A few weeks ago, I unleashed a beast. The library debuted its first digital template: the Household Manager Notebook. And, it is seriously changing lives.
This is the perfect start to creating your digital brain (more on that here). And it will actually make your life easier. All you have to do is fill it in.
There are countless projects inside, of course, but I thought we'd keep it simple today. I will highlight 7 of my favorite projects you can do inside the HHMN.
I chose them based on optimization. They'll give you an organization boost in fairly little time. And you'll reference them again and again in the coming months.
So, let's get to started! First on the list:
1) Record Your Family Medical Histories.
If you don't already have some sort of document to track each family member's health history, you need to do this now. And if you do, make it digital and sharable by keying it into the HHMN!
This is for yourself and any immediate family members/pets living in your household. It's endlessly useful to have key health information on hand when you're out and about.
The purpose of this is to have access to ACCURATE and COMPLETE records at all times. You can answer a question at the pharmacy and compare notes with your doctors. You can use it to fill out school forms and sports releases on the fly. In case of emergency, you can email a copy of your kid's medical history to a college roommate or a spouse. The uses for this are never-ending.
Not sure where to start? That section of the notebook has a template ready to go.
2) Update Your Contacts
The HHMN includes an address book section. But it's so much more than that! You can segment your contacts, like a traditional address book, but you can also keep notes on people.
For example, this is a great place to keep notes on all those tiny weird things you learn about the humans in your life. Things like, Aunt Sally's favorite beer is X. Or Jimmy is allergic to strawberries. Maybe you want to record your Aunt's favorite color or your Dad's favorite rock artist from the 70s.
Right now, you may be wondering, "Katie, why are you telling me to keep files on people?"
Because it will make you a better host/friend/co-pilot. Your brain is not a storage container and it can be hard to keep up with everyone's preferences. But if you have a place where you keep note of these items, you can do a quick review before you buy their next gift. Use it to design the menu for your next gathering or sneak a fun personal touch if you're hosting out of town guests.
This will prevent disasters. Like that time I bought one of my closest friends post earrings for her birthday. Who doesn't have pierced ears...
I also allows me to have a 6 pack of an uncle's favorite beer on ice next to his recliner when I host the Super Bowl. It's the reason I never gift my sister-in-law mixed nuts (anymore).
You get the idea. Having these reminders in a little file makes things easier.
And while you're in there updating names and addresses, make sure you fill in the mailing list section. This is your holiday card/wedding guest list/shower invitation spreadsheet. Now you know how many cards/invitations you need. And you can print the labels straight from the spreadsheet.
3) Make Your Home Inventory
Whether you rent or own, your insurance will need a home inventory in case of disaster. Whether your roof gets ripped off by a tornado, or you're the victim of a robbery, it's best to be prepared.
And it will make replacing these items a heck of a lot easier. We have a spreadsheet ready for you to fill in to make it simple. This should be updated twice a year.
4) Make a Light Bulb Key
While you're running around your house taking inventory, fill in the light bulb key form.
May you never go to the hardware store and feel defeated by the giant selection of light bulbs again. Never! You'll always know what you need with this key.
5) Tackle Home Maintenance
Inside the HHMN, we have included recommended seasonal checklists. You can delete and add to them as you wish, they're fully customizable.
Use this resource when you do your monthly and weekly planning so you can tackle this stuff in waves.
6) Create a Password Keeper
This is one of those items everyone should have and most people don't. If you have ever felt the frustration of having to reset your password when you're in a hurry, you get why you need this.
Fill it in. Don't worry if you can't get it all filled in one day, keep adding to it every time you log into a new site. Eventually, it will be complete.
Make sure you share this with your partner/spouse so you both have the access information. You'll never have to interrupt each other at work when you're trying to take care of business again!
This will also allow you to easily change your passwords every month. Yay, security!
7) Create a Vehicle Maintenance Log
Car owners know how important maintaining their vehicle is, but many don't keep a log. Keeping track of your maintenance keeps your warranty valid. Even if you do your own oil changes, you should be able to show proof you bought the oil.
Track repairs so you can have an accurate record and plan for the future. Log expenses so you know what things will cost you.
And scan your receipts (they're pretty much your warranty on parts). If something doesn't last as long as promised, you can get a free replacement or recoup some of your initial cost.
We also have a spot for you to record mileage and general vehicle info in this section.
So there you have it! Ready to get started?