Monday, December 30, 2013

BE More Organized in 2014

If there is one resolution that I make every single year {besides getting in shape} it's to get organized. 

I think the reason this makes it on my list every year isn't because I've failed the previous year, but rather because "getting organized" is always a work in progress. Our lives are always changing and the way we organize our home, our finances and our lives needs to adapt with us. There is no end goal where I will be able to say, "PERFECT! I'm organized!" 

So, I've decided this year that instead of resolving to "get organized," I am going to resolve to "BE more organized." I want to be smarter about managing our time, our budget, our activities, our home, our careers, etc. and I realize that the best way to do that is to set up my planner and our Home Management binder to meet our needs in 2014. Between the kids busy schedules, my growing business, our camping and travel plans, our changing budget…there's a lot to keep track of. Our 2014 looks very different than our 2013, but in the best way possible :-)

So it's time to get to work! Who's with me? Are you resolving to BE more organized in the new year? Are you looking to start using a planner or reorganize the system you have? Do you have a Home Management binder or ever considered setting one up? If so…hopefully some of our fabulous printables will be able to help you out!! We now offer printable planner pages in 2 different styles, for 3 different sizes!! We also have plenty of FREE printables to help you out with both your planner and your Home Management binder. Be sure to click on our "Planner Pages" tab at the top of our blog to see everything we have to offer.

And while you are busy printing and downloading, please be sure to include our Free New Years Resolutions & Goals printable! It is available in 3 different sizes and you can download them all by clicking HERE.

Happy New Year, friends!! Here's to a more organized, productive, healthy, HAPPY 2014!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

All Aboard the Christmas Lights Express!

Looking for something fun to add to your Advent Activities Calendar? Why not take your kids on a magical car ride to explore all the beautiful Christmas lights in your town!

Fill a thermos of hot coco, put on some warm jammies and have your family pile into the car! We like to have our Elf on the Shelf leave our Christmas Lights Express tickets for us so be sure to have your elf download our free printable tickets here :-)

Happy Holidays!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

NEW X-Small Personal Size Planner Pages for Your Filofax, Daytimer & More!

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you arrived here via Pinterest or another site, please note that this post has been updated as of June, 2014 in order to showcase our NEW calendar pages! The post below will highlight some of the great features of our X-Small Planner Pages, as well as provide detailed print instructions with screen shots and step-by-step directions.


It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices there are for planners these days, especially when it comes to size. Some people prefer the awesome writing space that our Large 8.5 x 11" planner pages offer, while others prefer the portability of our Small  5.5 x 8.5" planner pages. But if you are someone that does not carry a work bag or tote every day, even our Small planner can be bit big to carry around with you.

Just last year, my mom and I were introduced to the Filofax Personal & Compact size, as well as the Daytimer Portable, with inserts measuring 3.75 x 6.75". My mom purchased a Filofax Personal size off eBay just to give it a try, and it was love at first sight. The pages have enough space for her to write what she wants and it's portable enough to carry with her in her purse.

We knew this size would be a big hit for those planner junkies looking for a more portable planner option, so we added it to the shop!! We now have several sets to choose from in X-Small (3.75 x 6.75). Of course we have our popular Seasonal Planner Set.


The great thing about our X-Small planner pages is the amount of flexibility it offers. But with that flexibility comes a more time consuming print process. Printing and setting up your planner will be a project, but we promise that it will be worth the effort to have a planner that meets all of your needs :-)

Perhaps the most time-consuming part of the print process is figuring out the order you want your pages in your planner and how they will need to be printed for front-to-back alignment. I've done my best to take out all the guess work and provide a detailed set of instructions and diagrams to help you along the way.

Step 1: Before attempting to print, I recommend downloading Adobe Reader if you don't already have it. Adobe Reader is a free download and it makes this printing process SO MUCH easier.

Step 2: Once you have Adobe ready to go, open your file and select print.

Step 3. Click on the "Size" tab and select "Actual Size"

Step 4: Next, click on the "Multiple" tab and select "2 pages per sheet"

Step 5: Towards the top, specify which pages you want to print. You will see from the diagram I have below that the first pages to be printed will be page 4 & 1 (this order will make sense later). To select specific pages, use a comma between them.

Step 6: Then select print! Using this technique will ensure that pages line up perfectly for front-to-back printing. But figuring out which page should print where can be the tricky part. Here is a diagram to help you out. This set-up for printing monthly pages all in a row (no weeklies in between).

Next, you will want to print your weekly pages, and here are some instructions for those as well.

For the seasonal set, you can choose between 3 different weekly layouts and 12 different color schemes. If you would like your weekly pages to change color with your monthlies, you will need three sheets of paper for each month/color. This will give you a Notes page to start the set (instead of having half of a week), 5 weeks of the 2-page layout of your choice, and a Notes page at the end of the set (again…so you don't have half of a week). Here is a visual of how the pages should be printed:

The first sheet you print will have your two-page weekly on the front, and two Note pages on the back (you can get two note pages on one sheet by selecting the page number twice, separated by a comma. For this set, the page number was 1, so the order specified in the Pages box was 1,1).

ONCE ALL OF YOUR PAGES ARE PRINTED, IT'S TIME TO CUT! I have provided guidelines around each of your planner pages to help you with the cutting process.


The pages used in the examples above are from our Seasonal Set, but here is




I know that reading these instructions can seem overwhelming. There are quite a few steps involved in printing your X-Small pages, but the work is truly worth the effort :)

And once you have your planner set up and the print process down, be sure to download all of our other fabulous FREE planner extra pages!!!

This file includes 13 additional pages for your X-small/Personal planner. It comes with 2 party planner pages (Wish list and Invite tracker), Password tracker, 3 important Dates lists and 7 checklists, including a blank checklist that you can customize for your needs!

{Download Here}

***Please note that all FREE printables shared on ThePolkaDotPosie are for PERSONAL USE ONLY! You may pin these pages and share them with others, but always link back to this post and give credit when necessary. Thank you!***

Thanks so much for stopping by today to check out our brand new pages!!!!!

Happy Planning!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

FREE Thanksgiving Printables for your Planner or Home Management Binder

If you've ever been in charge of hosting Thanksgiving, you understand the importance of being organized. Between the timing of food going in and coming out of the oven and all the prep work that takes place BEFORE the big's important to have all of your ducks turkeys in a row.

So to help all of my fellow Thanksgiving are some helpful printables that you can add to your Planner or Home Management Binder.

Use this printable to help you plan your menu and assign different dishes to your guests. There is also a handy shopping list on the right so that you can make your grocery checklist while you plan.

This printable will work great in your planner or binder, but it would be just as useful hanging on your refrigerator. It includes an hourly schedule for planning when food goes in and comes out of the oven, a  "cooked" checklist of your food so you can keep track of what's done and a "Don't Forget" section for important reminders.

Use this printable to help you with all of the cleaning, decorating and table setting that needs to take place before the big day. There is also a section just for "Kitchen" so that you remember to pull your turkey platter out of storage and have your gravy boat washed and ready to go.

In the middle of all the craziness of the holiday, it's easy to forget to count all the blessings we are truly thankful for. Use this printable to journal all of your blessings and keep it for years to come.

Use this printable coloring page as a decoration for the big day, or as an activity to keep the kids busy at the table :-) These would be a perfect addition to a scrapbook too.

All of the links above are sized 8.5 x 11", but if you happen to carry an Arc Junior, Daytime Desk size or other planner that fits 5.5 x 8.5" is a small set just for you!

Well I hope you all find these pages helpful!!

Happy Turkey Day!

***Please note that all FREE printables shared on ThePolkaDotPosie are for PERSONAL USE ONLY! You may pin these pages and share them with others, but always link back to this post and give credit when necessary. Thank you!***

Monday, September 30, 2013

How to Print & Assemble our Small Planner Pages

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you arrived here via Pinterest or another site, please note that this post has been updated as of September, 2015 in order to showcase our NEW 2016 calendar pages! The post below will highlight some of the great features of our Small Planner Pages, as well as provide detailed print instructions with screen shots and step-by-step directions.


When we first started selling planner pages 2 years ago, we stuck to our fun and easy-to-print 8.5 x 11 sets. But what we soon realized is that not everyone wants to carry around an 8.5 x 11 planner and the requests for small planner pages were coming in DAILY. So we took a leap of faith, spent a LOT of time trying to figure out how to make the files work and suddenly…it all came together. Now, our Small Planner Pages {sized 5.5 x 8.5} are by far our most popular sets!

But here are a few things to consider before you purchase this size:

1. If your printer does NOT have the option for "borderless" printing, you may have a hard time getting your pages to align properly. Sadly, not all printers are created equal and some printers have a tendency to print images off center. This can sometimes be fixed by realigning your printer, or simply adjusting margins in your print settings. But other times, there isn't an easy way to resolve the issue. And because our small pages are designed to be printed two-to-a-page on an 8.5 x 11 paper, back-to-back, and then cut down the middle…it is important the image prints centered on your page. If you are concerned about your printer's ability to print these pages correctly, we strongly encourage you to download one of our FREE small planner pages to do a test a run.

2. Printing our Small Planner pages can be a time consuming project. It requires printing, cutting and hole punching. However, we promise that the end result is worth the time if you are looking for a great portable planner :-)

3. If you choose to have your planner printed and bound, you may need to take these instructions with you to the printer. Sadly, not all printing companies are able to look at the file and understand exactly how to print it, so you may need to help them out.

Okay…now that we have that out of the way…are you ready to build your small planner?!! If so, we have several fabulous sets to choose from.

Our most popular set is our Seasonal Planner. 

We typically have 2-3 date ranges available throughout the year in our dated Seasonal Planners. We have an Academic Year, which runs from August - July (perfect for people who prefer to plan based on a school year, rather than a traditional calendar year). 

And then we always have a traditional Calendar Year, which runs from January - December. Our 2016 Small Seasonal Planner is our newest Calendar Year planner and we are IN LOVE with some of the subtle changes and improvements we have made.

We kept all of the things our customers love about our Seasonal Planners, including the seasonal colors and patterns, the monthly journal and list pages and the meal planning option on the weekly pages. You will notice that the meal planing section now has a little more space for planning beyond just dinner. You can plan for school lunches, diet plans, parties & events and more! And of course, for those who do not meal plan, we have a second version with a blank square that you can turn into whatever you'd like! You now receive BOTH VERSIONS with your purchase :) You can check out all of the fabulous details and view additional pictures on our Etsy listing {HERE}.

So why choose the Seasonal Planner over our Signature and Undated sets? Here are 4 ways this planner stands out:

1. This planner is fully DATED. No need to write in your own months or dates.

2. This planner file is already set up in order for front-to-back printing. No need to arrange pages or figure out the order of your planner. We did the work for you :)

3. It is the perfect planner to take to a print shop. Because the file is already organized, you only need to give 3 instructions {print front-to-back, in a "borderless" or "full bleed" setting, and cut down the middle}. Easy peasy. 

4. Probably the most obvious way this planner stands out is that it has gorgeous colors and patterns that stand out and because we tried to match each month to the season, it is a great option for people who want to decorate their planner…but simply don't have time to do it.

PLEASE NOTE: This set is in order with weekly pages that follow each coordinating month. There isn't a way to separate the months from the weeks so please take that into consideration before you purchase this set. If you are looking for this planner in just a dated Monthly version, we do have that available as well.

We offer the Seasonal Monthly Planner in an Academic Year, and a traditional Calendar Year.

We realize that a fully dated planner doesn't always appeal to everyone, so if you are looking for a little more flexibility with your planner pages, be sure to check out our

If you like variety in your planner and if you prefer having the ability to change your weekly/daily format based on your needs, then this planner is for you!! It comes with 12 undated 2-page monthlies,  4 different 2-page weekly options, a Daily option, as well as a bunch of other great extras. You can set up the planner any way you like…and change it as you go. This set is also undated which means you can start it as soon as you purchase it and use it for years to come!

If you don't need weekly pages, or if you love our Signature design but prefer it dated, we do have the  

This set comes with 18 months of dated 2-page monthlies (with 2 extra bonus months right now) and runs from June 2015 - December 2016!!! Use this set alone, or in conjunction with our awesome Weekly or Daily Dockets!

Although we LOVE color around here at ThePolkaDotPosie, we also understand that some people like to keep it simple and/or decorate their own pages with stickers and washi tape. With that in mind, we also have a Small {Undated} Simplistic Planner Set!

This planner works just like our undated Signature set, and you can also purchase this design in the 2015 - 2016 Dated Monthly Planner!

All of our planner sets come with a standard cover page with space to write in your name. But if you are looking for a Custom Cover Page, we have several fabulous options available.


Once you have decided on a Small Planner, it's time to print and assemble!

As we explained earlier in this post, printing our Small Planner pages IS a project. You are printing, cutting and punching so be sure to set aside some time and pour yourself a cup of coffee (or glass of wine) to make the process go a little smoother :-) 

Now, before we get started, here are some important things you NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HIT "PRINT"

1. If you choose to print at home, you will want to invest in a fresh ink cartridge and some higher quality print/copy paper. I prefer 24lb or 28lb paper for durability and quality.

2. Most printers have the option to select the type of paper you will be printing on (i.e. photo paper, card stock, plain paper, etc.) and you want to make sure you select "plain paper". Many color printers will default to photo paper, which will use 3 times as much ink.

3. If you purchased our Small Seasonal Planner set, the PDF file is organized and designed to be run front-to-back, so you need to print them IN ORDER (1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, etc). The file WILL LOOK CONFUSING and it will seem as though pages are missing and/or out of place. Please trust us…they are in the RIGHT order for printing this way. If you are concerned at all, please start by printing Page 1 with Page 2 on the back and then cut down the middle. You will then see the flip order.

4. Printing the Smaller Planner Pages at home will require cutting, which is an extra step from our Large Planner Pages. Although some printers will give you the option to print on special 5.5 x 8.5 paper...most do not, which is why ours are designed to be printed on standard 8.5 x 11 paper and then cut down the middle. Please keep that in mind when determining which size to buy.

Download Your Planner Pages: Visit our Printables Shop on Etsy to purchase your planner and be sure to SAVE the file to your computer or hard drive for future use. 

Choose a Binder or Cover: Our Small Planner Pages measure 5.5" x 8.5" so they will work with any binder or planner cover designed for this size. We LOVE the Arc system from Staples, and we now offer adorable fabric covers in our Handmade Shop!!

Another option for our small planner pages is to use a Mini Binder. Target has some adorable mini binders to choose from (and are very inexpensive) and Avery makes a 1" mini binder that would work perfectly as well.

Grab a Hole Punch & Paper Cutter: I realize that not everyone has these things laying around the house, but if you really want to use this planner to its full potential, you will want to invest in a punch (or go in on one with a friend). If you choose the Arc System, the punch is an investment but WELL worth it (be sure to always search for a coupon too). You can also opt for the smaller version here. As far as paper cutters go, a simple scrapbook cutter will do the job (it's what I use in the instruction pictures below). 

So, once you have all of your supplies, it's time to start printing!!

Here's how to print our Seasonal pages.

Step One: Download your file and pull it up on your screen. My Mac automatically opens Adobe for PDF files, but I almost always choose to view the files in Preview.

Step Two: Once your files are pulled up in Preview and you've selected to print them, you need to change the size from US Letter to Borderless 8.5 x 11 in. You will notice on the screen that the planner page pulled up does not bleed to the edges. The added white border is a waste of space, which is why we want to go borderless if we can.

 Step 3: Once we go borderless, the option to select two-sided will no longer work on my printer {and many others I suspect} so in order to print these pages front to back without doing each one individually, you need to select "Preview" and search for "Paper Handling" in the pull down menu.

Step 4: In "Paper Handling," under the "Pages to Print" drop down menu, select to print "Odd Only"

Step 5: Then select "Normal" for page order.

Once your Odd pages are printed, you will want to feed that stack of pages back into your printer in whichever direction YOUR Printer feeds paper back in. We realized this year that many printers feed differently, so you will want to be observant of that. In most cases, you will feed the odd pages in the exact same way they came out. Then you can print the even pages.

Step 6: After selecting Borderless again {it restores to default after each print}, go back to "Paper Handling" and select "Even Only" now.

Step 7: Then select "Reverse" order

You will notice that the view page switches to Page 2 (because we are on Even Only) and this should print on the back of Page 1, and so on and so on.

And there you go! An easy way to print front & back when your computer doesn't let you :-)


Because our Signature and Simplistic pages offer so much flexibility in the way you set up your planner, print instructions aren't as cut and dry as our Seasonal set above. So, we have decided to now include detailed print instructions WITH your file when you purchase one of these sets. The instructions look like this:

 Now, before you turn your printer off, be sure to check out all of our FREE printables that coordinate with our small planners! We have a fantastic selection of Home Management printables that you can download HERE:

Now, once your pages are all printed, it's time to cut them!

Although it can be rather time consuming to use a scrapbook paper cutter {because it can only do 1-2 pages at a time}, it is a good option because it allows you to be precise with every page. Just make sure you line it up properly to cut at the 5.5" mark.

The page order may seem confusing when it is still in 8.5 x 11 format, but once you cut will all make sense!

Once your pages are printed and cut, the hard part is over!! WOOHOO! All you have to do now is punch!

If you are using the Arc punch, you will first want to switch the slide to "Junior" sizing:

You can punch up to 8 pages at once if you have the heavy duty punch so take advantage and save yourself some time.

As you punch each stack, just slip them into your rings.

And then you are DONE!!!!!!!! When you see it all put together, I swear the time will be worth it.

Isn't she pretty?!

I hope this post helps you get your planner all set up, but if you still have questions, please don't hesitate to email us at thepolkadotposieprintables{at}gmail{dot}com.

***Disclaimer: All opinions and recommendations for the Arc System and accessories are my own. I was not compensated in any way for writing this post. They are simply my favorite and I like to share them with others :-)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

FREE Printable Halloween Treat Tags for all Your Little Peeps

Are you looking for a super cute & super EASY Halloween treat this year? Well we have you covered.

I don't know about you, but my kids are obsessed with marshmallow Peeps. Last year, they had these adorable ghost and pumpkin Peeps out for Halloween and we decided to buy them for our fall camping trip to use for s'mores. Because so many kids were camping with us, I decided to make up individual treat bags to pass out to each of them. They ended up being such a huge hit, we've decided to make them again this year!! 

Here are the supplies you will need to make 24 treat bags:

1 Bag of small clear treat bags (they usually come with 50)
1-2 boxes of graham crackers
4 packages of Hallween Peeps (I did 2 ghosts and 2 pumpkins)
2 bags of Halloween Hershey Kisses
White cardstock for printing our FREE treat tags
Balck/white twine or ribbon
A regular hole punch and a 2" scrapbook punch

Assembling the bags is so can even ask your kids to help {but beware...they may eat half your stock}. 

Once everything is together, download a sheet of our treat tags here, print them on 8.5x11 cardstock and then punch them out with a 2" scrapbook punch.

Place a standard hole at the top, string some twine or ribbon through the hole and then tie up the bag with a cute bow.

And that's it! Easy peasy. This makes a great snack for camping, parties and trick-or-treating. We hope you have as much fun with them as we did!

Happy Halloweenie!

Monday, August 12, 2013

How to Build YOUR Perfect Planner

Having been a planner junkie for the better part of 15 years (30 in my mom's case), we know with absolute certainty that there is no such thing as the "Perfect Planner." The reason there are thousands of different planners and agendas to choose from these days is because there is no one system that works for everyone. While one person may fit their entire life into a pocket size notebook, another person may require multiples planners of various shapes and sizes to organize their life.

Over the past year, our printables shop has grown from ONE planner option to over FIFTEEN different planner options in multiple sizes (with more on the way). We've also added individual docket pages, add-ons, stickers and so much more! My husband asked me the other day if I was out of planner ideas now…and then I showed him "the list." :)

And that's the thing I love most about printable planners…the possibilities are endless! But with so many options to choose from, the process of building your perfect planner can seem a bit overwhelming. One minute you are casually browsing Pinterest for a cleaning schedule, and then next thing you know you've blown through a whole ream of paper and an entire ink cartridge!! It's easy to want to try everything out there, but before you bury yourself in a pile of printables that you won't use, remember that the end goal is building YOUR Perfect Planner.

One of the questions we get asked most often in our shop is, "How do I decide which planner is right for me?" I always wish I had a simple answer, but the truth is…a planner is a very personal thing and to get the right answer, you often have to ask yourself a few more questions. 

I feel like the best way to illustrate these questions is to walk through my answers and show how I have  found the perfect planners FOR ME :)

I have tried many, MANY times to use just one planner for everything in my life. In college…one planner worked perfectly for me. My life was school and work and everything I needed for that (and my personal life) could fit in a little zip-up planner.

But then I went and became a college English teacher, got married, had two babies and opened a small business with my mom. Suddenly, my one little planner became five.

FIVE PLANNERS??! I know, I know…5 planners seems a bit crazy, especially if you are someone who is just trying to figure out how to use their first planner. So let me say again that the goal here is to build a planner (or planners) that work for YOU. I simply just want to share my process. And for me…I need 5 planners. I currently use:

A Home Management/Household Planner

{click on the links for more details and pictures on how I use each of these planners}

The very first time I broke away from my ONE planner was when I became a teacher. I noticed that trying to keep track of lesson plans, deadlines and other class material was getting to be too much in my personal planner. The same thing happened when we opened our Etsy shops.

The third time I broke away from my ONE planner was to move all of my Home Management printables to their own binder. I found that my husband was needing to look at these things too so keeping that planner in a place where we could both access it was key. Same goes for our budget planner, which we also use to house all of our bills {check out the system we use here. It has been a game changer}.

But if I had to narrow down to the two planners I use every single day to TOTALLY manage my life, it would be my Personal Planner & my Household Planner.

Deciding on the perfect size for my planners was definitely a struggle at first. I wanted portable, but I knew that an x-small planner would not accommodate my big handwriting. I literally tried EVERY planner size out there but in the end, I knew my Personal Planner couldn't be smaller than a half-sheet. In our shop, we call this size SMALL which measures 5.5 x 8.5. This size is perfect for an Arc Junior or Small Martha Stewart Discbound. It also works in Filofax and other A5 Planners (even though a true A5 page has slightly different dimensions).

The SMALL size is what I call my "happy medium" for portability and writing space. I carry a larger purse everywhere I go so this size planner fits neatly inside. And of course if I know I am going somewhere I will not need my planner, this beauty stays home on my desk.

As much as I would LOVE to be an electronic planner, I am a paper girl. Always have been, always will be. There are SOME things I keep on my phone and not in a planner (like contacts and passwords), but for the most part…this planner is my lifeline.

The calendar set I am using at the moment is our Seasonal Planner. I LOVE having my months change color with the season and no matter how much I love our Signature design, or the simplicity of our black and white sets…I always go back to Seasonal.

After a year of trying almost every different weekly layout there is, I have found that vertical weeks work best for me. I love all the writing space of the vertical weeks and that our Calendar Stickers fit so nicely in the squares :) This set comes with or without the meal planning option at the bottom, but I happen to love using it and seeing my menu with my other weekly plans. 

Right now, I have my planner divided into 5 sections or tabs that come after my calendar.


Under lists, I carry just that. Lists. ToDo lists, "Books to Read" list, shopping lists, etc. It is nice having a section for just those sorts of things that don't really have a specific home. I also keep my Weekly Docket it in this section. I don't always use a docket, but when I have a particularly crazy week, it's nice to have a page-at-a-glance. 


When I designed our Health & Fitness Planner, I had a lot of people like myself in mind. When I start a project, especially one as big as losing weight, I like to plan EVERYTHING out to hold myself accountable. At one point in my life, I would have needed a separate planner for this. But right now, I just need a tab. Under "Health" I carry:

Insurance cards


I am a HUGE planner when it comes to holidays, so I needed a special section for keeping track of birthdays and other special dates, holidays and parties. In this section I carry:

Special Dates List (FREE printable)
Holiday Lists (FREE printable)
Christmas Printables (FREE Printables)
Thanksgiving Printables (FREE Printables)
Easter Printables (FREE printbales)


Even though we have a binder dedicated just to all of our camping stuff, I also include several planning pages, including the trip planner, in this section for quick reference and planning on the go. I also have note pages for our upcoming Disney vacation and any other trips (camping or otherwise) that we have planned. This section includes:

Disney Notes pages (coming soon)
Bucket List for vacations (FREE Printable)


The last little section of my planner (with the polkadots) is for my shop stuff. I do have a large Etsy planner for tracking everything in our business, but it is nice to have some of those pages on the go. I also like plain old list paper in this section for jotting down ideas and brainstorms :) In this section I have:

simple list/note pages

I used to be a planner pack rat for a LONG time. I loved planners with a million pockets so I could stuff them full of everything I would need on the go. But what I soon realized is that I wasn't using half of that stuff on the go and all it was doing was weighing down my planner. So I added just a few business card holders for important contacts, and I added one folder for housing my calendar stickers :)

As you can see, my personal planner is filled with only things that I need access too. My hubby couldn't care less about my "Books to read" list and he has his own monthly/weekly calendar on his phone (I know many planners who opt for electronic calendars to sync with their spouses and then paper plan everything else :)

But the things he does need access to are now in our Household Planner.

Some call this a Home Management Binder as well, and I am sure you have come across How-to posts on Home Management binders all over Pinterest. This is another very personal planner that should be set up to meet YOUR family's needs. 

{You can download our "Together We Have it All Cover" for FREE in Small or Large}

These are the categories we are currently using:

I have given each of our kids their own section of the planner to house all of their school calendars and important handouts. As soon as something comes home, my hubby and I know to punch the page and put it right in the planner. 


Our Home section is filled with important documents and other maintenance info that we both like to keep track of on a regular basis {like brochures and info from our landscapers, schedules for our trash and recycling pick-up, etc.}


Although the kids have their own section for school paperwork, I have also assigned a category to "Activities" because we get a number of different packets, flyers and schedules for events at our local library, parties and classes at our park district, concerts and special events in our town, etc. 


Meal planning is something that I have been trying to be so much better about lately. I have found that planning meals monthly AND weekly is incredibly helpful, and it's also great when you are working on a budget. In this section, I have meal planning sheets that I have laminated (although you could use a page protector too) so that I can just write my menu down and then wipe it off each month or week.

{Recipes & Meal Planner coming SOON}

Just as a tip, I prefer the Crayola Washable Dry Erase markers because they dry without smudging and wipe perfectly clean with a damp towel.


I have pretty much downloaded every cleaning printable that Martha Stewart has ever put on her website {get them here}, and although I love following them, I decided I really needed to develop my OWN cleaning schedule. There is a new cleaning schedule included in our updated FREE printables pack, and I just love it! 


All my "secret" party planning and holiday goodies are in my personal planner but in this section of my Household Planner, I have invites to holiday gatherings, Christmas Card lists, Special Dates pages (so the hubs can remember) and a 2014-2016 holiday list. All of these can be found in our free printable pack or our Christmas printable pack.


This section is a must-have in a Household Planner. It's where we keep all of our Emergency contact numbers, some CPR instructions and other helpful babysitter notes. We also keep a list of our Annual Renewals so we know when to renew our Sam's club membership, our vehicle registrations, etc. These are also in our free printables pack.

As much as I love the planner systems I am using right now, I realize that they are always a work in progress. What is "perfect" for our family today may not be the same tomorrow. The best advice I can possibly give to someone just starting to use a planner is to be open to change. If something isn't working, change it! To really use your planner(s) effectively…you have to enjoy using them. Make sure you answer Question #5 before deciding on your planner system. What does you "perfect planner" look like. For me…it's color. Lots and lots of color :)

I do hope this post helped give you some ideas for set up and of course if you ever have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact us!! We also welcome feedback and ideas for NEW planners and printables you would like to see offered in the shop. We have lots to come so be sure to follow along!

Now let's get organized!!!!


Supplies used in this post: