my new life management notebook

August 11, 2014

I think I’ve finally found a life management notebook that is going to work for me. If you’ve been reading for any amount of time you know that I love digital management for the big stuff (mainly iCal for my planner and the Things app for my to-dos and project tasks) but I also find paper and pen very helpful for some things. That led to me trying out a bullet journal, which was pretty effective, but it wasn’t perfect for me.

life management notebook

Enter the Discbound system from Staples! I totally researched and purchased all of this on my own but I’m loving it and want to share. So the cool thing about this is that it is flexible like a 3-ring binder (meaning you can take stuff out and put it in) but it functions like a notebook, making it easier to write in, hold, and manipulate.

life management notebook inside cover

There are a bunch of different notebooks that use this system, but I have this one. I also have these dividers and this hole punch.

Here is how I’m using each section of my notebook.


life management notebook special dates

life management notebook special dates

life management notebook monthly

First of all I created a section that I check in with every month. It has a list of special dates, so I know whose birthday is coming up and I can order gifts and send cards. I also put in some copies of my “how am I doing” self-check worksheets, which I like to fill out monthly to make sure I’m not neglecting one area of my life. And then I have some blank paper where I am planning on documenting my monthly goals.

Meal Planning

life management notebook meal schedule

life management notebook dinner ideas

The second section is for meal planning. I am using this printable calendar which is just so simple and functional. (Note that we eat the same thing almost every day for breakfast and lunch so I don’t really need to plan those meals. And I write my grocery list on a separate piece of scratch paper because I give it to David and he does the shopping.) Behind that I’m keeping a list of go-to dinner ideas.

Bullet Journal

life management notebook bullet journal

Next is where my bullet journal lives! And I still use it in pretty much the same way as I wrote in this post, except that I decided to separate out the stuff regarding faith and creativity to be their own sections.


life management notebook sermon notes

So far I mainly use this for sermon notes, but I also used it for notes for a church women’s book club I lead, and I’ll probably use it for my women’s Bible study notes as well. (I have a separate journal for my personal daily devotions.)


Lastly I have a section devoted to anything creative which is most of my hobbies. So right now I have a “to do someday” list, house project ideas, and homework from the Blog Life e-course I’m working through.

I love this notebook so much you guys. The only drawback is that it’s not small. I debated on whether to get this size or the smaller one, and I went bigger because I wanted the room to write and I wanted to be able to easily put in 8.5×11 sheets of paper. But you could definitely do the same thing with a smaller size!

So what do you think? Do you do anything similar?

Posted in: personal, domestication, personal, me, personal, tips

Comments on my new life management notebook

  1. 1

    From Nora:

    I have a Franklin Covey system I inherited from my mom when she passed; I haven’t used it as much this year as I kind of have a mental block about it BUT when I do use it, I love it. It’s very similar in the way you have yours set-up and it’s really fun to use (plus they had fun quotes and tabs and etc. for me). I’m a huge fan of writing things down. I’m still old school. And I’m totally ok with that =)

  2. 2

    From Kathleen:

    Before I went digital with my planner I used Franklin Covey and LOVED it!

  3. 3

    From Kessi:

    I am loving this. Seriously. I stole my all-things journal idea from your bullet journal, and I may be on the verge of borrowing this from you, too! I miss you – date soon???

  4. 4

    From Kathleen:

    I am such a productivity nerd, so I’m constantly re-evaluating my systems! I hope this one sticks around though!

    Yes to the date soon! :)

  5. 5

    From Jaret:

    Thanks for making the recommendation, will have a look.

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