Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Large Family Organization: the notebook

Welcome to Large Family Organization Wednesday!  Today, I decided to repost one of my earliest posts on how I organize my time, commitments, grocery lists, etc. all in a notebook that I fondly call my "brain".  haha.  Without this "brain", I would be totally lost.  And, the times that I get lazy and don't write things down or don't check the calendar in my "brain", I end up missing something that I had intended to go to or do.  

So, without further ado...


 I would like to introduce you to my brain.  It's not what you think.  My brain is purple, has three rings, lots of paper and dividers in it, and every thought that I deem important.  (That is, if I remember to write it down...haha.)

I didn't always have this notebook.  As a matter of fact, my "brain", is a relatively new addition to my attempt to be organized and together.  It has been a process, to say the least.  It all started a few years back.

I noticed that one of my friends frequently carried a 3 ring binder with her.  I was impressed at her organization but thought little of it...until my sixth baby made his appearance.  Still tunneling through stacks of boxes from a recent move and unpacking from several weeks vacation in Texas, I didn't feel like I was coming up for air.  After taking care of all the needs of my little ones, spending special time with them, and schooling them, there was little time left for getting caught up.

Then, I noticed another friend of mine with a 3 ring binder and she made a comment about having all of her important things in there.  I knew that I must be missing something really important here because neither of these mommy friends had time for frivolous notebook creating:)  I decided to dig deeper and find out just what was in these three ring binders.  A few conversations later, I was hooked and decided that I should give this 3 ring binder thing a shot.  It definitely couldn't hurt and maybe my friends were on to something:) I really did need help me keep it all together without reinventing the wheel...definitely don't have time for reinventing!

So, first I went shopping...always my favorite part of any project:)  I picked out a purple (my favorite color...hoping I will be more inclined to actually use it!) binder that had not only the three rings in it, but also several files and a place to keep pins and small items...and most importantly, a zipper to keep it closed.  (In this house, it won't last very long if it's not zipped closed.)

Years ago I used to keep a notebook next to my bed so that if I thought of something important when falling asleep, I could write it down and sleep peacefully knowing that I would not forget that ever important thought...haha.  I am always amazed by the number of the things that I think of or remember when I am falling asleep!

This notebook is a larger and more in depth version of that same thing.  Included in my "brain" 3 ring binder is my monthly meal planning, ongoing grocery and shopping lists, house cleaning schedule and rotation, daily schedules for school, things that I want to research, writing projects, anything involving my kids, a calendar (home made...of course), and things that I organize like events for my local homeschooling support group, church potlucks...and anything that I would like to remember.  As Henry Loftin, director of Glowing Heart Ministries used to tell us college kids many years ago, "The weakest ink is stronger than the strongest mind."  I totally agree!

Amazing the difference!  My brain can actually rest now and not have to remember every detail of everything going on.  I just run and check my "brain" when in doubt...and I run to it quite often these days.  I can rely on my "brain" to remember for me.  And, as long as I write it all down and check the "brain", I stay on track:)

What things do you do to organize and remember all the details?


  1. WOW I am so impressed with your are I REALLLY struggle with. I am using your packing bag tip right now, I know I will use this notebook one also thanks!

  2. I've been using my notebook for about a year now and I really enjoy knowing that I can pull it out daily and helps keep me on track. The kids even helped me decorate it because it was big, white, and plain. They know that "Mom's Notebook" is hands off! Love your purple one, I think all Moms need one. Wish I had used something like this since the beginning.