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Thursday, September 13, 2012

56 UHeart Organizing: Planning Ahead Binder

This week I am excited to welcome back Courtney, author of A Thoughtful Place blog.  She is here to share how she "keeps it all together" with the help of my most favorite organizing tools.  Printables and binders!

 

Hi I Heart readers! Today I am sharing my planning ahead binder or “3P Notebook!” I’ve created one convenient spot to keep track of parties, presents, and packing. It’s fantastic to be able to look back as a reference for meals I cooked for a holiday or appetizers I had at the last Thanksgiving. I also am a fan of planning ahead with Christmas shopping. You’ll see how easy it is to keep track of who you have bought a gift for and how much you spent. Lastly, my sister inspired me to keep track of lists we make when packing for vacations. It really does make it so much easier the next time hit the road. Here’s a look at the binder I use.



I used the Martha Stewart line for my dividers. I really like how heavy they are. They seem to hold up to daily use very well.



I also use the Martha Stewart calendar in the front of the binder. If we are planning a party or planning a trip, a calendar close by is a must have. The removable stickers are a great way to make sure your events aren’t missed.


When I am getting ready for a party or holiday I like to plan ahead. The planning sheet has a section for Table Décor, Drinks, Appetizers, Dinner, Dessert, To-Do List, and Last Minute. This really helps me be organized and stay calm. If it is a potluck than I list the name of who is bringing each dish next to the item. The one below is from Thanksgiving 2010. I love that I can see how I decorated the table so I can be sure to switch things up the next time. It also makes planning the next event so much easier as I can see what we needed. If you have ever popped over to my blog than you know how much I love to entertain. You can check out a couple of parties we have thrown here and here. 



When it comes to shopping for Christmas I need all the help I can get for staying organized and on top of it. This spreadsheet lists everyone that I buy for {including my children’s teachers}. I can jot down what I plan to get them as well as how much I think it will cost. The “spent” column is what I fill in once I have purchased the gift. I just like to keep track of what I spend each year on each person’s gift. 
{click HERE to download your FREE shopping list printable}

I also {thanks to my brilliant sister} added the “hidden” column. This helps me remember where I tucked it away. Sad to say I often forget where I put things. I use the second spreadsheet just to keep track of the gifts for my children. That way I know what I have bought and need to buy. I can also circle if it’s something we are giving to the kiddos or if it’s something Santa will be delivering!


Lastly, I have a section for “packing” and keep track of what we need for our trips. The categories on this form include: Clothing for Adults, Clothing for Kids, Items for Car/Plane, Things to Take, and Wish We Would Have Brought.




There are always things we end up wishing we had on each vacation. We take a couple annual trips each year so when we return, I jot down what it was we forgot. This comes in handy when we plan for the next year.

I hope you find some helpful tips from my Planning Ahead Binder. You will be able to download these printables so you can make your own if you are feeling inspired. As always, it’s such a pleasure to hang out over here and chat it up with Jen’s readers. Enjoy your day and happy organizing.




"Do you believe in love at first sight? I sure do because when I first stumbled upon I Heart Organizing I immediately fell in love with Jen's mad organizational skills. I think we all long for a calm, organized, well styled life. I am the author of A Thoughtful Place blog where I dish on all things related to decorating, organizing, entertaining, and of course DIY-ing! To be quite honest, working on making my house a home is my happy place. It fulfills my need to be creative and I love sharing ideas {both big and small} with my readers. Along with my blog, I am a contributing writer to House of Fifty and have recently started my own decorating firm, Casey Grace Design, LLC,  with my talented sister.  I call Orange County, California home where I live with amazing husband and two children. At the end of a busy day, I love to enjoy an ice cold beer on the front porch with my hubby while we watch our children ride their bikes or run around. Life is sweet and I am thrilled to be a part of the IHeart Organizing Team."
 


56 comments:

  1. Love the binder! What a great way to stay organized. I tried to download the Christmas Shopping List but was given an error that it wasn't available :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dalia!

      The link should be fixed now.

      Thanks so much!
      Jen

      Delete
  2. Love the Christmas list - especially the hidden column - I usually end up ransacking the house at some point looking for a gift I bought way ahead of time, and forgot where I hid.

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  3. Dalia, my sentiments exactly! Hope you can repost the Christmas shopping list! I create a similar spreadsheet, but it doesn't look pretty at all like yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jenn!

      The link should be fixed now.

      Thanks so much!
      Jen

      Delete
  4. I love beautiful thoughtful organizing tools and this is one of them!

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  5. The link for the Christmas List organizer is not working ... but I LOVE the idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mesha!

      The link should be fixed now.

      Thanks so much!
      Jen

      Delete
  6. Also looking forward to that Christmas list being able to be downloaded as I was just circling ideas to give people for the event!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lucy,

      The link should be fixed now.

      Thanks so much!
      Jen

      Delete
  7. I love binder!!! I tried to download the Christmas Shopping List but was given an error that it wasn't available :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Priscila!

      The link should be fixed now.

      Thanks so much!
      Jen

      Delete
  8. Love the binder and the Christmas Shopping List! I'm more of a digital girl, but this binder is cute enough to make me reconsider.
    Sarah

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  9. I like the Christmas idea for keeping track of spending. I do have a decent sized walk in closet in my room where I stash xmas presents. ;)

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  10. Love this binder! Staying organized is definitely the best way to go.

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  11. Beautiful binder! And such great ideas. I definitely need to get one together.

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  12. Be careful writing down the gifts you got your children in here. One time of them pulling out and reading and the surprise is gone!!

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    Replies
    1. I was just thinking the same thing. This could happen by accident so easily!

      Delete
  13. Can the cover insert be downloaded somewhere?

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  14. Great job, C!!! I love that binder, and seeing how organized you are makes me twitch. :) Thanks for the printables, I have been looking for similar stuff. I need a sheet that lets me track bdays...got one of those? :)

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  15. I love gift giving. It validates my shopping!

    http://www.shilohstaste.com

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  16. I love these! Great ideas and will be VERY useful and I always forget where I hide gifts and about things that I bought!

    I keep getting an error when I try to open the shopping download.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa,

      The link should be fixed now.

      Thanks so much!
      Jen

      Delete
  17. this is pretty awesome, thanks for sharing it. so useful!

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  18. This is perfect timing. We have decided to go to my mother in laws for Christmas this year. She lives in a different state so I desperately need something to stay organized. Plus I am having Thanksgiving this year at my house so again need to stay organized! :-) I tried to download the Christmas List but I got an error. :-( Thanks for posting this!!! LIFE SAVER!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there!

      The link should be fixed now.

      Thanks so much!
      Jen

      Delete
  19. Oh my goodness I loved this post!! Thank you so much for the great ideas and even for sharing your printables. That saves so much time, and they are so beautifully designed! I cannot wait to put this together. It will be a great addition to my home. Anita Y. in Southern California

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love this binder idea! Having difficulty opening the shopping printable though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Melinda!
      The link should be fixed now.

      Thanks so much!
      Jen

      Delete
  21. Can't get the Christmas Shopping list to load. :( Would you mind reposting it??? Thank you !!
    LOVE this binder idea. WOW! Amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Renee!

      The link should be fixed now.

      Thanks so much!
      Jen

      Delete
  22. I can't get the Christmas list to work either. ;) Would love to have it! :)

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  23. How cool is the Christmas list idea! Fabulous post Courtney!

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  24. I'm new to your site. Boy do I ever need your ideas! You and your followers are invited to come and link up at One Creative Weekend on OneCreativeMommy.com. The party is open Fridays-Wednesdays every week. Hope to see you there!

    Thanks for the great ideas! I'll be back.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi everyone! Thank you for the sweet comments. I am thrilled that you are finding this useful. Honestly, it's my go-to binder. And yes, keep it out of reach from little ones since gifts are listed. Jen and I will work on the shopping list printable so that you can print it. Stay tuned. Enjoy your day.

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  26. I love all of this! I make precise lists for packing - drives my hubs nuts. But I never thought of "wish we had packed" - that is so brilliant! Can't wait to use the party planning and gift planning ones :)

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  27. totally agree..."wish we had packed" - brilliant! As well as the "hidden" gift column! Love that you packed such a big organized punch into one handy binder!

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  28. This is amazing - I need to do this for sure! Love the idea of having it all in one binder like this. So clever to have a hidden column - I have forgotten where I've stashed things so many times!!!

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  29. I'm wondering also whether the cover can be downloaded somewhere? I love it and want to make one immediately. :)

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    Replies
    1. The cover is actually just a piece of chevron scrapbook paper that I found at a local store {pages of tyme}.

      Delete
  30. The "wished we would have brought" section is BRILLIANT! I tend to forget the same things every time, so that would be so helpful for me.

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  31. Eeeek!! I am known in my family for my binders. I have one for EVERYTHING! Weddings, babies, meals, command center, home decor you get the idea. My sisters love to tease me about it. . . rather than tease me they really should buy me some binders! :) This is awesome and exactly what my mind has been formulating, all organized out and free print-ables ta'boot. Thanks

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  32. This idea is complete genius! I can't wait to create one for my own home. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  33. Wow, what great ideas. I need to tell my mom about the "where it's hidden" category, since she's known to put things away so good that she can't remember where!

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  34. oh my, who has that much to do that they need a binder?

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  35. Great idea.. My binder would be full of different things but I love this idea.. I think I'll make myself one.. Life has gotten really crazy in the last year and it's so hard to keep track of all the things I need to go, get etc.. Thank you for this post!
    Robyn :)

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  36. Great idea. Think I am going to get me a binder and create on tomorrow. I just recently made me a home management binder and I <3 it so I am sure I will <3 this one. Thanks so much for the new idea :)

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  37. I love these ideas. How handy to see what you have given for Christmas gifts through the years. I hate to admit it, but I gave my nephew the same thing 2 years in a row. Too bad I didn't learn about the binder sooner. Thanks for the tip!

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  38. Seriously, this is genius! I'm especially loving the party planning part- we're having people over tonight and I was totally stumped for what to serve- I'm going to start using this for past parties and future ideas so I'm ready. I think it's great for Christmas planning too. This is my new project for tomorrow! Thanks Courtney!

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  39. Just printed out the printables! Thanks so much!

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    Replies
    1. SO happy you can use the printables. It really has helped us a ton over here. Happy party planning!

      Delete
    2. Such a interesting post..

      http://www.houseorganizer.us/

      Delete
  40. Oh my gosh, these are great! I've never thought about making a list of christmas gifts I've bought/made for people but it's genius! I've downloaded all these printables. Thanks for sharing them!!

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  41. So cool! This holiday season should be so much easier to keep myself in check if I'm ready or not ! Love it ! Thanks can't wait to print free :-) printables! What's not to love about that? Happy Creating!!

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  42. So cool! This holiday season should be so much easier to keep myself in check if I'm ready or not ! Love it ! Thanks can't wait to print free :-) printables! What's not to love about that? Happy Creating!!

    ReplyDelete

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