Lots and lots of awesome bloggers have posted their versions of family planning binders. I'm adding mine to the bunch!
Some tips to planning binders:
Make it Yours: No one else has a life just like yours- make your binder customized to your life! I looked through several different examples (try searching "Family Planning Binder" on Google- you'll be impressed), and then used what I saw to come up with something that works for me right now. Using a fun font helps personalize your planner even more (try dafont.com to download some great fonts).
Make it Flexible: Start with a few different options at first, and be ready and willing to change things up as you figure out what you liked and didn't like about each example. Adjusting your planning pages and things take time and experience. You'll probably have to change at least something about your pages at some point! Also recognize that your life will change, too- and along with that, your needs will change, and so will your binder! I've already changed around my Daily Do's pages, added a new section, and I'm thinking about streamlining a section... we'll see.
Make it Routine: A binder won't work if it's not part of your schedule. I usually look in my binder at least five times during the day, and then once at night before bed. I'm forgetful, and having a constant reminder really helps. Keep in mind that your binder will also need to fit into your life- physically. I don't really carry around backpacks or diaper bags, and I knew the binder would need to come along with me, so I chose a mini-binder because it fits in my purse and it's less bulky to carry. Check out your options and find out what works for you.
The General Idea:
The binder is from Staples- it's one of the 5.5x8.5 size binders. Mine is yellow, with a rubber grippy edge. I picked it because it looked sturdy yet cheerful! (This is the type of binder I use, just in yellow. I've been using it for over a year now- it's really really durable!)
I was worried that I wouldn't find a three-hole punch that would work with this particular size, but they sell those at Staples, too- although I use an adjustable three-hole punch that I already had on hand. I did buy the pre-made dividers for the binder rather than making them myself (which wouldn't have been that hard... but I was having a lazy day).
My binder has five sections for the time being- Daily Do's, Weekly Plans, Monthly Plans, Misc. Planning Pages, and General Info. I have the sections to help me organize my plans and find information easily, and I use paperclips to help me find the exact page I'm on.
A few months after I started using this binder, I went back to Staples (which is never a good idea for me... too much fun) and found a ton of cute new binders and accessories, and while I wanted to buy them all, I decided on just one (and yes, I am proud of that!).
I picked up this nifty pocket- it's plastic and closes with velcro- and it's been so handy already. I put my phone and my keys in there when I'm at work, and then I know exactly where they are all day and they're not taking up extra room on my desk. And it's two fewer things to carry! I also put receipts in here to file later. (And I don't know why the picture uploaded upside-down...)
To see more about the pages I include in my binder, click here and here.