Thursday, October 27, 2011

Erin Condren Planner and Family Binder

A lot of the blogs I follow did a post just on their Erin Condren Planners and Family Binders, so I thought I'd do one too.

I was hesitant to order an Erin Condren planner, even though I wanted one, because they're a little pricier than the planners in Target. I'm obsessed with calendars and planners and knew I'd love it, so when I found a coupon code that made it half off, I had to order one. I also thought that they started with the month August, and so since it was the beginning of October when I ordered mine, I was afraid I just wasted two months of the planner. But, when I got mine, I noticed that it starts with the month you order, so my planner starts with October, which is perfect.
There were so many covers to choose from. I chose the "favorite things" cover which I was able to customize with all my favorite things. I'm hoping to get some family pictures done and on my planner next year, I'll get a planner with a picture of us on the cover.

I love the way each month has a monthly calender and then is broken down by week and each day is broken down by "morning" afternoon" and "evening". At the beginning of each week is a goals list and to do lists. At the beginning of each month there's lots of space to write down anything you may need. In the back, there's a pocket to put any loose papers and there's also an envelope for storage that happened to come with some goodies including some cute paper clips, coupons for future orders and personalized stickers.

I love my planner but my other must have tool to stay organized is my family binder. It's still a work in progress, but it's helped me so much. I first saw this idea on I Heart Orgainizing and then several blogs I follow, including Blue Eyed Bride. Both blogs had link up parties where people posted about their family binders, so I had a ton of inspiration for mine.

My binder has a ton of storage space to store loose papers, mail, coupons, etc until I can get around to going through them. I also have a pencil case that holds my highlighters, sharpies, pens, and pencils. I have several dividers (that have pockets for even more storage). The dividers include: important information, schedule, meal planning, cleaning checklists, mom clubs, evan and carter, etc.

I originally started out with important information and started downloading a ton of free downloads and printables from the internet. This section includes my auto log so we know when we last had what done to each car, our home maintenance checklist, and all of our family's important information including names of each company we use (power, gas, trash, insurance) along with numbers and policy information. It has our doctor's information and numbers, addresses, etc.

Then I started a section to keep all of my information I have for Evan and Carter. Right now, I have information from Gerber on meal ideas, serving sizes, etc for them. I also put any rip outs from magazines of toys I want to get them or clothes I want to buy, etc. I have a section for my mom activites including a calendar of events, the newsletter, etc.

In order to stay organized, I have to have lists. I'm obsessed with lists. I have even been known to make lists of lists that I need to make. ;) So, I have lots of different lists in my binder. I like to start each day by filling out a daily to do list that has things I need to do, anything I need to buy (diapers, etc) anybody I need to call, places I need to go that day and what I'm planning to cook for dinner. It keeps me focused during the day so I know exactly what needs to get done. I also have a cleaning checklist that has a list of things I need to do daily, weekly, bi weekly, monthly, etc. It helps me stay on track as far as housecleaning goes.
*this cleaning checklist is a little outdated, I need to update it*

After my daily to do list, the other thing I use the most in my binder is my meal planning section. I love this free printable I got that I can fill out what we're planning on having and then write out the ingredients I need to get at the store on the same sheet. I like to do this on Sunday so I know what we're having for the whole week. Sometimes, we'll decide we're not in the mood for what I have planned and go with something else, which is fine. I also like having my dividers with the pockets, that's where I keep recipes that I come across in blogs or Pinterest that I want to try. That's where I go before I decide what I'm having for the week to see if there's any new recipes that I want to try.

My family binder has helped me a lot with getting organized, but it's definitely still a work in progress. I'm trying to get as organized as I can now because if we're busy now with playdates, lunches with friends, trips to the park, cooking, cleaning, etc. I know life's going to get even more busy as the boys get older and start getting involved in more and having more responsibilites. I might as well start preparing myself now and learning how to manage my time the best I can.


  1. o this is so organized, i love it. and the colors are fun:) :) great work girlie!! i would love for you to link your projects up with tell me tuesday. i would love to feature something like this:)

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