Building a Home Planning Notebook

Maintaining a home is a full time job. There is no denying it. It takes time and energy to keep a home running peacefully and harmoniously. Whether you can be home full time or not, there is a need for organization to maintain this restful environment through which our husbands, children, and friends can find solace. Until recently, you could find many small to-do lists, schedules, menu plans, scattered random receipts, financial notes, papers, and the like spread out over my home. Some might be in the office, some in the kitchen, some in my purse. I had a haphazard cleaning schedule in the back of my mind. I had a homemaking notebook but it only had some random articles that I wanted to save and not much more. Do you experience this scattered feeling?

I suddenly got inspiration after viewing some of Stephanie’s planning pages to get organized in this area. I am so glad that I did. I collected everything into one home planning notebook. Ahh…so much more peaceful. I wanted to share with you what my homemaking planner looks like…but be sure that your notebook can take any shape or form. I pray this might provide you with some inspiration to get started. Organization is an important habit to cultivate, and I need it just as much as the next homemaker.

What Your Need?

1 3-ringed binder

Dividers

Sheet protectors, if desired

Planning sheets (check out the resources below)

Ideas for Your Home Planner/Organizer/Journal/Notebook

There is an endless supply of ideas that you could compile for your planner, but here are a few tabs that I have:

Goals - this section I put right at the front of my journal so I would be daily reminded to review my goals for the year including: personal goals, nutritional goals, handcraft goals, family/ministry goals, family mission statement and book reading list.

 

Weekly Plan – Monthly calendar and to do list for the week. I take time every Sunday for my weekly planning outing to plan for the upcoming week using these pages.

Schedule – morning and evening routines, weekly routines (day by day plans that don’t change) – (check out Simplifying Your Schedule and Developing a Morning Routine for further inspiration)

 

Menu Plan – monthly winter & spring menu plans, monthly errand list, shopping lists (visit Developing a Monthly Menu Plan for more details on developing a monthly menu plan)

 

Homeschooling – ideas for learning activities, planning pages

 

Hospitality – our family vision for hospitality, ongoing invite list, meal ideas for guests, emergency meal, meaningful questions for dialog

 

Holidays – family traditions, holiday recipes, holiday planner, gift ideas for family/friends, Christmas card list with addresses

 

Household Inventory – freezer inventory, pantry inventory, master household supplies list (including personal care, house maintenance, office, kitchen, cleaning, and health supplies – to review monthly before errand run to see if anything needs to be restocked), clothing inventory (keeping track of the kids clothes to stay ahead of the seasons)

 

Finances – Budget, bill schedule, cash envelope funds and purchases, receipts

 

Family Journal – includes by weekly evaluation notes, monthly journal on what God has done in our family over the previous month, birthday letters to our children

 

Household Maintenance – spring cleaning list, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual chores list, honey to do list (basic repairs that need to be done around the house)

 

Blog Ideas – this is where I keep track of blog post ideas, advertiser and affiliate information

 

Resources - this is for keeping articles, book titles, and misc resources that I might want to look back on in the future

 

Contacts – a central place to keep phone numbers, addresses, websites, etc.

Other ideas: coupon organizer, chore chart for kids, emergency preparedness info, etc.

Here’s a peak into my planning notebook:

My encouragement for you is to take one section at a time. One section per week if necessary to avoid getting overwhelmed in any way. Build your homemaking planner over time and see more peace establish in your home. Bless your efforts! Developing my home planning notebook has taken several weeks and it is always getting improvements made to it.

Pages from my Planner:

Here are pages I personally use and/or have assembled for my notebook planner:

Freezer Inventory
Pantry Inventory
Master Household Supplies List
Housecleaning Schedule
Weekly Evaluation Page
Monthly Menu List

Resources & Inspiration:

Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule to Live your Life Fulfilleda wonderful little ebook that helps you develop goals and a schedule

Intentional Planner by Sheri Graham – a wonderful resource including planning pages

Maximize Your Morning by Inspired to Action – a helpful free guide to developing a morning routine with several good planning pages.

List Plan It – a great site that offers a yearly subscription access to over 400 lists to help organize your home, business, and life.

Homemaking Organized – downloadable lists for organizing your home

Control Journal – Flylady’s guide and tips to building your home planner or control journal as she calls it.

Household Management 101 - easy steps to building your planner

Do you have any ideas or resources to share with us on becoming more organized with a home planner?

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

89 Responses to Building a Home Planning Notebook

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  7. Bev January 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    I was looking for ideas for my homemaking journal (which I started about a year ago) and ran across your site. I was laughing at all the commonalities we have :)
    Azure standard, I could have almost written your shopping list and the article by Serene Allison in the back of your book made me chuckle – sourdough right?

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  10. Callie uleners August 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    This is exactly the wisdom that I have been hoping and praying for!!! Thank you for sharing this :)

  11. Darra February 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Lindsay,

    Thank you for the video and showing what you have done. I’m a visual person and it really helps to see things in action. I’m excited about this concept and look forward to developing my own binder. Thanks again for sharing how to be a wife and mother for the Glory of God!

  12. Stephanie February 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    Wow! I am inspired! I never really thought about getting everything into one binder simply because I was just trying to survive each day. This helps me out so much. I am excited to start my own and let others know about it :) One step at a time!

  13. Nicole January 2, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    Thank you for this great post. You have a lot of great information here. I have a link to your blog in a post that I wrote about creating a household binder. You can see it at http://www.helpforsmartmoms.com/2012/01/get-organized-in-2012-create-a-household-notebook/

  14. Stephanie (momshappyplace) September 16, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    LOVE THIS THANK YOU! The FlyLady website is awesome! Love The Intentional Planner too! This is so kind of you to share! God Bless You!

  15. Beth June 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    I love your blog! I have found so many wonderfully helpful things here! I am interested in the Intentional Planner but the link above brings up an error message… HELP!

    Thanks!

    • Lindsay July 1, 2011 at 6:00 am #

      Sorry! They just recently changed all the links for Graham Family Ministries on me. Here is the new link.

  16. Amy May 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Lindsay,
    Thanks so much for the video. Very helpful. I have a question about your Hospitality section. Where did you get the “ideas” page/information.

    Thanks,

  17. Kelly Ann January 4, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    I think you should publish something like this! i was searching for something online that I could buy, but couldn’t find anything I was really looking for.. so I wandered over to your site, like I usually do to find answers to things like this.. and found it:). I will build my own.. but I really think it would be a successful book in print.. perhaps something of a spiral binder, like a work book with check lists and what not:).

  18. Daniella October 5, 2010 at 8:36 am #

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this post, this is actually the 4th or 5th time I’ve gone back and read it. My homemaking notebook is a work in progress, but such a delight to work on! Just as any woman can feel more peaceful and less stressed after she cleans out and organizes her purse, I feel 10x’s more peaceful to get my HOME in order (that is, all my papers, lists, meal ideas, goals…). I LOVE it. And it was especially helpful to write out a family mission statement, for us as a family, but also me as a wife-mother-homemaker, so that I can keep my focus when things get crazy. THANK YOU SO MUCH! =D

  19. Jessica July 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! I am busy building my notebook and hope that the time I am spending is well spent! I told my MIL what I was doing and she casually said, “oh’ yeah, when I was in that time of life I had a plastic brain too.” AHH! Why didn’t she tell me to build one of these 6 years ago? Anyway, thanks again and I love your site!

  20. Raye Ann July 21, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    I am working on my new binder right now. I am also using the planer from NoteBooking Pages for my base. The free samples Debra was putting out are no longer available. She has expanded on them and is offering the entire year for $12.95 Not free, but not too bad for a planer. http://www.notebookingpages.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=91&products_id=251 Donna Young.org has free calender and homeschool planers. I used list plan it last year. I like the NoteBooking pages planer from Debra.

  21. Katie Dickinson July 2, 2010 at 7:07 pm #

    I love the journaling pages I saw in the video…did you download those or make them yourself? If you made them, are you willing to give us a closer look? I am such a structure person and I like the format AND how you really incorporated most areas of life into one notebook. It would be too easy for me to forget that this book should contain a thread of Christ stitched in each page.

    I am new to your blog, and it is blessing me tremendously.

    Katie

  22. naomig May 27, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Wow, that video was so helpful. I really need to put something like this together, I’m a disorganized mess, and it has occured to me that something like this would be helpful for me to work on that. Definitely bookmarking this, and will start working on it this summer.

  23. Kayla April 15, 2010 at 3:35 am #

    I really enjoyed the video and getting a good look at your home planner so I can get a better idea of how to get started. Thank you so much!

  24. Emily March 28, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    Lindsay,

    Hi! I am so grateful for this blog and the planning sheets, as I started my own management binder last year, but reverted to a teacher’s planning book for now while I get my binder back in working order… so this post was perfect for me! I linked to your site for my viewers, and to tell the truth I tell people about your blog whenever I can, as I find it so helpful in a host of ways. (See http://www.grawberriesandnuggles.hazubu.com, the post is called “Planning: Such a helpful and fulfilling road map” or something like that. I also linked your worshipful prayer retreat blog and told what I loved about it, and reported my results of how its now going for me in this post.

    One thing I love about your blog is you bring so many like-minded women together and uplift, inspire and share, while remaining real and relatable too. It makes the world far less lonely to have such neat people synergise ‘together’. In reading the planning and prayer retreat post, I realized how many of those things I do already, which was comforting, but gave me inspiration to just be more organized and concerted too. So combined with this post, I know it will help me become eventually far more efficient and effective as the Lord’s tool. From a Christian family of nine, I was raised with wonderful values, but organization is on the bottom of the list of attributes my mother had to contribute. Thanks for being a mentor for me in many ways, so many exciting things to tackle for me ahead…such as better budgeting and meal planning and all in one binder too. :)

  25. Isabel March 23, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    I’m working on creating my binder now and have a question for you. I’m using many of the pages from the Intentional Planner and others you recommended. Do you have a section where you keep your bible reading notes, prayer lists, readings etc. Maybe you have a separate notebook or binder for this. I hope I’m not asking something you already mentioned. :) Thank you!

    • Lindsay March 23, 2010 at 7:11 am #

      I keep a separate spiral notebook/journal for my devotions, notes, prayer lists, etc.

    • Janice December 11, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

      Isabel, I do all of my journals and devotions online. It is more private and locked with a password. I don’t keep any of that stuff laying around the house. Not that it matters but just to be safe if someone shared a deep secret and wanted me to pray about it. I can enter the prayer online and keep it there. No papers required or anything. Try livejournal.com and make sure to change all your settings to private where it’s just you that can see everything.
      I have my journals from 2008 up until now. I don’t have to store any of that at home. :)