So I’ve talked about the concept of a Life Binder here before, but I’ve never really explained why/how to use one. So, for today’s Self Care Saturday, I’m going to explain what it is, how I use mine/why it’s helpful, how to get started and then I’ll provide links for free printable stuff and organizational tools!
What Is A Life Binder?
Simply put: a Life Binder is where you put all your important reminders, calendars, information, schedules, plans, ideas and anything else you can think of.
I use my own Life Binder in a variety of ways: I keep medical papers, stuff from the SS office, my college stuff like book rental forms, official/unofficial transcripts, classes, brainstorming work, community project ideas and my journal all go in my life binder. Every once a week I sit down and organize it (I usually do this on Friday or Sunday in the evening.) putting down things I have to do this week, the next week and as far out as I can. I check to make sure my medications are all on track, and if I have to refill anything. I use it to make sure my class stuff is all together, and that my study schedule is all set. The front of my binder has clear plastic slips, so I’ve put a list of daily to do’s like Did I shower? Did I take my meds? Have I eaten? on the outside so I can see those first thing.
How Do You Start?
Identify what you’ll use it for–create lists and tables of contents
Gather your supplies! I used: A binder, dividers, folders, a label maker, printouts and stickers.
Spend the day getting everything organized, find calendars and lists that make sense to you, fill them out and stack them.
Order them in your binder as you see fit! I color coded mine by section and organized them by how often I use that section–the most used going first.
Adjust and change as necessary!
A Few Tips:
Use as necessary, you don’t have to put your whole life in it if you don’t want to.
It’s okay if you stray from the organization a bit, that’s how life is, don’t panic.
If it causes more anxiety than not, you can adjust or let it go–you don’t have to do it this way.
Allow yourself time to feel it out, but if it doesn’t work, it’s okay–this is not the only way to organize things.
Organize in a way that makes sense for your brain! This is for YOU, not anyone else.
If you can’t use the printouts, feel free to just label lined paper or white paper.
Do this with a friend if you like, you can both help remind each other.
Or do it by yourself, you’re not required to share anything you don’t want.
Score what you can at Dollar Tree! They have a lot of the supplies there really cheap that you can modify or change.
I really like the color blue. I declared it as my favorite color in kindergarten mainly because when I was younger, I was a tomboy and I thought pink was too girly. Silly ol’ me. I’ve grown to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of every single color. Well maybe except for brown and orange because I can never pull those two colors off haha ;P.
So why the treasure chest? Well its because I’m a pirate and I need somewhere to hide my gold. Haha just kidding! 😊. It’s just a gift idea that I have for someone special in my life. It was on my to do list, and now I can check the box that says I did it (yay! Who else feels accomplished when they check a box on their to-do list?!)
So I started my bullet journal this week, and this is what it looks like so far
I’m using a moleskin squared large notebook (soft cover, if this works out and I want a more permanent one I’ll get a hard cover). The pens I used are the Staedtler triplus fineliner porous point pens (set of 10).
I started on the first spread. My first page is an index (which I think I started too detailed), and the second (page 1) is a yearly calendar. I went all the way through next October, which is kind of unnecessary, but I liked how it looked with the whole page filled in.
Page 2 was my August calendar and key. I put the key/ legend here because I’m just starting out and it might change between months. Page 3 is my August expenses, which are color coded. Next to the price I’ll put a green square for cash, a blue one for debit, or a pink one for my current debit balance. Next to the item I put a green square for necessary purchases, a yellow one for unnecessary, but okay, purchases, and a red square for unnecessary “bad” purchases, or ones that I later regret/ don’t use.
On page 4 I have my fall class/ weekly schedule. (which actually doesn’t start until the end of the month, but my current schedule is only one class twice a week, so I don’t need it written down). Once again, I put this here and not before the calendar because I might change my colors and rewrite it another month. In the first boxes, I wrote the class code, time, professor, and room. In the repeats I just wrote the full name of the class. Page 5 has my monthly overview and goals. I wrote the first letter of the day of the week in one column and the date in the next, and separated each week with a line. This will be more useful once the semester starts and I can just look at it and see how busy I am throughout the month.
Finally, page 6 has my weekly overview for the upcoming week, with a due date marked on Tuesday. Page 7 is the start of my daily log, which I may or may not start writing out at the beginning of the week, but I’m not sure at the moment. If I begin doing that in the semester, I’ll leave more space because i’ll be more busy. At the top of each day I have a timeline, which will let me know how I’m using my time/ how productive I’m being. It’s color coded with classwork, internet (which includes tv and other recreation), in class, other events (like a concert or something), sleeping, and other. I leave the line above that blank so I can write in any specifics. Next to the day of the week I have boxes labeled B, L, D, S, which stand for breakfast, lunch, dinner and shower, to make sure I’m doing all of those everyday.
I really like doing this so far! I’ll might switch to a hard back as soon as September, maybe even do a full tutorial on how to start a bullet journal when I do that. Sorry for the photo quality, my lighting is really bad in this room and I was using my phone. Let me know if you have any suggestions, or send me a post of your own bullet journal :)