Tuesday, December 3, 2013

98 Holiday Planning Binder

Yesterday, I opened up the pages of my new Holiday Planning Binder, and chatted a little about party planning.

Today.... I am going to share the rest of the binder.  And give you a handful of printables.  Because you asked for them, and I truly heart you.


That's right.  I have received many, many emails asking for holiday planning printables.  Creating them has been on my list for awhile now, however, I wasn't entirely sure that they were something I would personally love and use.  Boy was I wrong.  I am head over heals for this little binder of holiday cheer.  It is so full of inspiration and excitement and now I am even more giddy for Christmas and all that comes with the season.

So, I thought I would share a little more about how I use the binder, and give you a total of eight free printables!  Yeah, you read that right.  Eight.  I am also popping them up in my Etsy shop, but IHeart fans won't pay a dime here.


The purpose of the binder is to get me organized for the holidays.  It is a one stop place for me to find ideas I have torn from magazines or printed off from the Internet, make lists and plan events, keep track of my favorite holiday recipes and manage my Christmas card contact list.  Naturally, I added some gold foil lettering inside of the binder so it can welcome me with a smile {it was cut with my Silhouette}.


The first tab in the binder holds calendar pages for the months of November, December and January.  These months get really busy for us, everything from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years.  Not to mention the shopping dates, holiday activities, traveling and Christmas gatherings.


I also wrote in the activities hidden inside of our Christmas Countdown activity box {although they are a surprise for the kids, I of course, planned them down to the day based on our schedule}, and added a general Holiday To Do list tucked behind the calendar.

Next tab is all about the gifts.


I started by sticking a few pre-printed letters to Santa in the pocket, so the boys can sit down each year and fill out their wish lists and mail them off to the North Pole.  The pockets are also great for holding coupons and sales flyers.


The next page, is a gift tracking printable, which allows me to list off gift ideas I have for others, and manage our holiday spending budget.


I also added sheet protectors which I stuffed with tear-outs from catalogs and magazines, full of a variety of gift ideas.


Next up is the party planning section, which I shared with you yesterday.


But who do you invite to those parties?  And send your Christmas cards to?  And all of those Thank You cards?  All of those details are kept on the contact list.


I am always attempting to mix up our holiday decor without having to purchase all new items each year.  That means getting crafty, and rethinking about the items I already have on hand.  I like to tear out ideas and print ideas found online, and keep them in one holiday happy place.


Ditto when it comes to holiday recipes.  Especially ones that are special to me and stored in a cookbook or falling apart recipe card.  Now, I can keep them all neatly organized in this holiday binder.



We tend to travel a lot during the holidays, whether a quick sleepover at Grandma's house or sneaking away for a week while the kids are off of school.  To keep track of the things we need to do before heading out of town, along with reminders of what to pack, I tossed a few travel checklists into the binder as well.


Behind the final tab is blank lined paper for any notes or thoughts that come my way throughout the busiest months of the year, along with a pouch filled with thank you cards, stamps and cheerful embellishments.


And that my friends, is my holiday planner in a nutshell.  I mean, in a pretty gold dot binder.


And now for all of those freebies I promised you!



Let's chat holiday binders.  Since I am a newbie, what other checklists and pages do you consider a must in your planner?  Who else has it on their list to whip one of these babies up this year?


98 comments:

  1. You are absolutely amazing. I would love to be as talented as you are. I love everything you post. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. How fun! Thanks for all these organizational goodies. LOVE!

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  3. Jenn - where did you get your gold dot cards with the red mini dot envelopes???

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  4. Amazing job once again! I am definitely pinning this on Pinterest & saving the printables for later use. Thank you bunches! :)

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  5. Lovely! Can't wait to wrap this all up.

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  6. Thank you! You are so generous!

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  7. I have a small section in my home management binder for holiday and event planning, but I have been thinking I need a separate binder to keep it all together better. Do you actually write out all your contacts in the binder? I have them on my computer in my address book and I keep going back and forth on if I need to put them in the binder.

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    1. I have slowly been splitting apart my household binder into a few different binders, based on types. :) Seems to work well for me.

      I did write them into this planner. I find the only time I pull out my address book, is during Christmas. Otherwise, I typically use my contact list in my phone.

      xoxo!

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  8. Thank you Jen. These printables are super cute and will definitely come in handy this holiday season.

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  9. We have an Elf on the Shelf, so I have a calendar for him so I don't forget to move him (I searched Pinterest and found some easy and fun ideas). I also have sections for craft ideas, tips & tricks, resources (a list of all my holiday-related resource books - recipe books, craft books, etc.), and a "post mortem" where I make notes of what worked/what didn't and ideas for making it better.

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    1. Great ideas Lisa! Have fun with your tricky little elf! :)

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  10. This is great! I'm so making one of these. Thank you, you have the best ideas!!

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  11. Who knew that pretty pictures of a binder could be that exciting? LOVE this. Super organized in one small package.

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  12. Jen, I have so enjoyed your ideas and look forward to seeing you in my in-box! Christmas cards are another area that takes planning. If you haven't discovered cardeblanche.com, you will love it. And her blog, cbcandid.com. Their one of a kind cards meet your every need. Thanks again for all your inspiration.

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  13. These are beautiful. I will use some of them in my "binder that is really my brain" to help me plan for December. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. I've included most of these sections in my Christmas Notebook too. If you'd like to see the printables I've made this year I'll be posting them on the blog throughout the month, but I must say yours are truly superior!! =)

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing those printables, they are absolutely amazing :) Can't wait to utilize them, won't be for another year though since I'm moving between countries in two weeks... busy December for me! Good luck with all your holiday preparations and enjoy your advent !

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    1. WOW! Wishing you a happy and stress free move! Happy holidays Elisabet!

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    2. Thank you so much Jennifer, and happy holidays to you as well!

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  16. These are AMAZING Jennifer! Thanks so much for creating and sharing them! I've ordered your planner and can't wait to start using it as well! Love your blog and all the inspiration you share! :)

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  17. You are the best! Thank you very much.

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  18. These are great, I should send you my packing list for traveling. :)

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  19. You are so awesome to create and share these! Totally want to make this binder this week!!

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  20. I don't have a fancy binder- YET! But I do like to keep an excel spreadsheet that is divided by family/friend category since we have both as well as foster kids we adopt every year. I also take that gift idea list and make a Black Friday shopping spreadsheet so we can divide and conquer!

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  21. Out of curiosity, what are you marking with the washi tape on your calendar? The boys being out of school? I tend to write the event/trip, the draw a line through the end date but you idea looks marvelous, and much neater. BTW, the printables are awesome!

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  22. Oh my goodness, it's all gorgeous (and organized) as usual! May I ask where you got those gold scissors from? Thanks!

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    1. Thank you! I found them on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1beunYP

      xo!

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  23. Thats awesome, Jen! I love how you staged everything, so pretty! Can you do a post on how to get the perfect picture?

    Thanks!

    Sarah

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    1. Oh boy! Thank you for thinking I would be worthy of that! :) I have been trying to figure out my camera for years, but I will see what I can whip up for you! :)

      xo!

      Delete
  24. How do you keep track and plan for your actual Christmas dinner? We are hosting the in-laws this year and I would love to add a shopping list and menu page to my Holiday Binder? I think I will go check your Etsy shop... :)

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    1. Hi Brandi!

      I just use the party planning printable, even if just hosting a few. I might need to use the entire thing, but it helps with menu planning, shopping and remembering to do some key things.

      xo!

      Delete
  25. Wow, this is an amazing resource! Suddenly I don't feel so overwhelmed anymore haha Thank you :)

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  26. Christy from AustraliaDecember 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Wowzers... I thought I was organized but this brings it to a whole new level. I printed them off whilst I was reading your post. It will be very handy this Christmas and has come at a very convenient time. Many thanks Jen.

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  27. I haven't even read the whole post yet, but I had to stop right now and tell you that I heart you so much Jen!!! Thanks for all the printables, I can't wait to use them :-)

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  28. I actually blogged about mine a few weeks ago. Mine is not nearly as perfect as your's but mine gets the job done. I do the calendar with each advent activity too. I also plan out our elf's whereabouts for each day on it so I can keep track and make sure I don't repeat. Thanks for the freebies. I'll definitely be using.

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  29. This is really pretty, and I hope it is helpful to you and to others. I would just like to point out, however, that it took you a fair amount of time to put this together. I can see some women looking at this post and feeling really inferior, and I don't think that's so great. People get Pinterest envy and start to think that what's most important is that everything (every. single. thing.) looks perfect. I know that's not the message you're trying to send, but it bears mentioning.

    I do all my organizing online, so I just use Evernote. Not pretty, but very effective (I've got one document for wish lists, one to track what I've bought each person and how much I spent, and I can put ideas, schedules, etc. in there too). And I have time left over to read books, drink wine, hang out with my kids.....

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    1. Oh no! I would never want to make anyone feel at all inferior, that has never been my style. In fact, I did spend some time on this, but most of my time was in creating the printables, which I am giving away for free so that others can quickly create the binder if they wish. Assembling the binder didn't take long at all, it was as simple as printing off the pages and punching them inside, along with some of my other favorite tear outs. The purpose is to share how I am hoping to be a bit more organized during the holidays, and offer up some printables for others interested in doing something similar. I had a blast with this project, but then again, I have always been a paper and write it down kind of gal and have a passion for putting these types of things together. Of course, there are endless other ways to maximize your organizing and time, and I appreciate you pointing out that technology is always a quick and efficient option as well.

      Again, I never meant to offend or deter anyone. I apologize if that is how the post comes off.

      Thank you so much! xoxo!

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    2. Inspired? Yes. In total awe? Yes. Mildly jealous? Yes. Want One? Heck yes. Inferior? Nope! Hey ho, each to their own! Thanks Jen, well done you and happy holidays! Xx

      Delete
    3. Jen, your blog is always a source for inspiration and I can't even tell you how helpful your organization ideas are. I used your holiday gift tracker last year and I'm using it again this year. Thanks to your many ideas, I have created a home binder that is helping me control the chaos in my home. Please don't ever feel like your blog makes anyone feel inferior. You show plenty of photos of the process you have to go through to wind up with those pretty, put together photos, and we appreciate that you share that with us. In doing so, you remind us that bloggers don't have 100% immaculate homes ALL of the time, and that it takes work to end up with a nice, organized space. Keep doing what you're doing, we all appreciate it!

      Delete
    4. Jen is not responsible that envy is an issue for you. I know many women who have trouble with Pinterest and other sites because it makes them feel like they are not enough, etc. but all of these sites are TOOLS. and you do not have to use them if it makes you feel bad- probably shouldn't. remember too, that this is her JOB. it has to look good! so, she maybe she spent a lot of time on it- do you spend a lot of time at your workplace? and she does a fantastic job! food for thought. for what it's worth, I think every single post is fabulous and love reading it all and looking at it all even if I can't put every single thing I see into practice.

      Delete
  30. I just printed these off tonight. Can't wait to spill my brain on paper so I remember everything! Thanks so much for the printable!

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  31. Love it ... Where did you get the binder?

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    1. Thank you! The binder is from Target. :) xo!

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  32. Amazing! It's enough to make me want to get organized. :)

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  33. Beautiful work Jennifer! Just recently found your site and I love it! May I ask where you found that handy binder you used. It is functional as well as pretty.
    Thanks in advance and Merry Christmas planning.

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    1. Thank you so much! The binder is from Target. :) xoxo!

      Delete
  34. Every year my planner keeps changing! I know for next year I want to plan the elf on the shelf ideas into my planner. I actually did a post on my blog about my past four years of Christmas planners with some links to several types of planners. I wish I would have seen yours first this year though! Guess I am ahead of the game for next year. Thanks for the printables.

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  35. Thank you so much for these colorful printables. They will be a big help!!! :)

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  36. This is such a help! I like the idea of splitting the household binder into more specific ones.

    The only things I would need to add is a Christmas Card Tracker and a New Year Card (Japanese tradition) Tracker.

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  37. Where did you find your plastic dividers with deep pockets? What are you using for the red plastic envelope to hold the thank you notes, etc? Thanks again for the inspiration!

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    1. Hi Donna!

      The plastic dividers are from Target, and I love them because they have those great pockets. They are the Up & Up brand found in the home office department. I also found the plastic pocket/envelope that I placed in the back of the binder at Target as well.

      xo!

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    2. Thanks so much for your quick response!

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  38. Such a cute idea! I love finding new ways to be organized. I also was wondering how did you get your template for your blog? I am looking at starting a blog but I don’t know how to get a template.

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    1. Thank you Mariah!

      I used one of the free templates offered by Blogger, and then just updated the codes and edited the template with my personal graphics. Congrats on starting up a blog! Be prepared to have some fun! :)

      xo!

      Delete
  39. Thank you for making these available for download. I downloaded them to my laptop and think I will be using these for years to come. I really appreciate you giving them to us for free. Bless you and Merry Christmas!!! Happy Jesus Birthday!!! - Heather

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  40. Oops! Please disregard my question about where to get the binder. I found it on
    yesterday's post. Thanks again for these pretty and practical ideas.

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  41. Hi Jen,
    Thanks so much for sharing! I love your colored page protectors/dividers. Where are they from?

    Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Devon!

      The plastic dividers are from Target, and I love them because they have those great pockets. They are the Up & Up brand found in the home office department. I also found the plastic pocket/envelope that I placed in the back of the binder at Target as well.

      xo!

      Delete
  42. Wow, I wish I could be as organised as you!
    Everything you use to keep track with is also very well designed ^^

    I really like this idea of doing something fun every day before Christmas too. Your kids are gonna have a blast.

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  43. You are such an inspiration for all things awesome!! Thank you for sharing and for your fun blog. I love it!

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  44. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm loving it.

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  45. Jen, those printables are beautiful! I've never been that organized to use a binder for planning, but maybe I should start - currently all my lists are just floating around. Guess this would be the perfect reason to get start a binder :)

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  46. Thanks so much for offering the FREE printables!
    I also noticed you are staging a lot more of your photos, Bringing a new element to your blog :)

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    1. Thank you Melissa! I had the items out anyway, so it was fun to pop them into the photos! :) I love photography and have been trying to get to know my camera better so it has been fun to play around a bit within recent posts.

      xo!

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  47. Thank you so much!!! HI, I'm Caterina, from Italia and every day I come on your blog to learn something. This blog is lovely, for me it's a great inspiration. This Christmas organization will be very usefull. Thanks! Caterina

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  48. Hello Jennifer, love your website and use a lot of your printables. They are so cool. Never felt anything other than your happy
    personality wanting great things for us. Merry Christmas to your family.

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  49. Hi Jen, these are lovely. I've been using the FlyLady holiday control journal, which is great. She includes a decorating checklist, which helps control impulse décor spending (since you know what areas of the home you have covered and what you don't) and a holiday meal planner, including breakfasts, holiday meals, and parties.

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  50. I usually just use a notepad that I keep with my wrapping paper box in the attic. I get it down at the beginning of November so I can wrap gifts as soon as i buy them. I also keep a running list for Christmas cards in the pad, with meal plans and gift list. Love your printables and since I just received my family book inserts from you, I will use these new ones to create a holiday notebook. I also have a notebook with just holiday recipes in it because I have so many. If I need one of the recipes during the year, I pull out the notebook and find the recipe.
    Love your site!!

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  51. Thank you so much. These are fantastic

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  52. This is awesome! I made my planner electronic because I found I leave binder organizers at home but I love how fun and festive yours is! Thanks for sharing! :)
    http://www.mrsbomb.com/2911/31-days-christmas-planner-day-30/

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  53. Hi Jen! Would you ever consider doing the calendar you have here for the full year? I've been using the calendar you have in your etsy shop (purchased it last year) but it is landscape, and I would love one that is one page, but not in landscape? I would even purchase it in your shop!

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    1. Absolutely! I will see if I can get a 2014 portrait version in there asap!
      Thank you!

      Delete
  54. I seriously LOVE you!!! Thank you for the printables!!! This year I'm implementing your Christmas box activities and am loving it! I didn't grow up in a family rich with tradition....so it helps me when I see others tradition ideas! Thank you thank you thank you Jen!!! Xo amber

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  55. I love this post and the free printables. You are an inspiration to me and to many others. Thank you for all that you do. Jane

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  56. Hi Jen! Wow! Looks beautiful. That's gotta feel good to have that binder around during the craziness of the holidays to keep everything organized and thought out! I will pin this! Question for you... I LOVE love your free printables & your eye for design and making them functional too. I am trying to feel settled in my house (desperately!) & have decided to start with an everyday task of making a recipe binder since food is something you face every day! I've started typing out my recipes but alas, I keep thinking I wish I had Jen's skillz in making a printable I could type on for full-page recipes to put in my binder!!! Would you ever consider doing this or even making one for your etsy shop? I would buy it!

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  57. Wow Jen, this is SUPER AWESOME!!!! Thanks for sharing. Do you still primarily use Excel to create your documents? I always do mine in Word because that is what I am comfortable with, but they are so dull and lifeless compared to yours. They do the job, but I would like them to have a little pizzazz.

    Thanks again for sharing!!!
    Tracy B

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    1. Yep! Excel is my happy printable maker! :) I find it much easier to work with than Word, and it offers more formatting options.

      xo!

      Delete
    2. Hey Jen. Thanks for the feedback about Excel. Do you remember when we all went bananas when you created your Studio Desk/Basement project on Excel? I think maybe you mentioned possibly squeezing in a blog tutorial. Did you ever get a chance to do that? I am trying to do some research on creating different templates in Excel, but thought maybe you had given us some of your tips and I just missed it. Thanks!
      Tracy B

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    3. I second that! :) Any tips on creating images or fancy stuff through excel would be awesome!

      Delete
  58. Oh my goodness!!! That tear out with the craft space and the red chair!! What magazine? What brand of organization? I must know!!!!!

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    1. Hi Dawn! It is the Martha Stewart craft line from Home Decorators. :)

      xo!

      Delete
  59. Jen,
    ALL your ideas have got me looking around my home in a different way. Many thanks.
    Just wondering if it would be possible to tack on an October calendar page to the front of your group as I try to start at least thinking about holidays and birthdays then.
    Keep it up! Lizzi

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  60. Wow, thank you so much for these! I am trying to be more organized, and this will be very helpful. You asked what else we would use/need. In my gift spreadsheet (which is not pretty at all like yours) I also use columns to show if the gift has been ordered/purchased, delivered, and wrapped (as a single mom of 3 I do 90% of my shopping online). I have a list of my Christmas boxes, and a rough list of what is in each one (tree stuff, mantel stuff, dining room decor, advent stuff etc) so I can start decorating bit by bit and only pull out the box that I need. The other thing I need is for the day of the party an hourly list where I can jot down things (wipe down powder room, bake potatoes @350 for 45 minutes, etc.) If I have my timeline (especially for the cooking) set ahead of time I feel much calmer that day.

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  61. These are lovely - I too have found individual notebooks are useful for many themed ideas. Birthday/parties and of course Christmas - including christmas cards are always useful. The other thing I found useful for contacts was a notes section - where you can put in allergy, or likes/dislike or....

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  62. Oh my goodness, Jen, I just found your site today, and I am seriously in love with everything. I was searching because I want to ditch the Franklin Covey planner I have been using for decades, as it just doesn't fit me. I would be ready to get everything you have except that my decades-long pattern has been to use the classic size. I see the discbound binders are available in the classic size, but all your wonderful templates are for 8.5 x 11. I'm assuming all these neat holiday printables are also that size? Any chance you might have templates for the smaller size (I think Arc calls in "junior" size--Franklin calls in "classic")--I'm a bit hesitant to totally switch to a new size.

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  63. These are amazing prints thank you!

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  64. Bought the binder, the pocket dividers etc. and tried to copy yours as closely as possible because I love it. (BTW-Won't be posting it anywhere or taking credit). I made this organizer for my list making daughter who, with three little ones clinging to her legs and arms, doesn't have time to do these dreamy projects. I also created a similar Christmas Countdown box and she loved the whole package. Just the type of thing to help her navigate her busy life this Christmas and every year going forward. Hats off to you for your beautifully created planning ideas and a HUGE thanks for sharing your hard work with all of us :)) California Grammy

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  65. Where can I find the gold label holder on the front of that cute binder?
    Thanks again for sharing this clever project!

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    Replies
    1. Hello!

      The label holder on the front is a bookplate from the Martha Stewart Collection at Staples.

      xo!

      Delete
  66. Are you able to post the excel or word versions of the PDF templates? They are absolutely too cute but would love to type up electronically, as well as save on my computer. Thanks again!!

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  67. Jen, this is a beautiful binder. May I ask you where you purchased it (the binder itself). Thank you so much!

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  68. I am just now coming across this blog and I cant stop reading all of these fun posts! Thank you for all of your amazing ideas. I am excited to get started becoming a more organized mama!!

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  69. Thanks for these printables Jen, I'm determined to have next Christmas lovely and organised as my baby will be 18 months old and so much more of a handful and fun too! I'm also hoping to have my eldest who will be 13 (!!!! when did that happen?? ) on board to help out with preparations. Wish me luck! *heads off to start preparing now!*

    Oh and Jen, your blog inspires me so much to whip my house into shape, this year will be the year i get an organised house! Thanks from Tara

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  70. Hi Jen, I have recently become a HUGE fan of you blog! I just wish there was a way to start from the beginning as I am sure I've missed tons of great ideas over the past 5 years. What I was wondering was I would like to keep track of guests and what they are bringing to pass. Do you have a printable that could do this? I love your binder as is, but this one item would be very beneficial to me as this is my first year hosting a full Thanksgiving at my house and I want everything to be perfect! Thanks for all your hard work, suggestions, and great ideas! I look forward to getting my own life and home into a tidy ship! ~~~ Meliesa :)

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  71. I know this is a much older post but I just wanted to Thank you so much for sharing these Printables with us. I<3 your blog! Thanks for all the time and your hard work.

    ReplyDelete

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