The Binder Queen {A Guest Post}

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My fingers flipped through the boxes of books. My eyes scanned titles in search of those on my list. It was the used curriculum sale, the highlight of my year. Sticking to a list is hard in a haven of used books. So many titles pop out, beckoning me to spend my dollars. Math, geography, and science books are always in abundance. The older books are those that usually cause me to linger. This year, one title caught my eye and made me smile, You Can Be a Binder Queen. I laughed to myself, “This is the last book I need. I’m already a binder queen… or addict. Well, something like that.” As my eyes wandered down the cover and saw Cindy Rushton’s name I realized the book was about notebooking, a home education tool. “No,” I thought, “Cindy’s the Binder Queen. I’m just a princess.” Queen or princess, I love my notebooks.

While we are not notebooking homeschoolers, I am a notebooking mama. Notebooks keep me organized and on task. They help me in a crisis and get me back into routine. They do not control me, I control them. I am their princess.
When Mary Beth contacted me to tell her about my notebooks, I told her that I have five and asked which one she was interested in. I was then delighted when she asked me to share a little bit about each one with you here.


This was my very first notebook. I called it Mom’s Instruction Manual for years and told my husband that he could use it to keep things running if anything ever happened to me. Once I realized how unlikely it was that anyone would really follow my instructions, I dropped the title for Household Manager. Boring, I know.

I modeled this book after FlyLady’s control journal. Over the past nine years, it has evolved into a very streamline system that includes only chore lists and routines or schedules. Four years ago, I discovered Managers of Their Homes and incorporated Teri’s schedule system. Now, I keep these things on clipboards in my kitchen, for easy reference.



The schedule in my household manager has a block of time for homeschool, but it is not detailed. The details of that schedule can be found in my homeschool notebook. There is a daily schedule divided by subjects. This schedule is followed by each child’s assignment schedule for the week. I use Homeschool Tracker to generate assignment schedules and reports. This also holds each child’s worksheets for the week. (I also have a great big notebook that I keep all printables in for the term. I take out what’s needed for the week on Saturday or Sunday.)



This is one of my favourite notebooks. It tends to stay in the mom cave. In it, I have four sections. First, is the Maximize Your Mornings ebook by Kat at Inspired to Action. Behind the second divider, you’ll find my prayer list, including the prayer calendar by Kat. I keep Bible study outlines in the third section. Last, come my Bible study notes. This is where I write everything I learn during my quiet time.



Perhaps you have heard of 30 Favourite Meals. My meal manager is modeled after this meal planning system. The first pages list over 30 choices for each meal of the day. Next, I have created a spread sheet on Excel that works as a ready-made shopping list for every single meal. At any time, I could take the sheet to the store and purchase everything I need for a month’s worth of meals. When I shop, I leave out the perishable items to purchase the week they will be consumed. I then write the meals for each week on a dry-erase menu board.


This notebook is my favourite. It goes where I go. When I have an idea or a moment to brainstorm, it is there for me. This is a very simple notebook with only three sections. First is the planning section. I use the weekly planning pages from Flourishing Abode, as well as a blank monthly calendar to schedule blogposts. The next section is for brainstorming, with these adorable pages also from Flourishing Abode. I brainstorm for my blog as well as my ebook in this section. I keep an html cheat sheet in the back. This is my newest notebook, so it will probably grow with time. For now, the simplicity is perfect.

So there you have it, my notebooks in a nutshell. I might not be the binder queen, but the organization my notebooks provide keeping me feeling like a princess. How do you keep organized and stay on task?

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Photobucket Tereasa is the author of His Pen on My Heart, where she blogs about freedom in Christ, healing from spiritual abuse and raising special children. She is a story teller, painting pictures with words and drawing the reader close to her heart. Her desire is to encourage those who are hurting and point all to Christ, the healer of our broken hearts.


This post is linked with thanks to:

On Your Heart
Soli Deo Gloria
Hip Homeschool Moms
What I Learned This Week
Titus 2sdays
Teach Me Tuesday
Domestically Divine


  1. Quick question: Do you have forms that you use for your Bible Study Notebook? I’m trying to create a Bible Study Notebook.

    • Hi Maria, the only printable things I have in my Bible study notebook are the Inspired to Action ebook by Kat and Focused 15 notes by Katie Orr. Everything else is handwritten on notebook paper. Let me know if you find anything new you really like!

  2. Judith @Havenuvrest says:

    Thank you for these awesome ideas on Notebooking!! BTW…I have had that book about Notebooking of Cindy Rushton’s since it came out. It was a great idea and a wonderful way to homeschool when all my children were younger. I have one more year and one more child…but sadly he grew up and schools himself, of course.

  3. Ohh Tereasa… please come to VA and help me with my office!

  4. Tina Blankenship says:

    Oh Tereasa, *Rosey hangs her head in shame* I want to be you when I grow up.  I am known as a frustrated perfectionist.  You would shudder if you could see my room right now.    My husband is in his recliner kicked back antagonizing a young man who happens to be a Kansas City Royals fan and everyone knows they aren’t REAL baseball.  Not like the St. Louis Cardinals.  :)  And he makes a nest where ever he is.  He has a drink, a bowl, the mail, I count 3 pairs of glasses, a shaker of salt, the fan remote, a receipt from the pharmacy, a huge glass (okay the glass is mine) and a small bag of cat treats.  That’s on one table next to him.  Next to me, is my plate..I just literally finished eating dinner, my insulin pump, my cell phone, the insulin pump supplies, a MICHE shell, the beater head to a hand held vacuum, a pillow case for my ice back, a hankie…I could go on but it depresses me.  If I look INTO my room, I see a basket of clothes to be ironed.  The carpet steamer is in the middle of the room because I had to clean up cat vomit last night.  I left it out deciding I would clean the carpet today.  I didn’t get done.  I hang the hubs clothes to dry because …well because it doesn’t always hit his mouth when eating so I have to treat every work shirt with my super secret stain solution.  I don’t dare through good clothes into the dryer.  So around me, there are work shirts hanging from every surface to dry.  My body ball is over in the corner reminding me that I need to do my stretches….do I really have to go on?

    I did Flylady and the emails made me nuts.  I use Cozi scheduler and I now write what zones I should do each week into the program.

    My schedule is organized.  That’s it.  And that’s because in a given weeks time, the hubs and I may have to see anywhere from 1 – 5 doctors (between us.)  Add in Bible study and other chores…bill paying…
    I want to be organized.  And I will make my excuse that I am recovering from excruciating medical treatments that occasionally leave me nearly immobile for weeks.  This week I’m feeling better and I look around and I want to have my home organized.  I USED to be organized, before cancer hit, and now it’s like I’m running a race in cement shoes.  I used to say that our home was a sanctuary.  My special word was Serennnnnnity.  I wanted my home to be an oasis from chaos.  Now it’s just chaos.  

    So have you written a start at the beginning, beginners manual?  I tried Sarah Mae’s ebook 31 Days to Clean.  In fact I was in her focus group.  But the chores were too intensive from someone just months out of radiation.  I know I am not the only person who looks at the chaos and sighs and then goes back to blogging.  :/

    • TereasaM says:

       Rosey ( I like that name) thou shalt stop hanging thy head! First of all, who said my house is clean?  As I look around me, I have a basket of folded laundry to my right, cups on the coffee table, a book on either side of me on the couch, and child shoes on the floor right in front of the door. This is what I see without moving my  head at all. Give yourself some grace.  As I recall, I said I like organizing more than doing. So, I’m getting off this peddle stool before I fall flat on my face.  Know this, I am a complete scatter brain.  If I did not have my notebooks, I would forget what I was supposed to do next!  Now, I’m heading over to my own blog to answer your questions there.

  5. TereasaM says:

     Have fun!

  6. TereasaM says:

    I totally agree. I run the notebooks, they don’t run me.

  7. Denise Oldham says:

    Fantastic tips.

  8. Girl, please come to my house and get me organized.  I can’t seem to find time to make the organizers to help me organize!!!  I just can’t imagine actually having binders and actually using them.  The idea of them makes me all warm and fuzzy but this girl keeps forgetting to write things on her calendar let alone all the notebooks.  My family would freak if I actually became a binder queen but right now you definitely hold the title.  You go girl!!!

    • I’m like you, I get all giddy about organizing! But then I forget to actually USE my organization! HA!

    • TereasaM says:

       Ohh!  It would be so fun to come and do it for you!  Seriously, I have more fun organizing that actually doing. I get absolutely gitty about organizing someone else.  

  9. Love all of these! :) Yes, I would say you are a binder Princess ;) Thanks for sharing.

  10. I am so impressed! Maybe I’ll get inspired (meal binder).

  11. I still haven’t figured out how to make household binders work for me.  I love creating them, but then never use them… lol

    • I put some together over the weekend. Just basic forms I found online. We will see how it goes!

    • TereasaM says:

       That is why I moved my schedules to clipboards. I don’t have time to flip through a notebook when I’m working through the day. Finding what works to keep you on task is what’s important. Many people, like my oldest son, are highly self-motivated and  don’t need anything but the head on their shoulders to get a job done. Me? I need a visual reminder!

  12. Wow, you are inspiring.  I am organized but not THAT organized!!


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