I’ve seen Family Binders and thought they were a great idea, but as an single parent I didn’t really need one for meal planning and the kids’ doctors’ number. I’ve designed one that suits our needs, kind of an organizational tool and kind of Pinterest in physical form. We used a lot of papers from this list of organizational tools.
Essential information includes our contact info, doctor info, SSN, blood types, birthday lists (Word offers a few pre-designed pages), and passwords.
The Goals section includes anything goal related. I have several blank goal sheets for what crops up during the year, goal sheets for checking of scriptures read, and our reading lists for Daniel.
Our schedules sections have a couple of different organizers. I ended up just buying a daily agenda to go with my weekly one. I have one that has a section for each of my activities (Family, Blue Goose Charity Organization, Work, Personal), one I downloaded from the previous link that tracks water intake, chores, and menus. I also keep a couple of blank monthly calendars where I write in doctor’s appointments, birthday parties, and tentative playdates, as I have a tendency to overbook.
The financial section includes my budget, any bills that are on a payment plan (Alex’s hospital bill-finally paid off this month!), and my most recent credit reports.
The food section holds recipes I’d like to try and lists such as non-processed snacks and healthy go-to meals. I may try more formalized menu planning, but I’ve truly never had a problem budgeting groceries, planning meals, using leftovers, etc.
The work/school section includes any documents related to those. As I will be job hunting if we move this fall, I’ll keep a resume there. School documents include my transcripts.
Crafts and learning activities are just printouts of what I’d like to try. The learning activities have relocated to their own binder.
The homemaking section is supposed to include a cleaning schedule. It’s empty at the moment. The intention is there.
The spiritual sections are lessons or printouts along spiritual lines. For instance, I have a list of verses I’d like to memorize as well as ones that are appropriate to children. I have a couple of learning packs and printouts that have Biblical themes. These include lessons from Confessions of a Slacker Mom as well as folder games from Finch Family Games. FHE is a concept I kept from when I was Mormon. They do a weekly Family Home Evening that includes a lesson that accommodates your family’s abilities and needs, an activity that promotes family bonding and growth, and a snack. I keep ideas for FHE and FHE snacks here.
Preparedness includes information and planning for creating 72 hour kits and food storage and other emergency prevention solutions. This is also something I held onto from Mormonism.
The final section is my Word Study section. I’ve seen this idea in a few places, some more religious-study based and some less so. The word I picked this year was Peace. Honestly, I haven’t even touched it yet.
I have already found the binder coming in handy for passwords, calendars, and storing ideas. It’ll be an organic system, growing and changing as our family requires.