Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday Tradition #37 ♥ Family Communication Folder

Family Communication Folder

This is our family's newest "tradition"...I guess you could call it a tradition. It's going to be around for a LONG time, so yeah, it's a tradition....and they pretty much don't have a choice or else....

Last week's Tuesday Tradition post about the One Word concept is what brought this newest tradition into our family. My word is PEACE. I want Peace in all areas of my life, but especially my home and family. We're a typical - traditional family, and we have gotten sucked into do everything, be everything, volunteer for everything, go everywhere, be everywhere, never say no chaos....and that type of living will NOT bring Peace to anyone or any family.

So with my new quest to bring Peace into my life simplicity, organization, and priorities are "sub-words" that compliment my Peace mission. Those three things are what helped me develop our new Family Communication Folder. It's organized chaos that is contained in one specific area. This folder has been in official use for 8 days now and I can't believe how amazing it is.

Here's what our Family Communication Folder is...

A single 1" white binder

Made a cover using www.wordle.net and it's awesome word-making-collage-thingy. I put words in there that represent our family, our daily activities and words that represent what this folder is about.
Wordle: FamilyWords

Inside Front Pocket is for invitations, fliers, announcements that any of us receive. They're easy to see, don't end up on the kitchen counter and are stuck in the bottom of the bill pile.

The first page is the table of contents. There are 8 tabs in our binder.

Month Family Calendar of Events
Mom & Dad's To-Do Lists
(Kid #1's) To-Do Lists
(Kid #2's) To-Do Lists
(Kid #3's) To-Do Lists
I Need...
Family's church and spiritual commitments
Dinner Menu & Dinner Ideas

(I don't do a tab for the twins who are 2 years old, but they'll have one soon enough)

Monthly Family Calendar of Events: This tab contains 2 months worth of calendars. I printed out the calendars from Publisher and added standing events and appointments to them. I left space for fill-ins as the month progresses.

Mom & Dad's To-Do Lists: This tab is for my husband and I to jot down things we're working on and trying to accomplish. We can write down what chores we may need some extra help with, if Saturday is a "Family" yard work day, etc. This gives our kids a chance to check in with what we're doing and our busy schedule. They can then prepare themselves for a Saturday morning of yard work or just dig up some appreciation for the hard work that we put into be their parents :O)

Kid's To-Do Lists: Our oldest three kids have their own tab's. Each tab lists all of their weekly chores and expectations. There is also a list of individual tasks they should be working on as well. Example: oldest daughter needs to be reminded about looking into colleges, writing letters to schools, getting ready to prep for the SAT's/ACT's, etc. Both daughter's have reminders to work on their church services projects weekly, and even the word "Sibling" is in that list so they can be reminded that their siblings are a priority. There is also a calendar just for them to write in tests days, projects that are due, etc. This is for their personal reminders, but also for us to check in and see what's going on. Each kid also has a plastic folder/pocket as their last page where they can put field trip permission slips, book orders, t-shirt orders, anything that needs a signature or money.

I Need... : This tab is for just that....What do you need? I hate it when I'm rushing out the door and my husband yells, "I need deodorant!" or my daughter reminds me with a mumbling voice as she's bolting out of the car during carpool that she needs toothpaste and a haircut scheduled. I cannot remember any of those things for more than 30 seconds. So this section is for them to write their name, item, what they need and when they need it. Example: Husband just put Need Button fixed on shirt, and leaf blower/vacuum/mulcher....see where this is going?

Family's Church & Spiritual Commitments: This folder is to organize our family's daily and weekly commitments to church and personal spiritual time. We take time once a week to have Family Home Evening and there is a schedule in there to show who is in charge for the week. I put an entire year in there. There's a chart that we can mark off to keep track of what scriptures we're reading to help us be accountable and see the progress we make as we put these as a priority in our lives.

Dinner Menu & Dinner Ideas: This tab has 2 important parts. Dinner Ideas is a place that any of us can jot down dinner's we want to try or a favorite we haven't had in awhile. I hate nothing more than to ask everyone, "What do you want for dinner this week?" and they all respond with..."Whatever you want to make?" AHHHH! I don't want all that responsibility on ME! So this gives them a place to quickly and easily jot down their ideas. That way when I go to make the grocery list I can pull ideas off of there. It also has our Dinner Calendar for the week. They can all see what we're having so no one is asking, "What's for dinner?" I hate that too!

The last pocket in the back has all our important phone numbers and of course menus for our favorite take-out spots.

This folder is only 8 days old, but I can tell you that running a family like a business is a must. With so many commitments and children of all different ages, I have to have some organization and simplicity if I'm going to find Peace in my life.


heather said...


Let us know how it works out. I think if I tried something like that I'd be really good at it for two months tops, then I'd go back to the invitations on the fridge, the wall calendar, and the grocery list on the fridge too.... BUT whenever kids come into our party of two things are going to be a lot more hectic, huh. Hmm....

I still say you are brilliant!

Melissa said...

What an awesome idea, but I to think it wouldn't last long.

Sweet Blessings said...

My Mom is always trying to get me to do something like this-simply because it helps her so much. You can go here-https://ssl.perfora.net/www.hisgraceworks.com/sess/utn;jsessionid=15496cc68acef42/shopdata/index.shopscript- for more info and tab ideas:) I use something like this (your idea) for my homeschool organizer. I wish you ALL the best in keeping this tradition going!!!! Blessings!
PS. I'm visiting you from Brenda's site-so thank you for sharing your tradition:)

The Ties that Bind Us said...

I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know the initial investment of putting something like this together is 1/2 the battle. This is such a great idea for us moms needing structure to make our lives run smoothly.

Tiffany said...

What a great idea to keep everyone organized.

Margaret said...

Seriously - WOW! I MIGHT just have to "steal" this one from you!! I'm waiting til I have enough $ but I'm thinkin of carrying a small (8 1/2 by 5 1/2 or so ....) binder with a calendar, contacts and such in it .... I'm ALMOST done with my new purse and that's my next personal goal - we'll see how it goes : )