2014 System Revamp: Household Binder

Because I carry a compact binder as my daily planner, and because it’s limited on room, I have to choose carefully what I take with me.  Everything else stays home in my Household Binder.  Since updating what I carry in my compact binder, I also had to update what’s in my Household Binder.  (You can see the original set up in the link above.)

I didn’t change too much here.  Basically, I reorganized my tabs, cleaned it up a little, and streamlined my information.

I am using my Malden for this purpose.

If I were ever to return to the personal size, I would move back into my Malden and switch my household information to a different binder.  But, this is the set up for now.

Upon opening it, you can see I keep very little in the pockets.

Right now, I have a jot pad in the top pocket, behind the zipper.  Only two of the card slots are being used—one has an iTunes gift card in it, the other has a card with the phone number to my insurance company’s nurse hotline.  In the main full-length pocket, I have an article on walking tours in New York City.

The black page you see is the back of the Filofax Post-it insert.

I put this insert in backwards because the Post-its tend to get caught on the binder’s zipper opposite.  This results on Post-its everywhere but the cardboard backing.  This helps to keep them in place.

Then start my tabs.

There is only one tab that you cannot see, due to the first set of A-Z tabs.

My “Addresses” tab is hidden behind the “V/W” and “X/Y/Z” tabs, but I don’t mind so much since I know it’s there, and I don’t use my address book too much compared with the other sections.

My “Favorites” tab contains lists of items I like but don’t want to forget.

Currently, I only have a list of Bath & Body Works lotions that I like.  More lists will follow when I have time to create them, things like Green Mountain Coffee flavors that I like (I can’t remember which I’ve tried and which I don’t like when I go to order more).  These lists are not necessarily household lists, but I don’t need them in my daily planner.  Originally I was going to create a Favorites Binder, but realized I don’t have enough to fill an entire binder, so this works instead.

The “Household” tab contains lists, projects, and information specific to the household.  First, there is a list of household things to be done.

None of these are urgent, just things that we want to do in the near future.  If something becomes urgent, it will be moved to my daily planner as an action item.

Just like with my daily binder, each project gets its own color notepaper.  Right now, I’m working on reorganizing our files.

I do this every year—shred any papers that we no longer need and set up new files for the upcoming year.  However, it’s a project this year because I’m adding color-coding to my system.  A post on this will be coming once the project is completed.

The “Notes” tab has general information that I want to keep on hand.  First, there is a list of places in New York City that I want to visit.

It’s not very fancy, but it’s what I’ve got so far.

Also, there is a list of day trips we’d like to look into.

There’s also a list of more lengthy trips we’d like to research.

The “Financial” tab is next.

This is where I keep a running list of what I have bought for the month, both in total format and in terms of each credit card (I only have two major credit cards and three store cards).  Since these lists are just for my purposes and don’t have to look pretty, I use old notepaper for them.  So, let’s say I’ve finished a project but I didn’t use the entire sheet of paper.  Any writing on the sheet gets crossed off and the sheet gets moved to this section for use until the sheet is completely unusable.

In addition, I also keep a running tally of cash I put aside for savings and/or specific purposes.  Once the cash has been deposited into the corresponding bank account, I make a note of it and start again with my tallies.  For this, I use the Filofax Financial inserts.

Next is the “Information” tab.

This is where I keep a list of all online accounts and hints for passwords.  They are neatly organized with A-Z tabs.

The final tab is the “Addresses” tab.

This section is also organized by A-Z tabs.   This is a full address book, with addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.  The email addresses probably aren’t necessary.  And I also have the phone numbers in my phone, but on the off chance I lose my phone or it somehow gets erased, I still have everyone’s contact information and don’t have to beg for them to send it to me again.

Finally, at the back, I have a notepad in the slip pocket. 

I use this randomly, but mostly for figuring out in what order to pay bills based on due dates and paydays.

While some might feel it’s a bit cumbersome to keep two active planners, it really works out for me.  I can carry the minimum amount of information in my daily planner and keep everything else at home in the bigger household planner, all close at hand for when I need it.  I do need to synch them sometimes, especially where lists are concerned.  But I don’t find it to be a big deal.  For me, it’s the best of both worlds.


  1. Hi - Great post! Now that I have a Malden (COMPLETE surprise at Christmas!) I love to read anything to do with them - feel so late in the "Malden Love" game!. I have decided to do like you have, and the Personal Lizard is now my Household filo and my pocket Malden is my daily run around in my purse. I think this system works out well for me as well.

    1. Thanks Michele. I'm so happy you've joined the Malden club. :) In the beginning, I was a little leery of using two planners for all of my information, but it works so well for me. I'm not bogged down by carrying more than I need, yet I don't have to giving up keeping certain information in a binder at all. I hope your system works well for you!

  2. Just got my first Malden! Purple, personal size. Getting ready to set it up. It is a downsize for me from the A5/Desk size.

    1. I love my Malden! I remember the day it arrived -- I was so excited. Since moving to a compact, I needed to come up with a use for my Malden. Then the need arose for a Household binder, so it worked perfectly. I still get to use it almost every day but I can keep to the slim profile of the compact. Enjoy yours!!


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