Keeping the Peace: "The Binder"- How It Works | The Speckled Goat: Keeping the Peace: "The Binder"- How It Works


Keeping the Peace: "The Binder"- How It Works

I introduced you to "The Binder" a while back, and explained a little of what it is and what I like about it... but let's get down to the details.

And if you're like, "I couldn't care less if The Binder were on fire," I say to you... NOT MY BINDER! and also, maybe you'd prefer to click around elsewhere -- like here, here, or here.

(One of those is a link to a banana suit. You're welcome.)

Aaaaanyway. If you're still here, let's take a quick glimpse into The Binder- and the pages I use most often.

Daily Do's

These are the ones that I use on a (you guessed it) daily basis. 
I change the way these look very frequently.

At the time of this publication, I'm using pages that look like this. 

They're very simple, I know. For the time being, that works for me. I set up my daily pages differently according to my needs for the day.

Most of the time, during the week, I divide my left-hand page into sections- morning, workday, and evening. On weekends, I sometimes divide my page by projects, or by time, or just use a simple list. It depends on the day and how busy I happen to be.

I started out using pages that weren't dated- I just wrote in the date as I went along. But you know what? That makes it really easy to skip a day (or nine) without writing in my planner. And when I don't write in my planner, bad things happen.

On the right side, I have used a schedule and a prayer request section, but now I'm back to just a simple notes page. Generally, I use it for writing down random stuff- and sometimes it doesn't get used at all. I'm still kind of working out how I want that page to work... and maybe I'll end up getting rid of it eventually. We'll see. Like I said, I change things a lot.

A huge part of making the binder work as my planning tool is... well... actually using it. And to use it, I have to keep it in front of me and open.

The Binder sits out at my house, open on the coffee table (er, random badly painted chest) to the current day. When I'm at work, it's out on my desk, open. I make notes in there and refer to my evening plans (which really helps me to mentally prepare). I don't write much about work in my personal binder... I save that for the work binder. I'm an addict. I know.


The second-most used pages in my planning binder are the calendar pages. I use a calendar spread across two pages- which is just the right amount of space for me right now. This is where I do my appointment scheduling.

These pages are obviously more beautiful before I start writing everything in... <sigh>

At least once a week (and usually about once a day), I check out our calendar and either remind Trevor, add stuff to the Google calendar for work (like if I have a dentist appointment during the day and will need to be gone), or write it in my Daily section.

Why Paper?

I know that my method of planning isn't the most eco-friendly, and I know that there are more efficient ways to do it. Like the Google calendar I use at work, for example.

And that's all well and good, but there are a couple reasons I'm still with the paper planner.

1) It's so convenient. I don't need internet access, I don't need a password... I've got that nifty pen holder right there...

2) I remember better when I physically write stuff down. This is why I took notes by hand throughout college (and even took notes by hand during my online classes). I have to do the actual hand-to-brain work of writing stuff down... or chances are that I won't remember it.

3) And then there's this... 

That's right. I have a dumb phone. Even if I kept my calendar and to do lists online, my phone doesn't have internet capabilities (or texting... or voicemail, apparently. News to me.). But honestly, I don't think that a planner on my phone would even work for me. Because of #1 and #2.

There you have it! That's how I use my planning binder. 

What do you use to help keep yourself organized? 


  1. Awesome planning binder! Something like this would be so beneficial for me and I'm pretty sure you just convinced me to make one. I love journals and devotionals, but I've yet to make anything like this. I am very unorganized and spontaneous but I NEED some type of order in life (which is clearly reflected in my grades.) I am also wedding planner, and make pick up a binder for that while I'm out. Thanks for making this post & I think it's so cool that you don't have a smart phone, seriously #goals. I appreciate that you explained in so much detail so no I have a pretty good idea of how I want to set mine up!

    1. Thanks, Holly!

      I like making my own pages because I can fit them to what I want- as flexible and crazy and full of doodles as I want, or as structured as I need. If you need any tips or tricks, let me know!