Using a home management notebook is a popular topic here at Life Your Way because a notebook allows you to organize your family’s information in one, easy-to-reference place.
Whether you include everyday information like daily schedules, menu plans and phone lists or big picture information like financial accounts, medical information and your family mission statement is up to you. And that’s really the beauty of a home management notebook — you can tailor it to be whatever you want it to be.
There are some downsides, however, to a home management notebook:
- Because it’s paper and you may only have one copy, it can get lost or ruined.
- You may not have the information you need when you need it if you don’t carry your notebook with you everywhere.
- If you do carry your notebook everywhere, your sensitive information is not secure.
- You have to organize and cross-reference all of the information yourself; your notebook can’t do it for you.
- The notebook takes up space in your home and creates additional waste as you update pages and information.
While I love using a paper planner for my homeschool planning & daily to-do lists, these days I prefer to use a digital system for my big picture home management information. Keeping the information online addresses the issues above — from organization and availability to security and backup.
Creating a Digital Home Management System
There are a few ways to do this. One way is to simply scan in your information and create documents on your computer to organize your information. However, doing it this way means you still need to create a backup solution and organize and cross-reference the documents yourself. For some people, doing this is worth the time and effort involved. But as with everything, there’s a trade-off between time and money.
For $30/year, AboutOne.com is really an incredible, economical system for digitizing your home management notebook, and I’m slowly but surely adding all of our information to my account.
With categories for your family information, contacts, education, health and home, AboutOne.com prompts you to enter relevant information, allows you to upload important documents securely to your account and then creates printable records and reports for you.
Keep track of immunizations, growth charts and prescriptions or report cards, school projects and field trips. Organize your contacts with detailed notes, calendar reminders and printable. And create simple family newsletters that you can email to friends and family or print out and mail with cute sayings, milestones and happenings in your family’s life.
All of these features are great, but I would have to say that my favorite AboutOne feature is that it allows you to start recording information today and in bits and pieces without requiring you to input your entire family history upfront. As a busy mom, setting aside a several hour chunk of time to organize all of our information just isn’t going to happen, but the AboutOne system allows me to do a little bit each day or each week so that it becomes a more complete resource a little at a time.
Sign up for a free 15-day trial with AboutOne.com today!
Do you use a home management notebook? Have you thought about digitalizing your information instead?