My Mini Binder Set Up

Posted in lifestyle

Last month, upon a recommendation from a friend, I read Anne Ortlund’s book Discplines of a Beautiful Woman. In one of the chapters, she talks about how she stays organized using a mini binder. I’d never thought of this idea, but decided to adventure in. It has been super great! I took a good bit of inspiration from her stories, but I also tweaked it to match my own ‘needs,’ and wanted to share it with you. Today you can spend oodles of money on designer binders and refill paper, which is nice, but I still think Anne’s inexpensive system is simple and helpful.

Being a mini binder, it’s small and easy to slip down in my bag for work, and not obtrusive to take into the doctor’s office or car repair shop (I say from personal experience).

It has been great for keeping all the many open tabs of my brain in one happy place.



I ordered custom mini binder calendar pages from Amazon, and they are fabulous. Sections for notes, a pretty design, all kept in the front of my binder.


Monthly Meals

This is a fun page, that I found at Thirty Handmade Days.

I told myself that in 2016 I wanted to try and develop a habit of planning ahead a little better for meals. Utilizing ingredients at home instead of wasting them, etc.



The next section is a place for both big and small to-do lists. Some of my lists include:

  • House goals like buying curtains, finding a nice kickback recliner, and organizing our upstairs bonus room
  • Monthly to-do’s
  • Wellness goals like spinning twice a week or drinking more H2O
  • Gift ideas for future holidays or birthdays
  • Personal shopping lists


Prayer (not pictured)

I added a section for prayer requests. This prompts me to pray if I’m sitting in a waiting room, because the specifics are right there, a few pages over.


I added a section for blog brainstorming for whenever ideas come to mind I want to flesh out. Even as the digital ages becomes ‘better and better,’ I will always be a pen and paper girl.

In this section are random journal entries, or pages covered in quotes I’ve heard or read and enjoyed. Stories or moments of a date with my husband or a meeting at work that I wanted to remember.


I also bought a couple folders where I put bills I want to pay, grocery lists, printed recipes, blank cards to write letters, etc.

It’s nice to have a printed calendar, space for random journaling, a place for all my miscellaneous lists, and a way to remember people in prayer all in one neat small place.

It might not be for everyone, and it might seem silly, which all the technology we have today, but I have to say I am enjoying it.

If you’re interested in the mini-binder idea, here are a couple other helpful links:


  • Ashton Morgan

    Looks fun and simple! I like it! I’ve been trying to figure out a new planner system this year and haven’t quite gotten one I like. Maybe I should try this one :)

    03/16/2016 at 11:09 pm Reply
  • Kimberley

    Wow. This seems like a really awesome idea. I think I will have to create one for myself. Thanks for sharing.

    03/17/2016 at 4:23 am Reply
  • Miranda

    This is awesome. I need to try this :)

    03/17/2016 at 2:15 pm Reply
  • heather m.

    I love how you said it corrals all the open tabs of your mind! LOL! And I’m a fan of pen and paper as well so this looks right up my alley!

    03/17/2016 at 4:44 pm Reply
  • Audrey White

    My mom always had a binder similar to this when I was growing up! I use my planner so much, and this is definitely inspirational!

    03/18/2016 at 2:03 am Reply
  • Brittany Bergman

    What a great idea! I love that this has space to catch all the miscellaneous papers that pile up on my kitchen table.

    03/18/2016 at 1:29 pm Reply
    • Chelsea B.E.

      Yes! Brittany, it has been a serious sanity saver. :)

      03/24/2016 at 7:05 pm Reply
  • Selja

    Love the idea! I’ve been trying to get more organized in the last couple of weeks, but it seems take a couple of attempts to find the best ways to do it..!
    Your logo is so beautiful :)

    03/19/2016 at 4:13 pm Reply
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