Monday, October 22, 2012

Time Management Binder

As a mummy of an active 3.5 year old daughter and expectant mummy to a newborn son very soon (my due date is the 2nd of November) I like to lead and keep an organized life as much as I can. It's like my little sanctuary amongst all the chaos that life can throw along the way.

I wanted to show you how inexpensive a time management binder can be :) I use a white plastic  binder which I purchased from Kmart for around $3, along with some clear slip protectors and coloured dividers for around $6 in total.

You'll notice I don't have any of my dividers labelled, I sometimes chop and change my divider tabs so it's easier for me not to have them labelled and surprisingly I have never forgotten what the tab colours represent. There's always a bit of tweaking involved until you find what works for you and what doesn't :)

Planning Tab (Pink): Even before this tab, I have a calendar for that particular month so I can write down doctors appointments or events that are relevant and need noting. In the planning area I then have:
Important dates which I organise by month
Daily to-do list which is something I just add to the night before as each day can bring with it much more or less things to do and,
Master to-do list which I have found very handy since being pregnant and wanting so much organized prior to baby's arrival, I can add something to the list and also add a date to have done by along.

Meals & Menu Planning Tab (Yellow)
Menu Plan for the fortnight ahead, I go through my pantry, fridge and freezer to suss out what items I already have then include them in my menu plan
Recipes To Try I really want to broaden my skills in the kitchen, so if I find a recipe I know the family would love I just jot in down in here (or if I'm lazy, print it off the Internet)
Shopping List I always complete this after menu planning which makes grocery shopping so much more cost and time effective :)

Money & Finance Tab (Purple): This tab to me is very important to have organized, I have a print out of each bill and if I receive a bill via email (which I do for the majority of them) I make notes of them in this section and their due date, I also add any applicable notes such as if a payment plan has been organized etc. I organize all bills via their due date and constantly refer to my excel spreadsheet of our family budget to maintain each bill has been input in the budget to be paid.

Debt Tab (Blue): This tab leads directly on from the purple tab, however it contains information about the debt we owe (such as our car) so if I need to find a certain date or amount for a loan, I know the blue tab is the relevant one to look in. Purple is more for household expenses.

Home Management Tab (Purple): Although this is another purple tab, I know after the debt tab I have all my home cleaning, inventory and party plan sheets so it's not at all confusing for me.
Household Cleaning I like to do a room or two a day, top to bottom so that come the weekend or end of the month, I am not struggling to organize and clean the entire house. It also allows me more time to spend doing things I love such as having tea parties with Lily or drawing up my next big creation.

Inventory List I neglect this area quite a bit, I used to use it to keep track of the cleaning items we had/ needed so that my household cleaning routine never became interrupted due to lack of sponges or wipes.
Party Planner This area is where I write ideas for either Lily or Luke's upcoming birthday or special occasions (or even my own) and that way I can track our budget and make sure I am leaving enough money spare for what I'd be planning.

This was a free printable that I got offline, I can't remember the site now though :(

Family/Lily's Preschool Tab (Pink): This holds personal information for each of us such as:
Clothing sizes (including shoes) which makes going shopping for Luke and Lily SO much easier and less stressful, of course since Lily is an ever-growing toddler I constantly am updating information on her height and weight
Gift suggestion list for each family member, I update this every month as Lily is always going through phases, so for her I use it more as a 'general' window into what she would like.
Luke's lunch planner this particular area helps save me time as I know what I will be putting in his lunch box and what Lily and I will be having also on that day (time saver!)

Blog Tab (Green): I quickly jot ideas down on a scrap of paper that I have hole punched into the binder behind this tab, it allows me to elaborate on ideas later on when I have a bit more down-time. It could be anything from what my next blog post will be regarding, to what kind of give-away I'd love to hold etc, any idea that's related to this blog goes into this tab.

Wedding Inspiration Tab (Blue): This tab is looking a little empty right now as I have a habit of saving all the inspirational pictures I find on Google in a folder on my Desktop, however I do plan to start looking more into wedding magazines etc. to get a better idea of what kind of wedding I'd like.

I understand this binder is completely customized to my needs and wants, but I am hoping that you found it even remotely interesting or useful. You may be much more organized then I am and add 5+ tabs to your binder or you might just find it fascinating how some people go about time management.

Until Next Time,

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