Photo by esotericsean
So far, I’ve discussed my Daily Docket and my Weekly Checklist as the essential components of my Home Management Notebook. I use the Checklist as my reference for my Docket – my general goal is to complete everything on the Checklist every week. Rarely does this happen, but having a master list as a visual reminder really helps.
So what else do I have in my Notebook?
• Calendar – I use Google Calendar for my personal daytimer, and I usually just refer to it online to keep track of my appointments. I especially like that I can have it remind me of events via email or pop up – very handy when you’re writing emails and you’ve lost track of time. But I also print the calendar several months at a time to keep handy when I’m not near my laptop and I want to jot something on the schedule. I also menu plan monthly, and I enter this online when I plan (99% of my recipes come from the internet). When I print the calendar, I have a month’s worth of my dinner plans easily accessible in my Notebook.
• Grocery List – I’ve written up my master grocery list in Excel, and it’s a lifesaver. How often do you forget what you need to stock up on? For me, it’s all the time – so having my usual purchases already written out really helps trigger my memory. I normally have a print-out hanging in the kitchen, so that anybody can mark what we need, but I keep several copies handy in my Notebook. And I make sure I have several blank pages of paper in this section for me to jot down menu and food ideas.
• Budget – I write a monthly budget a la Dave Ramsey, and I also print out a copy of this and keep it handy in my Notebook. I use Pear Budget for now, which has a $3 monthly service fee, but there are lots of good budgeting resources out there. More on that soon. I also write out current financial goals we have and where we stand on reaching them, and any other financial information that might prove relevant that month (bank statements, important receipts, etc.). My husband has a lot of work reimbursements for his job, and I also keep track of this here. I have a little plastic envelope where I keep all the current month’s receipts.
• Master Project List – My brain is flooded with little ideas throughout the day, and if I don’t write them down within a few minutes, they leave and don’t return. I have a few sheets of paper to jot down anything that comes to mind that I want to work on – make slipcovers for the pillows, fix the bathroom towel bar, order such-and-such book on Amazon. Having this blank space adds a nice combination of order and stream-of-consciousness to my thought process. I can doodle or outline, and this really helps me.
• Blogging Ideas – Similar to above, I keep paper handy for jotting down blog post ideas. If I don’t, they’re gone, and frustration inevitably ensues! I’ve lately used the process of mind mapping to come up with ideas, and it truly works. Right now I have 79 post ideas for this blog alone!
• Babysitter’s Guide – Our kids are pretty easy, but we want to keep current information handy when someone comes to watch our kids. We list our cell phone numbers, bedtime routines, what’s off limits, and what to do in case of basic emergencies (like where we keep our bandaids). We even have instructions on how to turn on our TV and DVD player!
• Kid Stuff – I jot down ideas or websites that come in handy for anything regarding my children. If I find an article online that’s so helpful, I’ll print it out and keep it here. I’m currently working on creating some basic letter writing curriculum for my three-year-old, and I keep any good resources I find in this section.
• Gift Ideas – When my parents ask me what I want for my birthday, nine times out of ten I can’t think of anything at the moment. In this section, I jot down any gift ideas I have for our family, along with good gift ideas for us to give to others.
• Language Lesson Notes – I keep my current language lesson handy here so that I can easily study when I’m nursing the baby. For those of you who aren’t currently learning a second language – if you have any other work-at-home responsibilities, or if you’re involved in some sort of adult education, you can keep that info handy here as well.
• Personal Stuff – This is where I write down my Scripture memory notes, other Bible study info, motivating quotes I come across, prayer requests, and anything else related to me and my relationships. I also write down my personal goals and habits I want to change – it helps me to see them in writing.
Maybe these ideas will trigger some of your own. What are you constantly looking for throughout your day? Would it help you to have it in a master notebook, so that it’s quickly at your fingertips? I think the trick is to have your notebook complete enough for it to be useful, but not so crammed full or overcomplicated that it’s demotivating to use.
You want this to be a valuable tool for home management. Make it so it works for you! Don’t become enslaved by it. Enjoy having one.
• Next up in Home Management Notebooks: Concluding thoughts, downloadable files, resources for further motivation, and ideas to spark your interest!
Photo by gamookie