Visit my You Tube Channel here. (If you can’t view the video, try this link.)
If you’re just starting to use an organization system, do not get overwhelmed! This video is just to give you an idea of what I do, but the key to staying organized is finding a system that works for you.
[UPDATE: I use this binder to manage our household and homeschool,
but I now use my Joyful Life Planner to set goals and plan my week.
Click here to see what’s inside!]
Here is a detailed list of each of the sections of my binder and what they contain:
Click the colored links to read more about a planner page or to print it.
ALL FORMS ARE FREE FOR YOUR PERSONAL USE AS A READER OF THEPEACEFULMOM.COM BUT PLEASE DO NOT PHOTOCOPY THEM OR SHARE THEM WITH OTHERS. Please share the link to my blog instead. Thanks so much!
Inside Binder Pocket: Copy of My Weekly Plan so that I can keep my priorities for the week in plain sight. (Sometimes I create this plan in my art journal – view those weekly plans here.)
I use colored plastic dividers with pockets on both sides in these sections:
Today: Depending on how busy my week is I may use my Weekly Planner or my Daily Planner;
Immediate Paperwork: Papers (other than bills) and correspondence that needs to be dealt with ASAP;
Big Picture: Goal Planner with long term goals, Calendars (One Year Planner with birthdays, One Year Planner with seasonal activities like storing winter clothes, swimsuit shopping, spring cleaning) and Schedules (gym class schedules, etc.);
Food: Copies of my Weekly Meal Planner, my grocery list, a list of meals to help me with meal planning;
(I post the grocery list and meal planner on my fridge so I can see at a glance what’s for dinner and I can add items to the grocery list when we are about to run out of them.)
House: Home Project List, important contacts for house related items like warranties, leases, etc.;
To Do: Long Term Projects and the papers associated with them;
Finance: Bills that need to be paid in the left pocket, Password Keeper for all online accounts, Budget Worksheet, Freedom Account Page;
School: Homeschool attendance record, Reading List, Weekly Subject Planners;
Husband: Personality tests (to remind me how he works best), What Your Husband Really Wants printable, Date ideas, articles on how to have a better marriage;
Parenting: This section contains personality tests for each of my children (read more here), important medical information, passwords for my childrens’ online accounts and ideas of things to do with each of them;
To see all of The Peaceful Mom Printable Planners, click here and scroll to the middle of the page.
Thank you so much for the great inspiration! I am a middle aged college student with four children. This has been a blessing!
Kimberlee Stokes says
Glad to help Shannan!
Sarah D says
Kimberlee – was looking at your brain in a binder post today (Vlog my planner) page and wanted to print the “what your husband/wife really wants” but what comes out on the page is all computer programming 1’s and 0’s. Can you link me in on another printable? Thanks
Sarah D says
Kimberlee – I figured it out – no need to redo or resend. Thanks, anyway!
Hi Sarah! Here is a direct link: https://thepeacefulmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/WHAT-YOUR-HUSBAND-REALLY-WANTS.pdf. It’s a pdf so you will need to download Adobe Reader here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/ (it’s free).
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderfully organized schedule! I LOVE it and can’t wait to get some of your printables in my binder. I’ve been searching for a good system and yours is great for me!!
Kimberlee Stokes says
I am so glad Emily! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂
I just stumbled upon your video Organize your Day in 5 minutes. I do use a planner and I just made one out of a smaller binder (Martha Stewart) and I like this as it fits easily in my backpack when I am out with my daughter. I am her primary caregiver and manage all her medical issues etc but I still feel stressed and less than efficient and still can’t seem to find something that works for me. I also have to carry a 1 1/2 inch binder which is my daughter’s medical binder and so I don’t want to carry another full size binder around. Do you take this binder with you or is it just for home? I guess I should say I watched your Brain in a Binder video too 🙂 and will subscribe to your channel.
I guess my question is … do you carry in your purse or bag when you go out a weekly/monthly/daily calendar or do you just use your binder for home only.
I hope I was clear enough with my question.
Hi Jane–Welcome! I need to do an update video, but yes, this binder is for home use and I currently carry a small calendar in my purse as well as a small notebook. I have used pocket size day planners in the past, but I like to have a notebook with all of my notes from a certain time period so that I can go back and look things up. I also use Evernote to keep track of a lot of things so I am not totally in the Dark Ages–haha! The most important thing is to find a system that works for you, and then to use it consistently. Hope this helps!
Thank you so much Kimberlee … yes, it helps a lot. I use Evernote mostly for my daughter’s medical issues. I guess I am still looking for that system that works for me or else I already have it and just don’t work it consistently.
I can’t wait to watch your other videos 🙂
You are very welcome Jane! I find that organization is a constant work in progress. 🙂
Thank you for all the work you have poured into the charts, organizers and pdfs and wonderful tips and thoughts. I have been reading your blog for over a year now and have gleaned so much from it and shared it with others as well. I volunteer at our local pregnancy care center and help teach new and young moms how to all the things that they were probably never taught. I was wondering if I could copy a few of your daily routine and goal planning sheets for these moms who do not have internet or computers or printers. I know that would help them tremendously but I would not do that without your permission. Thank you and God bless you as you bless others!!!
Absolutely Sonja. Thanks for asking me first. 🙂
So I am sure if you had one it would be on this page but do you have an example of how you do your budgeting on paper? I just don’t know where to start at all with trying to form a budget.
Hi Haley! Actually I have added that printable since I made the binder video. Here is a link to the budget form: https://thepeacefulmom.com/free-printable-budget-worksheet/, and here is a link to the process we use: https://thepeacefulmom.com/2012/08/03/how-to-budget-what-we-do/. Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂
Thanks so much for all the wonderful info and lists/sheets for a planner. Definitely will be using them! Just a suggestion for the bills. Like yourself, I write on the outside the amount and date due, but the slot I put each bill in is on the day that it needs to go out to make it there in plenty of time. It works great for us anyway! 😀
That’s a great idea. Thanks Becky!
I just found your blog and I’m loving all the info!! I am a sucker for personality tests…did you have a link for the one for husbands (and i’m assuming wives too!!)?
Hi Julie! I’m so glad you like the blog. Unfortunately the personality tests were paid for professionally, so I don’t have a link for those but you can find a free couple’s personality test here (scroll down): http://smalley.cc/free-personality-test
Regina Lane says
Thank you so much for this information. 🙂
You are very welcome Regina. 🙂
I just happened to surf the net and came across your blog. You are quite an inspiration. I would love to be one tenth as organized as you. I am putting together a weekly planner today, because of you!
Thank you so much for the free downloads, they are helping me go forward in the right direction.
I am now a regular reader of your site!
Hi Rita! I’m so glad you found me. 🙂 Seriously, I am glad that you are finding some helpful tools here.
I have been desperately searching for a way to organize my life. Three small kids, lots of appointments, full time grad school, and two extremely part time businesses make for an extremely unorganized mess. Thanks for sharing.
You are very welcome Maria! Just make sure to adjust it to work for you. 🙂
Great blog!! Sincerely appreciated!! Keep up the good work!
Thanks so much Danielle. Glad you like it.
I came across your blog today from Sugardoodle, and I have to say I think you are fantastic! I think you are an amazing woman and great example!
Thank you so much Marykaye! 🙂
Mary Kate says
Just wanted to say THANKS for all of these great ideas- seriously!! Everything from parenting, to marriage, to Christianity, organizing, budgeting, and recipes! Finding this blog full of ideas was such an answer to pryer! thanks and God bless!
Thanks so much for sharing. I don’t think that I will have one that intricate but I do believe starting is only the beginning to what will work for us here.
Hi Rena! Definitely make it work for you. Simple is good. 🙂
Lori :) says
Thanks for sharing your binder! I started a “household manager” binder years ago after seeing one on an organizational tv show. I love it! I showed it to my MOPS group, and they thought I was an organizing guru – and kept asking me back several years to share it with others. 🙂 I had to laugh, because I don’t feel organized at all – but in this one thing, i guess I was! 🙂 With 5 kids – I need all the help I can get to keep things accessible when I need them or forget.
I am realizing though, that it’s time to update my binder and change it some to meet the needs of my life now. I have used it more as a static resource tool (with kid’s schooling info – teachers, numbers, etc, phone lists, monthly menu-plans, etc) – but not much past that. I am thinking about possibly creating a new one that focuses more on my goals, daily things, etc – that I will pull out every day to look at (my other one stays between my fridge and microwave for reference. It was a great resource when my parents would watch the kids for extended times and needed info on friends phone numbers, school info, etc).
Thanks for inspiring me to get organized a little more. Now . . . to find the time! Guess I should get off the computer and just do it! 🙂
ps – to those that feel overwhelmed . . . just pick 1 thing to start with – like important phone numbers, or financial info, etc. Next week (or next month) add something else. 🙂 Don’t worry if it’s not as organized as Kimberlee’s! (we can strive for it though! 🙂 . . . ) Everyone’s binder will contain different things and look different. I have some of the same info – but organized in a different way (or should I say – not so organized . . . but it works for me!)
Lori, that is such a good point not to get overwhelmed!
For the longest time I had only a piece of paper on the fridge with my list of things to do for the morning. Once I got the hang of it, I added more. I have worked my way up to this binder. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂
Heather B says
How inspirational! My little one is just a baby now, but I can imagine all the uses for the planners just with her. I also love the “husband” section! I am still a bit shy about trying something like this though; I can do pretty well at first, then these things fall out of use. I’m sure I have some extra supplies “laying around” so that I could get started without having to put a lot of money into it at first.
I know what you mean about things falling out of use Heather. That’s why it’s important to find something that works for you and to make it a part of your daily and weekly routines.
I actually started with a daily planner page first which I posted on my fridge. I got in the habit of checking it throughout the day to keep me on track, then I slowly added things until now I am using a binder. I don’t look at every section every day, but the tabs are there to remind me to keep everything important in mind. Blessings on parenting your little one!
Thank you for this. I decided that my take 10 this week will be to start building my binder. I know it will help so much when it is complete. I’m starting with the finance section.
You are so welcome Diana!
One thing that I didn’t mention in the video is that when I put a bill in the Finance section I write the amount and date due on my weekly planner so I don’t miss paying anything on time. Happy Organizing!
I love this. But I am too right brained to handle such organization. LOL
Haha! Believe it or not, I am rather unorganized myself and had to work up to this level! 🙂
Tanya @ Blogelina says
This is AMAZING! An perfect timing for me to find. I’ve been looking for “the perfect” plan for some time now – something that I write down the kids’ school schedules, my goals, my blogging tasks – all in one place. I think your binder idea might just be my answer as I haven’t been able to find the right planner yet! Thank you SO much for sharing all your great sheets for free!
I love that you put a section in for your husband, too. It shows he’s a priority in your life and what a great reminder of that when he’s in the book you’re looking at every day. Thanks for that idea and your example in that, too!
And, I’m off to print off those Focus on the Family sheets for the kids, too!
Thanks so much Tanya! It is a challenge to keep the right priorities with everything there is to do, but I’m trying!
Alycia M says
Love this post! Lots of good info! I also love you sitting out on your ‘newly redone’ back porch!
Thanks Alycia! 🙂
Thanks so much for this. I just started using a planner about a month ago and still find it a bit overwhelming. I really enjoy seeing other peoples. It give me ideas on how I can tweak mine. Thanks for sharing. BTW, love your blog, keep up the great work.
My pleasure Carol! I actually just used a daily planner for the longest time and then added pieces slowly. It doesn’t help if you won’t use it, right? 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement too!