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Time Management Binder (revised!)

Sharing my updated Time Management binder today!  I know the beginning of summer is an unusual time to put together a time management binder.  Should be time to toss all binders and planners out the window!  (Of course if you’re a planner like me that never sounds very fun.)  :)   I actually think this time of year is a great time to get organized.  Hectic school year schedules wind down and for a lot of families there will be more time spent together at home.  I love that about summer.  It’s a perfect opportunity to purge and get rid of things you don’t need.  I am especially looking forward to cleaning and organizing my office so that come Fall we are running like a well organized machine!
I loved my previous time management binder but felt like it could use a little refreshing!  You might remember this aqua binder I’ve had for a couple of years.  (Martha Stewart collection at Staples.)
It used to organize all of my cabinet/built-in/closet sketches for the new house.

I filed away the new house stuff and switched out the colorful tabs for these plastic pocket dividers.  I just love dividers with pockets.  Aren’t they fun!?  Do they make you as happy as they make me?  If I ever feel stressed or sad I just head to Staples and wander up and down the isles looking at all the different folders and pocket dividers.  Before long, I’m happy again.   My own personal upper.  :)

On Instagram I mentioned going crazy with my label maker one morning.
Nothing in my house was safe!  #everythingisbetterwithalabel
You can find my label maker here.  I adore it!  Kenny gave it to me for Valentines one year.
He clearly knows the way to my heart.  :)
I divided my binder into categories that make the most sense for me.
Things I’m always working on!
(I use a separate planner for my schedule but you could include that in the binder too.)


I keep IMPORTANT PAPERS in the binder pocket.  I covered them up with a sheet of paper for this post because most of these papers include personal information.  I love having this pocket to hold anything I need to remember/work on.  It’s always right in front of me!


My first category is just blank paper for TO-DO’s.  I’ve used lots of fancy printables, planners, and lists in the past for my to-do’s but I’ve learned that what works best for me is just a running list on plain paper that I can cross off as I complete things.  I always need a place dump my brain!  This list is never too crazy long because I have the other categories for breaking down things I’d like to get to at some point.  This page is just for the day to day immediate to-do’s.  Phone calls to make, e-mails to send, things to get done that day.  The paper I’m using (also Martha Stewart collection) has an edge that tears off.  I use this to write my grocery list.  Then when I’m going to the grocery store I can just tear it off and I don’t have to take the whole binder or to-do list with me.

I also still use my sticky tabs that I shared in my previous time management binder post.  (Sticky tabs are right up there with pocket dividers for me – love them!)  Whenever I need to buy a lot from various stores I get out the sticky tabs and place them all on one paper.  Then I can just grab the note I need when I’m heading to a specific store.

The next tab is for my BLOG where I keep a list of post ideas/plans (I have pages and pages!) and a calendar that I need to schedule posts on but can’t quite ever make happen.  We’ll see if this new binder inspires a little post scheduling.  :)

The next tab is a favorite!  ORGANIZE.  I keep my “to-organize” lists in this category and turn to it often to see what I need to be working on next.  (I wrote a post on making an effective “to organize” list here.)

My DECORATE tab holds some current inspiration pics in the folder.
And then I keep running lists of things I’m working on around the house.  I have so many fun things to show you all!  Coming soon to a blog near you.  :)
The next tab is labeled HOUSE and it currently just holds a few receipts, bills, and sketches for the yard we are working on.  This spot is for anything house related that isn’t decorating.

The CHURCH tab holds everything I need for my current calling in our church.  I’m the secretary of our Young Women program which means I’m in charge of all things scheduling and calendar.  Up my alley much?  :)

These girls have so much going on!  I created this calendar on-line in January and made copies for all of the leaders.  Now when I send out my weekly e-mail updates of what’s going on for the girls it’s so easy.  All right in front of me.

The KIDS category of my binder is usually over flowing and I have to clean it out the most.  I try to only keep what I really need at the moment in this binder and everything else for the kids gets filed in my office.

And yes!  I have a tab for CHRISTMAS!  I can’t help it.  I love to stash away ideas for the holiday season all year long.  Aside from inspirational decorating pics I also keep a list that I write after Christmas each year of things I want to do better for the following year.  Things like “order Christmas cards in JULY so I’m not stressed about them in November!”  Better get on that.  :)

So that’s it!  Obviously this binder is custom for me and my needs, but hopefully it still gave you some ideas for how you could make something like this work for you.  You can also see my previous Time Management Binder for a few more ideas.  So happy to have a place to dump everything on my mind and keep it all organized in one place.

p.s.  Here’s a quick shot of what my Time Management Binder currently looks like.  Kole got a hold of it and added some bling.  It entertained him for 15 minutes straight which is pure gold around here so I certainly wasn’t going to stop him.
Happy summer organizing!


xoxo, Erin
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14 thoughts on “Time Management Binder (revised!)

  1. Hi Erin – thank you so much for your inspiration! I am going to be organizing my binder in a couple weeks – as soon as school gets out! I can’t wait!! You have given me some great ideas!! You mentioned you have a separate planner – is that a calendar with your appointments in it or is it more than that? I really need to get my act together and get organized!! Thank you so much for continuing to inspire me!

  2. I love this new update!!! I think we may be headed to Staples today :) And I could wander the aisles of office supply stores and be in total heaven, too! I have a list of things that need to get in order and organized before everyone is home for the summer. Thanks for the inspiration as always!!! ~gina

  3. Thanks so much Susan! Yes – my separate planner isn’t anything fancy. Just monthly calendar pages with all of my appointments, etc. It’s smaller and easier to take in my purse with me everywhere. The time management binder stays at home but I use it every day!

    Thanks Becky!

    Gina – next outing we need to meet up at Staples. ;)

  4. This is something I have been meaning to do. As you know Erin, Things have been so crazy with my mom that I haven’t been writing things down. I use to “Dump my brain” every night, right after I took off my make up. I can’t tell you the last time I had a list in one place. Coming from someone who is a serious organizer, not having a binder, can make things spiral down very quickly!! This is the boost I needed. I know what I will be doing this weekend. No more excuses! :)
    Hope you have a great weekend! xoxo

  5. Why don’t we have Staples in Redding, California? Oh the Martha Stewart products I would purchase………. Guess I can check online. And, I think you are RIGHT, the end of school IS the perfect time to get a fresh binder/planner and get organized! (maybe that is why Lilly Pulitzer and Erin Condren put their new one out during the summer???) I love your practical organization ideas…keep them coming. (and I do believe I am a visual learner-love the pics!) Happy Summer to YOU!

  6. Love your posts, Erin! Always an inspiration!!!! Welcome to Instagram too!!!!
    Ann R.

  7. I love this! I am a paper and pen kinda gal and have also tried the fancy printables but keep coming back to plain ol’ paper :)

    I’m so inspired by this binder. I need to find a pretty binder for this and then I can condense all my notebooks into the one binder. Such a great idea.

  8. I’m revamping my own binder right now, and it’s eerily similar to yours, sticky notes and all…great minds? Random question, what so you use the MS díscbound notebook for (pictured in your recent top organizing post)? Also, do you take this binder with you, or does it stay at home for the most part?

  9. Hi! Just saying that somehow I have found your blog and started reading it regularly… now I discovered we´re in the same church :) And I live in Estonia :) I also have a calling in YW :) Greetings!

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