Friday, March 16, 2012

A Peek Inside My Planning Binder

I realized that, while I've blabbed on and on about planning binders and created fun printables (which so many of you are putting to good use!) and talked about goal setting and planning in general, I never actually showed you how I put my binder together for this year. I really am putting my binder to good use, too! Here is the inside scoop on my planning binder

As you can see, I use the same binder that I decorated with pretty paper for last years binder challenge. I still love the bold colors and pretty stripes! I use a 1/2 inch binder, which is super small, I know. I love the thinness of it, though, and remember I only have little 'ol me to plan for. It is getting quite full, but for now I am going to put off upgrading as long as I can. I just love the thinness of it that much!

This year I made a point of putting the front inside cover to good use:

I keep some scratch papers there with notes jotted on them, as well as a stack of Post-it stickies. I found that if I put the bottom page of the stickies inside the pocket, they stay in my binder nicely and I can easily use and rip off the pages! What a fantastic idea, right? I also keep our church's phone directory there for quick access.

Now lets move into the actual tabs, the "heart" of the binder!

I tried to get all fancy-pants on these tabs by using different colored markers to dress them up. But because the tabs themselves are colored, I found they didn't show up very well, so I just went back to a fine tip black Sharpie. (I never have much success with running them through the printer. Once you use some of the tabs off the sheet, how are you supposed to feed it into the printer again? And for some reason my Mac doesn't like Word templates. :) So even though I can't stand my handwriting, printing was out.) 

The first thing you'll find in my binder is a calendar for the entire year:

I recently started jotting down notes each day telling what I did that day (a trick learned from my brilliant Aunt) and so far I LOVE it! It has been super easy for this gal who has never kept a journal for more than 3 days straight. So my calendar is doing double duty.

Then we move to a "To Do List" tab, where you will find:

A list of Things To Do (imagine that!) and:

My Week at a Glance, full of things I want to accomplish on certain days, and a list at the bottom of things to squeeze in. Normally each night I sit down with this sheet and my weekly/monthly goals sheet (which you will see in a minute) and figure out what to tackle the next day. Oh, and yes, I smudged all that out on purpose. Secret blogging stuff going on that I can't let you see! ;)

Next is my "Goals" tab, which holds: Weekly and Monthly Goals sheet (which you see each Monday)... Resolutions for 2012 (which I wrote in that bad, or what?) 12 in 2012 list to record different things I do once a month ...

...and my 2012 Book List of books to read over the course of this year.

This tab gets a lot of action every week as I plug away at those goals and set new ones. I think it is important to have my goals written down so I 1) remember what they are and 2) remember to do them! Having all of this handy in my binder helps me to reference it often and plan out my days. 

Moving along, we have a "Projects" tab, which for right now is only housing this:

Besides DIY projects, there are a couple other sheets I {hope} to make one of these days to go in here! :)

Next is the "Important Info" tab, in which we find...

This sheet to list account user names and passwords, which I would be lost without. I use this all the time! I don't have important stuff (like bank info) on here, just other random online accounts. Also... Spending Record, which has made keeping my accounts straight so much easier! It is nice to have all that info in one place, as opposed to different bank statements and online accounts. And yes, that is blurry for a reason, too. :)

Next is the "Purchases" tab, where I have this list for thrift-store finds I'm on the lookout for:

My Book Wish List (carried over from last year):

And my Important Dates list (also carried over from last year). this is one of those aspects that I love about this binder system. When I used to buy a new day planner for each year, this kind of info had to be filled in each.and.every.year. Now I just have it all in one place and can use it again and again! Love it!

This year, I added a tab for each of my blogs. Both tabs have a "future Blog ideas" sheet:

And their own calendar to plan out future posts, and keep track of what has been posted and what hasn't. I love this system, it has taken away any doubts about blogging content.

See that? I planned for this one. :)

I also have a tab for my Etsy shop, to keep stats and random ideas in, plus a pocket divider to keep receipts in.

The last two tabs in my binder house normal Notebook paper and Scratch Paper. Yup, I just sent some scratch paper through the three hole punch and stuck 'er in for those brainstorming moments. I'm all about keeping everything I will need at my fingertips!

Now you have seen the nuts and bolts of my planning binder. I am in no way as organized as I could be, but I'm getting there slowly but surely as I add new ideas and printables. I hope that this helps those of you that are working on setting up YOUR binder!

Do you use a planning binder for your household management? If not, what other methods work for you? 

Remember, you can get these and oodles of more Planning Binder printables in my Etsy shop! Hop over there for more!


  1. A great read! I am currently working on my personal binder, started almost a week ago and still tweeking. A lot of good ideas here, I will be pinning this!

    1. Good for you! You'll love how a planning binder makes you life so much easier. Let me know if you need any help!


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