!!” Motivational tool.

    I also printed the worksheet from Mypyramid.gov to help track my diet. This way I can make sure I am eating right.

  10. Hi this looks great – I have Stumbled it so I can rfer to it later. Quick question (sorry if this is obvious) – what are ‘MITs’?

  11. @Kate – MITs are “Most Important Things” – #2 on the list above. :)

  12. I’m psyched to try this out. All my stuff is in various places, folders, files, and how much simpler it would be to put it all together!
    One question, do you use a 3-ring binder? Or something more like a daytimer, or a diary-like journal? A 3-ring binder seems easiest, but then do you lug that whole thing to the store with you?
    Just trying to think of what work best.
    Especially since I really like the idea of making it pretty. :)

    nicoles last blog post..Just came across this… twice!

  13. @Nicole – Mine’s a basic three-ring binder. I’ve thought about taking photos of what mine looks like, just for those who are curious. It’s nothing extraordinary, though – just all the important papers in one place.

  14. I just found this particular series and love this one, too! I’m so grateful for your blog! : )

    But in response to your post to Nicole, I know that I would love to see what your binder looks like. And do you tote it places? Or does it live on a counter in your home?

    Allison’s last blog post…4

  15. great idea’s
    will give them a try!

  16. How thick is that notebook? ;)

  17. Okay, your website is now my fav! I love organization but tend to have some difficulty just getting it “all together”. But since summer has come to an end and I’ve had time to read your blog, I have really tried some of your great tips… (i.e. small kitchen organization, which by the way worked out great!). Now your print out for Master Check List… Master Notebook next on todays list for me! I am a compulsive list maker but usually it all gets lost, so now I will centralize it all into one notebook! Thanks so much!

  18. Wow! I cannot believe I have never thought of this… I organize everything in my “online” life. I have electronic todo lists for my various projects and ventures. Passwords and login information are neatly stored electronically, but I have never done anything like you have here. Can’t wait to try it out.


    Adam´s last blog post…Protection Plans are BAD, okay!

  19. What a great resource! I’ll be including the link to your page that explains this in a future post of mine. I’m really trying to find a method that works for me and there are some great resources, like this one, that will certainly help me!

    Love your site!

    Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net´s last blog post…Losing Weight and Striving for Financial Freedom

  20. I have been using the daily docket since you post the pdf. I LOVE it! It is so handy, and exactly what I was looking for. I’m going to share your site with my friends. Thanks so much! I also love this series. Keep up the good work!

  21. I think that home management cousre or notebooks is a quite idea for the persons who works from home and have to learn management skills.

  22. This is all great advice! I’m not a mom, but I still need to keep organized. Right now, I’m using springpad’s meal planner to keep track of my meals for the week. I find that really helpful. I can also create shopping lists as well as to do lists. It works for me :)

  23. Thanks for the tips and inspiration! I bought a notebook filled with templates a few years back, and it’s mostly stayed empty but shoved full of papers. I’ve been cleaning it out lately, and your blog post couldn’t be more timely. Now I can start fresh with your templates, and make it my own.

  24. Thanks a lot for sharing the insight, links, and tips here. I love to read your blog surely. This is my first visit. Check me out here Toddler Crafts Susan
    .-= Toddler Crafts Susan´s last blog ..Kids Recycling Craft =-.

  25. I’d love to see the pictures here but they aren’t working

  26. I really loved your idea of meal planning and since I’ve been creating 2 week menus, life seems to flow a bit better! I also liked the idea of a daily planner to contain all the little notes I leave all over the place. I created my own pages that fit in my old day planner (love that I found another use for that dumb thing!) and it’s nice to only have the stuff you want and not some pre-set, spendy store bought version! Thanks for always having great ideas to make home management, manageable!

  27. I love your templates! Thank you for sharing! I’m curious what program you used to design your pages. I would love to have a box with my daily chores printed in the corner of every page so that I don’t have to rewrite them each day.

  28. Great post.
    Really “Home Management Notebooks are a great idea.” It will help anyone to do tasks in time. A record book makes the situation much more easier.
    Thanks for such a great idea.

  29. Question: What do you do with a daily docket once the day has past? I’m a hoarder so my inclination is to keep them for future reference, but maybe that’s not a good idea. Is this something I need to toss? I just started using this Tuesday and it’s Thursday so I have one filled in front and back.
    I’m so happy I found your website. You’ve given me TONS of great ideas. ;-)

    • Oh, absolutely recycle them. There’s no reason at all to keep them. If it feels weird to go through a page every two days, you could try the smaller docket, found in downloads.

      Whatever you do, though, don’t hoard them. :) They’ll only drive you crazy.

  30. I’ve had this page bookmarked for some time, and have been using some of your printables for the Home Management notebook. Thanks so much for making these available!!

    I’ve also featured your downloads on my “Get Organized” roundup today. Figured it would be perfect for Spring Cleaning! :)
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Get Organized! =-.

  31. I love the simplicity of having everything together in one spot. The checklists are great, too. I don’t see how people get by flying by the seat of their pants.

  32. thanks for tips, very useful ..
    What software do you use …??

  33. I’ve never been able to get control of my work and activity flow at home. Everything always seemed to be completely out of control which is in stark contrast to my company. It never occurred to me that I needed a plan and strategy. Not only that…it needs to be in a format that can be shared rather than in my head. Teamwork is awesome, right?!

    My new years resolution is to gain control of my household and I plan to implement this management system right now. I’m printing the checklists as we speak because action is the key to productivity.

    Thank you for such a helpful and inspiring post!
    Tylesha Juliano´s latest post: Midday Motivational Tip #3: Put your Worries in a Box

  34. Hi, just a quick technical comment: the link to Ann’s (truly beautiful) journal works without the .html at the end.


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  5. [...] Mom ~ she has a great style and effective home-organizing skills. I have made TONS of copies of her Daily Docket, and her tips for organizing and streamlining (and simplifying!) my routines are helping me [...]

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  17. [...] out there!! ) Self promo aside, Tsh’s blog is a great space to get your double dose of inspiration and actionable pointers (in less than 5 minutes) and get back to [...]

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  31. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by A_Centered_Soul: #FF @simplemom Her Home Management Notebook is great! Luv her website too! http://bit.ly/sUohC

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